Our kids seem to really enjoy camping. In
the last few years we have taken them to Rathtrevor (twice), the Shuswap Lake  and
the Okanagan Lake
. This year, when looking for a place, we wanted
somewhere less likely to have forest fire smoke. Miracle
beach checked a few additional check boxes - we have family in the
valley and drive isn't that far. We were able to make
reservations and booked our longest trip yet - 8 days in the same
We didn't book a reservation to
Nanaimo because we appreciate the flexibility in case
something comes up last minute. Unfortunately we
just missed an 11am ferry so we were were on a 1pm
ferry. That got us into the campsite late in the
afternoon. Like last year, I made a video of the
process of unpacking. The first thing to do is get
the bikes off and the kids ride off exploring while we
By the time we have a tent setup, a
vehicle unpacked and the kitchen brought out, it is dinner time.
To make life easier, Helen brings a heat and eat meal from home so
it's quick to get dinner done.
After dinner, the kids ride and we clean
up. I setup a tarp because rain was in the forecast.
Eventually it's time for bed. The kids really enjoy the glow
sticks and the battery operated lanterns.
The kids wake up and their first question
is "Can I go bike riding?" They get their clothes and
helmets on and off they go. We have call them in with radios
for breakfast. And then they go out and ride some more.
Miracle Beach has a few attractions - the
huge sand beach being one of them. For us the tide went out
in the afternoon so we went out to enjoy the warm shallow
water. There is lots of beach life - crabs, sand dollars and
sea weed to find on the beach.
We have family in the Comox Valley and they were kind
enough to come visit a few times.
Hiking at Mount Washington
Last year we went to the Sunshine coast and
I found a stable that offered pony rides for kids.
The kids loved it, but not a lot of places have miniature horses
or ponies for young kids. The farm I found in Black Creek
only had full sized horses so we got half hour training on how to
ride before we went out on an escorted trail ride. The kids
of course loved being on a horse without anyone else helping them.
Rock Hounding Trip to Hornby Island
This year I joined the Hasting Rockhounds
- a local group that is part of the BC Lapidary society.
There are organized "Rock Hounding" trips around BC each summer
and it just so happened that an event (Vancouver Island Gemboree)
happened the same weekend as we were camping in Comox. We
signed up for a day trip and the kids were really excited about
the fossil trip.
On Hornby Island is a beach called "Fossil Beach" which, not
surprisingly has fossils. Some 80 millions of years ago,
this was seafloor and lots of shells landed in the mud and became
fossilized. Unfortunately, Hornby is two ferry rides
away and on a beautiful Saturday morning, those ferries are
busy. The ferry from Denman to Hornby is small so we had to
a multiple sailing wait.
We got to the beach and got a bit of an orientation. The is
basically loose rock over shale. Some of the loose rocks are
actually concretions around fossils - you can pick them up, tap
them on the end and discover what is inside! The most common
find was Baculites - marine animals with a long conical
shell. The shells preserve well so they are striking when
you find them.
The shale itself will sometimes have lumps
where the layers of rock bend around an encapsulated object.
When you find such a lump, you use your hammer to break out the
lump and then see what is inside. The leader found a kind of
cuttlefish in the rock, but most people found shells from
shellfish. We stayed for a few hours until the kids were
tired and then headed home with our new found treasures!
What is good after spending a hot day on the beach? Go out for
Ice Cream! We went to Blue Spruce Ice Cream to cool down and
get our blood sugar sky high again.
There is one last big attraction at
Miracle Beach - it's surprisingly dark at night! The park is
mid way between Comox and Campbell River so you get a decently dark
night sky. I stayed up late night (the moon rose early on
earlier days) and watched the galaxy glow in the night sky.