Tumbo Channel Road

It’s a rambling road, but not that long. You can walk the length of it in less than an hour. Driving it’s a cinch to take less than ten minutes. It’s up and down like you.  And there are some fine new homes.  To go with the fine not new homes.

It’s an interesting road because it doesn’t branch off to the left or right of some other road but continues from what can only be described as the same road, East Point Road, which itself is pretty famous around here.  The continuation starts at Fiddler Road and, like just about everything, there’s a reason for that. And I think I finally came up with a reason.

The road is an add-on that came later from the highly successful desperate struggle to dig and curse and crawl and claw and fight and clear to create the amazing feat that was the East Point Road. True pioneers those people accomplishing a task like that.

They did what no one had done before.  It wasn’t a mammoth task but it was a baby mammoth task.  It could roar but it was a baby roar, but as with any baby that didn’t mean it was an insignificant roar.  It wasn’t the Trans Canada Highway but it was a heck of an undertaking on this island.

And then it starts to happen.  You’re punching the trail through right out to those people at the lighthouse.  The possibility has come through at last!  Development!  It’s the Lighthouse Pub!  Thank heavens I could use refreshment!  Wait a minute. I messed that up.

And then you’re back on the road out of your daydream, walking east on Tumbo Channel Road.  No one knows where you came from starting with you. You’re not even thinking about what day it is. Turn it off. Tumbo Channel Road. There’s poetry in it.

The sun is setting but it’s rising somewhere else. Over there.  East! Always East!  Drive it East!  Create Tumbo Channel Road!  Out of nothing! Like everything else we’ve accomplished here! We will do it for the dawn!

You find it hard to describe what is happening all around you.  People have lived here for years.  They know more about Tumbo Channel Road than you because they live here. You’re a bit of a tourist. Not a complete tourist, but a bit of a tourist.

It’s Tumbo Channel Road.  Get your Tumbo on.  Tumbo Mumbo. Mumbo Jumbo. Tumbo Channel.  Tumbo Channel Road. Tumbo Island. Three Tumbos, one great flavour. By a fluke the island was named in 1841, so it is believed, by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, United States Navy (USN) after “Tumbou” on the island of Lakemba in Fiji, where the damn fool, I mean the fine American naval officer, had been the year before in his exploits.  For some reason it stuck. Except for the “u”.

I’m not aware what the natives had already named Tumbo Island but pretty sure it had nothing to do with Fiji. What’s with all this Fiji stuff?

Tumbou Island?

I’d never have believed any of this hokum if the unimpeachable source hadn’t been the late local historian Peter Murray via G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg’s British Columbia Place Names Third Edition.  You can have a book lying around 20 years but that doesn’t mean you’re going to look at it.  This is what can happen when you do. I stood astounded. No one was around to notice. It’s like that here.

It’d be great to visit Tumbo Island.  But there’s no ferris wheel and I don’t own a kayak. I gave up on kayaking because it wasn’t enough of a challenge.

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