Well, goodness! How did it get to be Autumn already? And the last day of September. We’ve been a bit chilly here so have actually turned on some heat. That’s at least a couple of weeks earlier than usual but really, who wants to take a shower when the bathroom is only 15C? (That’s 59F for those non-metric people out there.) The garden is mostly done producing and ready to be put to bed for the winter. Our chestnuts are starting to fall now but leaves are just beginning to turn colours. I have no idea what kind of winter all this means we will have. I’m not in a hurry to find out though because I love this time of year the best!
We just got home a few days ago and we’re still cleaning up and drying out after our September vacation. This time we again stayed in British Columbia and explored some of the places we had only a glimpse of last year when we went on a seniors’ bus tour with Thom’s mom. The weather was very changeable which made it a little challenging to camp in our 30-year-old VW Westfalia especially in the dark damp forest which is where every campsite we stayed at was located. At least it was relatively warm up until the last couple of days where we had an electric hookup so we could have some heat going.
In total we took eight ferries! I think we spent more time waiting for and cruising on ferries than we did driving. First we explored the Sunshine Coast. This beautifully maintained trail around Inland Lake near Powell River was a highlight. It’s 13 km long though so we really only walked halfway up one side of the lake and back.
We got as far north as Lund at the end of Highway 101. Just so we could say we did!
Then we backtracked to Powell River and ferried over to Vancouver Island and up to Campbell River. From there we took the short ride to Quadra Island where we got the best campsite of the whole trip at We-Wai-Kai, a privately run campground in the protected bay next to Rebecca Spit. We were right on the beach with power and reasonable wifi. Pretty cushy! And very quiet this time of year.
Home Sweet Van! Covered in dust and mud so we were obviously having a good time.
From Quadra we ferried over to Cortes Island and stayed a couple of days. Love this bicycle on the beach. Wonder how long it’s been there?
From Cortes we went back to Quadra and then to Campbell River where we stayed at Elk Falls. We did a lot of hiking along the river and to see several different waterfalls.
Elk Falls itself is the most spectacular. Wish you could hear how loud it sounds! And how deep that gorge actually is. From there we headed south and west to Sproat Lake just past Port Alberni and viewed the petroglyphs on the lake shore. Weird and wonderful sea creatures! So different from the petroglyphs we’ve seen the deserts of the US South West.
After that we continued west (in the pouring rain) to Green Point in Pacific Rim National Park for our last 3 days. At least the wet stuff let up long enough for us to get in a few more beach walks. We were glad of power to run our electric heater though because it was very damp and colder than it had been up to then.
We went into Tofino on our last night to celebrate Thom’s birthday. Best Dutch chocolate gelato ever (and I’ve been taste-testing them all year!) from Tofino Chocolate in lieu of a birthday cake and then dinner in town. On our way home we stopped at Cathedral Grove to visit all the giant Western Redcedars and Douglas Firs. This fir is the biggest one and I couldn’t get all of it in one photo! If I recall it’s 70 metres (230 feet) tall and the second largest in Canada.
You will notice that the sun finally came out as we were on the homeward run to our last ferry at Nanaimo. Figures. All in all it was a relaxing if somewhat soggy holiday. We saw whales, sea otters, porpoises, garter snakes, loons, sandpipers, red-legged frogs, deer, a bear and a whole lot more. I dragged my Louet Victoria spinning wheel along but only got one day where I could get out and spin.
A few more random photos.