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Tuesday 30 January 2018

Stoney Hill Regional Park

Tuesday, January 30th, dawned sunny and beautiful. A perfect day for a walk in the park. We had made an attempt a week ago to hike Stoney Hill Regional Park but had to turn away because our local Search and Rescue Technicians were doing an exercise in the park and had taken up whatever was left of the parking area. So today was the day for it and when we arrived at the trailhead there was only one car parked up.

The trail has many little rivers running on it.

Stoney Hill Regional Park is located in the Municipality of North Cowichan near Sansum Narrows across from Salt Spring Island. The park has spectacular views of Salt Spring Island and the surrounding area with a scenic approximately 3.2 km return loop trail from the parking lot. A public road leads from Genoa Bay Road to a parking lot and trailhead. The trail is best hiked in the summer months because with all the wet weather we have had there were a lot of muddy and swamped areas. Some barely passable, but we made it the entire way albeit with some difficulty. I got home with two soaked shoes and socks and Shelagh did not fare much better. The hike took us one hour and forty minutes and on a scale of one to ten I give it a difficulty rating of seven. Shelagh suffered quite a bit with her bad knees and only fell down once. She was a real trooper.

Keeping back a bit here, there are no railings.

The draw of the park is the awesome views of Sansum Narrows and Salt Spring Island. With the sun shining the sights were amazing. We are so lucky to have places like this just a few minutes drive from home. Hopefully, over the summer months, there will be significant improvements made to the trail. We highly recommend this park, but make sure you wear good hiking shoes and a walking stick or two would help. Also, if you want to look at something pretty, stop walking first because you will get tripped up! I hope you will enjoy the pictures, I made many stops to take them...

Beautiful arbutus trees.

This little guy was very patient with me.

Sunday 14 January 2018

The Kinsol Trestle

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day so we went to play outside. We decided to drive to the Kinsol Trestle. Located just north of Shawnigan Lake, the trestle is the largest in the Commonwealth measuring 44 meters high and 187 meters long. The trestle was part of the railway built in 1911 by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway, and was used to transport timber from Vancouver Island. When the lumber industry took a beating in the 1970s the railway line was abandoned and the trestle was left to rot. The last train crossed the trestle in 1979.

In 2007 a campaign was started to save the trestle. Money was donated by many generous people and the Provincial Government also kicked in a few bucks. The trestle re-opened in 2011 and is now, once again, in use by many people on a daily basis. The structure is amazing and well worth a visit. It is open to hikers, bikers and equestrians.

The Kinsol Trestle is part of the Cowichan Valley Trail, which is part of the Trans Canada Trail. The Trans Canada Trail will be the world's longest when completed. It will cross the entire country from east to west to north, at this time some 24000 kilometres have been completed...

Tuesday 9 January 2018

The house is getting homier

After the hustle and bustle of Christmas we got into a bit of a slow down. There had been so much on the go in the last three months that we suddenly felt like some time to recuperate. We slowed down and got onto "Island Time". There is no rush to get things done in the next few days. So we got a bit lazy and relaxed, but in the meantime we were discussing where some of our wall decorations could find a new home. We also had a wonderful visit with our friends Victor and Shirley who were visiting family in the valley for Christmas. We lived just 20 minutes apart on the mainland and never got together much, but here we are on the island and we meet up. Let's hope this will be a new trend.

The view from the great room.

New Year's Eve was quiet and easy. We went into town to walk around and see the lights. Some had already been taken down. Next year we'll do a better job of showing them off as well as the show in Ladysmith, which is amazing. Back home to the comfort of a warm house to count off the last hours of the year. We weren't even sure if we would make it 'till midnight, but we managed it by pouring one more glass of wine. That'll do the trick because we can't spill wine down the sink, we'd rather see blood spilled! Once into January we got serious and started bringing art upstairs from the spare bedroom.

Down town Duncan on New Years Eve.

The master bedroom took on a Venetian look, and the hallway bath room became Parisian. And the great room is taking on a complete character of its own. The wait now is for the furniture we bought in Langford last week. A new sofa and love seat for the living room and a small couch for the den. The current leather sofa and love seat will go down stairs to the media room where it was supposed to go. Delivery is anywhere from three to five weeks from the purchase date, so that is still in the works.

Some furniture choices.

Our new kitchen is working out great. I have had a few days in there cooking up a storm and the freezer is now well stocked with many meals. The turkey carcass yielded an excellent stock that I used for a big pot of pea soup. We have also taken up making our own pizza again, delicious! The new stove does an excellent job with the pizza stone in place and the convection roast setting at 500°F. A pizza cooks in nine minutes! We also made a large batch of wontons and Char Siu pork for our Wor Wonton Soup, along with a batch of Korean spiced meatballs.

Home made pizza, wontons, Wor Wonton Soup and Spicey Korean meatballs with a stirfry on rice.

Last Friday we were in Victoria for a while. Shelagh had an appointment with a specialist so we made a day of it. Found the Dutch store and stocked up on Senseo Coffee and Indonesian spices and had a lovely lunch at Milestones on the harbour front. Delicious food and generous portions. After all that we forgot to use our Milestones gift card that we got a year ago for Christmas. So we will just have to go back sometime.

Honestly, I was smiling here.

A fun day in Victoria and a delicious lunch at Milestones.

We have had a few requests for pictures of the house, but we're not ready to share any yet, patience is a virtue, I will post pictures when the house is all done...