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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Murals, Goats & Flowy Dresses

Updated: May 21, 2023

We survived our night at The Overlook, and thus far, have lived to tell.

No spooky apparitions walking through walls or cloaked phantoms standing in the corner, watching me sleep.

... not that I know of anyway...

Once we were up and ready to go, we made our way out of our moist accommodations and in to Chemainus.

First on the list: Coffee.

Second on the list: Murals.

Chemainus is well known for their murals and has become a major tourist destination on the Island due to the originality of these downtown designs. This town is 100% charm and I believe that it is more than the murals that attract the crowds.

Chemanius was once a thriving logging town, but the mill closed its doors in 1983. The town then faced hardship and decided to do whatever they could to keep the town alive.

Go Chemamius!

The abundance of unique murals began to attract new businesse ventures, as well as a multitude of curious tourists. It was not long before their economy was thriving once again. The town was titled, “The Little Town That Did”©.

Pretty cool story. Gives us all hope that anything is possible.

I love stories of community teamwork.

The rest of the day, we wandered along the boardwalk of Parksville, meandered our way through the hip & vintage shops of Qualicum Beach, and then ended up in the small community of Coombs.

Coombs - according to the rest of the world, is known for its bizarre, roadside community market.

Coombs - according to my mother, is where I should go to buy a flowy dress.

I was a little buffudled by her suggestion, considering I am not regularly known to sport flowing dresses here, there and everywhere... but to appease the both of us, I wandered in to the shops.

Perhaps I'm in search of a flowy dress to wear for my influential Instagram photos?

Maybe not...

The stores here combined hippy beachside with elderly, colourful cruise ship attire. Not so much my style. No in-between.

To be fair, I did see a couple casual beach dresses that I might have picked up... had they not been $69.

Roadside robbery!

I would have thought that prices might have come down considering the market was catering to provincial locals now.

I was wrong.

Coombs sported not only the extravagant souvenir & flows dress shops, but also a couple markets, an abundance of stone sculptures and some goats feeding on some of the rooves,

As roadside attractions go, it was slightly bizarre.

People were waiting in line to buy donuts and to get in to the market.

It seemed to me that they were vying for the experience without really considering what they might be experiencing... if that makes sense.

Our original goal for the afternoon was to hit all the nearby wineries... Unfortunately two of them that we happened upon ended up being U-Brews, much to our dismay.

Damn you, Google maps!

We did manage to find one that was a verified and true vineyard... and despite it's posted opening hours, it was locked up.

We met Ron at the brewery and after a quick drink, made our way back to Chemainus and the “inn” … for lack of a better word.

I was desperate to see his expression when he walked through the door, and it was much like I had anticipated. As much as he thought it was odd… he did see the potential and agree that it was kinda cool… and peaceful.

Thank God he wasn’t there when the roofers were...

I spent dinner with them before taking off. Figured it would be in my best interest to

leave them both in Chemainus (at Hotel Shining) and work my way up closer to Port Hardy.

Exactly what I did…

Campbell River or bust.

After all... I had a ferry to catch...

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