Little Valley: Vijay Howe

Age 13

Ever since I can remember, the Comox Valley has been growing and expanding, but it’s only in the last four or five years that Cumberland has really grown. I’m talking about Cumberland because I grew up here and I love its uniqueness. I think what put it on the map was the history of the town, the beauty of the forest, the biking, and the food.

One of my favourite things about Cumberland is that is everything’s so close. Another thing is that no matter where you live, the forest is in your backyard. In the summer, my family always goes to Comox Lake to swim. There are some rock climbs above the lake with amazing views. If you stay until winter you can go skiing or snowboarding at Mount Washington Resort, or go hiking at Paradise Meadows. And if you want to go backcountry skiing, that’s an option too.

Once when I went backcountry skiing with my Dad, we drank tea and ate kolache (a Czech pastry) on top of a ridge overlooking the sea. Last spring, my dad and I did a backcountry ski trip to Mount Kusum. On the last day of the trip, I asked how much food I should eat and my dad said “As much as you can! The more you eat the less heavy our packs are.” I was so happy!

One of the things I love about skiing—whether you’re in the air or just skiing—is that you lose a sense of time. I really love that feeling. If I’m having a bad day, I can just go skiing and when I focus on the trick I’m trying to perfect, or the run I’m about to ski, I have a sense of freedom.

Sometimes Jack and Sam, two friends I ski with, video us all doing drops on our bikes. I remember Jack, Sam, my Dad and I were biking and Jack flipped his bike—somehow he was on his back and his bike was in the air!

My second favourite thing to do with my dad is rock climbing. My favourite thing to do with my mom is to take walks in the forest. She told me a story about our dog, Finny, who passed away when I was ten. Rest in peace Finny. She was in the forest when a black bear walked out. Finny ran up to the bear and started barking at it and then ran behind my mom, so she made herself look big, and the bear got scared and ran off.

We are trying to keep this beautiful forest by doing a lot of fundraisers to buy the pieces that are going to be logged.

I hope you liked my stories.