Archive for the ‘swimming’ Category

What’s There to do in Parksville?

September 7, 2009


On the eastern edge of Vancouver Island on the shores of the Georgia Strait, Parksville’s a sleepy little summer resort town lost to time and space. Modern amenities overlaying a beach front community, it has a really 1950s bungalow kind of vibe (one of its famed attractions is a sandcastle building competition). There are two miniature golf courses and a bowling alley…everything you could want.

The stunning beach, Rathtrevor, also the site of a Provincial Park, has dramatic tides as the strait shallows on a sheltered sandy bay, perfect for wading, beach combing, or just walking along.

The real surprise of Parksville, however, comes when you turn your back to the sea, heading uphill, into the interior of the island. Following the Englishman River upstream, you come upon as series of stunning spots. There’s a newly built suspension footbridge in Englishman River Regional Park. Upriver another 15 Km (you could hike, but this weekend we drove) you come to the Englishman River Falls, another Provincial Park. The falls, featuring lovely riverside trails and a nearby campsite, are as a diminutive Victoria in Africa. A wide shallow flow tumbles into a deep crevice in the earth cut by glacial melt and water. Spectacular. Just watching the falls tumble into fresh spray is dazzling — the rocks are slick and moss grows everywhere. To give you an idea…


Leaving Englishman River, one can go further afield and head up island to the mysterious and magical Horne Lake Caves, yet another Provincial Park a little over half-an-hour away. Surely one of the most intriguing natural spaces on the island and even the country, this park affords the visitor a rare opportunity to explore a fascinating phenomenon. Caving is not something one does regularly, but it’s an unforgettable experience. For obvious reasons, there’s no pictures of this…

Sheltered in a unique way, Parksville experiences the contrast of blazing heat in summer and sometimes significant snowfall in winter. But any time of year — whether you swim and sun yourself on a beach or walk deep into the dark heart of the earth — it affords a variety of amazing possibilities…

Shawnigan Lake

July 29, 2009


Wasting Time

August 20, 2008

Why are human beings so good at wasting time? Perhaps it is born of the arbitrariness of artificial time. “Real” time, natural time, lived time — these are ours. We inhabit them like bodies. Everyone has their own clock.

Sharing time — an agreed upon arrangement — becomes significant in comparison. A convention of great import. We agree to meet and interact at points in time, building systems and infrastructure around its abstract reliability. It thus becomes indispensable. The chief knot in our social fabric.

But what is it? A glimmer into the grand plans of the Great Watchmaker? A pre-existing imperative we’ve fortunately happened upon? Unlikely. This seems too perfect and tight a fit — like the enmeshed movements of a precision-made clock. Perhaps it is as created and conceived as these devices. The original mechanical marvel. And less than ghostly.

In contrast to lived time — a moment-to-moment mystery — artificial time is the ultimate ubiquity of modernity. Unquestioned and unquestionable. To defy its martial, disciplining will is to swim against the current. Or leave the river entirely.

But if you can, you may really find a flow…

Taking the Plunge

September 11, 2007

Matheson Lake is a — somewhat local — “swimmin’ hole” out in Metchosin. The perfect place for a dip on a late summer afternoon…Even has a little island you can swim out to. And no bugs! Finally been warm enough around here for swimming recently, but still pretty bracing. Call it summer 2.0.


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