The Rest of the Summer (So Far)

Bella and Pearl – summer beach buddies

As August quickly approaches its end, we’ve started to look ahead to the fall in our household. Peter’s work schedule changes to its more regular hours in a couple weeks and so the rhythm of our days will revert back to its more ordinary flow. In the meantime, we are enjoying our last days of summer. It’s been a good one.

Beach Pearl

We’ve spent as much time as we can at the beach, whether it’s the one near our house or slightly further afield. We’re fortunate to live in a land of beaches, though most of them tend to be pretty rocky. This summer we’ve definitely had our favourites and have tried to take advantage of low tides where hidden sand bars are revealed. Pearl is not much for ocean swimming yet (she’ll wade) but she’s enjoyed splashing around, building castles, and searching for crabs.

Some dear friends of ours came to visit and we loved being able to host them. These are friends we’ve had since before Peter and I were married and we’ve watched each other get engaged, celebrated weddings together, and welcomed each others children. Pearl falls right in between their two boys age-wise and in previous visits, the kids haven’t interacted much. This time, they quickly became friends and it was wonderful to watch our friendship continue into the next generation.

Klein Lake

After our friends left, we headed up to Pender Harbour for a short camping stint. One night is a good amount of time for us at this stage of our lives so we opted to try out Klein Lake, a place neither of us had visited before. It was the perfect spot for camping with a two year old – quiet and right by the lake. We brought up our rowboat and Pearl loved “rowing”. If you ask her about camping now she’ll tell you that she slept in a tent, ate noodles, and that mum fell on the dock. All true.

Pearl’s first Pirate Pak

We made a quick trip to Vancouver to visit with family (fun!) and go to Ikea (less fun!). The older Pearl gets the more fun she has with her older cousins. She works hard to keep up with them. She also got to enjoy her first ever Pirate Pak. For those not from BC, this is a childhood classic. Basically, the kids menu at a restaurant chain here comes in these pirate boats and you can only order them until you’re ten. We’ve just begun needing to order Pearl her own meal at restaurants so our days of dining out as a family are limited.

Courtesy of her older cousins, Pearl came home with this balance bike. She loves it and is so good at racing around on it already. I love it because it’s turned out to be a great way to get her to the park and back at a decent pace. (We’ve only had to abandon it halfway in the midst of a temper tantrum once so far!)

Seven years!

Peter and I recently celebrated seven years of marriage and we were able to take a night away, just the two of us. (Thank the Lord for grandparents!) This was actually the first time we’ve both been away together since Pearl was born. We didn’t go far – a night at the Ruby Lake Resort in Pender Harbour – but it was so good to get away, just the two of us. We also had an amazing meal at the Italian restaurant there and spent time the next day swimming and canoeing on the lake. I’m so thankful that after seven years of marriage (and ten years together total) we still really like spending time together.

Canoe on Ruby Lake

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Mt. Daniels Hike

Saturday morning, Peter and I decided to do a local hike. One he’d done numerous times before, but the first time for me.

Mt. Daniel is a short hike up a mountain, located in Pender Harbour. It wasn’t a long drive for us and our trusty 4Runner took us right to the base of the trail. (If you don’t have a car that can do off-road, you can park further back.)

While not a technical climb, parts of the hike are very steep. It took us approximately 50 minutes to get up to the peak and maybe less than 30 to get back down. I was glad that we decided to go in the morning because it was definitely cooler and we had the peak to ourselves.

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Steep trails but the climb definitely pays off.

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At the top you get an incredible view of Pender Harbour.

Wildlife on the trail:

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The dew on this fungi sparkled in the sunshine, like a mushroom dressed up for a fancy ball.

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Us at the top, camera-timer style!

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After the shade and relative coolness of the forest, the top feels exposed, slightly barren, and hot. As someone who has never been to the desert…it reminded me of a desert. (Handily, we had a nice view of Texada Island from the top.) IMG_1637

There’s this summer smell – sun and stone and dried moss – that permeated the hot, exposed peak of Mt. Daniel. Hard to explain, but what this smell reminded me of most was my childhood summers at a lake in Ontario on the Canadian Shield. It was odd and wonderful that a smell on the other side of the country could take me there so thoroughly.

Arbutus trees are decidedly West Coast though.

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This picture made me grin when I uploaded it:

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It looks like we came across huge inukshuks at the top when in reality this one was not more than 60 cm tall. There were about six or seven of them scattered around the peak.

After our quick descent, we decided to have lunch at the Back Eddy Pub in Egmont. A bit further up the coast, the closest I’d ever been to Egmont was the Skookumchuck. It’s a tiny town, the last stop before you’re on a ferry to Powell River. The Back Eddy is a pub, a marina, and a laid-back resort. It also boasts B.C.’s smallest liquor store! We sat on the patio overlooking the water as hummingbirds darted overhead to investigate the feeders.

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The burgers were delicious.

As we headed back out of Egmont, we saw a sign for a thrift store and so of course we had to investigate. It was located in the community hall.

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Peter found a great sweater for $2.

We also spotted the smallest post office I’ve ever seen.

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And then…a lovely drive home.