We left Duncan last Thursday morning after playing our last show at Bird's Eye Cove Farm and headed North to the town of Ladysmith to get some leaf spring work done on the Winnie. We dropped it off at the shop and walked down to the marina, where we sat for hours watching the kayakers glide around the bay – slow dancing with the sailboats as they gently rocked on their anchored lines. By mid-afternoon we got the call from the spring shop that the work was done and we were good to go.
The next stop that afternoon was to another shop to get our brakes checked and hopefully install new shoes on the rear. When we got to the shop we were told they wouldn’t have time to get to it until tomorrow (Friday). We considered our options, knowing that we had to be up in Courtenay the next evening for a show, but also knew that the brakes needed some work before we head out on the long drive. So we camped out near the marina for the evening and dropped the Winnie off at 8am the next morning. We headed back to the marina (free wifi, shaded picnic tables and a small cafe – not the worst place to have to kill time) and waited for the call.
By the end of the work day (4:30pm) it was clear we weren’t going anywhere. The shop didn’t complete the work and they are not open on Saturdays – so, we were stranded until Monday. We still had access to the RV as it was parked in the lot at the shop, and we could use it/sleep in it. Brad called Charlie (the owner of Roy’s Pub in Courteney) to explain the situation and cancel that evenings show. But this is where things turned around – Charlie was sending his shuttle van driver to pick us up (and the dogs) and bring us to Courtenay (1.5 hrs drive) and was going to put us up for the night in his travel trailer after the show, then bring us back to Ladysmith the next day. I completely taken aback by his generosity and outward offerings to help us out. So we arrived at the pub, got set up and played our first set. At the break, we were chatting with Charlie who introduced us to Diane and Garry - a lovely couple who happened to have an empty vacation rental two blocks away from the pub and were offering to let us use it for the evening – wow! We met Diane outside the carriage house at the end of the night, she showed us around and less than an hour later we were sound asleep in the big bed.
The next morning we decided it would be best to rent a car for the rest of the weekend so we could continue on with the shows. Diane graciously drove us to the rental place where our GMC Savanna cargo van awaited. We loaded up the van and headed out to Lake Cowichan for that evenings show – which was tons of fun. We ended up camping out at the lake in the van (which was interesting and odd, but not something I hope to do again #vanlife). The next day we hung out at the lake until mid-afternoon, then loaded up and headed to Victoria for our last show of the weekend.
We left Victoria on Sunday evening after the show and headed back to Ladysmith to sleep in our own bed (in the parking lot of the shop). Monday morning arrived quickly as we awoke to the sounds of the large bay doors being rolled open and the chatter of the mechanics. We gulped down cup of coffee, packed up the dogs in the van and headed out to the park for the day. By 7pm we were finally on the highway headed back to Courtenay to drop off the van, and around 10pm we pulled the Winnie into a rest stop and shut it down for the night.
Tuesday morning rolled out at a leisurely pace – coffee, breakfast, a 10-second tidy and then we carried on. We were headed back to Campbell River - back to the ferry terminal for Quadra Island. Our original plan for these few days was to head to upstate Washington from Victoria, and poke around until we were due back to Vancouver for Friday’s show – but since we had to be back in Courtenay and after the busy/stressful weekend, a trip back to Quadra seemed like the perfect remedy.
So here we are – parked in Troy’s laneway, looking around at all that is now familiar. Last evening we hiked out to the cliffs overlooking the ocean, illuminated by the full moon reflecting a perfect copy onto the surface of the water. My whole body exhaled and I felt like I was home.