The 49th Lady

If you take a look at a map of Canada and the United States, you’ll see a long steady line separating the western provinces from the northern states. This line is commonly referred to as the 49th parallel because it sits at 49 degrees north latitude from the equator. When this oh-so-steady border line takes a dip into the Strait of Georgia off the British Columbia coast, however, it does a herky-jerky squiggle around the southern end of Vancouver Island. (We Canadians are grateful for that.) But if you were to follow the 49th parallel across to Vancouver Island, you would see that the line, like a piercing arrow, runs straight through a small town with a genteel name.

Why am I telling you all this? Because for Ladysmith, British Columbia, it’s all about location, location, location. Continue reading

Feelin’ Groovy in Coombs

About 45 kilometres northwest of Nanaimo is a small town (pop. 1,600) that has gained a reputation as a must-visit spot for tourists and islanders alike. How did Coombs manage to earn such status? Well, the goats are a big draw, as is the jam-packed country store stocked with everything you need—and a whole bunch of cool stuff you probably don’t. And of course there’s the food, from farm-fresh, healthy fare to tasty treats.

If you cruise into town from the south end, however, your first encounter with Coombs might get you wondering if you’ve just time warped back to the early 1970s. Kumbaya indeed.

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