Galiano May Day
It's the long island
In Dionisio Park
Do it once - it was fun. Do it twice -
you have a pattern. Do it 5 times, you have a tradition.
The May day long weekend retreat is now a full on tradition - we
compare memories from which year had which hike, who attended or which
food we made. Some years are rich Salt
(2004) ) some years are leaner (the Sunshine
(2002), Pender Island
(2005) ) - this year the pendulm had swung back to rich and
we were off to Galiano Island.
What can make a long weekend better? Why
not make it a long, long
weekend - take Friday off too! Six of us got the idea to extend
the weekend and we took the early ferry to the island. We
couldn't take occupation of our home until 4pm so we found a great
afternoon hike to fill up the time.
Dionisio Park is a large
marine park on the north end of the Island and quite frankly a
jewel. The hard part is getting to it. There are roughly
two routes in by land and both go over private land. We walked
down what seemed like 2 km of good road (ironically some of the best
road in the gulf islands) that has been closed for years and is being
slowly overgrown. A rights dispute (the Islands Trust limiting
development) has left the road and the dreams of the people who put it
in left to languish.
Once you get into the park, it's a wonderful
The rocks around this part of the gulf Island are a softer sand stone
that weathers into beautiful patterns.
May is a great time for wild
flowers. Our weekend was preceded by a few weeks of great
weather so the flowers were out and bold.
My favorite part of the park is Dionisio point -
the furthers point of
the park. This small near island is near idyllic - wild flowers
grow between oaks, Douglas fir and Arbutus. It's the best
encapsulated piece of paradise I've seen in the Gulf Islands.
Time at the Resort
We had to draw out hike short so we could get to
our resort before the
late part arrived. (How else do you get the best bedrooms?)
The Bodega Beach Resort has too many amenities to list, but the
swimming hole, hot tub and beach front access were big hits.
While Galiano has a few restaurants, eating out
is expensive, a lot of
work and not really what a long weekend retreat is about. We
worked out a menu ahead of time, purchased ingredients (My once annual
trip to Costco as well as a $200+ trip to the Market on Granville
Island) and then rotate chefs through the weekend. Everyone works
hard on their meal and we are never short of things to eat. Eric
was our drinks maestro and we this year we discovered the bacon wrapped
Rocks in Front
The resort is right on the beach and has a
prominence that makes for good exploring at low tide. On Saturday
we went out for a walk to poke around and find out about the
neighbors. I'm a big fan of tide pools and while these ones don't
compare with Mudge Island, they are still nice to see. What
did impress me was the big wild life in the area. We often saw
more than one Bald Eagle, I saw my first Turkey Vulture of the season
and we watched while a river otter came ashore to hunt. There
were always seals just off the beach.
Bodega ridge is a short hike - less than half an
hour to wonderful
views. If such a hike existed in Vancouver it would be busier
than most malls on boxing day. Today we were the only car in the
The walk up is quite pleasant - it starts in
but very quickly opens up to thinner trees and then ultimatly open
The views really
do go on and on. You can see
the mainland and much of Saltspring as well as the smaller islands
going up to Nanaimo.
and Kayaking In Montegue Harbour
Andrea had arranged Kayak rental for two days of
our weekend and this
was our second day. We got two cars full of people to the park
and half went for a paddle while the other half went for hike. An
hour and a half later, we swapped.
I've done the shore walk a few times now and
still a good use of an hour. The tide was low so walking on the
rocks wasn't a problem and actually quite fun.
The shell beaches are always good from
that tropical feel and the large ocean marsh is fun to poke around.
Almost like clockwork - almost like we planned
it - we
got back to the beach to see the other group kayaking in.
After a brief bit of instruction to Eric, we got
in the water and
started kayaking. We paddled pretty much the same course as the
first group - up to a group of rocks where the seals like to haul
out. This was Helen's first time in a single, Eric's first time
paddling and my first time in Bob's sports car of a boat so we were all
a little slower than we wanted to be.
The coast of Galiano is ringed by stone
carved out by
the ocean and the elements.
The seals were out and for the most part didn't
care as we paddled
Road Side Attractions
Similar to Pender Island, this Island has a lot of deer. Unlike
Mudge, you don't trip on them on the way to your car. There were
some nice flowers at the side of the road and one afternoon I pulled
over to take a few snaps.
Even four days, it's never enough. Hikes were left undone, area's
unexplored and that hot tub always calls for another soak. but we did
have to get back. Packed up, a short ferry ride back and were
were home. Another good weekend - thanks everyone!
Tags: gulf island(10), flower(10), kayaking(4), rock(4), shallow depth of field(4), beach(3)
People: Mark(5), Helen(4), Eric(3), John(3), Bob(2), David(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Galiano May Day
Hi there, I'm wondering if Dionisio park is still accessible by foot today. From preliminary research it seems that it is only reachable by boat.
Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 19:23:44
Hi there, I was reading your information about Galiano island and am hoping you could please clarify some information that you have. The overgrown road that you walked down to get to Dionisio Park is private property and the road was actually paid for by the property owners, not by the government. The road is closed because it is not public property. You are right, the dreams of the property owners have been left to languish.
Saturday, May 25th, 2013 at 14:40:06
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:11:53 Edit
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