October

October is not the same around the globe. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere may get the cooler temperatures and change of color, seeing the beauty of the yellow, red, or orange. And then there are others where the rainy season ends and the dry season begins.

There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of Autumn leaves – Joe. L. Wheeler

You ought to know that October is the first Spring month. – Karel Capek

Here’s to October!

Alberta, Canada

Oh, Alberta. It’s on the bucket list of many and it certainly is, was on mine. September 2022.

The beautiful Canadian Rockies. Within four hours reach via airplane. It is worth it and a must see.

Canmore. A resort town of sorts. It definitely is a place to consider home. A great community to stay while you’re exploring the area. A favorite for brunch, breakfast was at Graze. https://grazefoodanddrink.ca/ The Graze Egg Classic was all-around fabulous. Hats off to the chef who contributed, did it all.

Banff. Walk the town. Take in a meal. Do the Banff Gondola. See the sunset. Have a bear (or a beer) at Three Bears Brewery https://threebearsbanff.com/, a lunch at Nourish (especially if you’re vegan). The Boss Bear Burger was a hit as well as their cocktail of the day. https://www.nourishbistro.com/. And for a real treat, have dinner at The Bison. https://www.thebison.ca/ The ambiance with the live music and the tasty meal is a showstopper. The Bison Burger, The Bison Caesar (pork belly croutons) and the Sunrise Meadow cocktail and Black Sage Cabernet Sauvignon was a hit! We missed seeing the elk herd walking the streets of town. https://banff.com/banff-gondola/

Check out the Jasper National Park… Icefields Parkway. The glacier blue lakes, the exquisite cliffs and jagged mountains against the blue sky. We took the trip to https://icefieldsparkway.com/ https://jaspercolumbiaicefield.com/ Staying here would be an amazing experience at the right time of year https://www.banffjaspercollection.com/hotels/glacier-view-lodge/

Lake Louise. Walk the trail or get in a canoe. Take in a bite and a view at the Fairmont Chateau Hotel. https://www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/ I can recommend the Candied Farmers Vegetable Bowl. So good.

Don’t miss out. Plan ahead. Enjoy the beauty, the landscape, the destination.

Deception Pass State Park

One of the most beautiful places on earth…Deception Pass State Park. And… 2022 is the 100th Anniversary of this fine park.

Camping. Picnicking.

Beaches. North Beach. West Beach.

Hiking. Goose Rock Summit.

History. Kokwalalwoot, the Maiden of Deception Pass at Rosario Beach.

Recreation. Bowman Bay.

Entertainment. Live music, education and more at the Amphitheater.

Beauty.

Support. https://deceptionpassfoundation.org/

https://www.parks.wa.gov/497/Deception-Pass

Victoria BC and more

Are you wanting to explore Vancouver Island a bit more? Taking the Black Ball/Coho Ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria BC is a good way to travel depending on your location. Making Victoria your home base, it makes for a good 2-3 night adventure. Traveling further north would mean a 1-2 week trip. So much to see, experience.

In Port Angeles, while waiting to board the ferry, make a stop at both the Next Door Gastro Pub and then the Country Aire Natural Foods Market for some snacks, lunch or other to take aboard. At Next Door, the fish tacos (non-blackened and grilled), were ordered, the cabbage and pickled adds really made it tasty. The local Lazy Soul hot sauce is recommended and can be purchased at the market mentioned here. https://www.camarket.org/ https://nextdoorgastropub.com/

Victoria’s Inner Harbour – Walk through the Empress. View the indigenous totem poles. Enjoy the hanging flowering baskets around town. Shop for your tourism swag. https://www.travel-british-columbia.com/blog/where-to-see-totem-poles-in-british-columbia

Eat. NUBO Kitchen + Bar (they have a busy take-out option too). https://nubokitchen.com/

Stay. Strathcona. http://strathcona.victoria-hotelcanada.com/en/

Malahat Sky Walk – See the natural beauty of the trees and animals made of branches, twigs along the walkway. The 360-degree views from the Spiral Tower are amazing. You’ll see views of the Salish Sea, Saanich Peninsula, and more. Walk the tower and take the slide down if you’re up for it. All abilities are welcome. Those that work there are so friendly. The gift shop has many options that you’ll want to take home with you (I did!). https://malahatskywalk.com/

Cowichan Bay – Shop in the village. Sailboats, fishing, houseboats, and history of Cowichan Bay is showcased here. The Halibut Burger and Pan-fried Oysters hit the spot at The Bay Pub. And we got our first taste of the Victoria local Fat Tug Beer. Yes!

Visit a winery or two while in this area. Many of the grapes, varietals are unique to Vancouver Island and you’ll try something new I’m sure. I was able to get my hands on a beautiful book named ‘Cedar + Salt’ – Vancouver Island recipes from forest, farm, field, and sea. The natural aspects of it really sings to me.

Kinsol Trestle – The Kinsol Trestle is also part of the Cowichan area. You’ll definitely get your steps in by visiting this 144-foot high attraction. This wooden trestle was originally built to transport timber (and other) by rail through the canyons, ravines. It was completed in 1920 and then after 1979, no trains made their way across it and not preserved. In 2007 plans were made to restore it and it is now part of the Trans Canada Trail network and it remains one of the loftiest wood railway trestles in the world. There are two points of access. Enjoy the views, have a picnic. So cool! https://www.tourismcowichan.com/explore/destinations-attractions/kinsol-trestle/ and https://www.cvrd.ca/1379/Kinsol-Trestle

Dinner at The Snug Pub at Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Great views of the Pacific Ocean and we can attest that the beef burger, fish & chips, seafood chowder are hits. Oak Bay is a great neighborhood with fabulous beaches, like Willows Beach. There are unique trees in this area called Garry Oak and contributes to it being a photographers paradise. https://www.oakbaybeachhotel.com/ https://www.mustbevictoria.com/willows-beach

Butchart Gardens – in Spring, you’ll see tulips, hanging baskets, roses, and a lot more in bloom. It is open year-round and you’ll see different plantings based on seasons. https://www.butchartgardens.com/

Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood – Take a harbour or whale watching tour, shop, dine. Check out the commercial vessels, floating homes, boats and more. Eat at The Fish Store at Fisherman’s Wharf. Sooooo good! Enjoyed Fat Tug IPA, Halibut & Chips, and Fraser River Sturgeon while sharing a table in the sun with other visitors to the area. https://driftwoodbeer.ca/beers/fat-tug-ipa/ https://floatingfishstore.com/the-fish-store-menu/ https://gvha.ca/marinas-facilities/fishermans-wharf/

From Fisherman’s Wharf, we walked the neighborhood to The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, did the walkway and viewed the large cruise ships in port. This was a great add to the day before leaving Victoria. https://www.victoriaharbourhistory.com/locations/outer-harbour/the-breakwater-district/

A sampling of cheer. Go often.

Dogwood

“Soon everywhere, with glory through and through,

The fields will spread with every brilliant hue.

But high o’er all the early floral train,

Where softness all the arching sky resumes,

The dogwood dancing to the winds’ refrain,

In stainless glory spreads its snowy blooms.”

– Dogwood Blossoms. George Marion McClellan

Taken from the North Cascades National Park Service Complex post…Pacific Dogwood are in bloom throughout the park! Its white pedals are found throughout the park such as campgrounds and the North Cascades visitor center.

This may be a Kousa dogwood… check out the varieties here: https://www.thespruce.com/twelve-species-dogwood-trees-shrubs-subshrubs-3269662 Late May 2022, Renton, WA

Deception Pass State Park

So, Deception Pass State Park. The most beautiful multi-beach park beauty. I want my ashes spread at Rosario Beach, Deception Pass State Park…one day. Whether it be the views of the waterways, the rocky beaches and the walking trails, views of the most beautiful area of the world. #pnw It is peace and it contains Rosario Beach, Bowman Bay, North/West Beach of this beautiful part of the Pacific Northwest. I may edit this but on this last day of April 2022, I need to celebrate and share my pics of 04.09.22. It was a very windy day. A few of these pics are of La Conner, WA too. A great starting point of a beautiful #pnw day.

https://stateparks.com/deception_pass_state_park_in_washington.html

Chuckanut Drive and Larrabee State Park

On a beautiful day in April, Spring outings are a must. I was fortunate to take the day off and drive north to see the tulip fields and then on to Bellingham via Chuckanut Drive. The #pnw did not disappoint. As I meandered and stopped at a number of viewpoints, and due to timing missed a stop at Taylor Shellfish, I kept to my schedule and was able to visit Larrabee State Park. The experience showcased a trail in the woods, colorful artwork, walking through a tunnel as a train was traveling above, and experiencing the beauty of the coast, a rocky beach that exhibits sea creatures under the rocks and beautiful views of the Samish Bay. I purchased a Discover Pass this year and recommend it. It supports both the parks and in exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Larrabee State Park sits on Chuckanut Mountain near Bellingham and is known for its postcard views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands. It is also Washington’s first state park. So interesting, eh? This park has a small number of camping sites available for booking. https://www.parks.wa.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Larrabee-State-Park-124 or https://stateparks.com/larrabee_state_park_in_washington.html

So much beauty to share…

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival ’22

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is in full swing and the colors are vibrant. I visited in early April as the tulips were just showing themselves. In driving around the area, you might see daffodil fields abloom too. As my visit was part of a full day of travels in the Pacific Northwest, only a few stops were made… a new field along Best Road, with parking lot ($15) and also RoozenGaarde. Arrive early, especially on weekends. Although the festival is coming to a close this week, check out the variety of events, the map and more at https://tulipfestival.org/