A new tradition has been born.
As planned, The 5 of us met in Qualicum Beach to take on a camping/fishing long weekend extraordinaire. Melissa and Kole, went on a week long trip to Nelson, to visit family. They go every year with her cousin from Vancouver, who also has a kid the same age as our son. During that same week was Canada Day long weekend. I had been looking forward to this trip for a long time. As in my previous post, I don't see my friends too often. But it was more than that. I work lots and I am a family man. I don't have any extracurricular activities or hobbies. I rarely play golf, which I'm not very good at. So, I guess you could say that this trip was needed. The night before I left, I was amped! I went over my list twice to make sure I had everything packed, and ready. I woke up early on Thursday morning, and had a few errands to run before I left. It seemed to take forever to get out of Victoria and hit the road. I finally did, and it didn't take more than 2 hours to get to Mike's place. The other 3 were driving out from Kelowna.
When the boys arrived at Mikes, we left for Little Qualicum Falls Campground, about 20 mins up Hwy 4. I had never been there before, it was quite beautiful. A true westcoast campground. It was more family oriented, but that didn't seem to matter. We're older now right, not so rowdy. Mike had paid for 2 spots side by side, but when we pulled up, some lady with her kid was in one of our spots. She clearly didn't read the tag on the sign that stated so. Unfortunately she had to move, but that's kinda her fault. We set up camp, and right across the road only a stone's throw away was the Qualicum river.
Buying firewood when you're surround by it seems a little crazy. I guess that's why the boys brought a chainsaw. You can just pick up shit off the ground, it's been soaked from the last rain. The best chance you have is by cutting down the dead ones. Done and done. Now it's drinkin' time. Some of the guys picked up fireworks from the local gas station were we stopped to pick up ice. Three things dominated this weekend. 1. Beer 2. Fish 3. Fireworks. Not necessarily in that order. Breakfast was made in the morning. What was so cool about the meals, was we all chipped in some way or another. Whether one cooked, or one did the dishes. Shit got done. We spent the first day on Cameron lake. Had a few bites, reeled some in, but no keepers.
we then tried out a few rivers and creeks. A few bites, but nothing solid. I think we drank harder that night due to the lack of fish. That, and it was our nation's birthday. MORE FIREWORKS! Now, before I catch a lot of shit for setting off fireworks in a forest, let me get something straight. They were small fireworks, not roman candles or some crazy rocket explosion monsters. Merely small little dancing devils or these weird little wick things that seemed to be the most fun. We were very watchful of what were were doing. Kind of.
The second day, breakfast was had, and Shane didn't have to whittle chopsticks to eat his food like he did the morning earlier. We got forks! Took the boat for a drive, after we ate to find a new lake. We tried Spider lake at first, but it prohibited motors. We then tried Horne Lake, but couldn't find a place to launch the boat. It was now 4 o'clock. Despair caused us to have a rock throwing competition at a sign in the water. Fishing was not happening today. Or was it? Kris wanted to see the ocean. As for a valley man, who sees the ocean once a year if that, it made sense. So we drove into town, to a beach. Mike showed us how to search for and dig up clams. There were clams to be dug up, clams to be steamed up, and we ate those little fuckers proudly.
This trip was about more than the fishing. It was about just chillin' with the boys. About sitting around a fire, telling stories, laughing our asses off, drinkin' beers and having a rad time.
I think moments like these are important. It's not just about getting drunk with your buddies. It's about keeping that bond strong. It's about creating memories that will last a lifetime. I may sound cheesy, but so what? I certainly treasure these times, as they are getting more and more rare as we age.
We agreed that this will have to be an annual thing. Next year the spot will be Douglas Lake.
I can hardly wait already.