BORN AND RAISED: Valley offers a beach for every stage of life

By Katie Maximack

When you grow up on the ocean, your favourite local beaches tend to change as your life does.

As a kid, you likely prefer the sandy beaches, where you can build sky-high sand castles with deep moats, sand dollar windows, and wooden-stick soldiers. You can run into the water not having to worry about cutting open your feet on barnacled rock, and you can try to dig up and catch a geoduck – if you’re lucky.

As a teenager, you might tend to gravitate to beaches where you’re away from the prying eyes of curious adults; where you can meet up with your friends from school, listen to music and hang out with a fire (and hopefully mingle responsibly).

As an adult, I’m discovering that your favourite local beach can depend on a lot of things, like whether or not you have kids, want a fire or just want some peace and quiet.

In the Comox Valley (and even just beyond), there are enough options for everyone.

There’s the rocky Goose Spit and Seal Bay for dog walkers and beach strollers; there’s Airforce Beach and Kye Bay for the sand lovers and wakeboarders; there’s Point Holmes for parkers and seal watchers, and Comox Lake for boaters and dock jumpers; and that’s only naming some of our local beaches.

For me, I’ve loved all of those places at one point as I’ve grown up in the Valley these past 30-something years, but lately I’ve even surprised myself with what’s become my go-to beach in the area.

Normally I would gravitate to the Goose Spit because it’s the closest to my home and a great place to grab a coffee and a catch-up with a friend. Lately, however, it’s been a little too busy for me, buzzing with people with their own coffees and catch-ups, as well as the influx of stair climbers eager for a good workout (good for them though).

So I started to make the drive out to Airforce Beach, excited by the idea of sandy stretches and a cold beer afterwards on the Griffin Pub’s patio – then I remembered they now charge admission for that sandiest stretch of beach in the Valley. Sorry, Airforce Beach, you shouldn’t be able to charge us to enjoy the sand. It’s business savvy, yes, but also cruel to those who maybe can’t afford your “parking pass.”

One day, after refusing to pay at Airforce, my husband and I went for a drive looking for more options nearby, and that’s when I rediscovered Kin Beach, a place I hadn’t seen since my childhood.

It was nestled between cheerful campers on one end and picnic tables on the other. It was quiet, save for maybe the laughter of kids playing on the nearby playground. Across a stretch of green grass, cut neatly by a winding worn path, was the ocean, hugged by large rocks smattered with seaweed and aged driftwood.

It wasn’t groomed with neatly lined log walls and feature rocks, nor was it graced with a kilometre of soft sand, but it was still beautiful in its own right.

More importantly, it was peaceful. It was a place where we could just sit on a log and chat quietly, staring out towards Powell River watching boats go by.

We didn’t have to avoid piles of dog feces or pay money to park there, and we didn’t have to dodge traffic to get back to our Jeep. It was a nice change, and one I realized that I needed at this stage in my life.

We all have our go-to beaches here in the Comox Valley, and I know my current love affair with Kin Beach could change when my next stage of life comes along (likely with children), and that’s okay.

The bottom line is we’re lucky to live here and have so many favourite beaches – and swimming holes, plenty enough to carry us through all of the stages of our lives.

 

 

Katie Maximick is a freelance writer for the Comox Valley Record. Her Born and Raised column appears regularly.

 

Just Posted

City of Courtenay adds pickleball courts Martin Park lacrosse box

Lacrosse, pickleball, and recreational ball hockey players in the Comox Valley can… Continue reading

Stage 3 water restrictions in the Comox Valley beginning September 3

Restrictions in effect until Sept. 27 for BC Hydro scheduled maintenance

Fanny Bay Challenge asks visitors to support businesses during highway closure

Community rallies as part of Highway 19A closes for six weeks due to culvert project

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society monthly update

More than 170 birds and mammals brought to Merville centre in July

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Business owner blasts council about cantilever option

At the Aug. 19 meeting, downtown business owner Michael Gilbert chastised Mayor… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read