Highways, Byways and the Hump

A few mornings back I stepped outside between the ebbing moon and the rising sun. THe sky was still that warm rich deep blue and the air held that odd thin blanket of warmth just before the dawn chills it away. An old time urge pinged through me like a tiny live wire.

Time for a road trip!

(Okay, truth time — since we live on an island and are limited to just how far we can roam, calling it a road trip might be stretching it — it’s more like a wheelie small road-run.

But the urge was there and so, with moon-madness coursing through my blood I hustled into the bedroom singing “On the road again . . . can’t wait to get back on the road again.”

You’d think I’d know better after twenty odd years of marriage.

First off, I know I sound like a tin-earred dog with laryngitis and I know it’s not the best way to wake someone up. And secondly, scaring the bejesus out of Man-Wonder and making him shreak isn’t funny. (it was). So, it’s no wonder all I got was a few well worn curse words and a suggestion that I could just take my singing and hit the road. Alone.

So I did.

And it was glorious! Hardly any traffic on the upper highway, and without my ‘no’ man beside me, I was free to cruise along at my own speed. Which I did until I decided to drop down to the old highway that runs runs along the east side of the island and is dotted with small villages and all the side roads one can handle. And I found a few dillies!

The choicest one I almost missed. It started out as a paved road lined with nice houses. Nothing special and I was about to cop a U-ee when I realized the pavement was ending near this old railway crossing.


Nowadays, there are lights, drop bars, ‘do not cross’ lines, and assorted whirly-gig type thingys at most crossings. This felt simple. Easy. Enough.

And I’m glad I kept going. Just past the tracks sat this abandoned house, still up on blocks. The front door was hanging wide open, as if inviting the encroaching grasses in.

012.JPG So, did the owners decide it was all too much and gave up? Or did the movers park it in the wrong place and nobody could remember where?


I was still thinking about the house when as I rounded a corner and came across this sad-looking greenhouse that appeared to be sinking into ground.

010.JPGIt made my soil-loving, plant-raising mind go all twitchy. . . What a waste!

Just aways down and across the road from the greenhouse sat this sign propped against a fence.

007.JPG Was Carter still making baskets?And how much business could this dead-end dirt road produce?

Further down the round and one more corner I came face to face with this tall oddball fence.

002.JPG Vivid fall foliage cascading over panels of aqua, grey and yellow (the yellow being out of frame) and three pieces of farm equipment stand guard in front of the fence. So who was this end-of-the-road, farmy-arty show created for?

So many questions for such a short road but I loved it because it more than satisfied that what creates an urge for a road trip.

But I still wasn’t quite ready to head home so I headed across island. Up over ‘The Hump’ (which is a really big hill, or a really small mountain, covered in old growth trees and officially called Cathedral Grove), then down the backside and into a town located at the end of a long inlet on the island’s west side.

Port Alberni is a mill town with a lovely waterfront area called ‘The Quay’.  Where one can find great art, excellent coffee, and a shop that brags it has the best doughnuts on the island.

They do too!

All in all, a sweet little road-trip with an even sweeter Man-Wonder style (don’t ask) hug at the end. Does it get any better?

Maybe.  But only if someone could convince that doughnut shop to move to Nanaimo. . .yummy







  1. Sounds like hubby likes doughnuts too. 😉 Great end to a great road trip. Old houses languishing hurts my heart. I want to make them all well again and the greenhouse, oh my that would make my heart thud.


    • It is sad. There is probably a story full of angst behind those deteriorating walls! Such a waste.
      If you’ve ever seen anyone inhale a doughnut, then you’ve seen my hubby! Often amazes me how wide he can open his mouth. . . but you never heard me say that.

      Liked by 1 person

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