At Duncan Lanes, 20 well-oiled lanes hasten balls toward clusters of 5 or 10 pins. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Rock & Glow sessions cast incandescent hues upon the lanes, balls, and pins, simulating the rainbow eclipse that scientists have been anticipating for eons. The centre also hosts open-bowling hours throughout the week, along with leagues for adults, children, and seniors. Its on-site Lane 21 Lounge provides visitors with refreshments and a relaxing environment to help them forget about the stresses of losing balls in the alley's challenging water hazards. To keep orbs in top shape, the pro shop staff is adept at ball fitting, drilling, plugging, and resurfacing.
Landlubbers soak up sun and scenery along Lake Cowichan's sweeping 150-kilometre shoreline from Island Houseboat's decked-out watercrafts. Guests outfitted with a Pleasure Craft Operator Card are eligible to rent a Moon Cruiser, which accommodates up to 10 adults, their pets, and unlimited pirate-slang dictionaries on its spacious deck. The Operator Card is only required of captains who are Canadian citizens, so border skippers may freely join their northern counterparts in choosing among Island Houseboats' seasonal packages, such as a three-day weekend during the low season ($750), Labour Day weekend during midseason ($1,099), or a week-long watery extravaganza during high season ($2,499).
At the beginning of the 1960s, logging businessman Gerry Wellburn started collecting trains and forestry-related artifacts. He pulled locomotives from scrap yards and rescued tools that had been buried in the bush. Eventually, Gerry's collection grew large enough to spark discussions of him moving it to a site open to the viewing public. In 1965, he secured a six-acre property in Drinkwater, which just so happened to be the same location of Cowichan Valley's first public building?a combined schoolhouse and chapel.
Over the past six-plus decades, the museum has continued to grow, both in number of pieces and sheer size. Today, it stretches across a total of 100 acres on the Somenos marsh. Current exhibits continue to follow Gerry's original mission of honoring the past: You can check out logging machines, antique trains, and even intact bunkhouses, where loggers spent time ringing the guthammer and caring for their pet branches. Collections are located both indoors and outdoors. You can even hop on a historic train for a ride over the Somenos Lake trestle.
In the verdant Cowichan Valley, Pacific Northwest Raptors cares for a diverse flock of birds of prey?owls twist their heart-shaped heads curiously, and hawks look on with eyes like copper coins. The staff provides them a safe habitat while educating the public about their habits, hunting methods, and favourite brands of feather cosmetics. Eagles and falcons ride warm zephyrs overhead daily, searching for prey high over the canopy when they aren?t perched back at the centre.
Avian experts demo the birds? skills during walks, which include the opportunity for patrons to have a hawk or owl land on a gloved hand or already impressive jaw line. Intensive workshops and week-long falconry courses let guests settle in with the animals beneath the towering trees, which hush each other liltingly in the wind. Regular family events at the centre facilitate bonding with the regal raptors, many of which are trained in film work and pest control.
Situated just south of Cowichan Lake, March Meadows Golf Club’s nine-hole course invites golfers to play a scenic layout replete with mountain views. The course features cedar-lined doglegs and creek-split fairways, such as those on the second hole—the course’s most difficult—which forces players to unhitch the oxen from their golf carts and ford a waterway to reach the green. The charming course summons budding players to its fairways each year for a Junior Golf Tournament sponsored by Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Dawn Coe-Jones, who began playing golf at March Meadows when she was 12.
After rounds, players can head to the clubhouse’s restaurant to feast on casual grill fare. The on-site pro shop showcases the latest golf gear, apparel, and rocket-propelled three-woods.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 36 course * Course rating of 71.4 * Slope rating of 124 * Three tee boxes * See the course layout
Smallville viewers will recognize one of The Falcon Lady's birds, Thorn, from his guest appearance on the episode "Veritas." But if glimpsing a bird of prey is what they're after, locals need only look down at their own arms. That's because The Falcon Lady, Joanne, teaches workshop attendees how to handle falcons themselves, crediting her and her apprentices' nuanced philosophy with making each experience safe. "Our companions," she says, "know themselves to respected, and loved." But Joanne doesn't anthropomorphize them. Instead, she and her staff take pride in socializing the birds of prey and earning their trust. Even 3-year-olds have held small falcons at her facility because Joanne is confident in the safe, trusting relationships she forges with the animals.