Trip to the Parksville Sand Sculptures
By Ted Ross
It was 9:30 Wednesday morning. A small knot of people assembled in the lobby of New Horizons on Menzies.
The JBNH bus pulled up in front of the seniors' centre. The driver climbed out and she invited people to board. Eleven seniors filed across the sidewalk to climb into the van. The JBNH Trip to the Sand Sculptures at Parksville was underway!
An early stop was made at the lookout near the Malahat summit. Here folks stretched their legs and took in the spectacular views. In a short time the bus was underway again to complete the trip to Parksville. By 12:15 that city was reached and the bus parked at the beach.
In the back space of the vehicle, where another two seats normally are fastened, there was a cooler pack containing a bag lunch for everybody. Spots to sit were quickly found and everybody dug into their lunch, ready to eat after the trip.
Following the meal most people wandered to the Sand Sculpture area to look at the pieces on display. Folks were not disappointed. Based on the theme of Canada's 150th, the sculptures' interpretations of the motif were varied and beautiful. There were references to things past, present and future in the work. It was truly remarkable.
From the art work, people wandered the park or sat and visited. One even took the opportunity to test the salt waters of the Parksville beach. Just wadin- there were no laps swum!
By 2:35 the bus was heading for the highway home. There was a great deal of chatter and the trip home seemed much shorter than the one out. By 5:10 the van was back at its starting point in front of James Bay New Horizons and a satisfied group of travellers tumbled out and parted for their homes. It had been a wonderful day.
This was the longest trip yet for the James Bay New Horizons' bus. Acquired with the financial support of the Helping Hands organization, the vehicle was obtained in May. It is a Ford Transit model with seats for 12. Volunteer Class 4 drivers operate the machine. Trips have been made for the 'Out To Lunch Bunch' to the My Chosen Cafe and the Prairie Inn. A trip to Sydney took place last month. Future trips will be available.
All participants in these forays are members of JBNH. If you're not a member, you can join at 234 Menzies for only $25, good until the end of this year. Sign-up sheets for the treks are posted at the main reception desk and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Future trips to restaurants or other special places will be planned and available for those who belong to JBNH. A small charge, usually $2, covers the cost of fuel and maintenance for the bus.