Yesterday I spent the entire morning and afternoon cleaning windows. The brilliant sunshine now streams in, unhampered by particulate and streaks. The last few months have been an amazing journey, but I would be lying if I said they were without stress. Now, I finally feel enough clarity to breath and appreciate the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Nearly three weeks ago, I married my best friend. Life could not be better. After almost eight years of dating, including over a year-long engagement, we both were taken by surprise at the new depths marriage brings. I can’t wait to share with you all the details, sights, sounds, and emotions from our wedding day. Soon.
Today I wanted to share the first set of photos from our minimoon.
After the wedding, we took off for just over a week, postponing our “real” honeymoon in New Zealand until February of next year. Many of you will remember our trip to Salt Spring Island a few years ago. One of British Columbia’s beautiful Gulf Islands, Salt Spring has held a special place in my heart since I was a child.
After a decadent night in Vancouver – gorging ourselves at Vij’s again – we hopped aboard a ferry bound for that lovely haven.
After weeks of high intensity preparation, floods of emotion, lack of sleep, and zero appetite we were both exhausted and wrung out on every level.
Arriving at Ruckle Provincial Park, I could feel those layers of stress begin to peel away. We found a lovely campsite (upgrading to one of absolute perfection the next day) and went about our respective methods of unwinding.
Serendipitously, our first evening saw a moonrise for the record books. Huge, honey-gold and just the waning side of full, the moon seemed to rise just for us.
Sunrise from a tent at Ruckle isn’t half bad either.
The sudden let-down of my defenses unfortunately resulted in an immediate cold. Yet nothing could encroach on our happiness. We were content to sit and enjoy the gorgeous 180 degree panorama of ocean, island, and sky.
And eat. Glorious, glorious food. We don’t mess around (gluten-free bagels with Shipki Farm eggs, goat cheddar, and habenero chicken sausage…mmmmm).
One of our favorite things about Salt Spring is the island’s numerous lakes. Each has its own character, but each is clean, warm, and offers easy public access. Previously, our favorite was tiny Blackburn, favored rather humorously by the local nudists. This trip, however, we were filled in on the semi-secret Lake Maxwell. You may remember the breathtaking views from Mount Maxwell? Well the lake is accessed by a trail, beginning about halfway up the mountain.
After some confusion regarding where to park, which trail to take, and how to reach the eventual tantalizingly close water, we found an absolute dream of a spot. One of the best things about Lake Maxwell is that there are many points of entry just off the trail, offering various levels of privacy, one simply has to choose.
A rocky outcropping, topped with thick moss and shaded by cedars, sheltered a miniature beach bordered by water lilies and featuring a flat rock submerged just so onto which one could wade before diving in.
The water was the cleanest I have ever seen, excepting icy Snow Lake on Mt. Rainer. This was no snow-fed body, however, offering a warmth so delicious it was difficult to get out.
More minimooning to come in Part 2!