We met Richard and Valerie on our Rick Steves’ European tour, and they are from Campbell River. We couldn’t wait to see them again here in their stomping grounds. We have been staying in Elk Falls Provincial Park since Thursday. (Today is Saturday). Campbell River far exceeded our expectations! Rick and Valerie were terrific hosts and found days out of their busy schedules to show us sights and take us to the Comox Shellfish and Seafood festival (aka NIRVANA!).
Rick owes a car dealership and Valerie is an award winning soap maker. Valerie is First Nations from Haida Gwaii. She is from the clan Raven, so her soap is called RavenSong. We purchased several bars, and Valerie threw in many more! Our Airstream smells so sweet now! Here is Valerie in her curing room.
Don’t her soaps look edible? She even has a Nanaimo bar soap, and it looks and smells like the real thing! You can purchase her soaps online. She is currently updating her website with a new format and photographs, but it should be up and running really soon. Search for RavenSong soaps and you’ll be in for a treat!
Campbell River is everything we want in a place to live — ocean, forests, hiking trails, amenities. How can I not mention that this is the salmon capital?!
On our first night, Rick and Valerie treated us to a dinner at the famous Painters Lodge. Many celebrities have stayed there, including Bob Hope and John Wayne. The dining hall overlooks the ocean and the lodge provides a complimentary water taxi to Quadra Island. Our meal was exceptional! I had tuna tartare as my appetizer, and Paul had seafood fritters. For my entree, I had cedar-wrapped salmon, spicy greens, and potato croquettes. Paul had halibut cheeks and Brussels sprouts. Everything was perfectly seasoned and the flavours of the sides complemented the main dish.
Painters Lodge dining hall: