Eight hikers arrived on beautiful Cortes, drove to Whaletown. Wandered around this sweet village, the floating dentist, the little post office, the tiny library and the church. Sculpin Potter opened his studio for viewing and some selected a few pieces. We even met the Sea Caption who was attacked by a bear last year in the Great Bear Rain Forest, he told us his story. He was busy painting bear paw prints on his boat. We then drove to Linnaea Farm and selected our bedrooms, all happily roomed. Ate lunch and then off for our first hike to Easter Bluff. It was an extremely hot day and thank goodness we were in the woods. What a delight to reach the summit, with its views of Cortes Bay, looking down on Linnaea Farm fields and beyond, incredible views. All found a little shade to sit and cool down. Returned to the farm and a number of members jumped in the lake.
We noticed a very tall fir clothed in wisteria on the shoreline, so beautiful. Dinner Team # 1 cooked a delicious meal, everyone sitting around the large table sharing stories and getting to know each other. We all ate so much, we decided to take a walk to see a close-up of the wisteria tree. Bed time.
Day 2: Another hot and sunny day. Up early, everyone ate a good breakfast, lunch packed and off to K’was Park Trail Network. Janis was our fantastic guide. This network of trails varies in difficulty and moderate climbs. Rugged in some places, magnificent old growth with trails that lead around the two lakes of Hague and Gunflint. Found wonderful places to stop, reflect, eat lunch, and just rest from the heat. Some of us climbed to the high manzanita covered bluffs, up and down the ladder, certainly well worth the climb. We always find this park magical. One could spend days in this park, we still need to walk the ‘Secret Trail’, next time for sure. Returned to the farm and several jumped in the lake or took out the canoe. Dinner Team # 2 cooked another delicious dinner, many laughs and stories happened around the table. We all helped with clean-up, giving us the time to travel to Smelt Bay to watch the sunset. Wandered along the beach, families were on the beach enjoying the warm night, even a trumpet player. A wonderful display of the sunset over Marina Island. Back to the farm and all filled with beauty.
Day 3: Yet another gorgeous day. Cyndy was our guide on this day. First stop, a walk through the woods to Hanks Beach. It was truly wonderful sitting on the magnificent rocks overlooking Twin Islands. We then drove to Manson’s Lagoon, low tide at this time giving us the opportunity to walk out and explore the beach pools and the islands. The islands were covered with wild flowers, colours of blues, yellows and pinks. We enjoyed having lunch on the top taking in the serenity of the lagoon. Off to walk the trail through the woods to Mansons Landing, stopping at the Community Co-op for a treat and to say ‘hello’ to the old turkey in the community gardens. A trip to Cortes Museum and all enjoyed the exhibit of ‘Refuge Cove’. Walked to Cortes School, terrific gardens created by staff and students. We then walked the trail, again created and mapped by the students of Cortes School. A beautiful trail that led us back to Mansons Lagoon. We stopped and marvelled at the newly carved totem pole overlooking Mansons Bay. Returned to Linnaea, of course a number jumped in the lake to cool down. Dinner Team # 3 prepared a delicious dinner, enjoyed by all. After dinner we then drove to Hollyhock to wander the garden and the beach area. A lovely treat to end our day.
Day # 4: Members up early, clean-up began in the farmhouse. Everyone pitched in and soon the house was sparkling clean. After breakfast, food and gear packed, said our ‘goodbye’s’ to the farm and off to Carrington Bay. A beautiful hike through the woods down to the bay. Stories and dancing performed on the stage and enjoyed by all. Explored the magnificent lagoon, lots of starfish and sea cucumbers. Such a beautiful camping area. Took the trail to ‘Grandmother’s Grove’, feeling the energy and beauty it gives. The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society has been formed to purchase these forestlands and to hold them in trust for the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity. Members managed to connect with the 1:50 p.m ferry for home.
We all gave input regarding our Cortes Trip, communicating how much we all enjoyed these days on Cortes, the trails, the laughs, the stories, the sharing and giving, the delicious food and of course staying at Linnaea Farm is always a delight. Many thanks to our guides, the drivers, our stretching exercise teacher, and for the donation collected for ‘The Children’s Forest’. A terrific group of members at Margot thanks you all for your positive support.
Thanks to Jan for the photos, with more to come
(click on photos to view larger)