British Columbia. Everyone’s from somewhere else here. But ask any resident – life long or newbie – and they’ll probably tell you it’s the best place to live in Canada and perhaps the world. A recent weekend away on the Sunshine Coast reminded me of this and my youth exploring super natural BC.
I’ve grown up here (from the age of 7), spending my childhood summers on the sun-soaked shores of the Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound and winter days on snow-capped peaks of Whistler and the North Shore mountains. More than 20 years after first arriving here, the natural beauty of my home is still astounding.
Every summer our family took off for the holidays on our sailboat. Anchored in the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound marine park, we spent our days exploring cool creeks, dramatic waterfalls, lush fern-sprinkled forest trails and rocky shores dotted with sea critters.
I’ll always remember that sweet perfume scent of coastal fauna in the summertime and tasting wild salmon berries off the bush. Dunking my head under ice cold waterfalls and hiking for hours with ocean on one side and vibrant green foliage on the other. I’d go on solo missions; challenging myself to conquer steep rock faces and row to hundred-foot waterfalls within a short distance of our boat. I’d dive off cliffs into pristine lakes, pick vibrant wildflowers and try to take photos of elusive seals. All in the name of exploration and adventure.
Two decades later and some things never change. I took a detour to check out the infamous Smuggler’s Cove just south of Pender Harour. The short 30 minute walk accesses the infamous cove which was used to smuggle rum during the Prohibition and Chinese immigrants post-railroad. While it may have a dodgy past, in present day the area is a haven for recreational boaters and tourists.
There it was – that sweet and delightfully familiar summer perfume. And those familiar sounds: seagulls, the crackling of seaweed and barnacles at low tide, and lapping water.
I’m pushing 30 but the homey sights and sounds of the west coast made me feel like kid again.
And there I sat, on a rock by the ocean with my pup.
No matter where life takes me – either physically or figuratively – it’s nice to have a touchstone. BC is just the kind of magical place to keep a girl grounded.