Sunday, July 22, 2012

mermaids, stranded and rescued

 I promised you some pictures, didn't I?
 Well, my progress once out of the immobilizer has been pretty good. I got down to one crutch and to no crutch while indoors. Still can't manage kneeling other than on the bed to do my stretches, and getting up from anything lower than a regular chair requires something I can haul myself up by. I haven't tried driving yet. I think it would be okay for short distances, but road trips are out until I build back muscle in my leg.
 So I didn't think a camping event was going to work, until my wonderful former apprentice Elisa offered to drive up to Powell River for the Stranded Mermaid event, and to share her tent. (I should mention that I also had a tent offer from another wonderful former apprentice, Alicia--I have the best apprentices).  I knew I wouldn't have to cook in any case, because the Sugar Fairy would be on site, with a great full-weekend deal graded to your appetite.

I did well by the bacon and sausages and grilled cheese sandwiches and pound cake and ... You get the idea. Behind the camp kitchen you can see something of the site. It slopes away, first gently and then precipitately into a ravine, which has cool little stone stairways and trails down to the stream at the bottom. I was sad that I wouldn't be able to clamber down, as I've done previously at that site. But I was hanging on to at least one crutch for uneven ground.

 It was pleasant drive up, though we stuck to the highway route to make sure we'd arrive in time to catch the early ferry rather than the afternoon one. Because Comox was having a music festival and a bike tour and what all, we were a little concerned that the ferry might fill up, but we got on with plenty of room, then met Joan and her Amazing Twins in the cafeteria. So it was a lively trip. 
On the drive back we diverted briefly to the Scenic Seaside Route to check out Qualicum Beach. The sun was out and the sands stretched out invitingly, but alas! in between was an expanse of kelp-and-barnacle-encrusted rocks. More sadness, but we ate apples and walked along the promenade. 

The best thing about arriving in good time is the chance to set up by daylight and not in a rush--though I should note that Powell River is northerly enough to allow rather more daylight time. In fact it stayed light well past my bedtime. 
I wasn't much help with setting up the tent and furniture, other than holding one of the perimeter poles while pegs were hammered in, but it didn't take long, since Elisa has planned her camping so that she can do most of it herself (as I have with my little tent). 
Then we drove out to the Granada restaurant for their Greek platters. We ended up there last year mostly by accident, and loved the good Greek food and the kitschy decor, reminiscent of the old Romeo's restaurant in Victoria--though the Granada has its fountain outdoors on the patio, rather than in the foyer. This is my platter, and I managed to eat everything on it. I guess watching other people set up tents is a good way to work up an appetite. 

 Stranded Mermaid is a fairly low-key event. There's archery, and combat if enough heavy fighters and rapier fighters show up. The standout activity is the children's equestrian event, an obstacle course for kids riding hobby-horses. This year a new item:  besides riding through the Forest of Peril and the Row of Enemies, the kids had to rescue the Mermaid Baby Princess from a tower.
 Below, a tower rescue in action. Some of the rescuers were rather more cavalier with the princess, carrying her by her hair or tossing her in the air as they galloped.

The Tribute to the Mermaid contest this year was won by Dr. Carus, with his shadow-puppet play of the tale of the mermaid and the axe, a reference to the arms of False Isle, showing a mermaid holding an axe. The great challenge for this presentation was making a shadow play work on a bright sunny site, with few dark hours. Below is the improvised theatre behind the bandstand.


Terri-Lynne said...

Elisa and Alicia?? Now THAT is out of a fairy story. I love it. Only you!

That food looks so yummy. Now I'm hungry. I want to go with you on one of these sorts of events! They always look like such fun.

batgirl said...

You'll just have to come out and visit - or the next time I'm at the Pennsylvania event you can come visit there.

For some reason I have a series of apprentices with similar names: Elisa, Eileen, Alicia, Alis, Sina, Lucy. We may have broken the chain with Deirdre - I'm not going to make her change her name!