I love it when things are meant to be.
The need to escape our routine, our house (and chores), and forget about the prospect of the upcoming school/work week had us packing mushy tuna sandwiches, too-sweet hot chocolate, and any other snacks I could grab from the pantry – oh, and the odd requisite carrot to ease my guilty-mother conscience. Had to counter-balance the too-sweet hot chocolate and cookies, ya know.
Kids, umbrellas, mushy tuna sandwiches and the carrots were all thrown in the truck, and off we zoomed for a much needed adventure to Goldstream Provincial Park - just outside Victoria, BC. Although it was April it was misty and foggy, Mother Nature tricking us into thinking it was autumn. But we hadn’t been on one of our adventures for a while, and we were longing for an escape.
The parking lot was full, as were most picnic tables, and the collective slump of shoulders within the warm, dry truck was telling. We wanted the park to ourselves – we were being greedy and selfish, and resorted to toddler-like attitudes. We didn’t want to share.
It wasn’t meant to be.
Up Highway 1 we sped, my mind whirring of where to go. As the altitude increased, so did the fog. Yes, there were many picturesque viewpoints over-looking Brentwood Bay we could have stopped at, but with the fog ever-increasing, what was the point.
10 minutes away from Goldstream Park, I saw this…..
Up for the adventure, I followed the sign, curious what we would find. Another sign lead us to a parking lot, and despite the trail leading us, hopefully, to the lake, I wondered if we were going to have to portage (minus the boat, of course) our tuna, carrots and hopefully-still-hot hot chocolate for 5 miles through the woods.
With our rations (maybe I should invest in a GPS for these outings), off we trudged through the mist.
We had barely hiked for 5 minutes when we came to this….
It was meant to be.
Complete with picnic tables, a sign indicating no life guard on duty and to be aware of thin ice, it was instant heaven. Our collective gasp startled a bald eagle resting nearby (well, not really – but we did see a bald eagle), and we set about drying a table, and unpacking our great feast.
Just as the mist turned to a drizzle, we finished our lunch; they were the best mushy tuna sandwiches ever. I packed up our lunch, and eyeing a path leading somewhere, off we went.
Through a world of moss-covered fallen fir and cedar tree branches, we trudged along the gravel trails, stopping every so often to peer over a rocky ledge (perfect for fishing for trout, as we learned from a fisherman), into the water below. The trail zigged, zagged, rose and fell, carrying us over wooden bridges and walkways which hovered over creeks.
Unsure as to how far around the lake the trail would take us – remember, I didn’t have a GPS – we turned and made our way back. We found out from the fisherman, by then packing up his gear, we had almost made it around if we had only kept going just a tiny bit farther. Darn.
On our way back, a flash of red caught my eye. A dogs’ tag with ‘Victoria Adoptables’ engraved on one side rested on a mossy log. Through this company, www.victoriaadoptables.com, two lives had intersected.
My kids trotted ahead while I looked at the tag, placing it just ‘so’ on the log so I could take a picture. I was intrigued by the owner, who had taken the time and trouble – and who had the heart and soul – to adopt a dog. I envisioned a dog and his owner tromping around this oasis we had stumbled upon. With the dog splashing in the lake, his tongue lolling, his ears flapping, and his tail ever-wagging while scaring the fish, the owner would be looking on, equally happy and content to be sharing this natural haven with his new best friend.
They were meant to be.