Friday, July 31
To recap: upon exiting Strathcona a day earlier than scheduled, we were invited to visit Jenn's parents' residence on the island of Gabriola, one of the gulf islands just off of the coast of Vancouver Island near Nanaimo. The extra day afforded to us by our early exit from Strathcona meant we could sleep in, relax, and enjoy a slower pace for a bit.
The end of the Strathcona backpack marked the end of Brian's vacationing with us, and he was headed back east. Since we had come out a day earlier, Brian was soon on the phone, trying to see if he could arrange for an earlier flight home. Arn, meanwhile, had established communications with the rest of his family, who were soon slated to join us for the trip's next adventure.
Unfortunately for Brian, an earlier flight home was not a convenient option, so he was stuck with us on Gabriola Island for a day. Not such a bad thing, really, for the Innes residence and the island in general are a most relaxing way to spend that day.
The stretch of clear and calm weather was continuing, as predicted, and it was a beautiful morning view over the Strait of Georgia from the front yard of the Innes residence. On the far side, the line of the coast range stood in hazy silhouette against the morning sun.
After generously being served an eggs and toast breakfast (thanks very much!), we sat outside in the cool morning air and watched the ocean, the mountains, and the busy marine traffic steaming back and forth through the strait. Rather than stay with us until his family came up to meet us in nearby Nanaimo, Arn decided to head south to his parents' house (near Victoria) to reunite with them one day earlier. We dropped him off at the ferry mid-morning; his mother would be waiting on the other side to drive him the rest of the way.
Afterward, we decided to take a little mini-tour of northern Gabriola island, hitting all of the especially pretty spots - windswept Berry Point, the fantastically sculpted and overhanding sandstone of the Malaspina Galleries, and the beach at Sandwell Provinicial Park. I think Brian was impressed - we caught him looking at real estate postings.
Walking with the elusive mountain
After our little sightseeing tour, we returned to Jenn's parents' place to relax a bit more before dinner (as you can see, much relaxing on this day). I took a spread of photos of the Innes residence for Brian's wife Lori. Brian said she'd be interested in seeing pictures of the place. Somewhat annoyingly, the seeing conditions were such that from the front lawn we had a particularly nice view of the volcano of Mt Baker, some 130 kilometres distance. If only it could have been half as clear last weekend!!!!
For dinner, we took Jenn's parents' out to a very nice little restaurant on the island called the Woodfire Pizza and Grill. It was most kind of them to host us for an extra day, and it was the least we could do to thank them. Afterwards, the rising of a beautiful full moon (actually, a "Blue Moon", since it was the second full moon occurring in the same month) capped off a very nice day.