Goat on a Roof: Hippies flying high on the Ground



On our trip to Vancouver Island from Whistler, we woke up early. This is going to be hard to believe—it was because of my son Stef. When Stef lived with us he was never famous for rising early. It came as a big surprise to us when we learned he wanted to go to Vancouver Island on an early ferry. He was on vacation and did not want to waste any time. That is a serious traveller. Much more serious than his parents, who are known to be lazy bums on their travels. Pathetic travelers in other words.

As a result we woke up at 5 a.m. to pack, get ready, and pick up Stef and his friend Charli. After picking them up, we travelled the Sea to Sky highway. Being early, we found out, was also a good idea because we avoided the heavy traffic expected later in the day as this was the end of the Labour Day Weekend. Stef was also a smart traveler, again, unlike his parents.

When we arrived on Vancouver Island we headed north towards Nanaimo, rather than south towards the house we had rented. We wanted to see part of the island where the ferry was located so we would not have to drive so far to see it later. Once more, Stef had planned this well. Chris and I were very impressed with how organized and well-planned Stef was about this trip. This was not the Stef we were used to, but we liked “the new Stef.”

Ever since we met Stef he had been talking about “a Goat on a roof.”  I had no idea what this meant or why we were going to see it. I did not realize it at the time, but apparently this place had been featured in the Survivor television series (or some series like that) and as a result is widely known. When we arrived in the village Coombs we soon knew. At a local privately owned store, in the centre of town, there is a store, large by village standards, with grass on the roof, with at least 2 goats enjoying the grass.

The store was crammed with weird stuff. This was no surprise. After all we were in B.C.—lotus land in other words. The Republic of Vancouver Island. Where good sense goes to die. What else could you expect? In this store standard stuff was hard to find. Odd stuff was everywhere.

Coombs is hippie haven. First, there was an old goat on a bench outside, underneath the real goat happily chewing grass on the roof. The aging hippie was happy to take donations for his music, while contently agreeing to be photographed.

Coombs is a place where you can buy a Tie Dye shirt that talks! Where else can you buy that? Or Goat jerky?  What treasures! It even has a “Hippie Store.” The owner is, of course, another aged hippie, playing Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Pappas. I guess hippies go here to die along with good sense. Here you could buy “After Marihuana Mints.”  What self-respecting hippie could go without that?  You could also buy a card that said, “I divorced my husband for religious reasons. He thinks he’s God.”

Only in B.C.

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