The Adventure Begins

Friday night I rode from Duke Point to Parksville. I mistakenly assumed that all of the ferries to Nanaimo went to the same bay, and didn’t realize that my chosen route added an extra twenty kilometers of (mostly) uphill travel.

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I was slowed down on my trip by all of the stunning scenery

After racing the sunset (and riding thin highway shoulders for three and a half hours), I was greeted in Parksville by family friends who warmly welcomed a stranger into their home. I was given dinner, a guest bedroom, and friendly conversation as we bonded over veterinary medicine and old adventure computer games.

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So am I obligated to pick up hitch hikers? Who thought out the grammar on this one?

Saturday morning I loaded my Trek Portland and five panniers into the back of Holly’s pickup truck and got a ride the rest of the way to Port Alberni. Just outside of town, I met the group at the home/art studio of a Couch Surfers host. It was the first time in eleven months that I had seen Courtney, Kat, and Dom. When we parted ways at the end of Katimavik, I figured I might not see any of my group again since I was the only one living west of Ontario. Needless to say, it was a treat to be reunited. We instantly slipped back into a groove of discussing how badly we smell and making jokes about each other’s moms.

As the last person to arrive, I was shown about the property and introduced to our host, Mickey. Mickey is amazing. She is an incredibly resourceful single mother who is raising a truly remarkable child. Her three year-old son, Eli, has been raised by the proverbial village, and it really shows in his intelligence, articulation, and capable nature. What’s particularly neat is that, rather than taking Eli to the village, Mickey has brought the village to him through frequent hosting of Couch Surfing guests.

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Eli and I jamming

We’re doing a minor work exchange to help out in return for Mickey upgrading from hosting one person to suddenly housing a nine-person group. While we’re here we’ll be chopping, gathering, and preparing dead-fall logs for the construction of a living roof. This whole setup is phenomenal. I can’t think of a better way to start the adventure.

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Our logging work so far. Look how pretty they are after I scraped the bark off with a spud.

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Our backyard is a rainforest

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The water on the property is all fed straight from this spring

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