Monday, October 5, 2009

Camping on Saltspring

This past weekend Jon and I decided it was time for a getaway so we packed up our car and headed over to Saltspring Island. It was my first trip to Saltspring and after this weekend I'm pretty sure we are moving there some day. It was a beautiful weekend, sunny during the day but really cold at night. We camped at Ruckle Park, which is a beautiful walk-in waterfront campground. It was dark when we arrived but we had a beautiful bright moon out. The moon was so bright we set up camp by moonlight only.The next morning was beautiful. The first thing I saw when I stuck my head out of the tent was the beautiful sun rising up over the water. It was a great way to start the day. We decided to go to the Saturday market at Ganges Marina. It was really cool to see the beautiful arts and crafts and the delicious produce and baked goods. We ended up buying some bread, beets, carrots, soap, fudge and Jon bought himself a nice leather belt and for me a beautiful abalone necklace.
After the market we had breakfast and wandered around the marina checking out some of the shops. By noon though it was getting pretty warm and we were really overdressed so we headed back to the campsite. Driving back to it in daylight (because when we arrived we could barely see in front of the car let alone anything else) was great, we could see all the things we had missed before.
It was really nice and sunny when we got back to the campsite so we decided to change into t-shirts and explore the beach. I haven't explored tide pools since I was a kid and I found a renewed pleasure in petting anemones and looking for crabs. We found a ton of anemones, a couple crabs, a starfish and even a couple jellyfish. I was really hoping to see orcas and otters but no such luck. It was so peaceful to sit in the fall sunshine listening to the waves on the rocks as the salt air blew across my face and through my hair. I truly love the west coast.

After a short nap in the sun and a walk on the beach we headed back to Ganges for some gelato. There is a really great mostly organic gelato place called Saltspring Gelato, we've bought their stuff at grocery stores before but it's fun to try different flavors and window shop while eating gelato.
Saturday night ended up being quite windy so we had dinner early and hunkered down in our tent for a wild night. We actually thought the wind had blown the fly off a couple times but we made it through unscathed.
Sunday we packed up the tent and headed off to the annual Apple Festival. I'm going to do a separate post about the apple festival because it was that cool. We also visited Mistaken Identity Vineyard which is new organic winery on the island. It is beautiful place for a picnic and their wine is pretty good too. We also stopped by Saltspring Woodworks on the way to the ferry. They had some really interesting and beautiful things on display. It think it really inspired Jon to do some more woodwork of his own.
It is fall on the island and everyone knows it. From the wreaths on the doors to the apple goodies or stunning fall colors. Saltspring was great escape and I left this island feeling refreshed and with an even greater love for the west coast. I think Saltspring is worth a visit for anyone and I can't wait for my next trip back.

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