We’ve heard tell of rainy, dark winter months here on the island but we have yet to see it. After the cool single digit weather last weekend, the week returned us to double-digit temps and wonderful sunshine. And we have taken full advantage of it to ‘stock up’ on the sunshine quotient, in anticipation of the rainy months to come, by packing in as many outdoor activities as possible!

On Friday we did a great little hike to, and past, the suspension bridge that we visited months ago. There are many trails in that area, so we explored on a beautiful sunny day to see what trails are good for hiking and if we can return on our bikes one day, and we surely can. Not strenuous, nor spectacular views, but the hike was still wonderful to do.

The water was rushing under the bridge, and the leaves on the moss-covered rocks and bursts of colors on some of the trees made for a great sight.

Along the way we found some wonders: giant leaves and dew drops glistening in the sun:

On Saturday we hit the water with some friends from the paddling club. Again sunny, cloudless skies and flat water greeted us when we started. We dodged the ferries that come and go into Departure Bay and explored the coastline going north from there. Some craggy rocky coast and some cliffs with houses literally hanging on to the edge of the cliff which I’m sure had spectacular views. We were lucky enough to have lunch in the warm sunshine on a beach in Neck Point Park that we have visited before. It’s fun seeing places from different vantage points. It was a great day with some new friends and wonderful sights and weather that gave us a permanent smile and a feeling of contentment when we got off the water.

Our luck held for today with more sunshine and blue skies, so it was now time to bike. I biked to Duncan, accompanied by Bill for part of the way. Even though it was sunny, it doesn’t really warm the air up that much. When you are in the direct sunshine it is ‘warm’ and the shady areas are quite cool. So our ride was a constant warm/cool transition but invigorating and special to be able to do a ride like this in November. We contrasted this experience with what we would typically see in Ottawa – grey skies, bare trees and dead grass. Much of the path was covered with fallen leaves but we are still seeing pockets of brilliant colour on the trees (color peaks here several weeks after Ottawa) and there is lots of green because of all the fir trees.

From Duncan we took the car up Mt Prevost which is the peak that Nicky and Derek see from their house and then scrambled up the last 10 minutes to the peak where we had a spectacular view of the Cowichan Valley, seeing many of the landmarks and areas we have explored: Samsun Narrows, Mt. Tzhouhalem, Cow Bay, Duncan, Lake Someone and snow-capped Mount Baker, in the US was very clearly visible. It truly was spectacular with the blue skies, sunshine and clear air. It’s a special place and I was glad to be able to share it with Nicky and Derek.

Nicky and I cycled back to Ladysmith. After the time change, afternoons are shorter and temperature starts dropping early but it was a great ride. The day was capped off with seeing the setting sun paint some beautiful shades over the far-off mountains, watching football, sharing a good meal and watching the almost full moon rise over the water.

All in all, a great three activity-packed days that reinforced our belief that we made the right choice to come here. The beauty and variety of the landscape, being able to enjoy it so many different ways and having family to share it is very special and we are immensely lucky to be here.

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