This is one of the many things I love about the west coast of Canada. We’re really not part of Canada at all. We pretend. We’re all Hockey! And Eh! and Yeah, winter TOTALLY SUCKS! With the snow…and the cold…BURR! But the rest of Canada, you should know something. We’re faking. We’re lying to your face. And my proof is that last weekend Andrea and I were lounging on a beach with our shoes and socks off. And not only were we too warm, but we got a little sun burnt.
I think so far in 2010 we’ve gotten about ten minutes of snow. March is actually a very confusing month for us, because we often look out the window and think THERE’S A BLIZZARD! But no, wait. It’s just the cherry blossoms playing in the warm breeze. PHEW!
So…Andrea and I are camping. And the weather is lovely. And we think that we’ve finally broken our camping tradition. See, we often decide we should venture into the woods on the May long weekend. We get wherever we’re going — which is usually several hours from home — set up my tent, and then watch in dismay as the clouds blow in and start to rain all over us. Laughing maniacally, I might add, which is just rude.
Obviously, we’ve been camping in the wrong “M” month. March is the way to go!
Then, of course, it started to rain on Saturday night. It’s nice to keep with tradition, I suppose. So we packed up and went to the pub instead (another fine tradition of ours).
This little non-adventure reminded us of the last time we attempted to camp. The last fateful May trip. My sister’s friend’s brother had a trailer on Texada Island, and through this chain of people we arranged to stay there. Perfect! we think. If it rains we won’t be stuck in a soaking tent. We’ll have some room to move and dry out.
We had to drive about five hours, then take an hour ferry to Powell River, and then another ten minute ferry to Texada Island. It was late when we arrived. Dark. Very, very dark. My instructions to find the trailer were what some people would call “vague”. It was pretty much “drive for 20 minutes south”, then “turn after the fire hall and before the bay”. Then “you’ll see an orchard, then a round structure, then some trees. The next trailer is mine”.
Well, Texada has lots of trees. In the dark it’s hard to pick out particularly shaped structures. And we sure didn’t see anything that qualified as an “orchard”. However, we did eventually find the place.
But we couldn’t get in. The instructions involved finding a key in the shed, which was boarded up. By this time it was around midnight. We were able to get into a little sunroom off the side of the trailer, so we hauled out our sleeping bags and pillows and set up camp in there.
The next morning we left all of our crap in this sun room (and spilling out into the yard), and drove half an hour to “town” to find a phone. I called our friendly host for help with the whole “getting in” thing.
Are you sure the shed’s locked? he asked. You’re at the right place? It’s the little orange trailer beside the big mobile home.
At this point in our story, Andrea and I learned the difference between “trailer” and “mobile home”. Something we should have googled before we left…
I tried not to throw up in my mouth as I contemplated whether or not I should admit that no sir, we were not in the small orange trailer. We were beside it, squatting in your neighbour’s sun room.
We hauled ass back to the scene of the crime, praying the whole way that the owners hadn’t come home. That there weren’t several cops — or worse, helpful neighbours with shotguns — waiting for us to return. We pulled up and had simultaneous panic attacks when we saw an elderly man on a ride-a-mower, tidying up the lawn around our strewn-about junk. At this range we couldn’t see if he was armed.
We approached him slowly, arms down and palms out, not making eye contact, like we were trying to calm down an angry predator. So sorry! Funny story!
He smiled at us like we were mutant puppies — cute, but kind of disturbing — and helped us load our junk back in my car. Then he watched as we rolled from his driveway to the one right next door. The driveway of the little orange trailer.
Yes, the key was in the shed.
Yes, it rained on us for most of the trip.
Is it technically “breaking and entering” if the sun room door was left unlocked?
Camping in BC © Sarah Gignac
Vancouver Island Map © Google Maps (arrows added by Sarah Gignac)
Andrea Squatting in the Sun Room © Sarah Gignac