Snowy Galiano

A few weeks ago, I had booked another ferry over to Galiano so Justine and I could spend a day working on the property, cleaning up the trees we lost in the Christmas storm, and generally just enjoying the place. The weather, however, had other plans. The snow that we got in the city paled in comparison to the snow the got on the Gulf Islands. They got between a foot and foot-and-a-half of snow; our friends Alex and Fergus apparently got 60 cm on Vancouver Island.

We had heard that our road was impassible, so we headed over on the ferry not knowing what to expect, but figuring that we were likely to have to change our plans. And did we.

Snow tires ended up being a good investment this year.

It was the first time in a couple of years that we’ve pulled out the snowshoes.

As a last minute thought, we had grabbed our snowshoes to bring with us. It turned out to be a good idea. Dawn, the owner on the lane closest to the main road had hired one of the local guys to plow as far as her driveway. Beyond that the road was impassible, and we used our snowshoes to walk the 3/4 of a kilometer up to the property.

Our normally green second home was decidedly snowier.

The view looked quite a bit different this time around.

Justine enjoying the view.

With a foot and a half of snow on the ground, there wasn’t a lot we could really do on the property. We wandered around a bit, enjoyed the view and chilled out. We also checked on our two neighbours to make sure everything was OK with their places. As there wasn’t much we could do, we walked back down to the car.

From there, we drove down to the beach access at the bottom of our property. It didn’t look like anyone else has been down, so we walked down to the beach to have our lunch. It was surprisingly quiet - we’ve had great luck there with both birds and marine mammals. For the whole time we were there, there were a few birds but not much else. We had one little surprise just before we headed back to the car.

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After walking back to the car, we decided to head across the island to Montague Harbour Provincial Park. There was a hike there that we’d heard was nice, that we’d never checked out.

The road through the park was, unsurprisingly, a bit of a mess. So we drove through, then parked just outside the gate to make life easier.

From there, we walked down to the trail along the water. Unlike the image from below, there were almost no boats in the harbour.

There were however, quite a few birds, including some new ones for us to add to the list! There is a little spit that you can walk out on for a ways, which got us a bit closer to some of them.

A map of our hike around Montague Harbour.

A view of part of the day use area - so much snow!

The march between the two parts of the park.

A pair of male surf scooters. They use that crazy bill to dig and eat whole oysters and other shellfish.

We continued our walk, over to the other side of the park. Here we found the most beautiful beach on the island. Despite the snow, the place had a distinctly tropical feel to it - white “sand” (OK all crushed shells) and super clear water. Can’t wait to come back in the summer!

Such a beautiful beach!

After a couple of hours in the park, we had a little bit of time before needing to be at the ferry, So we headed over to Bellhouse Park, but with all the snow it was pretty quiet and we didn’t see much of anything. So we sat on the bench for a while until it was time to head back to the ferry and head for home.

It wasn’t quite the day we were planning on, but interesting nonetheless.