Victoria, the luxurious city
The West is beautiful. It is beautiful in the Rockies, and yet even more beautiful on the other side, heading toward the coast. When we caught the ferry to get to the island of Vancouver, we got a feeling of vacation from the salty Pacific air. In fact, we passed an important milestone for the Postech Road Trip, hitting both coasts of the country. From one end to the other, we reached the country’s west coast, much like a runner upon the finish line, overjoyed with our accomplishment and the stress and joy that the adventure brought.
As for Victoria, it is first and foremost a luxurious place with lots of sun and nice people, starting with Steve Frisch and his son Hayden. They were both waiting for us in front of their last Postech worksite: a condominium building, constructed on an abandoned First Nations site of worship, just next to the port that brings in goods and cruise-goers by the thousands.
“With the recent modifications to construction standards here, it’s been a real puzzle for contractors, but it is much more respectful toward the First Nations,” Steve notes. This recent legislation tends to put consideration for the historical heritage of these lands first, which is definitely some excellent news. On all sites that formerly belonged to communities, and notably those that are related to religious sites, the rules are clear: “An archeologist must be present, and digging is only permitted in sections of 5 cm deep”, Hayden explains. “Once something is found, everything must halt, and the archeologist starts his thorough work.”
Steve let us know that “when they come across human remains, First Nations representatives meet up to discuss, then proceed with a ritual before moving the remains of one that was part of their community.” Hayden has already experienced this before, and he finds it a pretty respectful practice. “I felt pretty puzzled. It’s not a normal, run-of-the-mill discovery, but it makes up a part of the huge amount of history that you can find here”, the 21-year-old shares. In aims of limiting the impact to the subsurface of this condo project, the contractor called in Steve. In fact, installing Postech screw piles doesn’t require digging as far as possible, like is needed with cement. Then this lets the work continue faster, all while giving this ancient, sacred place the respect it deserves.
We were able to lunch by the shore very close to the excavation site, with Jean Routhier, the president of Vistech-Postech, who came to meet up with us for this special step of our road trip. After a seafood chowder and a poke bowl, we headed toward Sooke, about 40 minutes from Victoria, for an afternoon of kayaking at RUSH Adventures. Our guide, Sam, was expecting us with a smile at the shore of the bay. Unfortunately, Hayden could not join us, and had to depart back toward Vancouver. Being the kayak beginner that I am, I got the great news that I would be teamed up with Steve! Why is this good news, you may ask? Well, besides the nature of his career keeping him in shape, Steve is a past Olympic rowing champion, and ex-Dragon Boat trainer! No need to row when he’s at the paddle! As for Mario, he was teamed up with Jean, and together, we took a trip around the bay to watch some very docile seals as they stretched out in the sun, far away from any orcas trying to get close to them.
Sooke Bay is not too far from Steve’s home. He knows this area well, since he lives around Metchosin. Taken literally, Metchosin means “stinking fish”, because, as he tells us, a long time ago, a whale got stranded along the beach, and its body let out quite the odour as it decomposed! Steve told the story with a frank laugh and an easy smile. What a pleasure it was to spend the day with him! Jean, who met up with us at this end of the country with that good humour that we recognized him by, was also visibly happy to see one of his dealers, and our road trip group. Today, I think the whole team understood just how proud Jean was of everyone in the “Vistech-Postech nation”, as he likes to call it. From one side of the country to the other, we have met dealers who were all generous, funny, and proud of their region and their company.
We spent the night with Steve and his wife Ellen, our RV under the tall trees in their yard. We also got to meet their oldest daughter, Emma, who was able to practice a little bit of her French with us. Even their dog appeared to be welcoming, sharing his beautiful yard with Ila! Ila could run around at her leisure and stretch her legs out before getting back out on the road! Steve made us a wonderful breakfast: bacon, homemade blueberry pancakes, and coffee. Then we traveled toward Cathedral Grove and its several century-old cedar trees. Another step completed! The road trip is going to take a few recovery days in the Rockies, before starting the return trip toward Ottawa. We expect to reach the capital by Canada Day, where the local dealer, Cedric Meloche, is awaiting us!