Author Archives: Shirley

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.

Hiking Nanoose’s Notch Hill

With winter coming on and the rainy season threatening here on the Island we grab every opportunity we can to get outdoors and enjoy whatever good weather the Gods bestow on us.  So it was with happy anticipation that we … Continue reading

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Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

One man’s dream. One magical internationally-renowned legacy. That best sums up Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail – a spectacular network of easily accessible walking trails  that stretches for a total of 10 kilometres (6.25 miles)  along the awe-inspiring headlands of Vancouver … Continue reading

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Salt Spring Island’s Ruckle Provincial Park

There is a little bit of everything to be found at Ruckle Provincial Park, located on the southern tip of Salt Spring Island – history, waterfront, wildlife, woodland trails.  When we visited back in early autumn we figured on spending … Continue reading

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Port Alberni’s Stamp River Provincial Park

It had been more than 40 years since I last visited Stamp River Provincial Park in the beautiful Alberni Valley, and I have to admit that I headed over there recently with some trepidation.  Back in the 1970s the place was wild and … Continue reading

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Ladysmith’s Wild Poppy Bistro

Who knew? Who knew that a tiny town of 8,500 perched on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island could be home to an upscale bistro – gluten and peanut-free, no less! Well, the good residents of Ladysmith know, and that’s … Continue reading

Posted in DUNCAN/COWICHAN, EAST CENTRAL ISLAND, KID FRIENDLY, WHEELCHAIR ACCESS, WHERE TO EAT | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fanny Bay Conservation Area

  It’s not very obvious and you have to go in search of it, but the Fanny Bay Conservation Area is worth the trouble. Located 23 km (14 miles) south of the city of Courtenay on the Island’s east coast, … Continue reading

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Sointula – still a place of harmony – offers a warm welcome

How can anyone fail to love a place where little girls can set up a lemonade stand in the middle of ‘town’, unaccompanied by adult supervision, whiling away their summer days and maybe making a little bit of pocket money?  … Continue reading

Posted in DOG-FRIENDLY, KID FRIENDLY, NORTHEAST ISLAND, SPECIAL PLACES | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ucluelet’s Jiggers Fish and Chips

Somehow it seems sacrilege that many of Vancouver Island’s seaside communities aren’t able to offer up a great order of fish and chips. Fake frozen French fries and soggy fish batter take the pleasure out of this simplest of dishes … Continue reading

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Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre

It’s kind of hard to believe that there could be anything magical at all contained in the great concrete behemoth that greets visitors as they arrive by boat in the tiny settlement of Bamfield. The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is, … Continue reading

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Big Qualicum Regional Trail

There isn’t anything much better on a warm Summer afternoon than exploring new-to-us territory, so we recently set out to the Big Qualicum Fish Hatchery and the many miles of trails that snake along both sides of this lovely spot. … Continue reading

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