Category Archives: Tour of Powell River

Tour Gets Cut Short As Gaston Loses His Mind

So it’s come to this, and frankly, I’m not surprised. Gaston has always said there’d be a day of reckoning. He’s so full of it.

 Gaston is blaming me for the untimely and grizzly decapitation of LaBois. He says it was me, and only me, who cut off his uncle’s head with a chainsaw.

 Hey Gaston! Ever think about stand-up comedy?

 I was nowhere near LaBois at the unfortunate time. I was, uh, at the mall, yeah the mall, that’s it.

 If you go back a few pages to where there’s a photo of Gaston making a spectacle of himself by flinging himself upon his dead uncle, who, by the way, used to talk behind Gaston’s back, you will see that the deed was committed by someone with a chainsaw, and I don’t even own a chainsaw. My neighbour does, but I don’t.

 Hah!

 Anyway, Gaston says I should be put in prison and the key should be thrown away, but I pay no attention to him, or his picture, because I was at the mall. And I don’t own a chainsaw. And there’s no fingerprints on LeBois.

 So the tour is cut short today because of Gaston’s accusation.

And it’s too bad. There’s lots of Powell River to be seen.

Please disregard Gaston’s photo as he thinks he’s funny and my being accused of chainsaw decapitation is no laughing matter. Disregard the photo.

You can find the full tour simply by clicking “Tour of Powell River’ over in ‘categories’. Trust me, Gaston’s sort of normal in most of them.

The Tour Carries On. And Then Disaster Struck

 The continuing saga of Gaston and his magnificent tour of Powell River was going swimmingly. Here he is at the beach with his pal “Starfish”, which is the name he chose for a starfish he became buddies with. “It’s not rocket science”  Gaston explained to me.  “Starfish is a lot more lively and interesting than you.”

And you wonder why I get upset with this guy with little man syndrome.

 We then drove into the oldest part of Powell River, near the old paper mill, where millworkers 80 years ago mostly lived, and it’s here Gaston suggested a picture of the Patricia Theatre, which is the oldest running theatre in British Columbia. I thought, finally Gaston is being a normal tour guide.

 But then disaster struck and I don’t really know exactly how to put this in words. When we got back to the house, Gaston made a grizzly discovery. There was Wilfred LaBois, Gaston’s favourite uncle, decapitated in a terrible chainsaw accident.

Gaston took it well for awhile, then broke down and flung himself on his uncle, which the photo clearly shows. “He was a great uncle,” said Gaston quietly. “He was an important part of our family tree, and more than once, he went out on a limb for me.”

 Please note:

If you’re interested in all the journeys of Gaston in the beautiful town/city of Powell River, just click on ‘Tour of Powell River’ over in the categories section on the right side. If you’re going to move here, you might as well have a look at it before you do. And please disregard Gaston’s boorishness. He means well.

It’s A Waiting Game With Mats, So The Tour Continues

I don’t see what the problem is. Is this a dilemma for Mats Sundin? All Bob Gainey is asking the guy is to move a couple of hundred miles down the road, accept about eight million dollars, be on an exciting, vibrant team that has a real shot at winning the Stanley Cup, be wined and dined, be the new poster boy for a storied franchise, and extend his career instead of playing another dismal year in Toronto, or moving back to Sweden to spend long days in the kitchen rolling swedish meatballs.

 

But instead, HE NEEDS TO THINK ABOUT THIS?

 While the rest of us wait.

 

I don’t see the problem.

 

Gaston noticed I’m irritable about all this waiting, so suggested we do another Powell River tour. He’s right when he says that readers still haven’t seen the inner workings and beauty of the town, so off we went. “Don’t worry about Sundin,” he said to me gently. “If he doesn’t sign, we can always go after Sean Avery.”

 

I’m sorry but Gaston almost became a ten year supply of toothpicks after that remark.

 

But Gaston is right about showing some inner Powell River, and because I thought I’d be nice after nearly murdering the little bugger, I let him decide on just what photos would be used. So don’t blame me if you’re disappointed, it wasn’t my idea.

 

 

Maybe you noticed in a previous picture that Gaston has a little ’56 Chevy. That Chevy used to be a mailbox. Now his idea is to buy this old pickup truck and turn it into his own RV camper.

But forget about the old stuff, I told him. Let’s show that Powell River is a modern, exciting place, and has everything that other places have. But I let Gaston decide on the next two photos and I have to tell you, he’s starting to piss me off again.

 

 

 

The Tour Continues With The Burning Question: What’s In Powell River’s Water?

 Yes, that’s right. That’s Gaston down there in the rocks.

 

 

You need to know this. Powell River is a machine. A maker of champions. A little hamlet that churns out athletes the way Toyota churns out automobiles.

Some of the country’s best come from here. Soccer’s Drew Ferguson, who captained Canada’s national team, kicked balls in the professional ranks in Canada, the United States and England, and played alongside legendary players such as Pele and George Best. Connie Polman Tuin, one of Canada’s best runners, entered the world stage in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Roy Gerela was raised in Powell River and down the road became a star with the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers where he became a three-time Super Bowl champion. Brad Bombardir rose through Powell River’s minor hockey ranks and became a classy rearguard for the New Jersey Devils, where he won a Stanley Cup, and played for the Minnesota Wild.

And fans throughout BC, especially in his hometown of Powell River, fans cheered Gary Lupul as he and his Vancouver Canucks battled the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup final of 1982. Lupul later worked with the team as the Canucks’ scout in Ontario and the northern United States college circuit, was a close friend a mine, and sadly and shockingly, died of a heart attack just last year.

Former NHLers Micah Aivazoff and Dan Lucas are Powell Riverites, as is baseball’s Bobby Cripps, who came close to playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, and Brian Clark, who was within a rotator cuff of pitching for the New York Yankees. But Brian did get to sit beside Joe Dimaggio at the Yankees spring training camp.

 

Powell River’s Ted Gerela was a star with the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions, and now our eyes are on winger Cam Cunning, who is hoping to crack the Calgary Flames line-up.

 

And of course there’s the Powell River Regals, three-time Allan Cup champs, a powerhouse in Canadian senior hockey, who have become a modern day Canadian juggernaut, with the majority of it team members being Powell River natives. When they won the Allan Cup in 1997, there were 17 players born and raised in Powell River, whereas one of their competitors, Truro, NS had just two.

 

Gaston, although not from Powell River, was once called “the best all-round hockey player in the world” by the Russians. (Or was that Bob Gainey?)

Gaston Gets Out Of Line In Part 3 Of The Powell River Tour

 It started out just fine. Gaston and I went to a local pub to discuss the draft, and about the possibility of Gainey signing Mats Sundin. We both know there’s a cap problem involved, and the Habs still have to sign Andrei Kostitsyn, and also have to make a final decision about players like Mark Streit, Mathieu Dandenault, Patrice Brisebois, and even underachiever Michael Ryder.

So we ordered beer and natchos, as you can see in the photo, and we both were having a lovely time. Gaston feels Alex Tanguay, with his experience, will be a big help to the team, and we agreed that Bob Gainey is on the right track with a fine and exciting team combined of young stars like the Kostitsyn brothers and Chris Higgins, grit with Tom Kostopoulos, Steve Begin, and Mike Komisarek, and a handful of veterans like Koivu, Kovalev, Tanguay, and maybe even Mats Sundin.

 All was well until I went to the bathroom. Because when I came back, only minutes later, Gaston had completely made a pig of himself by eating the whole plate of natchos, and chug-a-lugging his pint of beer.

And not only that, he was passed out on the table, the waitress was upset, and so was I.

 

Here’s what I mean. Is the guy an asshole or what?

Part Two: Gaston Continues With The Tour Of Powell River.

I thought on day two of our tour of Powell River, I’d show you one of my palm trees in my yard, and a few other things to give you more of an idea about this place. For me, coming from Orillia, Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa, and Calgary, this place is definitely a different change in lifestyle. The only downside I feel is that people in Powell River are kind of stuck because you can only drive 30 kilometers either north or south. After that, it’s an hour ferry ride, then a second one, which is a 40 minute one down by Vancouver. So it’s not easy to go for a Sunday drive.

But it’s a beautiful little west coast town, although I’m still waiting for summer to arrive.

 

If you really don’t want to drive and take ferries to get to Vancouver, you can fly in a small 12 seater that takes 25 minutes and costs about a hundred bucks. I’ve done it a few times and it’s excellent. This photo shows the view of Powell River fron the air. Gaston never has to pay because he just hides in a suitcase.

  Gaston and his ’56 Chevy sitting by the monkey tree with a palm tree in the background. Monkey trees are named monkey trees because they say it’s the only tree a monkey can’t climb. The limbs also look like a monkey’s tail.

 

 Gaston and shot of the ferry docked over in the distance, with the paper mill further back. Way up that way about 30 kilometers is a little fishing village called Lund, and people in town still talk about the celebrities that stopped there for gas and supplies for their yachts. People like Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Walt Disney, Kevin Costner. And I just heard that up in Toba Inlet, Michelle Pfeiffer has a place. And Colin James has a place over on Savary Island, just off Lund.

 In part three, Gaston and I go for beer and natchos at a local pub and discuss the draft.

It’s Time You Saw A Little Piece Of Canadian Paradise

I first came to Powell River in 1970 when I was a young, restless vagabond, and I stayed for about a year. It was a crazy time, a great time, and I never forgot the place. I came back in 1995 after my first marriage fell apart in Calgary, and I’ve been here ever since.

Powell River is located on Canada’s west coast, 80 miles north of Vancouver, and right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a really creative place, full of writers, musicians, and poets, with old-time American Vietnam War draft dodgers who came here, planted roots, and contributed to Canadian society, plus a lot of loggers and fishermen who add to this magical west coast flavour.

Palm trees grow here, housing prices are reasonable, and deer come into my yard and eat the flowers. There’s 20,000 people, a paper mill that continues to downsize, and a little bit too much rain in the winter, although there’s hardly any snow, and the temperature rarely dips below freezing. (That’s why there’s palm trees!). Cruise ships cruise by, and whales aren’t far away. And in the evening as I sit on my deck, I can hear sea lions barking as I watch the ships and tug boats out on the water.

And if it sounds like I’m rich, think again. I simply paid 85 grand five years ago for my house with an ocean view.

If you’re coming from Vancouver, it takes two ferries to get here, one in West Vancouver, then an hour and a half drive by car, then another ferry, then a 30 minute drive after that. About five hours in total. The highway on the west coast stops north of Powell River, and that’s it, you can’t drive any further up the coast. But going the other way, you can drive all the way to Chile on this one road.

There’s no hustle bustle. You can get all your stuff done round town in about 20 minutes, and the pace is nice. Several big-time athletes have come from here, including several NHL’ers, a Super Bowl Champ, an Olympian, a world-class soccer pro, and a senior hockey team that has been been one of the best in the country for the last ten years and has won two Allan Cups. I’ll mention these people in the upcoming days.

Anyway, I’ve decided to take you on a little tour and I’ve enlisted my good friend Gaston to help. This’ll be done over a few days, so I hope you enjoy, and maybe I’ll see you out here someday.

 

Gaston sits at the ferry terminal in downtown Powell River. This particular ferry brings folks to and from Vancouver Island.

 

 

This is how you would see Powell River from the ferry. Gaston loves being in pictures and I don’t mind. He’s helping me.