Friday, April 11, 2008
Happy day in Cowichan Bay
Yesterday I went on a road trip up to beautiful Cowichan Bay. I don't think I've ever been there before, as it is hidden off to one side of the main route to 'up island'. There is this adorable little community, with a strip of shops along the waterfront, nestled in true West Coast fashion between green hills and gray-green ocean.
If you have never been to our coast, it is hard to describe: our mountains are blue, our ocean is gray and our hills are green in the winter and have a tint of brown in the summer. The trees are huge and even the most domineering city scape cannot compete with how imposing nature is in these parts. You cannot capture this with a camera; the scale is all wrong and the light somehow plays tricks on the camera so that you cannot capture exactly what your eyes have seen. Really, oil paintings are the only things I've ever seen that comes remotely close to representing what it is like. Emily Carr captured it better than most (these photos of her paintings are from that website).
Nature here is imposing, yes; but, fragile as well. Less than 20 minutes from my home they were constructing a new cloverleaf in the highway. To do this the construction crew had to blast the rock and cut down all the trees. It looked like a festering wound on the otherwise beautiful landscape. What made it all that much worse is as we drove by, I saw a baby black bear at the edge of the new tree line, not ten meters from where one of those big yellow tractors was working. (If you are interested there is a good article about this in the Martlet which has been put online for our benefit. This is also an interesting blog. It does appear to be extremely bias, it gives you an idea of how emotional large scale development is around here.)
Other than the exciting idea of going on a day trip, you might be wondering what drew me out of my cozy fleece-filled home. No, it wasn't yarn, it was grain that enticed me to 'Cow Bay'. First off I stopped by True Grain and had a look at the bakery and the mill which you can see through a thick sheet of what looks like Plexiglas. I bought some oatmeal there and I also discovered that I can eat some of their breads (I'm on a super strict diet for medical reasons at the moment, no eggs, no sugar, no dairy, no barley, no garlic, no this, no that, &c.) which made me very happy. I just have to be certain that I don't eat too much because I'm not suppose to eat anything with bakers yeast in it either. But a girl's gotta enjoy herself once and a while, and their pretzel roles are simply divine.
We also stopped by a place recommended by several friends to pick up a very large bag of wheat. Then drove around the country side looking at farms. South of 'Cow Bay' seemed to be mostly horse farms and new vineyards. There were a few sheep here and there, all of which unshorn and some llamas or alpacas (I cannot tell the difference while the fleece is still on the hoof). I really wanted to go up to the farmer's doors and ask them what they planed to do with the fleece (they didn't really want all of it did they? I could take some off their hands for them and I wouldn't charge them a penny.) but I was convinced that the farmers didn't want strange girls knocking on their door on a Thursday afternoon.
We also went for a walk on the beach. The tide was out and we saw lots of sand dollars.
When we stopped to take down a number from a real estate sign, I just about stepped on a snake. I think he's glad I didn't and so am I.