Planning and booking, planning and booking!
It is hard to believe that I’ve written 120 blog posts since we left home on November 3, 2020! Today is blog post 121. Wow! That sure is a lot of writing, researching, editing, photographing, driving and hiking! I said to Richard today that if I was working for a newspaper the expectation would never be that I would ‘crank’ out a story a day to earn my living! I have definitely enjoyed writing the blog, documenting our adventures and making sure we have material every day that is interesting for our blog. There are not too many rocks that we have left unturned in this neck of the woods on Vancouver Island!
So we found out today that in Ontario we won’t be eligible for the vaccine until at least July. I guess there is one good thing about turning 60 next month - it means I will be eligible in July...or I would probably have another month to wait for my vaccine. It looks like if we were on Vancouver Island we would be a full month ahead of Ontario in our age group for vaccination. Ah well...we’ve got to get home sometime!
This morning we awoke again to another very heavy frost in Fanny Bay. We had planned to go to Englishman River Falls today since the temperature was heading to +4C. The last time we went to this park, we didn’t know that we could hike from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls, and since it was a nice sunny day, we decided to give it a go to try and find the right trail.
When we got to the parking lot for Englishman River Falls Provincial Park there were hardly any cars in the very large parking lot. The temperature had dropped to +1C inland and the puddles were all frozen in the pot holes in the parking lot!
We walked around checking the trail signs to find out which trail would bring us from the Lower to the Upper Falls, and not a trail that would take us on a trail loop that didn’t include the falls. We couldn’t figure out the signage, so I went on my ‘All Trails’ app and determined by walking with the app open, where we were in relation to the trail for the Lower Falls. We met these other two women who were having the same problem trying to find the trail to go from the Upper to the Lower Falls (in their case). Sometimes the signage is not as good as you would expect, despite being a Provincial Park!
When we eventually did find the trail, it started out perfectly groomed. What an easy trail to hike!
We could hear the water rushing down below us as we walked down this steep trail. We knew we had to be getting close to the Lower Falls and we were not expecting when we saw the bridge over the Lower Falls, to have such a beautiful sight in front of us!
A close up of the Lower Falls
Standing on the bridge looking up at the Lower Falls.
I guess Richard snuck a picture of me shooting on the bridge. I never know what photos he is taking with his iPhone while I’m using my camera. At the end of the day when I ask for his photos, it’s always a surprise!
Long lens shooting. I can’t walk around with this lens for too long. It is really heavy!
We headed up the big uphill trail to the Upper Falls, after crossing the bridge at the Lower Falls. The trail got a bit rockier, but it was still a decently groomed trail.
Lots of elevation on this trail.
The trail was a slow incline upwards. I told Richard to go on ahead and I would go my own pace.
Despite being groomed, we still had to watch where we were stepping on the trail. The tree roots meander wherever they are growing and we just have to watch out for them!
Richard saw this great framing opportunity between the trees and had me pose here! Note the trees I’m leaning against, as well as the ones in the background. I said he had a ‘good eye’ for photography, despite only having an IPhone to shoot with!
A similar shot, with a different twist.
The forest was so green and vibrant and it was really enjoyable to walk through it today.
Ah! The Upper Falls at Englishman River Falls. Still stunning to look at, even though it was a bit anticlimactic to see them today, since we had been here before. There is nothing like seeing something so beautiful for the first time, that it takes your breath away!
Englishman River Falls Upper Falls.
Today we hiked down to the other side of the Falls and I enjoyed sitting on a rock in the Falls taking some shots of the rapids, while trying not to get my Blundstones wet!
Sitting on the rock in the rapid shooting towards the top of the Upper Falls. The observation bridge for the Upper Falls is in the distance.
Safer rock to sit on. Richard is happy I’m not in the rapids anymore. He says “I’m a daredevil!”
We really enjoyed our morning hiking around Englishman River Falls. What a great spot and only 30 minutes from our RV park in Fanny Bay.
After visiting Englishman River Falls, we stopped for gas and to check our lottery ticket at the Errington General Store, which was on the way to the Hwy 4a and Hwy 19, near Parksville.
We remembered that the last time we were at this little General Store, the Chardonnay was inexpensive, so of course we had to pick up a bottle for Richard of his California Chardonnay! And our lottery ticket only won us a free ticket, so we’ll have to wait until Saturday to check if our lotto numbers are winners!
Driving around Errington/Coombs on Saturday I had seen this restaurant/bakery called Trees Restaurant & Bakery and tucked the idea of stopping for lunch sometime into my head. Today I pulled that idea out of my head, and we quickly drove here for a bite to eat after our hike.
I forgot to take a photo of Tree’s Diner, so I grabbed one from the web. The diner made the most delicious homemade soup and salads. Richard had a homemade pea soup that he said was as good as his mom Shirley’s pea soup back in Quebec!
Greek salad for me
Spinach salad with B.C. Smoked lox for Richard
Homemade cheese, tomato and herb focaccia bread we bought from the bakery at Tree’s Diner and brought home. We also bought some butter tarts and shortbread cookies too! We resisted on buying pies, but they had some delicious looking pies in their baked goods counter! As Richard said to me over lunch “you sure know how to find a good ‘spoon’!” And he meant that as a compliment!
As we were waiting for our lunch to arrive, I grabbed a copy of the local Parksville Qualicum Beach News to see what was happening locally and found this add from Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Such great words of wisdom! We can’t plan for much yet, but by the Fall of 2021, Dr. Bonnie is reassuring the people of B.C. that life will be brighter! I can see why they love Dr. Bonnie out here in B.C.!
We headed home to Fanny Bay after our delightful lunch at Tree’s. I said to Richard just before we got home that we needed to get some more eggs. I had baked some tea biscuits for breakfast this morning, and I know we’re running low on eggs. Good thing the local farm stand always has eggs! There is no need to stop at a grocery store, when fresh and local are across the street!
Different colours of eggs, but we’ll take them!
When we got home, we had seen that St. Stephen had posted on Facebook that he was leaving us on March 15th to head over to the mainland of B.C.! That got us thinking about our return trip and ferry crossing, so I went on the B.C. Ferries website and booked our return from Nanaimo to Tsawwasen on April 1st, 2021 at 10:15am. It will definitely be an early start that day for us, but if we want to make any progress and get over to Cranbrook to see our grand baby Owen for Easter weekend, we needed to catch the morning ferry, so we can get to an RV park in Hope, B.C. by the end of the day on April 1st. I have no confirmations yet on RV park bookings, but I’ve got emails and phone calls out to RV parks seeking bookings.
If there is one thing the RV industry could do a better job of, its having more RV parks with automated booking engines on their websites! Its so ‘old school’ to call, leave a message, and wait and wait and wait, when we could just book online if they had an online booking tool on their website. When we ran Lakeshore Bed & Breakfast, even we had an online booking system for our little 3 room B&B!
The next thing I had to tackle was planning for my son Josh and his girlfriend Alicia to come and stay at Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville for a weekend in March, so we can see them for a bit longer than a lunch meal outdoors, as we’ve only been able to see them for so far on this trip. I was able to book them an amazing log cabin with a King size bed and full kitchen for the weekend of March 12th, so we will celebrate my big birthday with them a week early! I’m really excited they are coming up our way for a visit and that we are going to see them again before we leave the Island.
It sure is nice when a plan comes together as Richard always likes to say! We still have over a month on the Island, but we know that time will go quickly, as the entire winter seems to have flown by with so much to see, do and explore! We’ll miss our life out here in Newman, but the time has come to make plans to go home. Now that our ferry crossing is booked, we will continue to prepare Newman for the journey home and make sure that any other repairs Newman needs we call on St. Stephen before he leaves!