The forest along the shore is dense with Spring colors by now. We think that On a gray wet day the beach is gray and wet and empty Qualicum Beach there must be more shades and hues of green than any other color. We followed the Oceanside Route up the island, but as before, the roads were not designed for scenic beauty. Every now and then, though, we would get a glimpse of the shore. The beaches of Vancouver Island are not particularly beautiful; they're neither sandy nor rocky with crashing waves; rather, they're shallow flats of mud and washed stones, which tend to get rather stinky at low tide. We still haven't seen a sea that's violent, and we've been around the waters for months now.

Qualicum Beach, just up the coast from Parksville, is a tidy, very prosperous, charming small city with several golf courses, large well-kept homes and small shops. We had hoped to see the last of the migrating brant, on their way to Alaska, but we were ten days too late. The tourist office suggested a few places to look, but we couldn't resist the observation that it was a wild A white building with red trim and an old car mounted on the second floor and the large mural on the wall facing the street, along with old gas pumps The Cola Diner goose chase! (And so it was; we didn't see any.)

Further up the shore, in Courtenay and Comox, things looked less prosperous. As we move up the island, we get into serious outdoors country -- logging inland and fishing on the shore and in the streams. Sport fishing for salmon is much advertised, as are hiking and rock climbing.

We thought you'd enjoy the mural of a topless Marilyn Monroe and James Dean on vacation in Canada; this adorns the Cola Diner, a 50's restaurant. The Milkshake sign jiggles.

We continued to follow the coast, until we reached our motel a little south of Campbell River. The local paper says they're hoping to have another movie filmed here, actually only part of a movie -- a crash scene with Brad Pitt. It's the beginning of a whole new industry!