The nice thing about booking into a place like Maple Ridge Cottages for two nights is you don’t feel you have to get up and get going too quickly. (And, truth be told, we don’t feel that way too often anyway.) But still, it is nicer to sit around over your coffee in a cottage by the lake than in a hotel room. Before we set out exploring we took a walk down the stairs to the wharf. There are five cottages at Maple Ridge. I think two of them are two bedrooms. All are named after trees: Maple, Cedar, Alder, Hemlock, and Willow. We are in Cedar, and, despite the lack of outlets (there is only one on the stove and one on the far side of the room.) are very comfortable. The cottages are located on a side street and it is very quiet. The row boats, canoe, and kayak are available for free to the guests. You only need to sign your life away in waivers before you can take one out.
We lingered until after 11:30 this morning and then set out to drive the North End Road around the upper tip of Salt Spring. There were two roads that took you to the end-of-the-island and we drove down both of them. I don’t know if this one had a name. I didn’t see one written anywhere. The shots below are looking in the opposite direction from the ones above.I loved the layers of rocks. I never cease to be amazed at what the power of water can do to rock. Why does it make such nice circles on some of them? Almost looks like paw prints.
Southy Point was the name of the other road. The house beside the parking area had two large climbing rose bushes that were in bloom and filled the air with perfume. Southy Point was a much smaller space with not-so-easy to clamber over rocks. There was a couple there that were unloading their kayaks after having a paddle and we had a nice chat. An added bonus was getting to pet their grandpuppy who was a Shih Tzu, but unlike most of that breed I have met she never barked once. The kayak on the right was hand built out mahogany and was gorgeous.
From Southy Point we drove to the east side of the island to an area know as Fernwood; not a town per se, but there was a wharf and a cafe and a restaurant. And a couple of geocaches, both of which we found. The house beside the little area we parked the truck had an overgrown garden but lovely lilies, clematis, and hydrangeas blooming.
Salt Spring Island is a bird watcher’s heaven. There are many species of birds here year round and a large Conservancy area to protect them.At the top of the pilings on the lower dock they have made birdhouse that are protected by wire mesh. As I was waiting for John to finish with the geocache a bird flew into one of the boxes. If you look closely into the box in the top photo you can just make out the head of the bird looking out.This one came by later and stuck its head in the box, then sat on the ledge. John and I both tried to find the name of this bird, with out success. It has a bit of a hawk-shaped bill and a blue tinge on the shoulder.
We headed back to the cottage for some lunch, then went out again to find four geocaches that we needed to finish a stage of the challenge we are working on. At the site of the last cache there was a lady sitting on the bench. We began to chat and I told her we were looking for a geocache. She had never heard of the game so we explained it and she loved the sound of it and said she was going to give it a try. She even knew what name she would use, Bo’s Momma, after her dog, just like I am Sampsonsmomma after my dog. We told her that if she did intend to set up an account and begin to find some caches she should sign the log on the cache we had found on the back of the bench and then, when she has her account set up at geocaching.com she can log her first find. This she was happy to do. We hope she has a much fun as we do.
Tomorrow we take the Vesuvius Bay ferry over to Crofton on Vancouver Island and drive a short distance up the road to Chemainus, where we are staying for two nights. We really enjoyed driving the many little roads on Salt Spring and were amazed at the number of lakes and farms. There are some big farms on this island. And some pretty big lakes too. All in all, we really had a good time here and will probably be back some day.