WE agreed to meet early but now that we're older early is a lot later than it used to be.
It's late October and we are heading up the Sunshine Coast to Savary Island to help a friend close up his cottage.
It isn't far but it takes two ferry trips and a ride on both a water and land taxi to get there. Our group includes a forester, a couple of engineers, the owner of a high tech company and me. We're in our late 50s and early 60s. Some of us are retired or semi-retired and we've been doing this for four or five years.
This year we've brought along a lawyer from California to keep us out of trouble. We'll meet up with the seventh member of our party when we get there. We're on the road by 8: 30 a.m. and at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal less than a half hour
later. This is man's work and we have left our wives behind. They don't seem to mind.
We roll off the ferry at Langdale and head to Egmont, passing through a dozen different communities along the way. It seems that every second house is for sale. It's either the economy or that country living isn't all it's made out to be - I suspect it's a bit of both.
The next ferry ride from Egmont to Saltery Bay features some spectacular scenery and is my favourite part of the trip.
We stop in Powell River to buy some supplies and then it's on to the tiny fishing village of Lund, known for the historic Lund Hotel and Nancy's Bakery, home of the world's best cinnamon buns.
Lund marks the end of the Pacific Coastal Highway. Keep driving and you're in the drink. We'll catch the 4 p.m. water taxi across to the island. Savary is about five miles long and averages about half a mile wide. Dubbed 'Hawaii of the North,' Savary is almost completely surrounded by beaches and they are stunning. The current year-round population is less than 100 growing to more than 2,000 in the summer months.
As we approach the island in the water taxi the cottages at Keefer Bay come into view.
The cottages along the water are old, stately, expensive and, judging by one of the signs posted on a gate - dogs welcome, children on leashes please - their owners don't like to be disturbed.
Some cottagers have been returning for several generations but it's fall now and the island is eerily quiet. There's no electricity on the island and very few cars.
I wouldn't call the island remote but if you want to get away from it all you've come to the right place. The land taxi, a flatbed truck that has seen better days, picks us up at the dock and delivers us to the cottage. Once we turn on the water and the propane, fire up the woodstove and light the lamps, we can finally begin to relax.
Our first full day on Savary Island is Saturday and we spend most of the day exploring. On Sunday we fire up the chainsaw
and chop and stack a little wood. We team up making the dinners and after the dishes are cleared away we gather around the fire and contemplate the state of the world.
What's the biggest problem facing us today? Income inequality. The lawyer helped us with that one. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing and none of us think that story is going to end well.
Gee, that was easy. Moving on, how are a bunch of geniuses like us going to make enough money to retire wealthy?
Analytics, says our computer expert. Analytics? Yep. Our problem isn't that we have too little information: it's that we have too much.
What does it all mean? Figure that out and we'll all be rich.
"Who's in?" he asks. Not me. I can't figure out my cell phone bill.
Ah yes, I almost forgot why we came. On our last day we rise early and close the cottage. Then we head for home.
I'm back at my house just in time for dinner.
"How was your trip?" asks my wife. "Great," I said.
"What did you do?" "Nothing," I replied and really, that's the whole point.
Tom Carney is the executive director of the Lionsview Seniors' Planning Society. Ideas for future columns are welcome. Contact him at 604-985-3852 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.