The entire Sunshine Coast is an artist magnet. Betty made sure I had 2 brochures–a studio and gallery guide and an arts and culture calendar. The Coast Cultural Alliance guide listed 67 studios and stores. The greatest concentrations of these seemed to cluster around Gibsons, Garden Bay, and Roberts Creek. Most required no forewarning, but 19 wanted a phone call before visiting. Many shops like Landing Gallery, of course, sold the works of many Sunshine Coat artists. Local arts included the usual–glass blowing, photography, pottery–to the unusual–guitar making, mosaic glass, plaster frescos. The calendar listed 48 events in season-transitional September, 2013, ranging from a symphony orchestra rehearsal and Nutcracker audition to a “Red Tide Warning” roller derby. Reasons to return.
The roughly 100 miles of paved road, actually Canada Highway 101, from Langdale to Lund (Shellfish Capital of the Sunshine Coast!), come with constant bay, inlet, mountain, and forest views. Ruby Lake induces gasps, especially at sunset when it earns its name with a luminous red tint. We saw it in late afternoon. Reasons to return.
The Skookumchuck Rapids, also called the Sechelt Rapids, near Earls Cove are a natural phenomenon caused by tide-water, often 200 billion gallons of it according to Wikipedia, being forced through a narrow opening. Said to be quite spectacular especially when big waves occur, they’re not visible from any road but magnets for hikers, sea kayakers, those who board the Princess Louise, a popular boat that goes to the Rapids, etc. Detailed conditions are in some Sunshine Coast tourist guides. September 16 through 19 of this year promises XL (extra large) waves and +XL(flood tide). Reasons to return.
A ferry from Westview just south of Powell River takes travelers to Texada Island, “…the largest urban centre north of San Francisco” in the 1890s according to Visitors’ Choice, 19th edition. Texada had thriving mines back then. I also learned that Powell River’s Catalyst Paper Mill was the world’s largest newsprint supplier in the 1930s. In another brochure I read that Fifty Shades of Grey was printed on Catalyst paper, which can probably withstand intense heat. Ruth and I didn’t feel like we had enough time to explore this historic town. Reasons to return.
All around us, people were mountain biking, canoeing, sunning on docks, fishing, etc. Powell River is said to have the best prawns in the world. The nearly 100 mile long Sunshine Coast Trail runs from the Saltery Bay Ferry Terminal to Sarah Point in the Desolation Sound Marine Park. Phase one of the Suncoaster Trail from Earls Cove to Halfmoon Bay was completed last year. The Sunshine Coast has the reputation for being one of the world’s best cold-water diving destinations. Reasons to return?
We learned little about the cultures of the Sechelt (shíshálh) and Salish First Nations People and their excellent art, especially their cedar carvings. Reasons to return.
And then there’s the Laughing Oyster.