Sep 9, 2009

Still Life on Cortes Island

Hmm, I got a little side tracked yesterday. I meant to talk about Cortes. Who knew I had so much to say about my car?
So, back to island life. A visit to any of the Gulf Islands is a vacation for city dwellers. Cute small townships, farms, markets, over priced artisan jams, excellent hiking and kayaking. They all have the quaint touristy thing going on. But the islands that are only accessible from another island, they are extra special. Harder and more expensive to get to, they don't have too much tourism going for them. They're mostly a blend of self-sustaining farming enthusiasts that do things like create goat co-ops, and the uber rich that live in mansions accessible only by boat or helicopter and hire the out-of-work hippies to dust brick walls and weed the landing pad.

Cortes is like this. To get to it you take a ferry from Campbell River to Quadra Island, then another from Quadra to Cortes. Once on Cortes you drive and drive and drive on windy roads through the forest. Every now and then you see a field or a house or a yurt, or you drive by the one block urban centre of Mansons Landing or the little convenience/hardware store at Squirrel Cove. Everything else is lonely roads that dip and wind forever (actually, just in a circle, but if you don't realize that it can seem like you're driving forever). It's great if you have a destination, but I imagine a random traveler stumbling onto Cortes with no destination in mind would find it rather dark and isolating.

A visit to my dad's is always an exercise in total relaxation. Take, for instance, how long I was in my pajamas in one go. Thirty six hours. I think that's some kind of record for city dwellers. I got in them Sunday evening at 9pm, and didn't get dressed until 9am on Tuesday morning. How awesome is that?

Not to say I didn't do anything on Monday. I was quite busy. I finished reading The 100 Mile Diet, baked some whole wheat bread, picked some strawberries. I even left the house - yes, still in the pjs. We went to the mill to look for scraps of wood to build a fence, and drove around looking for blackberries to pick (sadly they were all withered and moldy). Cortes is the kind of place where you can wear your pajamas around and not look out of place. That is one of the many reasons I love it so.

It's not so remote that influences of modern society don't permeate from time to time. Yesterday I was sitting in the living room, playing Free Cell on my computer and waiting for the bread to rise. As I walked into the kitchen to check it I passed my dad, sitting at his computer playing Euchre.

Hey Dad, wanna play cards?
On the computer or with a real deck of cards?
Um, real?
Oh. Okay then.

And then there are the bunnies...

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