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September 2022Go to
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Victoria for the Labour Day Long Weekend

Kids With Opinions
My Mom's birthday is in early September and she is turning 75!  The Labour Day long weekend is later this year so we got together as an extended family for the weekend.  James and Jeff were missing as James had hockey try-outs the same weekend - and he got in!


Malahat Skywalk

Everyone Is Tall Enough To Slide

We have done a lot of the attractions in Victoria, but this one is somewhat new.   We drove the roughly half an hour from my parents house up to the top of the Malahat and paid the admission fee.  The attraction (the giant spiral structure) is maybe a 10 minute walk from the entrance/cafe/gift shop on an elevated walkway through the Arbutus tree canopy. 



Nara LevitatingUs On Elevated Walkway With ArtFamily Out For Walk

Peeling ArbutusNearing End Of Boardwalk
The elevated walkway is more of an attraction than I thought - you don't often get to see a forest from this high up.  Pretty soon the skywalk starts to dominate the view.


It's something like what you would expect - a giant coil of a walkway taking you up 10 stories above the ground.  The ramp really is slight, it barely feels like you are going up hill as you walk your way up.

Sun Shining Through Malahat SkywalkRoughly Half Way UpMulti Story Spiral

Kids Laughing At Slower FamilyKids Walking Up SpiralView Of Adventure Net

The top has a view of Saanich Inlet over to Sidney and down south toward Goldstream.  There is a bouncy net you can stand on and feel the vertigo of looking down past your feet to the ground 10 stories below.

View From Top Of Malahat SkywalkStanding On Adventure Net

But the real attraction is about half way down the tower again - a giant multi-story slide.  To keep the burns to a minimum (and I suspect to keep the speed down) you need to ride on a carpet.  The parents went once.  The kids went twice.

Marcus Giving Nara PushMarcus Riding DownClaira Making Video

Helen Also Taking VideoGrandma Arrives On CarpetGrandpa And His Binoculars



Kids Found Playground
One you have got your sliding out, there is a small coffee stand at the bottom and a small playground.  We walked back to the entrance via the ground route and drove down to Mill Bay for lunch.  Good times!



Happy Birthday Cake
Happy birthday Mom!


Road To Telescopes
I've been to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory a few times in younger times, but I haven't been since I've had kids.  I looked it up and I found out they were open for the weekend, but the free tickets were sold out.  Their ticket page did imply that people should return their tickets if they weren't planning on going and amazingly, after checking back perhaps a dozen time, we found some tickets!  We were able to eventually get enough tickets for us all to visit.  As the sun was getting closer to setting we drove up and parked just below the peak.


Telescope Building At Dominion Astrophysical Observeratory
We listed to a talk by Bob McDonald about the SLS (he wasn't a fan) and then we got in line for a Dome tour.  Sadly the sky was partly cloudly so they didn't open the Dome but they did move it around and showed some images taken by cameras earlier in the year.  The talk was quite technical (observing the spectra on binary stars) which I quite enjoyed but the kids found a little overwhelming. 

Telescope And Counterweight

It was clearer when we left, but it was too late to try again and hope they opened the dome.

The next morning my sister and nephew went back to Vancouver.  We wanted to do a bit of an adventure day so we drove out to Shirley for a walk and lunch. 

Sandcut Beach

Kids With Grumpy Faced StumpStump With Attitude
Another one of those "better since I was a kid" activities.  Sandcut beach access trail and parking lot was created sometime after the land was purchased by the Capital Regional District in 2010.  It has a nice parking lot and pit toilet and good signage to get you started.


Being west coast, most of the trail is boardwalk  - if it wasn't it would be a giant mud pit.  Besides the stumps, there are some great old growth trees.  The trail goes down to small creek and rises up again before you get to the beach.

Bridge Over Small StreamClaira Sitting On Cedar Tree Limb

Walking Back Over Zig Zag BridgeWalking Up StairsVetch Peas

Red Kelp
The beach itself is mostly rocky but there are some sandy patches.  There are giant spruce trees nearest the water and a wide variety of kelp is washed up on the beach.


View Down BeachTurkish Towel Kelp



Sandcut Creek Hitting The Beach
A little walk down the beach you come to where Sawcut Creek spills out into the sand.  The rock here makes for a nice drop into a small pool but it's quite easy to walk up to the creek level and walk back to see where the water is flowing from.  Being late summer, the creek is near it's lowest level.

Helen Is Above Everyone ElseKids Streching Over Streambed
Looking in the cracks around where the water flows shows a lot of different kinds of plants exploiting the sun and moisture.  Many of these plants would be completely hidden when the flow is higher.

Liverworts Hiding Under Waterfall  Maidenhair Ferns Below River Course

Streamside DaisiesMonkey Flower Growing Below Waterfall

Taking Photos Of River Otter On Rock
On the walk back along the beach we spotted a river otter out eating and having a brief nap on rock just off shore.  The river otter knew he was being watched but really didn't seem to care about people.


River Otter High On RockRiver Otter Resting On RockRiver Otter Returning To Ocean

Common Loon Non BreedingRiver Otter Looking To ShoreRiver Otter With Mouth Open

Now that we worked up an appetite, we went to Shirley Delicious for lunch.  This restaurant used to be a "well kept secret", but it's now well known and has a long line up every day.  The seating was once inside now sprawls outside on a new patio and picnic benches.  Everyone found something tasty to eat. 

Nara Looking At Butterfly
After lunch we drove over to the Sheringham Point Lighthouse to take in the view.  Again, when I was a kid, this wasn't a place you could visit.  Today the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society has made this "by donation" destination to visit.

Butterfly On Fingertip

They have set up a hydrophone so you can try and hear the whales out in the straight, but sadly it wasn't working when we visited.

Walking To Sheringham Point LighthouseStairs Below LighthouseView Of Kelp Forest

Using the guidance of "It's better to have a good short day than a long bad day", we called it a day here and drove back to Victoria.

Victoria Classic Boat Festival

Classic Boat Festival Sign
We had a really good time at a wood boat Festival in Pender Habour once and my kids have enjoyed boats ever since.  Covid kind of ruined this as people are really reluctant to give tours when your guests might make you sick.  Victoria has a Classic Boat Festival for the long weekend so we decided to go down to the dock and walk around.


While there were a few big boats, most of these boats were family sized setup for cruising between islands in protected waters.  Some of the boats were more than a hundred years old.  All of the them had a ton of care and attention.

Claira Looking At Little FishDinghy With Cane And Rear View MirrorDragon On Bow

Being in the inner harbour, there are lots of nice backgrounds behind the ships. 

Silver Tea Set On Back DeckTall Ship With Empress BehindSmall Cannon On Front Deck

  Nara And Claira On Canada Sign

Renfrew Ravine Lantern Festival

  
Arriving Just Before SunsetWe have been to the Renfrew Ravine Lantern Festival many times (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2021 ) in past years and it's time well spent.   The event usually has a combination of lantern setups, people carrying lanterns and performances.



Each year you see some old favorite lanterns and some new lanterns.  Last year it rained pretty hard so I think it was the last year for some of the classic lanterns.

Bee LanternStar Above Jar LanternsCrowd Under Lanterns
 
  Mushroom LanternThree Inverted Pyramids
 
Green Tall Instrument
This year the performance involved improve on improvised instruments with dancers doing dance along side.  They musicians and performers started all over the site and migrates to a central area where they performed together and then they spread out again over the site.

Musical Performance In ClearingTallinstrument With Dancer

There were a few notable lantern instalations.   You want to keep your eye out on lanterns people bring.  This year I saw some bright lanterns on a tree that looked like some sort of magical shelf fungus.  The fences along the creek usually have paper bag lanterns, but some posts were exceptionally well decorated.  Near the bottom of the valley is usually a larger instalation and this years water drop instal looked great.  Finally, a stump was dressed up using wicker baskets - again, great work.

Fancy Lanterns On Walking SticksAcordian Lanterns On TreeFence Post With Lamps

Water Cycle DisplayWater Drop LanternStump With Wicker Baskets
 
As you go up the trail back to the field, they setup a shadow puppet screen and a small orchestra.  The crowd was loud so following the plot was quite hard, but it's a rarely seen medium so you just want to stand and apprecaite it.

Whaling On Shadow ScreenButterfly Net On Shadow Screen

Finally, being a harvest festival there were lots of moon themed lanterns.  The giant circular lantern is a staple of this event, but usually someone is carrying it.  I thought it was quite brave to leave such a large lantern just on the ground.

Claira Chasing The Cresent MoonGiant Moon Lantern At EntranceClaira With Moon Lantern

Drive home, kids are in bed at a reasonable time.  What's not to like?



Common Loon Non Breeding
Species: Gavia immer (Common Loon)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Walking Back Over Zig Zag Bridge
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Monkey Flower Growing Below Waterfall
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Butterfly Net On Shadow Screen
View From Top Of Malahat Skywalk
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 271m (889 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Looking At Little Fish
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Helen Is Above Everyone Else
Person: Claira, Helen, Janet, Lloyd, Nara
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Crowd Under Lanterns
Kids Walking Up Spiral
Altitude: 247m (810 feet)
Location: Go To...
Sandcut Creek Hitting The Beach
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
View Of Kelp Forest
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Stump With Attitude
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 59m (193 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: stump
Standing On Adventure Net
Person: Marcus, Nara, Claira, Janet
Altitude: 279m (915 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Looking At Butterfly
Person: Nara
Altitude: 41m (134 feet)
Location: Go To...
Fancy Lanterns On Walking Sticks
Bee Lantern
Tags: lantern, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Nara Levitating
Red Kelp
Person: Nara
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Taking Photos Of River Otter On Rock
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grandma Arrives On Carpet
Person: Janet
Altitude: 272m (892 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nearing End Of Boardwalk
Altitude: 256m (839 feet)
Location: Go To...
Turkish Towel Kelp
Person: Claira
Location: Go To...
Butterfly On Fingertip
Altitude: 41m (134 feet)
Location: Go To...
Sun Shining Through Malahat Skywalk
Altitude: 262m (859 feet)
Location: Go To...
Marcus Riding Down
Person: Marcus
Kids Streching Over Streambed
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Found Playground
Altitude: 262m (859 feet)
Location: Go To...
Walking To Sheringham Point Lighthouse
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Road To Telescopes
River Otter Resting On Rock
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
View Down Beach
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Nara And Claira On Canada Sign
Person: Nara
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Water Drop Lantern
Multi Story Spiral
Altitude: 257m (843 feet)
Location: Go To...
Dinghy With Cane And Rear View Mirror
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Water Cycle Display
River Otter Looking To Shore
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Happy Birthday Cake
Person: Nara, Claira, Janet, Marcus
Tags: cake, candlelight
Bridge Over Small Stream
Altitude: 39m (127 feet)
Location: Go To...
Peeling Arbutus
Altitude: 248m (813 feet)
Location: Go To...
Fence Post With Lamps
Telescope And Counterweight
Tags: telescope
Claira Making Video
Person: Claira
Star Above Jar Lanterns
Tallinstrument With Dancer
Classic Boat Festival Sign
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grandpa And His Binoculars
Altitude: 272m (892 feet)
Location: Go To...
Giant Moon Lantern At Entrance
Tags: lantern, moon, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
River Otter With Mouth Open
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Silver Tea Set On Back Deck
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Mushroom Lantern
Maidenhair Ferns Below River Course
Species: Adiantum pedatum (maidenhair)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: fern
Roughly Half Way Up
Altitude: 248m (813 feet)
Location: Go To...
Streamside Daisies
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Laughing At Slower Family
Altitude: 254m (833 feet)
Location: Go To...
Everyone Is Tall Enough To Slide
Person: Marcus, Nara, Claira, Janet
Altitude: 249m (816 feet)
Location: Go To...
Arriving Just Before Sunset
Person: Claira, Helen, Nara
Tags: Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Small Cannon On Front Deck
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With Moon Lantern
Person: Claira
Tags: lantern, moon, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Three Inverted Pyramids
Vetch Peas
Species: Vicia gigantea (Giant Vetch)
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Dragon On Bow
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: boat, dragon
View Of Adventure Net
Altitude: 277m (908 feet)
Location: Go To...
Green Tall Instrument
Claira Sitting On Cedar Tree Limb
Altitude: 59m (193 feet)
Location: Go To...
Telescope Building At Dominion Astrophysical Observeratory
Tall Ship With Empress Behind
Location: Go To...
Kids With Grumpy Faced Stump
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 43m (141 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: stump
Kids With Opinions
Person: Marcus, Nara, Claira
Acordian Lanterns On Tree
Tags: lantern, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Helen Also Taking Video
Marcus Giving Nara Push
Altitude: 272m (892 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Chasing The Cresent Moon
Tags: lantern, moon, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Liverworts Hiding Under Waterfall
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
River Otter Returning To Ocean
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Whaling On Shadow Screen
Stump With Wicker Baskets
Tags: lantern, moon, Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival, stump
Musical Performance In Clearing
Stairs Below Lighthouse
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
River Otter High On Rock
Species: Lontra canadensis (northern river otter)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Family Out For Walk
Person: Marcus, Nara, Claira, Janet, Diana, Helen, Lloyd
Altitude: 241m (790 feet)
Location: Go To...
Us On Elevated Walkway With Art
Person: Nara, Claira, Helen, John
Altitude: 241m (790 feet)
Location: Go To...
Walking Up Stairs
Altitude: 33m (108 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival(7), lantern(6), moon(4), stump(3), dragon(1), boat(1)
People: Claira(14), Nara(14), Marcus(6), Janet(6), Helen(4), Lloyd(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2022 to 2005 > September 2022

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Last Modified Thursday, September 29th, 2022 at 21:47:40 Edit
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