So maybe I’m beginning to get a little excited for decorating. Two simple garlands is all it takes. I’m definitely waiting until this weekend for the tiny tree, though. First weekend of December is our tradition. Only two days!
Yesterday we went out to Island View Beach, and saw an otter! It had a fish bigger than its head in its paws, which it left behind when we started walking closer. A sea gull was lying in wait to take it though. I also found out that one of my boots has a leak in it. Ugh. That was a nice surprise while standing in a puddle!
Today I made a giant loaf sandwich and carrot ginger squash soup, which turned out amazing. SO GOOD. We’re having the leftovers for dinner, with enough left to add to my soup stash in the freezer. yay! Here, have a bad cell phone picture of my delicious bread!
I also wrote out all of my holiday cards to send out this week. There’s still a couple cards left to write in, and I can put them in the mail box!
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.)
It’s a bit overcast and misty today, but it was a good temperature to traipse around outside looking at fish. The salmon run seemed a little lackluster, but I think that had more to do with the fuel truck crash in April.[Link2][Link3]The seagulls seemed to be having a good time, at any rate. We both managed to avoid hurting ourselves – wet leaves on wet rocks are a bit slick. Maybe next time we will bring marshmallows and roast them at the picnic area like a few people were. It smelled heavenly!
Considering I have a pretty bad cold, going to Vancouver was probably not the best idea for my health. But it was to see @PirateBee and Chelsy. We haven’t all hung out together in ages, so even though I felt horrible (and probably sounded worse!) I went. I learned that knitting while on cold meds is possible, but it really messes up my gauge (one fingerless mitt is slightly larger than the other), and Stanley Park is gorgeous in the fall. There were some very fearless raccoons living under the deck by the mini train. They’re cute until they try to eat your face or something. The visit was too short, and next time we’ll definitely have to plan better to hit all of the store we would like, but that’s okay. This weekend was needed. Aaand I paid for it with a wicked nap this afternoon. Best. Nap. Ever.
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.
Today started with a cool fall morning spent walking around Goldstream Park. The colours are really starting to show, and it was beautiful to see, even though I was disappointed that the salmon weren’t spawning yet. That’s okay though, because it gives me a reason to head back there in two weeks :) There were many families there, with small children and dogs in tow. People were gathered around campfires, having picnics. An excellent way to spend a day, I think. We didn’t go into the Nature House, though it might be something I check out next time. There is a small gallery that would be neat to see.