When we revisit a favorite place, we expect the same magic we found on our first visit. Of course, every visit is a little different, and, usually, knowing what’s around the next bend in the trail turns into a comfortable experience of remembering why we so loved this place and returned. So that’s how it went with our return to a beautiful area on Vancouver Island, East Sooke Regional Park. However, this visit presented a surprise and heartwarming ending for us.
We stopped to see the ancient petroglyph (rock carvings) by the shore. When a bird swooped nearby, we got a wonderful view of a belted kingfisher. A vole (or was it a mouse?) scurried for cover. A snake startled us. It had just consumed some other little critter and was engorged at its front end. It slithered into the undergrowth before we could get a good photo.
Tired after a three-hour hike we made it back to the parking lot to discover a dead car battery. (Who left the lights on in the car?) We had our trusty portable battery charger. For the first time in years, it didn’t work. (Maybe since it’s 25-years old we should replace it?) So, we found ourselves in a parking lot a long way from anywhere with a dead battery, a dead spare battery, and no jumper cables. A cold feeling settled in as we wondered how could we possibly get out of this isolated parking lot.
The park volunteer came over to see what she could do to help, and Dean, a visitor from Manitoba, offered his assistance. More help arrived as jumper cables were loaned to us by workers from a Telus phone truck doing repairs a long way down the road.
Our hearts warmed up, as we heard our car’s ignition turn over and the engine began to purr as usual.
If you’re in a bind, what better place to be than Canada? In our experience here, Canadians are unfailingly polite and helpful. Those of us from across the border can be grateful to – and learn something from – such good neighbors! We hope to repay the favor someday.