French Beach

Winter Camping

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Last Saturday was my birthday and rather than have the traditional pub night I decided to camp at French Beach. In March. (I know.) Most places I’ve lived have been far too cold or snowy this time of year for me to even think about camping. Having lived on the island for a few years, I figured it was time I gave it a shot.

Saturday afternoon was wonderful. The sun came out, the wind was low, and the beach was full of crashing waves. A few of us went for a walk down to the beach and threw branches for Fenrir. (No mere sticks for him!)

Photo from Bailey.

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Photo from Bailey

I am so glad I took my fuzzy hat and my stormy shawl. That was a brisk breeze! After getting chilled it was definitely time to head back for the campfire (and perhaps beer). As we settled around the firepit, steam rose off Fenrir, who sat as close as he could without singeing his fur.

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Duff’s coat kept him fairly warm, but the hood kept flipping into his eyes, poor dude. (Speaking of keeping warm, I love that 5 of us were wearing things I knit to keep warm. Wearing knit gifts is an excellent way to get more of them <3)

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It was an awesome evening of hotdogs, cake, marshmallows, beer, and friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate turning 30!

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The night, however, was absolutely freezing. One the plus side, our tent kept us dry! Now it can be put away until it’s much, much warmer at night. The end. 

French Beach & China Beach

^French Beach

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v China Beach

 

We woke up to the perfect day for a drive, so we head out this morning with a general direction in mind. We found French Beach Provincial Park, between Sooke and Jordan River on Highway 14. The beach is easy to access, and is a great place for dogs to run (The dogs seemed to be having fun!)  The golden retriever was very friendly, and the beagle was too busy frolicking to notice us :)  There were a couple of driftwood lean-tos on the beach. The one above looks a bit like the skeleton of some creature.

China Beach is further down the road, past Jordan River. It’s at the south end of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. We’ll definitely be going back to check out more of the park, since we only saw a tiny bit of it! The beach is gorgeous, and perfect for bare feet (we saw some footprints leading from another driftwood lean-to. Eric decided to play with a large bit of seaweed, and you can sort of see how that ended up ;)

After the 1km hike up the hill back to the car, we were really hungry, so we stopped at Shells in Jordan River for fish & chips and a burger. So delicious! If you’re coming from Sooke, go past the tsunami warning sign, across the bridge, and it’s at the turn.  The food is made in a little trailer and the picnic tables in the sun are the perfect place to eat it. (If it’s raining, there’s also a woodstove under a tarp, or a few tables under cover by the trailer.)

All that exercise, fresh air, and food make Eric tired so he’s having a nap now. heehee.