Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kayak Adventure Clayoquot Sound - Paddles West Kayak Tours

Every year when we make the trek to Tofino we always rent kayaks and go paddling with a guide.  We book our tours through Paddle West Kayaking Tours, their guides are excellent and very knowledgeable about the area.  We decided to do a paddle we had previously done, the trip to Meares Island. It is simply stunning! It is a small island with old growth forest and a rugged cedar hiking trail.  
The kids all loaded up in their single boats waiting to get going. The Hub and I decided to rent a double kayak, I seem to have done more paddling though, because he was trying to get the GoPro to work or so I'm told.  (Next time it's a single) 
The trip to Meares took about an hour and a bit, and then we hiked for about an hour. Beautiful!  All total we were gone for a good 4 hours.  I think a few kayaks are going to be on the wish list in the future. We've talked about it before. But I think this is something we need to make happen, as there are so many places on the island to paddle.

Jr is a water baby and paddled effortlessly.

All of the trees for the walkway are harvested on the island. 
There were beautiful stairways with bent cedar rails.
The stairs were a little sketchy, so if you aren't sure footed, it's not a great walking trail.
The trees are spectacular, it's old growth forest that has never been harvested. There was quite a controversy  a few years ago because one of the local logging company's wanted to log the island. Protests ensued and thankfully it was stopped and is still pristine.  It is one of the most beautiful spots in Clayoquot Sound. It is ancient rain forest, and if you listen close enough you can hear the trees tell the stories of the ages. 
This is the largest tree on the island. 
My niece showing how big the tree is.
The lovely Scooterpie Jr. 
Mini moto was out for adventure.
More shots of the beautiful pathway, it was a wee bit treacherous, a tad slippery.  I was surprised by an elderly couple navigating the trail, but it was with great difficulty. I was pretty concerned how they were going to get back as neither of them where having an easy time of it when we crossed paths. The gentleman was complaining about how rugged the trail was and "not good for old folks". 
Our afternoon was drawing to a close because we were following the tide and had to get back to the kayaks and return to Tofino or we would have been going against the current.
Random trail pics.
This lovely boat was moored at the island when we paddled in. 

Kayak parking.
Heading out!
The cellphone battery was starting to die and I was busy working the rudder on the return trip and paddling.
Floating village in Clayoquot Sound.
Almost back to Jamie's Whaling station and kayak dock.
Our lovely guide Tasha from Paddle West Kayaking tours.  Thanks for the great day! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Exciting New Motorcycle Adventure

You never know where life's road is going to take you.  If you asked me four years ago if I would be a motorcycle rider the answer would have been "No", I was content being a passenger and rode on the back of my hub's bike  for 28 years.
In space of six months things rapidly changed, fast forward to January 2011, and the purchase of a little 50cc scooter which led to where I am today.  

My blog friends all know how passionate I am about motorcycling. I have learned so much about myself; persistence, perseverance, courage and a zest for life and adventure through this journey.  

Before I left for vacation I applied to be a motorcycle instructor at a local riding school. I was successful, and I'm now a novice motorcycle instructor in training!  I am excited, nervous, and even a little scared!  

 I will be spending the better part of the fall and winter getting ready to start teaching in the spring.  I am looking forward to the challenge and mentoring new riders.  I still am reeling with excitement!  Wish me luck!

The wild and beautiful West Coast

It's our annual trek to Tofino for 'glamping' in a 30 foot motorhome complete with a queensize bed and full amenities.  We have been lucky and had stellar weather, but even in the fog and rain it's still beautiful in Clayoquot Sound area.

We stopped by a beautiful river and dangled our feet in the water. It was fabulously refreshing on a hot summer day.
The trees on this part of the Island are spectacular.  They are huge!  This old beauty is resting by the rivers edge.
It sticks out quite a way and lot of tourists climb out to the end which can be a little precarious at times.

We finally made it to our favourite spot.

I picked up a little toy on the way.

Mini Moto.

I have been enjoying my vacation immensely.  Of course it's a foodie paradise here with all the fresh seafood and gourmet eateries.  We really aren't camping we are 'glamping' which is the new term for glamour camping.

This was part of my pie baking fest prior to leaving.  And then it was off to my favourite chocolatier, Chocolate Tofino for homemade gelato and a box of handmade chocolate.

You know it's good when people are lining up out the door and waiting in the hot sun.

The mini moto had to get in the picture.

And of course the gorgeous sunsets!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Post cards from the edge - ToadMama's Snail Mail challenge

Kathy at issued ba challenge!  We in blog land love challenges!  Here's how it works, you message me your address and I will send a postcard!  There is an email link on the top right corner of my bloggio.  Who doesn't love receiving postcards!  I do! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Princess Pie Diva - a foodie paradise

Hand pitted fresh Okanagan Cherry Pie made with butter pastry
August is very special to me, it is my recharge time away from work and slow down and enjoy the fruit of the season.  It is also when the baking goddess makes her appearance and even trumps riding a motorcycle!  This year I decided to indulge in a bit of both I went on a 3 day adventure, that left me relaxed and happy. The day after my return saw pie baking time coming on, it's sneaky and insidious, before I know it I am stalking the markets looking for flats of freestone peaches.  In my world nothing is done in small measures!  Once I secured my succulent flat of peach beauties I had to wait a day or two for them to completely ripen and I placed them out in the warm sun and then it was time to let the magic begin.  

I could smell the intoxicating scent of the peaches and could've stood there all day just breathing in the heady peach scent.  

When I make pastry it is made with butter and not lard.  I just love butter and I believe Julia Child had the right idea of cooking with it.  I love the subtle taste of the butter and it doesn't leave a greasy aftertaste.  I've experimented with different pastry recipes and I always come back to mine. So far we have gone through 3 1/2 pounds of unsalted butter, and a bag of flour, some sugar, as I don't like a lot of it. The perfect number of peaches in a pie is 7 to 8. I've peeled my way through 48 peaches and baked them all!  Today I hand pitted a pound of Okanagan cherries and made a delectable cherry pie which my hub cut while still warm and not sure it will still be there in the morning.  I made two peach pies, one for baking, the other for freezing. I  also made a small mini peach pie as a gift for my neighbour because when bakefest happens I usually leave the front and back door open and the scent drifts over their yard and I thinks it's a bit tortuous for them to constantly smell the aroma and never get treats.

My pie beauties cooling

I was actually pretty bake manic today and made two loaves of banana bread as well.  Tomorrow depending on my pie mood, there maybe a mixed fruit pie, it all depends about what strikes my fancy.

August isn't just about baking either, I also like to pull out cookbooks, browse through internet recipe sites and make beautiful meals.  I cook with wine, butter, fresh ingredients and take hours rambling through the kitchen.  We have had grilled fresh sockeye salmon marinated in maple syrup & touch of balsamic vinegar, served with a light salad & fresh corn. Another night I sautéed chicken in white wine, butter, shallots, garlic and capers, towards the end I added spinach and served it all on fresh pasta. My only regret is that I don't have this amount of time during non vacation times.

There is more to me than being a motorcycle chick, I'm a foodie and sometimes domestic diva (well I'm a diva all the time!)