Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Kayaking at Crescent Beach

This is old news, but since it was our favourite kayaking trip of the year, I want to share it.  I think we did 6 or 7 kayaking outings this past summer.  We picked a new spot every time, except for one time it was just Larry and I on Tuc-el-nuit Lake in Oliver, which we've kayaked around before.

Anyway, lets talk about this trip.  It was the labour Day weekend.  The Monday.  Too busy with the market on Saturday and Sunday at that time of the year.  We knew we needed to get off to an early start, as being a holiday the parking lot would fill up quickly, and we needed to be able to park along the ocean front so we didn't have to carry the kayaks too far.  Meredith has a very cool little cart that comes apart and fits in her kayak, for her bigger, heavier boat.  Larry and I can carry our shorter ones together, one holding a bow handle in each hand, and the other holding the two stern handles.

We set off and there was still some sea mist hanging over the water.  That's the pier at Crescent Beach.  The tide was in.  That motor boat is following the marked channel out to the open strait.

Past the pier and paddling past the old summer cottages, many of which have been renovated into million dollar plus homes.  The water is shallow here, you can see rocks on the bottom if you look closely.

Once were were past the village, we were able to get quite close into shore.  We certainly didn't know that there was a clothing optional beach along that stretch.  Just something inherently funny about a fellow walking along wearing nothing but a backpack!

The sea mist couldn't make up it's mind as to wether is should burn off or not.  Herons on rocks were plentiful, but the zoom on my phone couldn't do them justice.

We kept saying 'just to that next point' and then of course there was another point, and another.  We did get far enough around that we could see White Rock in the misty distance.

That hazy, low lying piece of land in the left background is Cherry Point in the USA, near the border town of Blaine

And then the mist was gone, and it was beautiful.
Look at that clear water, it was fascinating to paddle quietly over it, looking for fish and sea creatures.

We could even pretend we were in Hawaii, just so beautiful!

Me.  I loved this so much.

Larry and Meredith

After we turned around we picked a spot to stop for lunch.  Of course we waved at the train engineer, as you are supposed to, and as kids have done for years from these beaches.

Fascinating rocks abounded.  Notice the big pumice type rock my collection is sitting on.  Maybe it's a relic from the eruption of Mt. Baker in Washington State?

On the way back, as the tide was rapidly retreating, we ran into sandbars, many sandbars.  I didn't take any pictures then, as we were too busy trying to push ourselves over the sand bars, often just a couple of inches below the surface.  The challenge was to not have to actually get out of our kayaks and pull them, but none of us were successful at that.  We did a lot of hysterical laughing as we pushed with our hands to try get past the sand and we kept heading out into the bay to find some deeper water.  It was mind boggling how far we had to go out.  We were almost at the dredged channel for the bigger boats.

Finally water deep enough to paddle in.

It was just the perfect day, honestly, I can't stop smiling when I think about it.  We vowed to go again, but hopefully pick a day when the tide didn't keep trying to strand us on a sand bar.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Fifty Shades of Brown and Grey

At the end of last week we went to Oliver.  It's been a long time since we have been able to go over a weekend, but since our farmer's markets are over the year, that option has been opened back up to us.  I also thought it might be easier for our lovely housesitter Meredith to be there on a weekend, when she doesn't have to dash off to work.

Unlike our previous trip in early October, we did not run into any snow, at all.  Just rain, and a fair bit of it until we got closer to Princeton, and into the drier climate of the Southern Interior of the province.  The sky cleared for a little bit, and I think that was the only bit of sun we saw for the whole four days, and we saw the most beautiful of rainbows.  I think you have to have a really good camera to pick up the rainbow colours well, and so my photos do not do it justice. Even though I played around a with them a bit to try make the rainbow glow with the vibrance we saw, I was mostly unsuccessful.

We were in Oliver for three nights.  It was mostly an uneventful trip.  The sky was gray the whole time, except for late one afternoon when it cleared off a bit, but the sun was behind the mountain by then.  We did lots of dog walks, like usual.  Maybe not as long as we used to, as Jake doesn't have the endurance now at 15+ years old, that he used to.  He tends to lag behind before too long, and we have to keep turning around to check that he is still coming.  And one time I turned Jake!  No point in calling him, as he can only hear you if you use the right pitch and is within a 100 feet or so. I started walking back, expecting to see him in the brush off to the side.  And I didn't see him, and then panic starts to build and the walking gets faster and turns into a jog, and then finally I spotted him, down the bank, chowing down on a dead salmon.  Bad dog Jake!  Well hopefully he didn't get much, and at least he didn't roll in it which might have been Luna's first choice.  

Even though the Fall colours had now just turned to fifty shades of grey and brown, the textures and lines were amazing.  The vegetation is so different to what we have here down near the coast, in our rainforest type climate, and I find it fascinating.

Milkweed pods drying up.

These almost look like withered grapes, but as far as I know they are the drooping berry clusters of the Smooth Sumac Rhus Glabra.  This spot must have got hit harder with some freezing weather than others.

I walked down the bank towards the river, and didn't even realized I picked up these travellers.  Thankfully not ticks, but a small flattened burr.  I left them until we were back at the car, and picked them off into the garbage.

Someone doing a little self promotion.  I thought there might be some bird seed in it, but no evidence of any.

And Luna, dear Luna.....if there is a prickly pear cactus to be found, she will find it! She couldn't move, as she had the cactus stuck to two feet.

The remnants of a wasp nest

A grove of cottonwoods with wood pecker holes

Walking north, south of Road 14

Looking southwest

Looking northwest

The cottonwoods from the other side of the river

I had to look twice at this....and then realized that was the name of the winery at the bottom of the sign.

Looking north

Looking south.  A couple of remnants of summer down there on the bank

Nearly 10 years ago, a small lake behind an crumbling earthen dam, broke free and roared down the creek bed (right in the centre of the picture, at the lowest spot of the foreground hills). It covered the highway and the orchards and roared toward the river.  The grass covered berm right in front of me is some of that mud and rock debris piled up.  There is really now no evidence that it ever happened, unless you know what to look for.

Well the close branch and the black berries were supposed to be in focus, not the other way around.  The silver foliage in the background was lovely though.  I don't know what kind of tree it was, but made me think of olives...

We had to wonder why these apples had been left.  If there hadn't been an 8' fence between us and them, we would have had a sample.