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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, October 24, 2011

In search of monasteries...but finding spaceships

This past week I spent the day with my friend Irma in search of a mystery monastery,
my great grandmothers old house and, well, just a good old fashioned adventure.
Our destination...Saltspring Island.
We left from the tiny town of Crofton on a beautiful fall day.
This is probably the largest of the southern Gulf islands, with a healthy population
of artists, musicians, retiree's, farmers, loggers, fishermen and a general assortment
of alternative life-styles.
There's a plethora of studios, galleries, shops and restaurants but that kind of 
tour will have to wait for another day.
Irma had been over there in the summer and had done some exploring along a winding
road up a mountain. Unfortunately the gals she was with weren't into seeing
what was around the bend and she had to rely on some Google Earth maps
when she got home to see what was there.
 She knew there was a Buddhist monastery up there
which looked very interesting on Google Earth with some sort of
huge round structure...or so we thought.
Near the top of the road we passed a numbered sign with colourful prayer flags but
we kept going straight and finally came to the end of the road...
...and there it was!
A spaceship had landed on top of Mount Tuam!!
Well, not really....but that's certainly what came to mind.
There were several radio towers up there but we had no idea what this monster structure was...
Turns out that 'War of the Worlds' was not upon us, but instead we later
learned that it was used as navigational equipment for ships but is now defunct.
Atop Mount Tuam (680 metres) we had amazing views of the east side of Vancouver Island and
just below us, somewhere down there was Irma's house in Cherry Point...
It was spectacular!
We were the only ones up there, besides the birds and the clouds.
We settled down on the edge of a bluff and had our picnic...
We hadn't seen each other for a few months and so we sat and chatted of our comings
and goings and daily life in each others corners of the Island.
Sadly, Irma had also tragically lost a sister years ago and so we talked of the
mysteries of life and death and the impact of such life changing events...
The wind, the clouds, the quietness upon that little mountain that afternoon
made for one of those rare days that stays with you forever
I later found out that this area is in the process of being protected as a nature preserve and I
imagine all of the little nest boxes we saw were part of the process but I also
wondered at what impact all that junk from radio towers would have on the
birds, bugs and such who make their home up here...
The search for my great grandmothers old house will be a bit long winded so we'll
save that for another day...for now...enjoy the view...


Stone Angel said...

You are simply the BEST! Loved this post today

Suz said...

oh my....I just fell in love with your journey
what a good friend
a fellow adventurer
blessed are the tow of you
I love your photos
truly wonderful
but I do want to know about grandma's house

farmlady said...

The magic of the day is evident in your photos.
What a beautiful mooring to spend time in... even with it's "space ships".
I think your sister's were with you both..

Cobalt Violet said...

What a beautiful and meaningful adventure!
Thanks for the little trip today ... needed it! :)