I know, I just finished one trip to Vancouver Island, and satellite islands, in September. But when some dear old friends visiting from the east coast wanted to discover Canada, the Mate and I jumped at the chance to do some more discovery of the lovely land so ridiculously close to where we live.
We didn’t have time to go all the way to our happy place, Jasper, Alberta…that’ll be, we hope, next year. So we rented a house in Harrison Hot Springs, adjacent to a generous handful of Provincial Parks, and made daily forays.
Foray #1: Sasquatch Provincial Park. Just outside of Harrison Hot Springs. Probably a zoo in the high season. But in October, we had the place to ourselves.
Foray #2: Salmon Spawning Channel. It’s October! The Pinks and Chum are coming home! This channel wasn’t as photogenic as a natural stream, but apparently it boasts a 12x survival rate of baby salmon, so…we were OK with it.
Foray #3: E.C. Manning Provincial Park. I was especially interested in this one, as I’ve had several friends through-hike the Pacific Crest Trail, and Manning is its northern terminus. We didn’t get to that part of the park (the weather was hovering right above freezing and we weren’t thrilled about tackling ice in our friends’ little rental car), but we did take a nice hike past some waterfalls, punctuated by fall color.
Foray #4: Golden Ears Provincial Park. This jaw-droppingly beautiful place (of which we only saw a fraction–it’s huge!) is less than 30 minutes outside Vancouver!
That was it for forays. Well, no, we did also explore the environs of Harrison Hot Springs itself, including a pretty wild, fern-dripping hike around the edge of Harrison Lake, but I didn’t have my camera with me. But I did go for a bike ride around the Fraser Valley one day, capturing some local sights, like…
It was easy for the Mate and me to feel right at home, amidst the red cedars, moss, salmon–“We have all that,” we told ourselves smugly. But then I saw this campaign sign:
O for such civic civility! O my! O Canada…take me with you!