After a second night of music at the Thetis Island Marina we caught the Thetis to Chemainus ferry and started our journey north to Campbell River for a gig at Beach Fire Brewing. Our most northern show ever at a latitude of 50 degrees North, it was also the hottest, nearing 90 degrees. I had imagined this place as a chilly lumber town, yet it reminded me of beach town in Florida, with the waterside hotels and condos, souvenir shops and general beach town feel, except the trees were the typical NW variety. Where palm trees decorate in Florida, Doug Firs replaced in Campbell River. Beach Fire is a very cool brewery with ocean inspired modern art and an amazing staff, not to mention the Nosh part (pub food) was excellent.
After spending the night at a Travelodge in Courtenay we head south to an Airbnb outside Nanaimo. A coal town turned lumber town, Nanaimo is situated on the Strait of Georgia and is the second largest city on the Island. The downtown is gritty and modern. I got to check out the Nanaimo museum, which had an unusually large area telling about the famous Nanaimo mysteries: murders, disappearances and ghostly visits. Friday night we play our second night at Riot Brewing in Chemainus. It’s a fun evening with new friends, that we met the week before when we played, showing up in support.
Saturday night we drive north to play in Courtenay at Cornerstone Taphouse. I like the description on the chalkboard out front describing our music as “Americana freefall folk.” I might steal that phrase… This is probably the “hippest” place we’ve played in a while with electro pop blasting and a much younger crowd, which are always harder to win over, at least in the States. Yet these folks were totally into the music and made us feel welcome and appreciated. Nora got lots of post show attention, which she deserved from being locked in the van for hours on end without complaint.
The last two nights of our B.C. adventure were spent in Victoria. There was a feeling of sadness as going back to the States felt like the end of a magical vacation. Bittersweet. Sunday night we played at the Victoria Folk Music Society’s open mic at the Norway House. An unexpectedly high pressure open mic, (about 70 people silently watching and listening--until they started singing along) it was a very unique experience and I hope to be asked back to play an official show next time we are on Vancouver Island.
Back to the States and back to the tour in our usual jaunts: Northern California and Southern and Eastern Oregon after this week of teaching lessons and classes in Portland.