Friday, February 6, 2015

West Coast Trip 2015 - Prep 1

The Work Begins

["I travelled to the West Coast by train in 2012"]

In April. 2012, I travelled to Canada's West Coast by train in what I call now 'a door-opening trip'. At the time I knew my father had served with the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve and an organization called Combined Operations during WW2 and had spent the last two years of the war (Jan. 1944 - Sept. 1945) on Vancouver Island in friendlier, safer surroundings than while in Europe from January 1942 - December, 1943. About his time on the West Coast he wrote, "It was heaven." And I wanted to see for myself.

["My 2012 hostel was behind J. McPhees, lower right; Navy boys
on leave stayed in nearby Riverside Hotel (uphill w shaded porch"]

For a few days in 2012 I wandered around Courtenay and Comox (towns a 2-hour drive north of Victoria) learning this and that about Dad's Navy days, getting a sense of the environment and activities he described briefly in his Navy memoirs. I met two women in their nineties who remembered him quite well and explored a dance hall where he spent more than a few Saturday nights. And at the end of my short visit I knew I would have to return.

["To 1940s Navy base - walk to end of pier, wait for a ship"]

Plans are in the works. I now have an important list of tasks to complete in order to be on a return trip this coming May. The following have to be checked off asap:

     book flight from London to Comox, and return

     book accommodation for Comox (3 days)
     and Courtenay (5 days)

     reconnect w Navy base at Comox (firm
     contact/entry is assured this time = yahooo!)

     reconnect w Courtenay Library and Archive
     (re newspaper microfiche files and photograph
     negatives, WW2 vintage, I already know they
     have a pile of them = yahoooo!)

     new pair of travel pants and walking shoes

     look for bike rentals

     save up me money fer a couple of good meals

Off we go to work.

Link to Scotland 2014 Photos

Photos GH

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