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Rainy Days And Gardens: Portland, OR

Rainy Days And Gardens: Portland, OR

Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Gallery, Oregon, Travel | 36 comments

Portland is renowned for its gardens—it has an authentic Japanese garden, an authentic Chinese walled garden, acres and acres of forest preserves and botanical wonders, and spectacular neighborhood gardens. It’s no wonder Portland is so lush and green and flower-bountiful because it rains ALL OF THE TIME.

Not really, but it’s not much of an exaggeration, especially from mid-October until June. But even in the rain, Portland is beautiful and fun and we never run out of things to do.

Walking the River Loop Trail in the rain

The reward for walking in the rain

The ideal time to visit is in the summer and early fall when the weather is generally near perfect. But that doesn’t always fit in with our traveling schedule. And with family and good friends living in the city, Portland is a place that we frequent at least once a year.

Each time we return to Portland, we look forward to visiting some favorite places and discovering new favorites. I’ve always wanted to catch the peak fall colors in the Portland Japanese Garden. We missed it again in mid-October, this time by about a week. Still, it was gorgeous. The garden has recently completed extensive renovations, including building a new cultural center where we happened upon a traditional tea ceremony.

The new entrance to the Japanese Garden

Cultural village in the Portland Japanese Garden

A traditional tea ceremony

A miniature spruce in the bonsai garden

The first fall colors in the Japanese garden

In Portland, you can bet the stone lanterns will be wearing moss-covered caps

The Circle and Gourd Islands in the sea of white gravel symbolize enlightenment and happiness

The Pavilion Gallery hosts various artists throughout the year focused on Japanese art and culture

A show of Japanese Noh theatre masks and costumes

We also visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden with Eric’s sister Peggy. The little jewel box of a garden is an authentic Ming Dynasty style garden, built by artisans from China. It covers an entire city block in the historic Chinatown district. The free tours are excellent, and there are often special events, like the tea tasting the day we were there.

The lovely Lan Su Chinese Garden

The courtyards and pathways are composed of intricate stone mosaics

A traditional tea house overlooks a small lake

The garden is an oasis of tranquility in the midst of downtown Portland

A traditional family altar in one of the garden pavilions

Tea tasting event at the Chinese Garden

The dragonfish roof ornament protects against evil influences

An artist’s sketchbook in the garden

Eric and his sister Peggy in the garden

Good food is never far away in Portland. The biggest problem is choosing between all of the enticing options. A new discovery this trip was the Kasbah Moroccan Cafe, conveniently near the Chinese Garden. Lunch was delicious, and the proprietor took great care in showing us how to correctly pour our tea. Moroccan mint tea is traditionally made with gunpowder green tea, fresh mint, and sugar. We asked for it to be made with half the amount of sweetener, and it was still plenty sweet.

The correct way to serve Moroccan mint tea at the Kasbah Cafe (if you have good aim)

A delicious lunch transported us for the afternoon to Morocco

No visit to Portland is complete for us without a trip to the farmers’ market. The Portland State University farmers’ market is our favorite, and we dragged ourselves and Amanda and Findlay out in the rain to peruse the offerings on a stormy Saturday morning. It was colorful, as always. We invariably find new things that we’ve never seen anywhere else.

Fall colors at the Portland Farmers’ Market

Findlay brought his life’s savings to the market

Fall harvest time, all that rain grows beautiful vegetables

Purple napa cabbage! So pretty!

Amanda and Findlay choosing tea at a neighborhood tea shop

A rainy day art project at the tea shop

A cozy evening at Amanda’s fixing dinner together

Enjoying a wonderful evening with friends Tom and Georgina at their beautiful home

Portland is such a great town. And with such a great vibe. And always, unique.

We don’t eat doughnuts, but the Voodoo Doughnut sign makes me want to

Gotta love a city where you can practice archery in your bathrobe in the city park

Cheers to our Pacific Wonderland!

About the RV Park
We stay at Pheasant Ridge RV Resort every time we visit Portland because it’s the most convenient for us for visiting family. It only takes about 15 minutes to drive into the city, and somehow we always seem to be going against the flow of traffic, which works out just right. The park is immaculate and tightly run; sites have concrete pads, grassy lawns, and attractive landscaping. Full hookups, very nice laundry and bathhouse, good Verizon coverage (their wifi is terrible), propane on site. Ask for a site toward the back of the park (it’s the furthest away from the road and quieter).

If you’re interested, here are a couple of previous posts on Portland:

The City of Roses: Portland, Oregon

Enjoying Portland, Even In The Rain

Next Up: The Central California Coast: Monterey, Morro Bay, and Ojai

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Tips For RVing On Vancouver Island, BC

Tips For RVing On Vancouver Island, BC

Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in British Columbia, Canada, Gallery, Maps, Travel | 22 comments

We’ve had a lot of wonderful adventures in our four-and-a-half years of full-time travels, but our five weeks on Vancouver Island was definitely one of the highlights so far. From outdoor adventures to world-class museums; and farmers’ markets to gourmet restaurants; Vancouver Island offers all of the things we enjoy, wrapped up in a package of spectacular coastline, quaint towns, a sparkling jewel of a capital city, and a vibrant First Nations culture.

Because we had so much difficulty finding information about RV travel on the island, I thought it might be helpful to share some things we learned for those of you considering the trip.

The Big Picture

We planned our island tour hoping to catch the best weather in each area (it varies greatly from south to north, and east to west). We also wanted the optimal opportunity for a variety of outdoor adventures and for seeing wildlife.

We headed north first to catch the prime whale watching season, then west to the wild coast of Pacific Rim National Park. Following our mailboat cruise in Port Alberni (and bear and salmon watching) we returned to the east coast to explore the temperate Cowichan Valley and Salt Spring Island, just off the coast. We wound up our time on the island with a few days in lovely Victoria—at this point, the weather was distinctly beginning to turn toward fall.

The little green campers denote all of the places we stayed on the island. Click on any icon, and you’ll see where we stayed, with a link to the associated blog post about our adventures there.

A Snapshot Of Vancouver Island Adventures

How To Get There

Two passenger/vehicle ferries make the round-trip journey from the U.S. Neither are luxurious, but you’ll have comfortable inside seating and large windows to enjoy the scenery (or you can move outside to the deck if the weather is good). A Washington State Ferry travels from Anacortes, Washington to Sidney, B.C. A private ferry line (Black Ball Ferry, MV Coho) makes the trip from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, B.C.

Washington State Ferry carrying passengers and vehicles

We’ve taken our rig on ferries dozens of times (we spend our summers in the San Juan Islands) and it’s a straightforward process. A deckhand will guide you onto the ferry and into position. It will be tight quarters, especially if the ferry is full. Just go slow, be vigilant, and don’t let them rush you!

It’s always close quarters on the ferry

The ferries can handle any size rigs. Even the small ferries to the outer islands surrounding Vancouver Island can easily manage the largest RV.

On a small BC Ferry to Salt Spring Island from Vancouver Island

Anacortes, WA to Sidney, B.C.: Although this route takes almost three hours, it’s by far the most scenic and sails through calm, sheltered waters on a Washington State Ferry. You’ll travel through the picturesque San Juan Islands to the small harbor of Sidney on Vancouver Island. Sidney has a beautiful and interesting waterfront, and it’s only a half-hour drive to Victoria and the highway that takes you north on the island.

Views of Mt. Baker while sailing through the San Juan Islands

Port Angeles to Victoria, B.C. The journey on the Black Ball Ferry MV Coho is shorter (about 90 minutes) but you’ll be traveling over 20 miles of open water with nothing interesting to look at, and you’ll feel the enormous ferry roll with every ocean swell. (To add drama you might have two women sitting across from you making the sign of the cross every time the ferry pitches.) However, it delivers you directly to the Inner Harbour in Victoria, which is interesting and convenient if Victoria is your destination.

Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour; the ferry landing is right downtown

The cost of the ferries is approximately the same. We paid about $200 each way for our tickets (the price increases with the length of your rig). You don’t need to purchase a round-trip ticket, and you don’t save anything by doing so. Make reservations in advance to secure your space on the ferry, and plan to arrive about 90 minutes ahead of your sailing to go through Customs. You can always change your reservation if need be, with minimal or no charges if you provide sufficient notice.

How Bad Is Customs?

Really, not bad at all. We breezed through Customs on our entry to Vancouver Island and were stopped and searched when we returned to the States (but it was no big deal and only delayed us about 15 minutes). Here’s what we learned: You are not going to be able to figure out exactly what is and isn’t allowed, coming or going. That’s because the laws are ephemeral, and can change at any time.

Instead of worrying about it, make a list of the foods you’re carrying so that you’re prepared for any questions the customs agent asks. We were searched in Port Angeles because of a lemon (apparently bringing citrus into the States—even citrus grown here—is a red flag). The U.S. Customs Officer confiscated our lemon and after a quick glance in our refrigerator sent us on our way.

The important thing is, be honest. If they find something you haven’t declared, the fines are stiff. “Forgetting” that you have something is not a valid excuse.

Going through Customs in Port Angeles; it’s pretty straightforward (don’t bring lemons!)

What’s The Weather Like?

We were on the island for most of September and into mid-October. This is typically a good window of weather with plenty of sunshine and little rain.

The temperatures were comfortable, generally in the mid-40’s at night and the mid-60’s during the day. Perfect hiking and biking weather! Of course, you’ll want to wear layers and have a good rain jacket. We were also happy to have waterproof boots, which came in handy for hiking muddy trails.

The weather is mostly excellent in the fall for outdoor adventures

Other Reasons To Go In The Fall

You will miss the crush of summer crowds. Tourism drops off sharply after Labor Day, which means you won’t need reservations for most campgrounds, but most campgrounds and other attractions are still open, at least until mid-October.

If you’re heading up the island, be sure to plan that early in your trip. The further north, the colder and wetter it tends to be. The weather on the west coast is random, so plan extra time there. We lucked out with sunshine and mild temperatures for the week we spent in Tofino/Ucluelet, but we met people that spent only a day or two in the area and didn’t see a thing because of heavy storms.

Watch out for Labour Day (they celebrate it the first Monday in September, same as Labor Day in the U.S.). That’s their last hurrah of summer camping. We planned our trip to arrive just after Labor Day. Also watch out for the second Monday in October, their Thanksgiving. That one caught us by surprise. Apparently, a lot of people go camping that weekend—we found a sweet place on Salt Spring Island, but only after a bit of scrambling.

One more excellent reason to visit in the fall: Lots of wildlife! This is a great time for whale watching up north, the salmon are returning to spawn in the rivers, and the bears are actively fishing.

September is an excellent time for whale watching expeditions from Telegraph Cove

Getting Around

Travel on Vancouver Island is pretty simple. Traveling south to north, there’s a long ribbon of highway that begins in Victoria (Hwy 1 north). In Nanaimo, about halfway up the island, it changes to Hwy 19 north to Telegraph Cove and beyond. The roads are wide and well maintained. Don’t miss a small detour onto scenic Hwy 19A, the Oceanside Route between Parksville and Campbell River.

Highway 4, the road from Port Alberni west to Tofino is another story. It’s the only access road to Tofino/Ucluelet/Pacific Rim National Park. Two lanes, winding, hairpin curves, rock cliffs that narrow as they rise and a stretch with an 18% grade is not friendly for big rigs. We were fine (we have a 27-foot trailer and a Tundra), but I’m not sure that I’d drive that road with anything much bigger. Then again, tractor-trailers use that route. Which seems crazy.

The challenging road to Tofino and Ucluelet. Don’t think I’d drive this with a big rig.

Try to not miss Tofino/Ucluelet/Pacific Rim National Park. Consider leaving your rig behind if it’s not appropriate for that winding road, and stay in other accommodations for a couple of days. It’s worth it!

Make the trip to Tofino if you can, even if you have to leave your rig behind for a few days.

Where To Stay

We stayed in everything from B.C. Provincial Parks to tiny rustic RV parks to fancy RV resorts. The provincial parks are beautiful but have no water or electric hookups. They offer taps for filling water, dump stations, and bathhouses, though. The private parks tend toward full-hookups and internet (sometimes good, sometimes not).

We made reservations a couple of weeks ahead for our time in Tofino, because it’s a popular place, even in the fall. Other than that, we looked ahead a few days at a time and called places that looked interesting. We had no trouble getting beautiful sites (in summer, it would be a different story).

We enjoyed wonderful views at the RV Park in Nanaimo, BC

The campsites are spacious and beautiful (and rustic) in the Provincial Parks on Vancouver Island

About That Internet

Your provider, even though it promises connection in Canada, is going to be lame. We had intermittent cell coverage on the island, and as far as useable internet connection via our phones or hotspot, we had none.

Verizon connects to the cell towers on Vancouver Island (Telus or Rogers will show up on your phone). Phone coverage is actually okay except when driving from one town to the next (or if you’re heading somewhere really remote). Traveling up the island, you won’t have coverage from north of Campbell River until you reach Telegraph Cove (about 2 hours driving time). Heading west from Port Alberni, you’ll be out of range for a couple of hours until you get close to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Almost all private parks offer internet (most of it pretty good, some of it excellent) and you can always get blazing fast internet at coffee shops. No, it’s not as convenient as sitting in your RV, but we spent some lovely afternoons in lovely coffee shops doing what we needed to do on the internet.

Catching up with the internet in a cozy coffee shop in Port Alberni

Next Up: Rainy Days And Gardens: Portland, OR


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A Crossroads of Cultures: Victoria, BC

A Crossroads of Cultures: Victoria, BC

Posted by on Jan 13, 2018 in British Columbia, Canada, Gallery, Travel | 24 comments

In mid-October, we wrapped up our Vancouver Island adventure with a few days in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. It’s kind of like traveling to England without having to cross the Atlantic. Afternoon tea, flower-filled gardens, and horse-drawn carriages trotting along streets lined with grand Victorian architecture are reminders of Victoria’s British colonial past.

But there are other facets of Victoria that we find even more intriguing—the totems in the downtown area, for example, honoring the First Nations that were the original inhabitants here.

First Nations Totems against a backdrop of Victorian buildings in downtown Victoria

We visited Victoria about 15 years ago (pre-RVing), and our most vivid memories were of the excellent Royal British Columbia Museum. We’ve been wanting to return, and that’s where we headed first.

There’s a lot more to the museum than just the First Nations exhibits, but this was the most captivating part for us. The museum focuses not only on the past, but also the present and future of the First Nations peoples.

The Royal BC Museum

First Nations canoe filled with cedar bark containers

First Nations totems and a longhouse

The “talking masks” relate tribal legends as each mask is illuminated

Victoria is an exceptionally walkable city. Some of the most famous attractions—The Royal British Columbia Museum, the Parliament Buildings, and the Fairmont Empress Hotel—are within a couple of blocks of the Inner Harbour.

It’s also an enjoyable walk along the waterfront to Fisherman’s Wharf. If you get tired, you can catch one of the cute little water taxis back across the harbour. Or ride one just for fun.

A view of the Inner Harbour from the water

An orca topiary decorates the Inner Harbour walkway

A multi-talented street musician on the waterfront

Cute water taxis buzz around the harbour like little bumblebees

Colorful Fisherman’s Wharf, about a mile from the Inner Harbour

Catching a water taxi at Fisherman’s Wharf

Enjoying fish tacos at Red Fish Blue Fish at the Inner Harbour; there’s usually an enormous line

On another day, we joined a free hour-long tour of the ornate BC Parliament Building. Our tour guide was engaging and informative, and even taught us how to greet the Queen, which I’m sure will come in handy someday.

The grand BC Parliament Building—the blue domes are copper that has oxidized

Our tour guide explains the symbolism of British Columbia’s coat of arms

A traditional cedar canoe graces the rotunda in the Parliament Building. It was carved by the Honourable Steven L. Point, the former Lieutenant Governor as well as a former Skowkale First Nation chief, provincial court judge and treaty negotiator. (The canoe is named Shxwtitostel which means “a safe place to cross the river” in Halq’eméylem.)

“Shxwtitostel is a gift to all peoples in British Columbia as a symbol of my belief that we need to create a better understanding amongst all people that we are in the same canoe,” said the Lieutenant Governor. “No matter where you are from, we all need to paddle together.”

Traditional First Nations canoe carved by a former Lieutenant Governor

The rotunda of the Parliament Building; each quadrant represents the four industries of the time: fishing, agriculture, forestry, and mining

Learning how to behave properly when meeting the Queen

Stained glass windows in the Parliament House—science and art are given equal weight

It’s worth taking a stroll downtown at night, when the Parliament Building sparkles with thousands of lights. The buildings were first lighted for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, and were meant to represent jewels in the night sky.

The Parliament House twinkles at night

A scene out of Victorian England—horse and carriage passing by the Fairmont Empress Hotel

We got hooked on the tradition of afternoon tea during our weeks on Vancouver Island. It’s such a civilized thing to do, taking a break in the afternoon. We considered high tea at the famed Fairmont Empress Hotel, but changed our minds when we discovered the cost would be $75 per person. Instead, we made our way to Chinatown, where we had organic tea and a slice of flourless chocolate cake at the charming little Venus Sophia Tea Room for about $15, total.

In the tea room of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

Afternoon tea at the cozy Venus Sophia Tea room

Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada, and the second largest. The colorful buildings and bustling streets speak to the resiliency of the culture and traditions brought to Canada by Chinese immigrants in search of gold (and later, to work on the railroads) more than 150 years ago.

The Gate of Harmonious Interest in Victoria’s Chinatown

The Chinese Public School, built in 1908 to educate Chinese students who were prohibited from attending public school in Victoria. The school still teaches Chinese language, history, and culture.

Fan Tan Alley, a narrow alley once home to opium and gambling dens. Gates at each end of the alley were locked to prevent surprise police raids.

Colorful buildings in Old Town Victoria

Victoria is famous for its gardens, and of course, Butchart Gardens tops the list. We went to several gardens, but we passed on Butchart. We were there 15 years ago, and while it’s worth a one-time visit, our taste runs more to less formal, less flower-basket filled gardens.

This time we explored the lovely gardens of Beacon Hill Park (conveniently downtown and free), the Government House Gardens (residence of the Lieutenant Governor and free), and the gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. All different, and all definitely worth seeing.

Lovely trails in Beacon Hill Park, downtown Victoria

An orca sundial at Government House gardens

Beautiful winding pathways through perennial borders at Government House gardens

Gardens at Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

There are all kinds of demonstration gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

Students working in the gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

During our stay in Victoria, we also made a couple of day trips to explore nearby areas. On a crisp, early fall day we set out to see Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park.

Fall colors on the path to Fisgard Lighthouse

The wonderfully photogenic Fisgard Lighthouse

It couldn’t have been a better day for visiting the lighthouse

Inside the lighthouse, the black and white floor pattern was painted by a light keeper to simulate marble tiles

A military searchlight camouflaged as a boathouse on the coast at Fort Rodd

Our other out-of-town excursion was a biking adventure. The bike trails in and around Victoria are wonderful repurposed rails-to-trails. There are many miles of trails—we rode about 20 miles on the Galloping Goose Trail near Sooke, some of the prettiest and least urban of the trails.

Biking the Galloping Goose Trail to the Sooke Potholes

Our few days in Victoria was the perfect ending to our five week Vancouver Island tour. Would we return to the island? Absolutely. This was one of our top RVing experiences in our four-and-a-half years of full-timing.

About the campground:

There aren’t a lot of options close to Victoria. We stayed at Fort Victoria RV Park, conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Victoria. It’s nothing fancy (although it should be for the price!) but it’s clean, quiet, and offers full-hookups and free internet. Ask for a site away from the highway—it’s much quieter.

Fort Victoria RV Park, Victoria, BC

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Looking Back At 2017 (And A Map!)

Looking Back At 2017 (And A Map!)

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Gallery, Maps | 38 comments

Well, it’s that time of year when I make resolutions about doing things like getting our blog up to date. And then I promptly get distracted by doing something like creating a map of our 2017 adventures and browsing through photos from last year.

Despite our rather rough beginning to 2017, it turned out to be a wonderful year, filled with new experiences and revisiting some favorites. We checked a bunch of stuff off of our bucket list: the Oregon and Washington coasts, Vancouver Island, and Big Bend National Park were some of the big ones. The only problem is that those places were all so awesome that they went right back onto our list. It’s a good problem to have.

You can enlarge the map (click on the “plus” symbol), click on any of the icons, and access information about where we stayed. Clicking on “more details” will take you to related blog posts. Most of the locations have an associated blog post; I’ll add the others as I get them done. (Time to turn my attention back to catching up on the blog!)



Here’s how 2017 turned out:

January to mid-May: Ashland, Oregon (our hometown, a lengthy stay for Eric’s unexpected surgery and recovery)

Mid-May to July: Traveling up the Oregon and Washington coasts, including Olympic National Park

July and August: Lopez Island, Washington (our seventh year as interpretive hosts at Spencer Spit State Park)

September to mid-October: Vancouver Island, BC

Mid-October to mid-November: Ashland, Oregon

Mid-November through December: traveling down the California coast, through southern Arizona and New Mexico to West Texas.

We spent New Year’s in Big Bend National Park—more specifically, at the Starlight Café in Terlingua, Texas.

Totally funky, and totally awesome. The sign you can’t see says “No dogs on porch.” Haha.

It’s a tiny town on the far side of nowhere. The Starlight Theatre is the place to be.

A few statistics, for those of you who like numbers:

Total mileage for the year: 4670 (towing)

Number of places stayed: 43

Travel distances: Between 8 and 270 miles; with most travel days under 150 miles. Our average travel distance was 108 miles.

We stayed most places 3-5 nights, with the occasional one-night stand or weeklong stay thrown in here and there. And of course, we stayed for two months on Lopez Island for our hosting gig, and a total of 5.5 months in Ashland in 2017(!!!).

Favorite place: That’s the question everyone asks us. We still can’t answer. :-)

We hope 2018 brings you joy and peace in equal measure, along with the opportunity to realize your dreams. Thank you for continuing to join us in our journey—it makes our travels infinitely richer to have you with us! We love hearing from you.

Next Up: Victoria, BC and Vancouver Island Wrap-Up


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Whimsical Salt Spring Island, BC

Whimsical Salt Spring Island, BC

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in British Columbia, Canada, Gallery, Travel | 30 comments

Just off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island lie the Gulf Islands, an archipelago of more than 200 craggy and wild isles. Many are little more than rocky prominences; a few are large enough to be quite civilized, in the unique Pacific Northwest style of artistic hippie chic, mossy forest trails, exquisite coastline, and a thriving local food scene.

The second week in October, we boarded the tiny ferry in Crofton to spend a few days on Salt Spring Island, the largest isle in the clutch of Gulf Islands. This was the smallest ferry we’ve taken our trailer on. Note: Do not trust the ferry workers to know how much room you need to maneuver your rig. Because you might, hypothetically speaking, rip the end cap off of your slide cover roller.

The little ferry to Salt Spring Island from the Crofton ferry landing

Other than that hypothetical end cap getting ripped off and having to borrow a rickety ladder to extend our slide (and retract it), we thoroughly enjoyed our stay on Salt Spring Island.

Colorful Ganges Harbour on Salt Spring Island

We spent our days trekking the beautiful shoreline at Ruckle Provincial Park and the rugged trails on Mt. Erskine, one of the most fun trails we’ve hiked. It offers not only spectacular views, but also a treasure hunt of fairy doors hidden in moss-covered rocks along the way.

Historic farm at Ruckle Provincial Park

Hiking at Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

Hiking the shoreline trails at Ruckle Provincial Park

On the rugged trails at Mt. Erskine Provincial Park

Fairy doors are hidden along the trail on Mt. Erskine

A treasure hunt for fairy doors

A raven door! (Well, maybe it’s a crow door)

We found a half-dozen doors along the trail, and there are more we didn’t find

At the top of Mt. Erskine

Whimsy is most definitely a defining characteristic of Salt Spring Island.

Strolling the streets of downtown Ganges

Café Talia is a cozy place for coffee

A colorful garden shop on the island

The delightful Vesuvius Café, with wonderful coffee, soups, and baked goodies

In the village of Fulford Harbour

A seaside home in Vesuvius Village

I’m looking over my shoulder from West Texas right now, wistfully longing for the farmers’ markets of the Pacific Northwest. The Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island is especially fine.

The colorful Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island

Heyday Farm, offering an abundance of organic veggies

Eco-friendly packaging for organic tomatoes at the market

Fall harvest time at the Saturday Market

Small Earth Farm; one of many small local farm stands

An excellent taco stand at the market. Apparently we have a thing for tacos.

Yummy pork tacos with local greens, pickled red onions, and chipotle aoili

Those pear almond tarts were wickedly good. I wish I had one now.

Salt Spring goat cheese, offering all kinds of flavors (lemon was our favorite)

A shopping bag’s Philosophy of Life

That way to Salt Spring Winery

At lovely Salt Spring Vineyard and tasting room

Blackberry wine in the garden (and a brownie, because of course wine + chocolate is best)

Beer tasting at Salt Spring Island Ales; the Earl Grey IPA was excellent

About the campground:

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Mowhinna Creek Campground. Our site was large and private, with full hookups and internet. Best of all, it’s just a few miles from Ganges, the central happening place on the island (including the Saturday Market).

Fall colors at Mowhinna Creek Campground

Our site at the campground was spacious, private, and beautiful. And they loaned us a ladder.

Next Up: Exploring Victoria, BC: And Vancouver Island Wrap-Up

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