provincial park

Roberts Memorial Provincial Park: Part 2

Roberts Memorial Provincial Park: Part 1

Today was an exploration day with Adam. The sun was out, but the wind was still quite cold. Not that this fuzzy guy seemed to care :) The sandstone beach looks like a strange moonscape (more photos in part two) and is quite slippery in sections. Luckily I think I used all my slipping powers on the icy snow earlier in the day.

Goldstream Park and Koksilah River

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Bailey managed a visit this weekend, and since today’s forecast was good, we drove out in search of some adventure before heading to the ferry. First stop was Goldstream Park – thankfully sans fish. (Oh, the smell!) The leaves are just beginning to carpet the trails. The trails are flat and even, and perfect for sipping tea, chatting, and taking photos in the middle of walkways. (It wasn’t too busy today, so we weren’t in anyone’s way.)

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This morning I held my reflector in my hand and wondered if I would need it. After all, I thought, it’s only a quick drive. A very small adventure, really. Did I really need to bring it with me? (I did. Damn.)

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Next we headed up to Koksilah River Park. I only learned of the provincial park last week, and since I had an excuse I wanted to explore a little.

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My favourite photo of Bailey today:

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Maybe I picked the right day to go up, but holy cats is it ever pretty up there. Aside from the occasional BWAAAAA from the dirt bikes around the area, it was very peaceful. I almost wish I’d taken a blanket for a quick nap listening to the water and the frogs. I have some shot ideas that would involve a friend getting a bit chilly – maybe I can bribe someone with baked goods and a beverage? I will definitely be going back up there, hopefully soon.

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. 

Cathedral Grove

 

According to the park description, Cathedral Grove (MacMillan Park) got its name in the 1920’s from Governor General Viscount Willingdon’s description. In 1929, land was donated by H.R. MacMillan to be park, so people could continue to enjoy the area. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Victoria, just past Parksville on Hwy 4, at the far end of Cameron Lake. I think next time we’re up there we’ll also check out Little Qualicum Falls – it looks pretty neat online.

These trees definitely make you feel small –  most of them are too large to reach around, even with Eric! Not that I tried. The root systems are too fragile, and are shallow. The trees can be toppled by a strong wind, as in 1997. The cedars can take quite a long time to decompose, and we could still see springboard marks in some of the stumps from early logging.

The “Big Tree” is the largest tree in the park, and is about 76m/250ft tall, and still growing! I think the sign said it’s about 9m around.  Huge! It’s hard to tell in the picture above, but that log laying at the bottom of the Big Tree is about 5ft (give or take). One lady had a hard time jumping down after she and her friend were taking pictures. (heehee)

It was a bit chilly, but still a nice day. (Eric learned that in November, sweaters and gloves are a good idea, even if it’s warmish at home. I was toasty warm :p)  Oh! And there were Jack O Lanterns everywhere! I’m not sure where they came from, but on the bridges and at the entrance areas to both sides of the park, people left pumpkins. It was a cool little surprise, and in the dark, they would look pretty creepy.

I’m having fun exploring a different park each week. Any suggestions for next week? (Preferably things on the south half of the island.)