Friday, July 31, 2015

A few pictures

We were away for three weeks, in four distinct places, plus driving in between a couple. I'll just show you a few highlights.

When we first arrived in the Interior of BC, there were forest fires all over the place. This is as we left the Okanagan Valley heading sort of east and south. Everything was hazy and we were all hoping for rain the whole trip.

We stopped in Castlegar and saw lots of family, then to Victoria where we saw family and a museum and beaches and water and trees, but somehow I didn't take many pictures. The big event in Castlegar of relevance for a knitting blog was when I managed to slam the door of the car on my right index finger. Hmm, maybe that affected not only my knitting but also my desire and ability to press a shutter button.

Our last week was spent in a cottage at Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. On the drive there from Victoria, we stopped at Cathedral Grove, which I remembered from a school field trip in, um, 1972? There's a park website and another one that's quite informative. Big trees, like this:

Hard to tell, but this tree is very tall and likely several centuries old.

Obviously this one has fallen over! There are fallen trees everywhere, with newer trees growing up from them. There was a big storm in 1997 which knocked out a lot of the trees.

The park is quite old and the parking lot is tiny. Of course, making a bigger parking lot would mean cutting down a tree or two, so that is not going to happen. So you are zooming along the highway (well, it is a two-lane through the woods, so you are not really zooming very fast) and then you notice a few cars parked along the edge of the road, and then you see designated parking spaces for maybe 50 or 60 cars. Logging trucks are making their way across the island, RVs and trailers are parking and backing up to leave, tourists are sauntering across the highway. The whole thing is crazy-making. But we luckily found a place to park and did enjoy our walk along the paths.

Further along the road we came across Walley Creek, which is another little thing at the side of the road that proved to be a ton of fun. The creek, and it is not a very big one, goes through these enormous rocks. The kids leapt about, scaring their dear mother to bits, but no one fell in and no one broke any bones, so I guess it was just all good.

Elaine was stymied by this big one, but she made a valiant effort. And in Crocs.

We made it to Tofino and to our little cottage. Like most popular vacation places, the accommodations were booked up ages ago, but I just happened to be looking for a cottage when someone had cancelled a week here, and it was the only thing available! It was great, we had a big yard, enough sleeping space, access to the hot tub... 

These are for real, tsunami warning signs. The place is right on the outside of the continent, with dangers from local earthquakes and from tsunamis from around the Pacific. All was calm when we were there, but I did get a shirt. It looks like this, but along with the guy running for higher ground, there is a little surfer dashing into the wave. Tofino is full of surfers, or at least people in wetsuits bobbing in the waves. We didn't actually see much surfing!

One day we went to the Botanical Gardens and saw an artichoke, among other things. 

And one day we went to a bog, where the soil is very acidic. It reminded me of Sleeping Beauty with all the twisty trees...

But really, what we did most of the time was go to the beach. We rode bikes on the beach. 

We went to the beach in the fog. 

We collected pretty shells and rocks (and seaweed), but left most of it behind. This collection was inspired by a painting I saw in a shop. Could use more reddish rocks, but one works with what one has. 

And we went to the beach at sunset.