Halfmoon Bay – The Early Days

'Best Nurse Tree Ever' (in Colin's yard)
 
 

'Riddle Me This'

Q: What suit of cards lays eggs?

A: One that's chicken hearted

 

When we were here five years ago, we stumbled upon an experience that engraved itself upon our souls…'Big Fir'. A grove of old growth, Douglas Fir and Red Cedar in a secondary growth forest. The trees were huge and when we walked there, we felt as if we were interlopers. Every sound…a Blue Jay's call, a drop of water falling…resonated with thunderous, booming power, magnified by the density of the forest. Today, we are returning.

Now, the area is called Big Tree and it is labeled a 'recreation area'…we wonder how this new designation (and the additional traffic) will have affected the forest.

Getting to the site is part of the fun. A short drive North on Hwy. 101 (9km North of Sechelt) and 400m before Trout Lake, turn right (just before the lake) onto the Carlson Forest Service Road. Then it's a rough 3km drive up the old logging road, past the clearcut on your left (which, after five years has begun to heal) until you find a tiny sign letting you know you have arrived

 

 

 

There was actually talk, five years ago, of logging these ancient trees ('cause who isn't into making T.P. from life that took a thousand years to develop). Incorporating these giants into a 'recreation area' seems to have saved them…somewhat. The trees are still magnificent and mighty and the surrounding forest remains healthy but the many new hiking and biking trails have clearly left their mark. Trails crisscross in every direction, bicycle tire tracks have polished root systems and the soil is pounded down hard. Signs have been added, asking people to stay off of roots and soil as this…'will allow these giants of the forest to be here for generations to come' (at least there are no Tim Hortons cups lying around). The previously amazing acoustics of this primeval home have completely disappeared.

Despite the changes, stillness and grandeur prevail and Wendy and I gawk…up…into the sun, filled with awe and wonder

 

The ‘Halfmoon Fir” is believed to be the biggest existing tree on the Sunshine Coast proper (Gambier Island has a bigger one.) Its dimensions are 26 ft diameter, 8m circumference, and 65m tall

 

 
 

 

 

 

Trails abound…and they are wonderful to hike. We have plenty of time and we are excited to trek deeper into the forest.

 

 

 

The deep silence is occasionally broken by the heavy chuffing sound of cyclists pedalling hard up the trail…we move aside to let them pass ('good luck…break a leg')…and the stillness returns.

 

 

 

A recognizable chirp…Wendy are you getting a text? Apparently yes. It's from Kirk…'Wanna hit an island?' (well, I'm not sure, I did leave all my heavy weaponry back in Ontario)

Wendle texts back…'Absolutely'

Kirk, 'How soon?'

Wendle, 'We are in the forest at big fir. Will take us about an hour to return to the house. Does that work?

Kirk, 'Anytime is fine'

“YES!!”

We backtrack through the forest, hop into the car and drive the slow, bumpy, dusty ride back down to the highway. During the drive we get additional information from Kirk…the island excursion is an overnighter. Dang! Colin is looking for a babysitter so we can all go to the Roberts Creek Legion tonight (it's live band 60's nite). Well, if he does arrange the sitter we'll stick to the original plan…unlike some, we don't bolt for the best new offer (no names…Colin)

Back at home, the kids are playing outside with Chris' son, Kato (ninja alert…Kato is quite possibly the 'Green Hornet's' sidekick). For the most part, they're having a blast. Zohan keeps trying to sneak into the house to play with her iPod . You can't blame her, it's brand new and she just wants to play some Monster High

Zohan and toys…check out the hat (oh no, she's reading ('Bowdrie')

Teddy hard at work (sure, drill some holes into daddy's floor)

Wendy and I check with Colin and he definitely has a babysitter for the evening. Sorry Kirk, we're heading to the Legion…what…we can go to the Island tomorrow? Awesome!

Dinner is steak with some healthy trimmings, a good pre-game meal. We have just finished cleaning up in the kitchen and putting on a clean pair of shorts when the babysitter arrives. Her name is Iona and she is amazing…the kids love her. She has them completely wrapped around her little finger. She seems to do it by saying “Wow, that's CRAZY!” to everything the kids say (I am definitely going to try that)

Tonight's plan…drop in at Martin's place and then the Legion. We don't yet know who Martin is…other than he's one of Colin's friends. Wendy and I are following Colin ('cause we, as yet, have no idea where we're going). We lose him when we pull over to take pics of the sunset from Davis Bay

 

As it turns out, Martin operates a hostel in Robert's Creek called 'Up The Creek'. Several people are sitting around Martin's dinner table sipping wine and enjoying each other's company. From left to right…Colin, a former local woman now living in Edmonton, a local lady, then Martin, then Luke (an Aussie), Albert (a Dutch visitor), Petra (she's Dutch and local), Wendy and me. They're an interesting and eclectic group and our conversation mirrors that diversity. Here's the scoop (oh gawd, please make it quick)

Luke and Albert were born on the same day and year, four hours apart in Australia and the Netherlands. They are as tight as brothers now. Albert is touring the world a month at a time. He's a graduate student in Philosophy and he sparks a great conversation on the evolution of social morals (once again…talk amongst yourselves).

Luke is actively pursuing his dream of purchasing a 30' sloop and sailing it to Australia. Children at his mom's school (in Australia) will follow every move via the Internet. He is a passionate and practical young visionary…and he already has put a deposit on his new boat…'WILLOW'. It is having its hull cleaned on Wednesday and Wendy and I are excited to go and watch.

It's ten thirty before we get up again to go to the Legion…which is packed solid. The live band is very good and the music is pure sixties…CCR, The Doors, The Beatles (in their weird stage), Simon and his Pet Garfunkel…and the dancing, 'Wow, that's CRAZY!' (just practicing)

I don't dance. No, really…I don't dance. Yet somehow, we close the joint. It is a lovely community evening.

It's late before we get home, throw our sleeping bags down and crash. A busy and fulfilling day.

Moose and Wendle

P.S.

Joni Mitchell supposedly lives just North of Halfmoon Bay, on the Sunshine Coast Highway. If we have a chance, we'll take a picture of her house for you aging hippie types (anyone who was at Woodstock)

P.S.S.

“Riddle Me This”

Q: When does a painter use a trigger instead of a brush?

A: ________________

 

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