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August 17, 2011

Yellow Point Area another Vancouver Island Gem

  Gwen was visiting and we made a day trip over to the Yellow Point Area on Vancouver Island. Wow. It`s so beautiful there. Our ulterior mission was to visit the Crow and Gate Pub in Cedar, BC, but after the short 20-minute trip from Salt Spring to Crofton on the Vesuvius Ferry we took the turn onto Yellow Point Road that follows the coast. First stop the iconic Yellow Point Lodge. It`s a relic from the 1940s (1939 to be exact)  but the setting is spectacular. I felt like I`d stepped back into some 1950s movie about summer camp.

The small, rustic cabins right on the ocean are so retro. Loved them. The problem is, it`s so popular and has such a faithful following that it`s next to impossible to get a reservation because longstanding visitors book for the next year as soon as they have finished their annual getaway. They have a 14-day cancellation policy so at some point, through persistence, you`re sure to luck out.

 After we finished wandering around and checking out the old fashioned wooden swinging chairs (see below) and admiring the amazingly long wooden tables set up in front of the barbecue area, we carried on.
 Just a short distance down the road, we came upon Blue Heron Park, the kind of beach you could spend a long time exploring with tide pools and flat rocks and a grassy area to picnic on. The only thing that seemed to be missing were the outhouses. At one point I came across a bunch of fish heads scattered along the beach and I wondered if some bear had been having a feast the night before.
There`s another beach lookout, all flat rocks and higher up from the water with about a 10 minute walk through the rainforest before you get to it. It`s called Robert`s Memorial but we didn`t think it was as nice as Blue Heron Park.

The drive is beautiful with a narrow, winding road that motorcyclists and cyclists seem to love. There were packs of cyclists doing laps on Sunday.

We didn`t know that the Cedar Market takes place every Sunday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm until Oct. 2 when the theme is Harvest. It`s a really great little country market in the grass area before you get to the Crow and Gate. I liked the fact that it was almost entirely food. There were stalls of popping fresh raspberries and amber fennel honey and home-made sausage, lamb, pork, freshly picked lavendar, and plump breads. Because it was more accessible and a lot less crowded, it seemed more relaxing and quaint than the Salt Spring market. I realize how wonderful it is to have a market restricted to food products, dare I say that.

After a quick browse, we managed to find a shared picnic table at the Crow and Gate and in my usual fashion, (although I can`t take full credit since Gwen was there as well), we ended up sitting beside quite the character before we even knew he was sitting there since he was ordering his drink as we sat down. He was a Canadian with a Scottish accent who had been a commercial diver in the North Sea and then went and worked in S.E. Asia for 26 years based in Singapore. He ended up in a Singaporean prison for 9 years as a result of a lot of Cannabis being discovered (without his knowledge, he claims not very convincingly) in the room in his house he was letting out to some 20 year old acquaintance. Go figure.

We listened very aptly for about 50 minutes to that and references to various motorcycle accidents at which point I was getting a little annoyed, wondering if it would ever occur to him to ask us just one teeny weeny question about our lives even though clearly neither qualifies as script material for a James Bond movie like his does. I didn`t think he would and lo and behold he didn`t ask.  No point in deviating from the well rehearsed life story that must be told and retold to all.  I had to excuse myself for a walk around the garden and this beauty washed away the anxiety building as a result of enduring his life's monologue.
 All in all, it was a beautiful day; the kind of summer day where time stands still!