Over the water and through the woods . . .

. . . to the Jedediah Island homestead we went!

A little rain did arrive during Tuesday night, and as a result, we spent Wednesday, September 28, in lovely Deep Bay, where small swells rocked Braesail from side to side all morning, and I was more comfortable reading up in the cozy cockpit. By noon, sunbeams had put most of the showers to flight, and Walt and I decided to take Coracle to the head of the bay and walk the trail through the forest to the meadow to the orchard to the outbuildings to the dilapidated farmhouse to the shore of Home Bay, all part of a homestead that was sold to the British Columbia government and is now theJedediah Island Provincial Marine Park.

The forest of cedar, hemlock, madrona, pine, mosses, and ferns through which one walks to the meadow
Suddenly, the forest ends and a vast meadow of tall grasses opens before the explorer. Wild deer, sheep (descendants of those probably left on the island by the Spanish in the 1700) and goats graze here, but we saw none of them.

After following the trail through the woods that contains stacks of huge dark boulders as well as many old-growth trees, stumps, and “nurse logs,” one comes suddenly upon a meadow through which the trail continues. Aged apple, pear, plum, cherry, and walnut trees that still bear fruit stand at the far end of the meadow near what was once the garden, and one can see the collapsing remains of a barn, tool-shed or well-house, and some other outbuildings. The view over shallow Home Bay from the front of the decaying hilltop residence of the Foote family, built around 1890 and then occupied, first by the eccentric Irishman Henry Hughes in the 1920s and 30s, and then by farmsteaders Al and Mary Palmer until 1990, is magnificent–I wish I could have seen the impressive farmhouse with its welcoming front porch when it was new!

The view across Home Bay as one stands on the high ground in front of the main homestead house, which has been falling into increasing ruin since 1990. The monument honors Dan Culver, a climber and outdoorsman who was killed at the age of 41 while descending the mountain, K2, and who left money for the preservation of such gorgeous coastal lands as this.

Occasional sprinkles splattered us as we walked around the homestead and back through the meadow and the woods, but we arrived back at the spot on the beach where we’d tied Coracle to a log feeling only a little damp. Back we motored to Braesail, and I loved looking at the lichens decorating the massive rocks along the shore.

Delicate doilies of lovely, lacy lichens line the rocks that surround the shores of the bay.

After the day’s exercise and an unintentional quick wade in the clear, cold water near the head of the bay as I clambered out of Coracle, I was ready for a tranquil night prior to our trip across the Strait of Georgia to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island on Thursday.

One thought on “Over the water and through the woods . . .

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