A wonderful four days of sunshine for our Cortes Trip.
Day 1: Nine women came along, leaving Quadra on the 9:05 am ferry, arriving in Whaletown at approximately 9:45 am. We drove on to Linnaea Farm and took our food into the kitchen fridge to stay cold. We then drove to Manson’s Landing and hiked on the trails that the students had created through the forest to Manson’s Lagoon. Stopping to view the beautiful carved totem pole on the beach, then walked on to the lagoon. The timing was perfect because we reached the lagoon at low tide and walked out to the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows, pinks and even chocolate lilies. We sat and ate our lunches, watching the geese with their babies. A number of blue starfish in the tidal pools along with sand dollars, a lovely treat, the lagoon was covered in shells. Return hike along the lagoon trail and onto Hague Lake, even two of the ladies swam. Then on to Manson’s to say ‘hello’ to Tom the turkey plus a treat from the Co-op, arriving at the farm by 4 pm, gear brought in and took the time to get settled. Dinner team # 1 prepared a delicious dinner, served at 6 pm. A group then took a walk around the farm, seeing the cows and the planting of produce etc. Nine pm we held meditation and everyone was present. Games were played by a few members, plus group discussions. A lovely end to a glorious day.
Day 2: Soon the kitchen was busy with individuals preparing their lunches and breakfasts. Eight am – meditation, the focus ‘I am my Silence’. This was a day for hiking Kw’as Park in silence, giving each person the opportunity to truly appreciate nature. The trails lead from Linnaea Farm along the sides of Hague and Gunflint lakes, through deep old forest with numerous old growth trees. We climbed up to the higher rocks overlooking Hague lake for lunch, warm sunshine with us, we all managed to find a little shade. In the afternoon we climbed over the high manzanita covered bluffs, a most beautiful avenue of tiny blue flowers helped our descent. Climbing down a newly erected steel ladder to the forest floor. Kw’as Park is a jewel, so much to see, to hear, to feel, we celebrated each step in silence. Arriving back at the farm in good time for dinner preparation by Team # 2. Another delicious dinner, giving us a chance to discuss our day of silence. Meditation at 9 pm again appreciated by all. All ready for a good nights sleep.
Day 3: Again, the busy kitchen with preparation for lunches and breakfasts. Today, the trip was to Blue Jay Farm, this is a 350 acre farm overlooking Carrington Bay and Squirrel Cove on the edge of Blue Jay Lake. A productive busy farm, chickens, cows, goats, ducks, lumber yard and also a huge amount of fresh produce grown, a magnificent farm. We toured the farm and then Tiger the cat came with us for a hike through the forest and around the lake, he took great care of us. We had lunch at the lake and a number of brave ladies swam in the cold waters. Another hike to a high ridge overlooking the farm and Carrington Bay and beyond. Such a wonderful day. We stopped for a short time at Squirrel Cove and then on to Linnaea Farm. Dinner Team 3 prepared the dinner, yet another delicious dinner. After dinner, a group went for a short walk and some played games. Nine pm meditation to end yet another beautiful day.
Day 4: Individuals awoke early to get a start for leaving the farm. We packed our lunches, ate breakfast and then cleaned. Nine-thirty am we set off to hike Easter Bluff, a pretty hot weather hike. Arriving at the top to take in the magnificent views overlooking the south and west end of Cortes and the mountains beyond, looking down on Cortes Bay, also a good view of Quadra. A trek down to Linnaea Farm to get into our vehicles, we then drove to Hanks Beach. This is a short forest walk to a secluded wide sandy beach with intriguing rock formations which we explored. Hanks Beach overlooks Twin Islands. We stopped awhile and ate our lunches before walking back to our vehicles. We then headed for the 3:50 pm ferry, reflecting on our wonderful trip to Cortes Island. The whales gave some a terrific display in the waters off Cortes.
A huge thank you to everyone, our fantastic trail guide, our meditation guide, the dinner teams etc. etc. A wonderful group. Yes, we were Silent on Day 2 for our walk in Kw’as Park. ‘ I am My Silence’.
Thanks to Jan, Janis, Kathryn and Cyndy for the photos
(click on photos to view larger)