Monday, March 16, 2015

The big four oh

I turned forty this month. Let's gloss over that.

My friends decided oh, about six months ago? that a milestone birthday deserved a milestone trip. And so they started planning.

 Friday morning was beautiful and we headed to Horseshoe Bay and hopped on a ferry.

 To the Sunshine Coast! First stop, Gibson!

 And of course you can't stop in Gibson without a stop at Molly's Reach. Now normally I'd have the fish and chips, but you know, they make a lot of good food. Everything was delicious there that day.

 Kandace snapped this picture of me snapping pictures :)

Once we'd finished in Gibson, we moseyed up to Halfmoon Bay, our home for the weekend. We stopped along the way for groceries and then headed to our house. It was cute, but most of those pictures are on my camera and this blog post is all from my iPhone. So I'll talk about that another time.

Fast forward to Saturday, and we started the day off at the little cafe and corner store on the corner of Redrooffs Road and the Sunshine Coast Highway. This little guy was keeping watch over things.

 After purchasing lattes, we snuck down to the beach to check things out.

 From there the plan was to find Smuggler's Cove. But we got a little turned around, and drove right past the turn off, so we ended up at Rockwater Cove Resort. We'd heard it might be a nice place to stop for dinner, so we decided to check it out.

 I'm so glad we did (thanks Kandace!) Lunch was amazing. I had crab cake with butternut squash slaw. Seriously delicious. Then we decided to check out the boardwalks we'd seen from the beach below.

 See, they've built these walkways into the cliff (this picture below is the view from the walkway).

 And they wrap all around the cliff face, through the forest.

 And interspersed amongst the trees are these beautiful tents.

 I was completely enamoured.
 Like...really in love. The wind picked up almost as soon as we started exploring. It was that loud, exciting wind you only hear through trees that line the ocean. You could hear eagles and the waves crashing and it was amazing. Imagine sleeping in one of those tents, perched above this cove? I searched the resort's site later...heated floors, a little gas fireplace, your own coffeemaker...sounds like heaven to me.

 Eventually we pulled ourselves away and headed towards Davis Bay. The wind was still howling, and the waves were still crashing.

They have this little pier and a gangplank down to a floating dock. It was moving pretty good.

 I wasn't brave enough to go down, but Kandace was.

 After wandering around there and then exploring Sechelt, we headed back to our house and, of course, lit a fire.

 Sunday was our last day and Kandace was bound and determined to find Smuggler's Cove. But first, we drove past the Park and on to the end of the road where we found this little hidden gem.

 How lucky are the people who own houses in here? I don't know if you can tell, but both sides of the bay are lined with little cottages.

 It was so quiet and peaceful, we all felt like we could only speak in whispers. Until we heard a phone ringing from inside one of the houses and realized Modern Amenties and probably other tourists had indeed made their way here.

 Back up the road we turned, and decided to give the hike into Smuggler's Cove a go.

 The first half of the hike was like being in Moose Country. Black water and trees.

 And the most amazing series of boardwalks. Have you read the Lord of the Rings trilogy? You know the part where Frodo has to cross the marshland and speak with the dead kings? I felt like we were there as we crossed through the mist and the black water. It was spooky and magical at the same time.

 I'm surprised we didn't see a moose come wandering out of the mist towards us. Maybe we were there too late in the day.

 Finally we made it to the cove, and the second half of the hike, which was a loop through the hills around the cove.

 If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Sunshine Coast, I strongly encourage you to do this walk. It's incredibly beautiful.

 In the late 1800s, after the CPR was finished construction, hundreds of Chinese were let go from their jobs building the railway. So they paid $100 each to be smuggled in to the United States. At the first sign of trouble, the captain would let them loose here in this cove.

 Years later, during the prohibition, the cove was used for rum smuggling.

 And now it seems to be a popular (though not too popular) destination for Sunday afternoon hikes.

 I think my rockclimbing son would love this place.

 I know I did.