By Brian Lee
By Brian Lee
I don’t usually aim the words in this space at visitors but it’s so nice to finally see some fresh faces in town, I thought I’d reach out. If you’re a local, this doesn’t concern you so just turn the page . . .
Seriously, there’s a photo of a shark in the next spread — beat it.
OK. Sorry about that. One thing you should know: locals are extremely nosy — try to be patient with them.
Anyway, welcome to Pender Harbour and Egmont. It really is a fascinating little place, as diverse as it is hard to find your way around. First, a navigational tip:
Ignore the ocean; it may be a handy reference point in other places like Tofino or Seattle but here it will drive you crazy. When you do get lost, you’re likely not far away from one of four roads that will take you back to the highway:
Egmont Road, Francis Peninsula Road, Garden Bay Road and Hotel Lake Road. (If you’re in a boat and get disoriented, drop anchor and sleep it off.)
And take solace that this confusing system of roads and waterways is what cloaks the magic of the area. To find it, I’d suggest asking just about anyone who looks like they need a shower for a recommendation about a special hike, swimming hole or place to pee. By the way, don’t pee in Garden Bay Lake — they hate that over there.
You’ll notice we’re blessed with more than our share of postcard quality lakes and you wouldn’t be faulted for assuming our water quality must be second to none. It’s not. But, though our tap water may look like coffee, it actually is safe — to shower in. Improvements are well underway to all our local water systems so don’t worry about that if you’re thinking about moving here.
Which brings me to a question:
Do you have any kids? We desperately need more kids. Our school enrollment’s down a bit and the number crunchers keep threatening to bus what’s left to Sechelt. Sechelt’s a town about a half hour away but you need only go there if you crave sushi.
Instead, stay up here an extra couple of days and scratch a little deeper. Seek out the hidden gems like Francis Point Marine Park, Klein Lake, Harbour Gallery, Iris Griffith Centre, Pender Hill or the eagle sanctuary/landfill just off Garden Bay Road. While you do, I encourage you to leave some of your Albertan loot with the variety of shops and services found in the next 48 pages.
It’s been an especially quiet winter for our 17 full-time residents and they’ll really appreciate the boost. (If, on the off-chance you happen to stumble upon a business that doesn’t advertise here, don’t waste your time — they’re probably no frickin’ good anyways.)
Finally, like most first-time visitors to the area, you will be startled to keep seeing what you think is the same person over and over again. Don’t be creeped out — you’re likely seeing different people.
They’re just kin.