-by G.K. Sydney (photos and column)
So, I recently went away. That’s right, I actually left paradise, I mean Sooke, and went further than Sidney, further than Surrey; yes, all the way to Edmonton. It will be good for us, I said. We need to get away, I said. A little holiday in a different place. Yep, it’ll be all good.
And so off we went, having a ball with the tent, lots of food, clothes for many different events and, in a pinch, ready to do some SUV camping (a new trend, it seems, for those of us too old to tent but not smart enough to buy a trailer).
And the first night was great. A beautiful campsite on the Fraser River, hardly any people around and lots of nature ( Wait a minute. Don’t we have nature in Sooke? Why did I think I had to come all this way? Huh. Just saying). Sleeping in a tent again seemed like fun, cosy and just plain cute. By the middle of the night, ummm, maybe not so cute. By the morning – when it was raining – yikes, not cute at all. Cereal in the car, drips onto the bedding, soggy clothes, wet hair, really uncomfortable sweatshirts. Oh boy.
Well, the Best Western in Edmonton sure liked us. There we were, on our camping trip, giving them lots of money and trying to dry things out in the parking lot. The family event we had come for occurred without a hitch and playing with the grandchildren in parks was lots of fun. We loved seeing the kids and leaving was very hard, but soon we were on the road again. Okay, everything’s dry. It’s all good. We can do this, right? Let’s try again. Let’s camp in the mountains for a nice change of pace. Here we have different scenery than at home, a different feeling, yes, a rejuvenation! With all that in mind, we found a campsite on a lake with beauty abounding. After a while of sitting beside an incredible lake with even more incredible mountains, all I could think of is, where are the seals? Will a whale show up? Where are the giant cedars, the ferns, the rain forest? Oops, silly, that’s all in Sooke and you wanted to get away, remember? What a twit.
And then, the last night, we scored a nice campsite on a lovely little lake. Again, no sea life, no Sooke Hills, no foliage to speak of. But, hey, there was something in abundance, something we don’t have in Sooke – mosquitoes! Hundreds, no, thousands of them. Maybe hundreds of thousands, but who could stand still to count? Then, to add insult to injury, guess what, rain. Hallelujah. Everything wet again. Down your neck, up your sleeves, on your socks, shoes, jacket, hair, face. And…did you know mosquitoes still come out in the rain? In droves? Without mercy? Oh yeah.
Well, after an emergency departure the next morning, we were again on the way home. Traffic on the mainland was horrific, much of the scenery was non-existent, and as we scratched all those bites, every other driver seemed like a crazy person.
And then, finally, relief. Getting off the ferry was idlliyc. The road to Victoria was lovely. And the road to Sooke -you know that one we all complain about, wow, was it beautiful!! The trees, the sky, the mountain and ocean views – really, why would anybody leave here? What kind of fool wants to get away? This is paradise. There really is no place like home, and if your home is Sooke, double and triple that.
Phew, I’m sure glad we finally figured that out.
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