Wednesday 30 – Sunday 4

Strathcona Park stands at a scale that feels completely foreign to the Island.

Looking north up Buttle Lake from Lupin Falls
Lower Myra Falls is incredible.
Nectarines and waterfalls are two of my favourite things
Gold River is a dying place. The gas station that was clearly once a Payless Gas pressed some strange nostalgia buttons.
Headed to the beach early to see what a sunrise would look like. Turns out the sun appears much later when you're tucked deep into a mountain valley.

Sunday 4 – We got back into town and promptly headed over to MacDonald park for our 2nd annual rogue Pride. Aside from the public drinking, I think we all managed to follow the rules. It was definitely nice to see a lot of faces that we haven’t run into at all over the last year. It’s strange how close we all live and how distant we become without spaces for chance encounters.

Saturday 10 – Monday 12

Our big trailer trip for the year begins. We started with two nights at Arrowvale Farm in Port Alberni. The drive was pretty nice and leaving on a Saturday made for a much less stressful rush out of town. Port Alberni was damn hot still, and the campground didn’t offer much for things to do. But we popped into town for a very indulgent lunch at Twin City Brewing which was pretty fantastic.

Monday 12 – Friday 16

Left the campground quite early to make it through the construction delays at Kennedy Hill en route to our next stop of Green Point. Four nights in Pacific Rim National Park is a lot of time to decompress. The weather was probably 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the island. Fog hung around until about 4pm everyday but when the sky broke up in the afternoon everything was stunning. I’ve been reading Braiding Sweetgrass lately and it’s an incredible book to take in while immersed in nature at the scale of Long Beach. We did the second half of the Rain Forest trail boardwalk on this trip and it was just as magical as the first. I can’t really describe the feelings that welled up in me while standing at the bottom of a 750 year old tree. Like, we’re nothing compared to that?

Tofino was much more busy than our last trip, but that was a nice change. It felt hopeful instead of fearful. I didn’t feel like an intruder, but a guest. Could just be how I wanted to see myself though.

Friday 16 – Saturday 17

One more stop on the trip for a night at Englishman River Falls. To be honest, it was underwhelming here having just spent all that time in Tofino. But it would be a pretty good campground for a weekend without that comparison. On a super hot weekend, the gorgeous swimming holes here would be amazing (they were closed at the moment from a recent rock slide). We had a nice evening by the fire, watched Captain Ron and headed back homeward on Saturday afternoon feeling pretty drained but refilled.

Great trip.

She continues to hate bridges
No one here ever obeys a "no swimming" sign

Sunday 18 – Got out for the night to the first anniversary party of The Vicious Poodle. It’s been our one spot through the pandemic. That space means so much to a lot of us already, and we’ve barely been able to get there. We went a couple weeks ago for a show with Vivian & Vene Vanderpuss (Joey in his operatic drag debut) and the cathartic feelings of watching live drag again, seeing friends act out their personal struggles with queerness on stage, being part of a crowd that can be loud and supportive and messy – it fucked me up. It’s wild how much we’ve needed this space in the city for so long. And this Sunday night was such a beautiful celebration of weirdos of all ages showing up and letting loose and making sure we’re not going to let this space go.