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BBQ at Stories Beach

A perfect ending to our stay at Port Hardy

About 6 years ago we drove all the way here, to Port Hardy, to see what was on the other side of the island. When we were here we wanted to visit Stories beach. As it turned out our RV tire went out while we were there forcing us to camp overnight.

We thought that it might be fun to go back and visit, just see where we’d been and what it looked like today. We did go in the morning as it was time for a morning walk with Emilio and decided that it would be a great place to BBQ some salmon later that day.IMG_1356.jpg

We asked at the store where we could get fresh caught salmon but found that we are too early in the season. We then asked the host of the B&B, she called her son who has a fishing business and he gave us a huge, beautiful fillet from his freezer.

Sunday was rainy most of the day but we just decided to take a chance, we’d eat in the car if we had to. So off we drove to Stories Beach late afternoon. It was cloudy but didn’t rain on us. Emilio ran on the beach, collecting rocks.

All we brought to eat and drink was salmon and Pipestone wine that Dale brought from home. We opened the wine and enjoyed it while Dale and Bekki got a nice charcoal fire going.

Dale had brought our fish basket along from home so it made BBQ’ing easy. They BBQ’d the salmon taking turns holding the basket in the fire.
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The fish was done perfectly. We couldn’t sit at the table as it was really wet so we stood and ate our salmon. No side dishes were necessary here, just salmon, good wine and a fabulous setting.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:31 Archived in Canada Tagged beaches nature canada bc outdoors stories_beach Comments (0)

Alert Bay

A day on Alert Bay

Bekki arrived a few days earlier than me as she went to a Potlatch while I attended our grandson’s birthday party. The Potlatch was in Alert Bay at the Big House there. She really wanted for all of us to go over to visit the Cultural Center and possibly the Big House during our visit.

We went to the ferry crossing at Port McNeil, about 20 minutes from Port Hardy and drove on when it arrived. The ferry ride was uneventful but really cold. We went out onto the deck but couldn’t stay outside for long.

Alert Bay is a small island with a main road that goes to the right and to the left from the dock. To the left is the Big House and Cultural Center and a burial ground is off to the right. We first went to the Cultural Center, the U’mista. Here there is a wonderful exhibit of masks used in the First Nation ceremonies. The exhibit opens with a film of a Potlatch which explained what Bekki had just recently experienced. She had tried to put it into words but was having a difficult time describing. The masks are on display where they are easy to view without glass. Many of the masks were taken by the government when potlatches were banned and have just recently been returned.

Next door to the U’mista are the remains of the Indian school. This school was where the Indian children were sent in order to forget their language and culture. Much the same things happened in the U.S. and we have our own horrible structures. The children were treated poorly here and some abused. Bekki said that part of the ceremony at the potlatch was to help the adults, who’d suffered here as children, to put it behind them. The school is eerie and stands as a huge reminder to the affected adults and to us of what can happen when we step in and try to make an entire culture change to our way of thinking, when we know what is best for a people.IMG_1190.jpg
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It was quite cold so we found a place by the water for a picnic inside the car, then after lunch we found a coffee kiosk to warm up.
We drove around the island finding places to shoot photos, and then visited the burial grounds. We couldn’t walk on the grounds as they are sacred, but could view from the street. The burial grounds have quite a few totem poles, some new, some fallen. It was a dark foreboding sky, a good day to visit such solemn places.
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As we waited for our ferry eagles flew around us.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:39 Archived in Canada Tagged travel canada bc totem_poles first_nations alert_bay u'mista Comments (2)

Life at Port Hardy

A little of our lives here

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Port Hardy is located at the northern end of Vancouver Island. It is about an 8 hour drive from Vancouver or a 1 hour flight. The island is accessible by both plane and ferry.

The Bed and Breakfast, Orange Tabby, is just across the street from the Queen Charlotte Strait. There is a park with a paved walkway that runs for several blocks along the water of Hardy Bay. Eagles fly overhead, landing in the local trees.IMG_1128.jpgIMG_1128.jpg

The purpose for this trip is really for Bekki to complete her dissertation project so my reason for being here is not only to take photos but to care for Emilio while Bekki works.

Tues and Wed was mostly caring for Emilio. The owner of the B & B brought us a stroller and toys for Emilio and the stroller was so great for walking the path along the water. We did a morning walk and an afternoon walk. I’d take Emilio out when he’d be tired and we looked for eagles, birds, otters and seals. We’d come in after he would fall asleepIMG_1097.jpg

Unfortunately I had claims work that needed to be done so that took up the times when Emilio was sleeping. But there are worse places to complete work.

I’d posted photos on facebook for Dale and other family members to see and keep track of what we were doing. Once I’d posted the photos I realized that Dale would really love being here. He did make a comment about driving and while he was kidding I knew he really wanted to come. I looked at United.com and there was a fare, cheaper than either ticket Bekki or I had found. Dale was on his way.

We picked Dale up on Thurs afternoon at the little Port Hardy airport. Such an unexpected way to spend our week and we really were happy for the extra help.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:17 Archived in Canada Tagged birds nature walking canada bc vancouver_island outdoors port_hardy orange_tabby_b&b Comments (0)

Flying Adventures

Getting to Port Hardy

I made my 6:30am flight but had stuff in my hands still packing as I was trying to check in. Once I got down to the gate I opened my carry on and finished packing.

I knew that I had plenty of time between my 3 flights so that getting to the various was not a problem. The problem would be once I got into Vancouver there would only be 1-1/2 hours to go thru customs, pick up my check in bag, get on a shuttle to the next terminal and then catch my flight to Port Hardy.

I got into Vancouver and once I got out of the terminal found a transportation person who told me to go across the street to catch the shuttle. After standing there for a few minutes I asked someone else who didn’t know, asked yet another person who told me I was in the wrong area. Finally I found the right stop and found people who were heading to the same place. I stuck to them like glue!

The plane to Port Hardy was a little tiny commuter plane, like the little puddle jumpers of years ago. 1 row of seats on each side of the plane, so small one can’t stand up inside. The flight crew left the cockpit door open so I could see them flying the plane. Oh, it brought back flying memories!!!
The flight was mostly cloudy but near Port Hardy the skies cleared and I could see the road we drove so many years ago.

As I exited the plane the co-pilot asked how I liked the flight and I told him that I loved it! Love the little planes. When he asked why I told him that many years ago I was flying with a current pilot’s license. He told me to get back flying. Maybe I will someday!!

Bekki and Emilio picked me up at the airport. We made a couple of stops then went to the Bed and Breakfast place where Bekki got us a room. We thought that we’d stay for at least the night. It was a room with a bed, but really sharing a downstairs apartment. Off of the entry hall are bedrooms to the right and straight ahead and to the left a laundry then living room, dining room and kitchen.

I still had food that I’d brought and Bekki had a few things so we lit candles, opened wine that I brought, ate dinner and just enjoyed our being in Canada.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:44 Archived in Canada Tagged airport family canada vancouver bc airplane port_hardy Comments (0)

Lots of Trips in the Plans

Planning and planning

So now I have 3 big trips in various stages of planning and 3 small trips. Trying to keep everything straight is becoming a challenge.

In July we have a camping trip to Grover Hot Springs near Lake Tahoe, then a backpack trip up to Cottonwood Lakes at the end of the month.

August brings a long discussed trip to B.C into the First Nations territory. This trip will be a photo trip for me. My daughter-in-law is working on her PhD in Linguistics and will work on a language. I will do some photo-journalism. We’d planned to do this last year but it never worked out.
Over Thanksgiving we will go to Santa Fe and meet our youngest son. His wife Jen has never visited northern New Mexico so we are quite anxious to show her our favorite restaurants and places. I recently won a cooking class for two at the Santa Fe School of Cooking so we will try and get in several classes.

About 1 week after Thanksgiving we will go to Europe. This will be our 40th wedding anniversary so we thought that it would be fun to spend it in Finland at the glass igloo hotel. Then, since we are in the area, we will go to the U.K. for winter solstice and hopefully join the Druids at Stonehenge. Grandkids are planning to go on this trip but our oldest son’s wife will be giving birth in early Dec. We will see about when to get the older kids to Europe. Details!

Of course then we have the big trip where we will live in Austria for 4 months. We will check out some towns in Dec and hopefully have a better idea of where to look for a house. So it is exciting to plan!

Posted by Miss Chris 18:07 Archived in USA Tagged family bc europe thanksgiving new_mexico santa_fe grover_hot_springs first_nations Comments (0)

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