I've never been much further north than Campbell River. We lived on the island during the 1980's which, of course, was a time of economic recession. Although I never had a problem finding a job, in fact worked at two and even three different jobs at times - my husband, who is a steel fabricator by trade, wasn't so lucky. In those days, you took any job you could find, which is how he found himself working as a 'tree spacer' and is how he became quite familiar with most of the north island.
So this day we packed a lunch and pointed the truck north. As you can see, it was a nice sunny day as we started out. This is Union Bay, just south of Campbell River on the 'old' highway. Incidentally, if you are travelling on the island and you want to 'see' and experience the island, from at least Parksville northwards, you travel the 'old highway'. The 'new' Island Highway is designed strictly to get from A go B and takes an inland route away from the water. There is a nice rest area at Union Bay where you can go for a bit of a walk, or just sit and enjoy the area.
Union Bay is known to birders because of it's well established Purple Martin colony. Of course it was too early for Purple Martins. The tide was out and all that was visible was this flock of Dunlin.
As you can see, the weather had deteriorated somewhat by this time but there was a rest area with informational signs, so we sat here and ate our lunch - in the rain. We had passed a large estuary area as we came in that looked like it could be an interesting place to walk around in better weather.
and as these pictures show, it was still very much winter in these parts. My daughter had been right. We stopped at one filthy and disgusting rest area at the side of a lake that was still completely frozen and still had snow banks all around the edge.