To make the most of our first visit to Powell River, we spend the day exploring. As we follow the lovely forested beach trail north to the old townsite, we check out the old logging displays & enjoy the huge old trees towering over us. After the forest we hit blackberry row & feast on the last berries of the season, juice dripping down our chins. We strip off another layer, the sun is so warm on our backs while we pass the famous row of old ship’s hulks. They form the world’s largest floating breakwater to protect the barges & log pond in front of the pulp mill. Once we reach the old townsite we are lucky enough to stumble upon the famous Magpie’s Diner in the gorgeous lobby of the Rodmay hotel. Here we share a bottle of local porter with a plate of Porky fries covered with shredded cheese & saucy pulled pork, very tasty!
Fortified once more we follow the heritage walk admiring the old buildings, we explore the lobby of the Old Courthouse Inn which was previously the Provincial building. By chance we meet the owner who proudly shows us his mother’s photos, taken at age 14, which decorate Edie Rae’s cafe named after her. Later we pop into the Patricia Theatre to see the elegant murals in the oldest continuously operating cinema in Canada, before walking past Manager’s row. These beautiful old houses where the company managers lived, are up on the hill with fabulous views of the ocean. Ron & I both love days like this, a great walk to explore a new place & the warm sun is an added bonus…..
After two days exploring Powell River & two restless nights being tossed around in the harbor, we are happy to sally forth this morning & head south for more sheltered waters. We can feel that the wind is strong & see the whitecaps before we exit the harbor, but it isn’t until we leave the lee of the land that we take the full brunt of the north wind & experience the effect of the frothing furrows marching south. We must head SW in order to round Grief Point against the will of wind & water, rolling constantly with each set of waves. Once pointed south we can at least ride the wind & the waves to our next destination, Blind Bay. Malaspina Strait appears to enjoy testing our metal, and Parsifal once again rises to the task and keeps us safe at every turn.
We negotiate the rocks & standing waves at the entrance to Blind Bay and enter the sheltered safety of Ballet Bay. We bask in the warmth of the sun, and enjoy the much needed peace & quiet, after the maelstrom outside. It is Ron’s turn to act as chef and he rises to the occasion with a four course meal. We start with salami & blue cheese with olives & crackers, followed by avocado halves filled with ranch dressing. Ron has been carefully roasting potato, rutabaga, onion & carrot on the barbecue which he serves with a bean & artichoke salad, and a fabulous piece of local tuna grilled to perfection, topped with his famous lemon dill sauce & capers. We finish off with a dessert of rice pudding with a spoon of jam & a chocolate brownie. Not exactly roughing it, we raise our glasses to toast the chef & the meal.
The next day Karen comes to fetch me in the dinghy to explore the deserted cabins around Ballet Bay before we leave. In one room we can see dishes on the table & a basket of eggs as if the owners just left. There are holes where the ground has caved in around the place & we are careful where we step, but can’t resist looking in all the windows. Despite the animal droppings and disorder it wouldn’t take much to clean them up once more, seems like a wonderful place for a family to laze away a long hot summer. Hopefully someone will arrive soon to enjoy the place once more……..
(Note: photos of the old townsite are off their website as my iphone died.)