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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

This or That!

We did NOT get any snow overnight! I was almost a bit disappointed to wake up to rain. when the snowfall warning was hyping that we were in for a doozy of a snowstorm! We are quite obviously at sea level so we started the day with rain at +1C.



With today being a big football day, we had to decide do we stay in? Or do we go out? Do we do ‘This’ or do we do ’That’? If we go out we know we are going to get wet!


I elected to have a big workout this morning in Newman. Lots of exercises which my strength trainer has me working on twice a week at home and once a week in the gym. Then I did 25 minutes of the cycle trainer, and then some stretches to finish. Lots and lots of exercise! I even added a few new exercises today from a good golf friend of mine who is a physiotherapist, who watched me walking across the suspension bridge the other day and identified what other exercises I should be doing. Thank you Linda!



Since it was raining out, I decided we would hike trail which was rated ‘easy’ on All Trails. A 5.6km out and back trail. The nice thing about walking in the forest when its raining, is we really don’t get too wet, since the trees provide a natural canopy, or umbrella to block the rain.


The Lighthouse County Regional Trail was 13km south of us in Qualicum Bay, right off the Coastal Hwy.


Now this is a fantastic trail! Easy to walk on and so very nicely groomed


Along the trail there were 15 of these beautiful bridges, all with anti slip material on the bridge, which was perfect on a rainy day!


Compare this beautiful trail and bridges to what we experienced last week in Nile Creek!


Nile Creek last Sunday.


Nile Creek bridge.


We both felt like ‘this vs that’ was like comparing what a ‘millennial or Gen Z would love (at Nile Creek), vs what a ‘Baby Boomer’ would love. Today we preferred the ‘Baby Boomer’ trail at Lighthouse Country Regional Trail. The trail map even showed where there were benches located in the forest to sit and take a break to be ‘zen’ with nature.



Talk about a creative bench! A felled log has a beautifully carved seat in it.



Old growth Coastal Douglas Fir. From the small town of Bowser just north of this trail, down to Victoria, B.C. is known as the “Coastal Douglas Fir Biogeoclimatic zone’. The Coastal Douglas Fir is so important to this area as the Olympic Mountain rain shadow provides for warm dry summers and mild, wet winters, which are ideal for the Douglas Fir, Red Alder, Oregon grape and Bitter Cherry, which are all important to a healthy understory in the forest.



There was only 1 old growth Douglas fir in the forest today. There were very few people in the forest too. We only saw 9 people and 3 dogs on our hike.


We found a lot of inspiration in the forest today, even if we didn’t see much wildlife.



Lots of fairy stones have been left in the forest with inspiring messages of hope through these difficult times. It was nice to look for the stones to photograph them, as they provided some additional colour and interest in the forest.



Someone was really creative in making this little animal out of natural elements from the forest.


Someone took to carving an animal out of a stump in the forest.


Another view of this carving in the forest.


We walked to the end of the trail and we crossed 15 bridges as we walked along the trail.


One of the amazingly well maintained bridges on the Lighthouse County Regional Trail.



The water under the bridge was going through the roots of this tree on the riverbank. I wonder how long before the tree roots are worn so much that the tree falls down?


The option for our return trip was to go down a gravel road, catch a short trail through the woods, to meet up with the Lighthouse County Regional Trail OR go back through the forest on the route we had just walked. We elected to go back through the forest, since it was raining and as I said earlier, the rain provided a wonderful umbrella like canopy effect, so we really didn’t feel like we were even getting rained on, as we walked along the trail.


After a very brisk walk back to the car on the trail, we decided to head down the Coastal Hwy to see what we could find that was open for lunch. It’s amazing that so many establishments close up on Sundays on the Island. We saw a takeout fish and chip shop and a schnitzel house, both of which looked interesting. Richard wanted to make a stop at his bank in Qualicum Beach, so we decided to go instead to the Quality Foods for lunch.


We chose to have a freshly made and baked in their pizza oven, large pizza for lunch and it was delicious! We waited 15 minutes and with all the toppings the pizza was only $15. A good deal!




Freshly made, steaming hot pizza with a nice thin crust.


While we were at the Qualicum Foods grocery store, Richard said “I think this is the store that has a really neat store upstairs!” I’m thinking to myself, “what does he mean?” Richard couldn’t describe the type of store, above the grocery store, so he said “Why don’t we just go upstairs and I’ll show you!” I asked how he had found the store and he told me that the restroom is upstairs and that is how he had found the store.



Beautiful decor items presented so tastefully at ”A Shop Above”.

The appropriately named store is “A Shop Above”. The store reminded me of a very high end ’Homesense” or a “Sur la Table” with lots of amazing decor Items and kitchen items such as Le Cruset pots, and Kitchen aid stand mixers. I really loved this store! I’ve got my eyes on a nice white le Cruset pot, so we may have to return another day when I’m more in the mood for shopping!


As we meandered through the store we found there was a very nice little cafe at the back of the store serving Starbucks coffee, teas and hot chocolates along with some mouth watering desserts and pastries. We refrained from these treats this time as we knew what we had sitting waiting for us back in Newman from “Just Like Mom’s”!


We did find something though that we know we will need eventually while we are on the island.


An oyster shucking knife! This tool was created by Patrick McMurray, who holds the Guinness World Record for shucking 38 oysters in one minute! WOW! That’s a lot of oysters to shuck in one minute! The tool works for left or right handed shuckers and we think it will be perfect for our next trip to the Fanny Bay Oyster Factory shop, when we decide we want more oysters!


Something else we found in this store, which I was really delighted with was Peepers reading glasses! Anyone who knows me, knows that I love ‘funky’ reading glasses. I usually order 5 pair every year to our home in Florida at Christmas time, and then bring them home and have them in my purse, by our bed, in the kitchen etc. etc. If I say “Where are my glasses?”once in a day I must say it 10 times at least. Having glasses all throughout the house, all the same strength, helps with me not losing my mind looking for my glasses all the time! Since we have been on the Island, the screw fell out of the arm of my favourite blue pair of reading glasses. Luckily today they had my strength and I was able to replace the pair that had broken.



My favourite blue reading glasses from “A Shop Above” in Qualicum Beach.


We were happy to start driving home as we wanted to get home to watch the Buffalo Bills football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. As we were driving home I was looking at my phone and giving Richard the updates on the Tampa Bay vs Green Bay football game. When Tampa Bay finally won, one of my Facebook friends commented on how Tom Brady (Tampa’s quarterback) was the GOAT. Richard says to me “What’s a GOAT?!!“. I started howling with laughter. Richard had never heard the expression “Greatest Of All Time” before. Well now he knows that Tom Brady is the GOAT quarterback at age 43!


As we were approaching Fanny Bay, the rain started to turn to SNOW! The temperature dropped to OC, but the snow was melting as it hit the pavement.



Snow in Fanny Bay. This is the first time we’ve seen snow falling since we arrived on the Island at the end of November 2020.


Snow In Fanny Bay.


The forecast for the rest of the week is either rain or snow every day. A little of “this” or a little of “that’!


Well the Buffalo Bills didn’t make it to the Super Bowl. We were really hoping for our two “home” teams to meet in the Super Bowl. Tampa and Buffalo. Oh well. I’m sure it will be great to see the young Patrick Mahomes vs the old GOAT Tom Brady regardless!



We also booked our Saltspring Island getaway for next weekend! I was able to book us a lovely cottage on VRBO. The cottage is called “Captains Quarters waterfront cottage on Fulford Bay”. The ferry from Schwartz Bay to Salt Spring arrives in Fulford Bay, so next Friday after we visit Victoria, we will grab the ferry to Salt Spring and save ourselves a long drive back to Fanny Bay, and hopefully a great weekend on another Island! I can’t wait to go to the Saturday morning market in Salt Spring in Ganges. Saltspring Island is famous for the Saturday market and I really do love exploring new markets!



And more great news! Richard has booked our whale watching trip on the day of my 60th birthday in Tofino! My 60th will definitely be memorable! Before we go to Tofino we will have all of our anti nausea, sea sickness medication in order!




At the end of the day today, we had a lot of “this” or “that”! A good trail vs a bad trail. One home team won and the other one lost. It rained and then it snowed and we’ve got that all of next week. I think the key is to be flexible and enjoy whatever comes our way...and enjoy a little of “this and that!”


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