Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the sunshine coast ~ powell river

Powell River lies on the Upper Sunshine Coast.
What that means is that it takes two ferry rides to get there!

We stopped at a lookout just before we reached the town...
and learned a little about this interesting place.

In the distance...
we could see the glacial peaks of Mt. Washington...
on Vancouver Island.

We also had a little impromptu entertainment provided by a pair of crows...
who were learning to drink from the water fountain.

Across the bay...
lay MacMillan Bloedel pulp-and-paper mill.
It was the first of its kind in western Canada...
and put Powell River on the map in 1910.

We checked it out from close-up...
and watched the logging trucks lose their loads into the bay.

This guy seemed to be having a fun day on the job...
zipping logs around from one spot to another.

The logs are corralled by a most interesting breakwater. 
It is formed by 10 massive floating concrete ships that were built during World War I and II. 
Known as 'The Hulks'...
they form the largest floating hulk breakwater in the world.

The gal at the information centre drew out a bike route for us...
while we explored Powell River.

It included a gravel trail under the power lines...
which we shared with ATV's and horses...
and such.

And suddenly we found ourselves sharing it with a logging truck as well.

It gave new meaning to the term...
'bites the dust'!
The trail ended up in the historic old town site...
which consists of 400 original buildings within the borders of the town's 1910 plan.
It was designated as a National Historic District in 1995...
and is the only one in western Canada.

We picked up the guide to the historic buildings...
and checked out a few.

Our first stop was the 'postmaster's house'.
We chatted with the gentleman working outside...
and before we left he had given us a full tour of his beautiful heritage home...
and his amazing gardens as well.

Across the road was the Patricia Theatre...
Canada's oldest continuously operating movie house.

It was mid-afternoon...
but the door was open...
so we tip-toed around and gave ourselves a tour.
A lovely old theatre once inside...
though it smelled like they all do!

Powell River has several other claims to fame.
It has on occasion been named the 'cultural capital of Canada'...
and for good cause.
It plays host to one festival or another most every weekend of the summer...
and also hosts a world choir festival every second year.

And one more thing...
Powell River happens to be the town with the mildest climate in Canada.

We spent a few memorable hours in Powell River...
and then carried on up the coast.

But first we had ice-cream at the Beach Hut...
a must if you ever visit Powell River.

the end of the road.


  1. That dust didn't look too tasty. What pretty country. I suppose that many are put off by the double ferry ride, as I surely would be. Very intriguing and beautiful...love that yellow house!

  2. What a lovely day you had (minus the dust). I would have loved to wander in that theatre.

  3. Only in BC! That logging truck is a behemoth!

  4. You've taught us some interesting things. We've never been up that way, and did not know much of what you wrote. Makes me wish to travel there someday. Dairymary

  5. Whoa! Did you have to clean your camera lens after that truck went by? It really makes a difference in sight seeing when you are on a bike or on foot. So much to miss whizzing by in a car...
    Beautiful photos Judy.

  6. I wonder who thought of moving the logs by water? That is something we get to see living on the
    west coast and it intrigues me.
    Judy, I love the photo of you on the bike!

  7. Thanks for the tour of Powell River..very nice!

  8. Your dusty bike ride looks very frightening with meeting logging trucks and such! It was nice to catch a glimpse of the town though because it's where my sister taught once upon a time. the island views are magnificent.

  9. OH so fun. I thought of how forgranted we take seeing logs in the water. I love living on the west coast and you reminded me of that. .all over again.

  10. Love all the blue skies! and the little yellow house! thanks for sharing another great spot to visit!

  11. I like the theater's name! :)

    Such interesting facts about the Powell River -- I wonder why the climate is so warm there?

  12. My husband grew up in Lund; I spent my summers up in Gibsons. Love the Sunshine Coast!

  13. Your gorgeous picture taking is inspiring me!! This vacation has been awesome!

  14. The photo of you all gritty on your bike is wonderful. No one would ever guess you were a grandmother of several...you look like an adventureous college co-ed.

    I have enjoyed learning and seeing the Northern coastline.


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~ Ralph Waldo Emerson