[u]Friday Aug 1st - Arriving at Salt Spring</u>
My travel companions for this trip were, (from youngest to oldest) Pippa, Half-Pint, Junior, Kaki-doh and Mrs Moses. We set out Friday and had reserved a spot on the direct boat to Salt Spring. I have wanted to go to Salt Spring Island for a few years now, partly due to the fact that I'm both artsy-fartsy and a closet granola hippie. I need to go hang out with my peeps, and see for myself if this really is the melting pot of society. (It is!)
Here we are on the ferry, all very excited to be getting away.
We even had a front row seat for the journey.
We arrive at Salt Spring around 3:30 and head to the cabin we rented to get settled. We unpack our stuff, and head into Ganges for some dinner, groceries, and a bit of exploring.
We opted for a burger at the "Tree House". Not exactly the "granola-hippie" fare one would expect me to have, but hey, still haven't got to know the town yet, and they did have organic lamb burgers on the menu.
(Looks like somebody's on vacation)
(Half-Pint's gonna kill me for this one)
After dinner, we walk through town and find a nice little ice cream place. (I guess the name "Grumpy's Ice Cream" was already taken.)
Gee, dont they look "Glad".
A creepy side note, the guy serving us looked suspiciously like the blond albino-ish guy from the Glad Bag commercials. Hmmm, I've heard Salt Spring was a safe haven for washed up semi famous people. (No offense Randy, you still rock.)
We wander around and I try to take a few shots that will hopefully capture west coast island life. No pictures of draft dodgers smoking Mary Jane this evening, so these will have to do.
Fire Department Tower
Fishing boats in Ganges
Half-Pint being, well, Half-Pint.
We hear some weird (but kinda cool) music coming from the park, so we walk over half expecting the yearly "24 hours of Mescalin" festival to be in full swing, but alas, it was simply some guys with an electric "diggerydoo" playing some sweet tribal Aussie music. In hind-sight, it's too bad the Mescalin fest wasn't happing the same time this music was being played....would have been totally trippy dude!
[u]Saturday Aug 2nd - The Market = FOOOOOD!!!
We woke up early to get to the weekly Saurday morning market. The rule for the sellers is simply that the products they sell must be "Made, Baked, Grown, or Created" by them. No products made in China, little in the way of plastic, and many wonderful things to EAT!
Just a couple market pics.
Giant mushrooms and locally grown peanuts.
Many flowers for sale, some bouquets completely edible.
One of the many cool things about this market were the young children selling their wares. Hand made cards, bead jewlery, and of course, driftwood candles. The young gentleman selling the latter caught me taking his picture just in time for him to become a poser. (He reminds me of myself when I was his age; I rarely combed my hair as well.)
Pippa was excited to meet the "Braided Garlic" guy. She had seen some pictures of this on the web when we were looking at things to do on Salt Spring. He grows several varieties of garlic.
Simply known as the "Bread Lady", Heather (on left) makes amazing breads in a brick, wood fired oven. Her bread is a [u]MUST EAT</u> while on Salt Spring.
For those that have come to the CT dinners at Me & Eds, you might have seen me scarfing down pizza with goat cheese on it. Mmmmm! You gotta try this stuff. Even more Mmmmm than you can imagine.
I only have one picture from the table of the French pastry baker, probably cause I was too busy eating. OH MY GOODNESS she makes incredible stuff. Cookies, pies, lemon tarts are AMAZING, and I think her almond/pear tart gave me a chubby.[:I]
As for the photo's below, I will let them speak for themselves. These were organically grown at the place we stayed at. Have you ever had yellow or blood red carrots? Feast your eyes on the incredible granola-hippie menu before you.
After the market we head back to the cabin to drop off our newlt purchased items, and to help catch the chickens that "tried to make a run for it". Pippa and Half-Pint had many laughs trying to catch one, and eventually succeeded.
After dinner we headed up Mt. Maxwell to have a look at the view and possibly catch a sunset. (Tim, we caught a "God's ray" shot as well.)
We did see a few deer on the way back down, but was a little too dark for a picture.
[u]Sunday Aug 3rd - Ruckle and then some
Sunday morning we decided to treat the kids to breakfast out, or rather treat the parents as they don't have to cook. Pippa is a huge endorser of pancakes, so we found a place, but she was tired of waiting, as was Kaki-doh. Half-Pint was quite content with her chocolate milk though.
Off to Ruckle Provincial Park for a hike. On the way we found an old church near Fulford Harbour, so stopped by to snoop around.
The grave marker of the very person for whom Ruckle Park was named. He originally owned 1000 acres of land here. Some of his decendants still farm the land within the park, which we saw evidence of.
I wondered if Mr. Donnelly played in the NHL, cause she was obviously a trophy wife.
Mt. Maxwell from the church garden.
As were driving I suddenly hit the brakes and start to back up. "Sorry Mrs Mo, it wouldn't be right if I don't take a picture of this for Simon".
This truck was about 30 meters from the Zamboni.
We get to Ruckle, pay our few bucks to park, and begin our hike. I have just finished explaining to Mrs. Mo (who is deathly afraid of bears) that bears have long since been eradicated from most of the Gulf Islands, including SS. As a joke, I'll often take a picture of the kids pointing to the "Beware, Bear in Area" sign at the start of a hike, and as luck would have it, I get to do it again.
Must have been close to 80-100 tents set up this weekend at Ruckle.
It was pretty cool to see the Garry Oaks. I wish I could have spent more time searching out the biggies and trying some b&w shots. (Misty weather would've helped too, might have to head back here.)
Ditto for the Arbutus trees.
We locate part of the park that farming still occurs, and our big doggie lets the turkeys know that she is bigger and louder and can eat them if she really wanted to.
We make our way down to the beach for a lunch break. As we sit and chow down, a group of ladies, all around mid fifties to mid sixties, come to the beach and proceed to put on wetsuits. They took off into the ocean with a "See you in a hour or so." I asked if there was an age limit to join their group, and after a quick glance up and down and with a smile on her face, one of ladies said, "Not for you, Honey." (My kinda gal)
Some parting random Ruckle shots.....
[u]Monday Aug 4th - The Farm
Today after breakfast we spent some time at ST. Mary's Lake, the largest lake on Salt Spring. Sorry, no pics, but I can assure you there was plenty of splashing involved.
As for where we stayed, I won't bore you details. No waterfront, no ocean view, just veggies, wildlife, and millions of stars on a clear night. These pictures should make up for the lack of words...
Where we stayed...
What I would see when I walked 15-30 seconds from the cabin....
What I would see when I walked 5 minutes from the cabin....
[u]Tuesday Aug 5th - Back to Reality
After my morning walk I came back to this....not sure which one is more tired,, but it is time to go.
We pack up and head to the ferry, no direct route today, so we'll be stopping at Mayne, Pender, and Galiano (or was it Gabriola?). Just after Mayne, the Captain lets us know there are whales just of the ship. We go to have a peek and....KILLER WHALES!!! COOL!!!
A fun way to end a fabulous adventure.