Friday, March 20, 2020

Friday: Through the Forest to the Beach

Good morning on the first full day of Spring. We are enjoying a spell of beautiful sunshine with some real warmth pouring down. These clear days mean chilly nights, and a bit of frost, but I won't complain about that. 

Tim and I had a week of vacation planned that was curtailed by the global situation we are all in the midst of. We did manage a couple of days away. Vancouver Island is 460 kilometres in length (290 miles). We live in the very south of the island, and we traveled northwards to Port Hardy, very near the northern tip. 

We visited San Josef Bay and that took a bit of time. From our hotel we drove 2 hours on an unpaved road that crossed the island from east to west. The road grew rougher as we neared the parking lot for San Josef Bay and we were glad to have a sturdy vehicle (Tahoe) and not my small car. 

Before arriving at the park, Tim asked me how many cars did I think would be there. My guess was 2 plus ours, his guess was 1 plus ours. We were surprised to see 6 vehicles in the lot - a popular place in spite of the distance. After putting on our hiking boots and loading our backpacks we set off through the woods. The trail is beautiful, mostly level, with small bridges and boardwalks over soggy areas. 

This is a remote area that was used by First Nations peoples for fishing. Two groups of settlers tried to establish communities here in the early 20th century, without success. We followed a small trail to where a homestead once stood. There are a few pieces of rusting metal stove in a clearing, and clumps of snowdrops that bear silent witness to someone planting a bit of familiar beauty in the wild. 

The forest trail opens abruptly onto an immense and beautiful wide beach. The tide was falling and white ruffled waves rolled up the shallow sand, then fell gently back. Gulls rose above the blue sea, bright against the dark forest, circling and crying before settling again onto the pale sand. 

On a headland to the right, rugged sea stacks, carved out over time by sea and wind, stand like sentinels in rough formation separating two beaches. Exploring them reminded me of wandering through some of Europe's magnificent architecture as they evoked the same sense of awe and of my own smallness. 

The irrepressible nature of life is seen on the top of each stack where small trees flourish in spite of the harsh conditions. 
Because of the brilliant day, photos were difficult. If you do a search for San Josef Bay online, you'll see some much better ones. 

We ate our picnic lunch enjoying the warm sun and stunning view.

Our rambling route back took us to Winter Harbour where tall ships once overwintered and where 7-12 people now live year round. It's a destination for sports fishermen and the population swells during the summer to several hundred, according to the woman who sold us a few snacks at the local store. 

Above is the morning view from our hotel room in Port Hardy.

Spring comes later on the north island, but bright robins flitted everywhere, a sure sign of warmer days to come. 

Listening to the news reports had us longing to be home, so we cut our trip short and drove home on another beautifully sunny day. I've been working in the garden, taking some solitary walks, and have many plans for things to do here at home. 

I've posted two videos of San Josef Bay on Instagram. You don't need to join to view them, and here's a link to my page Lorrie.Orr.Creative. 

I hope that you are faring well during these strange days. These are days to think of what's important in life, to gather strength for the days to come, and to lean heavily on God, if you are a person of faith. Check in with your loved ones, and with those around you. I spoke with my neighbour across the fence. She has a compromised immune system, is elderly, and is self-isolating. For now, she says she needs nothing, but is rather bored. If she needs a few groceries we've offered to help. We will get through this. The world may look very different on the other side, but by God's grace we will make it through.


Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Lorrie, thank you so much for this lovely post about your week trip north. What beautiful scenery. I'm so glad you and Tim were able to get away for a little break.

And I was quite happy to see Mr. Robin. None around here just yet. It was -14 this morning.

Wishing you a pleasant weekend,
Brenda xox

Marigold Jam said...

How lovely that walk loos. Thank you for an uplifting post and the positivity you added - it is so easy to be downhearted at the thought of social isolation longterm but God willing we shall be able to go for walks if nothing else!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely excursion, gorgeous scenery. We will be better on the other side of this horror virus. Prayers for good health

ellen b. said...

Yes, we will make it through with God's help. Glad you could fit in a little outing before hunkering down. So grateful for our blogging community! Stay safe and keep the Faith!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

How wonderful that you and Tim could get away for a bit. Lorrie, I always am in awe at the beauty that you share through your photos...thank you! Aren't we lucky to have our Faith? Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Elizabethd said...

Lovely to have those two days away. I remember visiting Port Hardy many years ago.
Those stacks are amazing, monumental and somehow rather lost looking. But how perfect to find snowdrops!
Stay well.

Vee said...

How good to help your neighbor. The offer alone is enough to give her peace of mind. I am surprised that you found six cars in the lot! People are intrepid and it is a challenge to stay home. Take care and happy homemaking.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Your mini get-away looks delightful . Yes, we will get through this and with God on our side, hopefully we will come out better than we were.

Coastal Ripples said...

Thank you for your lovely post. Such beautiful scenery. I’m finding it all very surreal at the moment. Definitely time to help out others and enjoy the garden. Bring on the sunshine :) B x

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Your trip away looks wonderful and the weather cooperated nicely.
We've been home bodies, cocooning and reading. I have a knitting project on the go which is rather soothing. I baked bread and made some soup...kneading and chopping are very therapeutic!

It looks like a lovely day to get out in the garden and I have a flat of plants to dig into the beds.

Take care,


Gina said...

Dear Lorrie, Through the forest to the beach says it all. For a landlubber like myself that sounds just wonderful. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

kathy b said...

Lorrie, what a beautiful post. We will make it. Staying a part from others is odd. I m glad that zach is going to stay put in Mexico. He wasn't planning to come home to the US until summer but knowing he CANNOT is odd. Al is working from home. She loves the quiet and she is always content to read and have quiet. Which is funny because she can be raucous!
I try not to watch too much news. Im thrilled my old locker partner is making masks for any nurse that is still working in our NICU.
Good things happen

Margie said...

I've been working from home since Monday so your nature photos are a welcome sight! Last week was chaotic as our office transitioned to a virtual workplace. Thank goodness for technology!

Rosemary said...

I am sorry that you were unable to take your vacation, but it looks as if you enjoyed a lovely weekend away in the sunshine anyway. We had four short breaks coming up during the next few weeks all of which have now been rescheduled for the end of August and September, but I am now wondering if they will have to be cancelled too. The government is talking about a lock down for 12 weeks, and there is no way that I could manage 12 weeks food wise.
We must all keep our spirits up, but be safe.

Kit said...

What lovely photos! It looks like a wonderful place. Glad to hear you and your family are doing alright. We're staying home and keeping away from others. Even our kids which makes me sad. But we text often. You take care. Kit

Deanna Rabe said...

Lorrie, what a gorgeous place! Looks like you had it all to yourselves! I love hearing about the little harbor town, and seeing your stunning photos.

Enjoy your time at home, before you begin to teach online.

Prayers for health and safety!

Mary said...

Reading about your trip north, and viewing the lovely scenery, certainly brightened up my day Lorrie.
We're doing the best we can - have food and necessities for a few weeks if required - and thankfully the springtime weather and all the garden will bring to keep us busy on our little plot of earth!

Take care, especially Tim with his important job.
Love and hugs. . . . . . .and of course prayers which are much needed now in so many countries.
Mary X

Lowcarb team member said...

Through the forest to the beach, simply wonderful, and fabulous photographs.

All the best Jan

betty-NZ said...

Thanks so much for taking us along on your little adventure! It's the kind of place that I thoroughly enjoy and your photos are just stunning!

Feel free to share at My Corner of the World

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