|Gordon Bay Provincial Park|
Writing about the heavy stuff in rescue is stressful. Responding to the backlash, even more so. Add to that concerns about my mom's health, and an abandoned dog drama that unfolded just across the back lane, and I was about ready to crawl into a hole, pull the dirt over my head, and never be seen or heard from again.
|Stick a flower on my grave and let me be!|
(c) Jean Ballard 2013
What I needed was a mental health day - a day away from the computer, the neighbourhood, and people. Those waiting for post three in the series on importing can wait a day or three - my other readers will no doubt welcome an interlude of photos and fun.
Anxious Eddie already had plans to spend the day with Gail and Sadie B - we are trying to get him comfortable at their house so he can stay there when I need to go to the mainland. So Mitzi and I had a girls' day out. We packed a lunch and the camera gear and headed off to circle around Cowichan Lake.
It has been summertime HOT here this week, and by the time we were ready to leave at 9:30 AM I was questioning the wisdom of going.
|9:30 AM in the shade of the carport|
September 12, 2013
It was the best decision I'd made all month.
It's a trip I've been meaning to do since moving to the island four years ago - the last time I took that route was probably fifteen or more years ago when my friends Ann and Ken and I camped in a very small, rough, rutted, but beautifully peaceful forestry site down the far end.
The road - gravel and dusty - hasn't changed much. Nor have the glorious views. The Provincial Parks and forestry campsites, however, have changed quite a bit. Still beautiful, and at this time of year still peaceful, but not so rough, rutted, or small!
|Can you get me some water from the tap, mom?|
|Fancy swimming hole compared to years ago!|
Our first stop, shown above, was Gordon Bay Provincial Park. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach until Sept 15th, so stickler for rules that I am, we stayed on the trails and coveted the cool water of the lake from the trail. It was worth the stop. We walked some lovely shady trails, and Mitzi made a new friend:
|Lovely shady trail|
|Mitzi meets another happy little rescue dog|
(and NOT an import!)
|How come they won't let me on the beach, Mama?|
Soon we were back in the car and headed further west along the gravel road on the south shore of the lake, tall rainforest or rocky cliffs on one side, water on the other. The further west we went, the dustier it got.
The greenery was brownery, heavy with the summer's dust, and the leaves dried up and wrinkled like an ancient woman's skin. Mitzi wasn't too sure what to make of all the leaves!
|Are they 'tato chips? They is thin and crunchy!|
|They's weird to walk in!|
But it was beautiful. And peaceful. And nothing, nothing soothes my soul like being out in nature, next to water, with a canine companion. Mitzi's a great little travel companion - she lies quietly in her crate in the car, doesn't fuss when I constantly stop to take photos (unlike SOME dogs, Eddie, who think they should get out every time the car stops!) , and is more than happy to explore new trails, check out old parks, check out the views.
|View heading down south shore road|
We made a longer stop at Heather campsite, a forestry site, as we knew my former neighbour was camped there. The site has expanded from about 10 sites the last time I visited, to 78 now. It has a host on site from May till the end of September, chopped wood for purchase, picnic tables and fire circles. And it is still beautiful. I think we may go camping there next June or September.
|Do we know those people?|
|View from Heather campsite|
West end of Cowichan Lake
|Mitzi loves to paddle in the water -|
no encouragement needed!
Finally it was time to head back, this time on the north shore of the lake. The day was getting late, so I just stopped to take this one photo on the route home.
Next time, we'll do the route in the reverse direction - I saw lots of interesting little parks and viewpoints to explore on the north shore too.
Mitzi says we should do it again tomorrow.
Maybe next week, Mitzi, but not tomorrow. I think you're a wee bit exhausted.