Well, after lots of “should get over to Salt Spring Island sometime” conversations, it finally became a reality. The ferry from the mainland over to Salt Spring was a 3-hour milk-run route, with a stop at Galiano, Mayne and Pender Islands before docking at Long Harbour in the late afternoon. After a quick poke around the little community of Ganges, it was time to check into the cabin at Cusheon Lake Resort.
The resort is a beautiful, peaceful location at the end of the road with several cabins and a couple of chalets on the shores of…..you guessed it!.....Cusheon Lake. 😊 Life is tough in the little one-bedroom cabin with a wood-burning fireplace and view of the lake through the patio doors. There’s a choice of canoes or paddle boards, or sitting out on the pier in a couple of well-placed chairs to enjoy the serenity of the lake. Took a canoe out for a short paddle over the lake and was reminded that canoes are tippy and I’m out of shape…..though managed not to fall overboard after all.
Salt Spring Island, or xʷənen̕əč, is the largest and best-known of the Gulf Islands between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Various Salishan peoples inhabited the island originally and it also became a refuge from racism for African Americans leaving California in the late 1850’s. Also in the late 1850’s Salt Spring Island was the first of the gulf islands to be settled as an agricultural settlement and was named Admiral Island. It had previously been known as Salt Spring due to the hot springs at the north end of the island, and so eventually was renamed back to Salt Spring in 1910.
After a a quiche, a coffee and a strudel at one of the local bakeries, it was time to head over to the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the local cenotaph. A very nice ceremony and very well attended for such a small town. After the ceremondy, a drive around the lower part of the island included some exploring at Ruckle Provincial Park. The park includes the protected historical site of a sheep farm established by Irishman Henry Ruckle in the 1800s. In 1972, the Ruckle family donated the land to BC Parks for the establishment of the provincial park. It is a gorgeous location right on the ocean, with plenty of trails and beautiful scenes. Well worth the visit.
The next stop was the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, with its wide variety of in-house cheese selections. There’s a tasting counter to make sure you don’t get out the door without buying anything, once you’ve discovered how good they are. Add in some homemade olive tapenade and a quick stop at the grocery store for crackers, and you have the fixings of a fine mid-afternoon snack. Ask me how I know…. 😊
Leaving the cheese factory, we attempted to check out two wineries (which were closed), before fetching up at Salt Spring Island Ales to sample a flight of ales. To me, it all “tastes like beer”, of course, but I did buy a “beer” soap made with hops. Since the hop salve I got at Farmery Brewery in Manitoba has made a big difference to keeping the eczema on my face at bay, I have high hopes that this soap will be good for my dry winter skin.
Feeling like that was enough of a day, we made it back to the cabin to enjoy the spoils from the cheese factory and sit in front of the fire for the evening. I guess now it’s time to turn in to see what adventures can be found tomorrow.