Adventure Around Every Corner
It’s the middle of March, and not only are the Cherry Blossoms blossoming and the Tulips are tuliping, it is also sunny and warm on the island — warm enough that I could take my dad’s motorcycle for a spin. This is the correct way to winter in Canada.
There have been times in Calgary when I could ride in the winter, but lately, those times have been less and less. Back when I was teaching motorcycle riding for the famed ‘A’ Driving School, we would start our season in early March. Now I hear classes won’t start until early- to mid-April if they’re lucky, so I’ll chalk this up as yet another reason to live near the Salish Sea.
I rode “ICHABOD II” (my dad’s lime-green Kawasaki Ninja) all through the backroads of North Saanich on a quest to find weird and interesting places that I can fold into a story that I’ve been obsessing about lately.
The roads are narrow, the shoulders are sharp, and everywhere you turn, hidden driveways and intersections appear from the dense forest as I chew my way through radical elevation changes on twisty roads. Two turns later, I’m riding down long, straight country roads flanked by farms and wild berries and goats until I reach another twisty road flanked by the ocean. I could spend hours back here.
Without giving too much away, the story I’m writing is a treasure hunt across Canada that culminates on Vancouver Island. The protagonist is a quirky guy who accidentally finds himself in the middle of the adventure of a lifetime. As all great stories have, there are friends and allies, villains and politicians. There are (probably too many) raccoons, a very helpful octopus, a rag-tag team of sea lions, and a hawk raised by eagles.
The people I’ve met here are just like people I’ve met anywhere in the world, friendly and full of stories that are really helping add flavour to what I’m scratching out. The people here are also very healthy and conscious about the footprints they leave and their effect on those around them.
I bumped into what looked like the ALL-WOMEN POWER-WALKING LEAGUE as they got ready to take to the streets. A team of mariners performed Spill Response Training with many boats to-ing and fro-ing around the harbour. Then there’s the owner of Red Brick Cafe, who is still a bit of a mystery, but who doesn’t love a mystery?
Really, it has all the makings of a Summer Blockbuster.
Today it’s supposed to rain, which I’ve learned is another form of West Coast inspiration. It’s a reason to get on the raingear and tromp through puddles to the local coffee shop for a latte and some writing. If you’ve followed any of my adventures, you’ll know this was a ritual I would do in Kensington, Calgary, except there it was snow and sludge in place of rain. This is infinitely better.