At the beginning of the week we took a trip over to one of the Gulf Islands. My Canadian followers know that here on the West Coast are a series of islands between where I am on Vancouver Island (referred to as the big island), and the BC mainland. For my US followers, these are the islands on the Canadian side of the imaginary border and on the US side are the San Juan Islands.
There are so many gulf islands, most of which are only inhabited by the wildlife or in one case that I know of, is owned by one person. If you’re looking for that kind of real estate, the asking price for James Island is a mere $75,000,000. 00 If you have that in petty cash, this could be yours… ;o~
The island we chose this time, is Pender Island. It was originally one island, then became two, then joined together with a bridge and became one again, but now called North and South Pender Islands. Confused? Yeah we were too when someone explained it to us. If you are a “big city” person who likes the hussle bussle and non stop activity of that life style you will not last on these islands. The pace is as far removed from that kind of pace as you can get.
Heading to our B&B, we came across directions for everything else.
That was fun.
The island is only 14 square miles and a population of 1150 approx. There is no taxi, bus or other modes of transportation other than cars. We saw lots of bikes, but we only saw one person actually riding them, mostly we saw them being used to draw attention to their address and in one case there was a line of old kids bikes along a fence line. On one rural corner we saw the same two very nice kids bikes and helmets. They never moved for the 3 days we were there. In most other places, they would have been gone in a millisecond I’m sure.
There is a great feature for people who arrive from the ferry terminal on foot. If you have a car, they give you a card to put on your dashboard with the name of the terminal you are arriving at. You leave that on your dash and that tells anyone on foot that you are willing to pick up and drive someone where they are going. We didn’t do that, because we had never been there and didn’t know where we were going. There are these signs posted everywhere around the island as well. If you are on foot you can stand at one of these signs and wait for someone willing to stop and give you a lift.
We stayed at a nice B&B called Gnomes Hollow. Our room was a nautical theme and our view was of the forest behind us.Very nice couple that run it and if you want quiet, that’s what you will get. We spent most of the day checking out the different view points and getting lost all the time. What’s new, dumb tourists. With only a couple of main roads, I’m sure the locals saw us pass by several times and thinking, “they made another wrong turn”. ;o) There is one of everything in the way of shopping and most of the activity is at Driftwood Center. They have their basic stores, so anything special you need to travel to either Vancouver Island or Vancouver on the other side.
Of course, being a dedicated craft person, I’m always on the alert for anything that could become a necessary purchase for my dolls. And I did find a treasure at the one hardware store, Home Hardware. This is about 1/3rd of the size of the cart I posted a while ago, (the one from Safeway). I put my Humpty Dumpty doll on the seat, he measures 10” tall for perspective. The wheels actually turn on that chain, so it is a working bike. Kind of like a kabuki cab. My mind right away went to a couple of Jesters sitting, one driving and another pushing from behind. I can’t control what I think…lol
I also found beads. There is an amazing artist near to the ferry, Milada. Her and her husband own Renaissance Studio. She make jewellery from glass beads she makes as well as Swarovski crystals that she brings over from Europe on their yearly trek. She has a contract with the makers of these beautiful crystals, so that indicates what they think of her work. They also sell antiques and Persian Rugs. They don’t have a website but a Google search brings up several references to them. I came away with a few packages of beads, so my crafty side was now happy. I don’t wear much jewellery, but my dolls will be very happy to do so.
We met a lot of the locals and every one of them were very engaging. Lots of conversation, nobody is in a hurry, they love to chat. I guess I would have to say these locals were my favourite if I were asked to choose. I’ve never had the privilege of being this close to deer and this was a wonderful experience. The ones that were the least jittery were the bucks, I would have thought it would be the babies. But we got a chance to feed them fruit and veggies and then they leave for the night. A forever memory for sure. The man they visit, what a kind and gentle soul. They have visited him for decades and it’s just part of his world. They know him and visit him every day. The littlest one second from the right, is Midget. She was the runt of the litter and they didn’t know if she would make it, but apparently she did.
Another of the areas we enjoyed was around Poets Cove. We stopped for lunch and you’ll be happy to know that Poets Cove has just been listed for $30,000,000.00, so another chance for some great real estate. ;o~ After lunch we drove down to the waterfront and walked around Brooks Point. There is always something so serene about being by the water. Along the way we spotted these jelly fish. This one was about 12”-14” across. Once the tide comes in, they’ll go back out to sea.
Don’t you wonder how these gnarly trees stay upright? The height of the tree was at least 100 feet. I’m sure the owners of the house behind are glad the tree is leaning the other way.
Waterfront views are never boring. If my bearings are correct, the island in the background, is Saturna.
At the opposite end of the island is a spot called Thieves Bay, bet there’s a story there. There is a parking area for Whale Watching. There are whales that pass by often, so we hoped that would be the case this day, but not to be. We did watch different boats going by and there is a marina right there.
This sail boat passed by and at the same time one of the ferries was also passing. The sail boat reminded me of a pirate ship and the ferry was like the past and present meeting for a moment in time.
On the last morning, we headed down to the ferry terminal early as the locals said that Wednesday can be a busy ferry run. Everywhere we went they kept telling us to make sure to have a burger at The Stand, right at the ferry terminal. When locals make that kind of recommendation, you have to listen. So we pre-ordered a couple of burgers to take on the ferry since it was lunch time anyway.
Apparently at anytime, you can tell the person at the gate coming through, that you’re just coming down to The Stand and they’ll tell you which lane to park in. You drive down, eat or take away, and they’ve been doing that for 21 years.
Just to show how “not relaxed” even I’m not, I kept getting concerned about missing the ferry while waiting for the food. Jan was so calm, her helper was in the back making our burgers, while the ferry is unloading the cars and getting ready to reload. All she said was, it’s okay, your husband can drive on and you can walk on with the food…. lol Easy for her to say… ;o)
But it all worked out just like she said. In fact, she added an order of fries we didn’t ask for. When we opened the boxes to eat our burgers, the lady that made them, had not only cut them in half, but also wrapped each half in paper. That was such a great idea. We only ate one burger between us and kept the other one for dinner. So good.
Pender, thank you for a wonderful visit. Next time we will be better prepared to get around and fall into the pace you move in.