The Rain Finds Us
On Friday morning, we drive 10 miles to Ruckle Provincial Park, where a series of trails traverse the rocky outcrops. Out on the water, a sailboat passes us, moving too quickly for the available wind. “Do you think they’re motoring?” I ask. “The current could be pushing them,” Mom says. She adds, “I always thought the Gulf Islands were fun to sail around, but there were lots of currents.”
Dark clouds move in as we head back, and by the time we’ve reached the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company on Reynolds Road, a persistent drizzle has set in, defying the forecast. Founded in 1996, the family-owned company specializes in handmade goat cheeses. The display counter reminds me of the winter my family spent traveling the French canals, although the salesman we encountered there with the waxed and styled mustache is notably missing. After selecting half a dozen cheeses, we sit in the garden under an umbrella to enjoy them. The Herb and Garlic Ruckles, named for the park we’d visited earlier, is particularly good.
After the rain lets up, Mom and I walk into Ganges for dinner at the Tree House Cafe. Deciding that skin is, after all, waterproof, we then drive 7 miles from Ganges to one of four trailheads for Baynes Peak in Mount Maxwell Provincial Park. The trails are well marked, and in half an hour we reach the top, where we take in a stunning view of Maple Bay, where Mom spent a winter in 1978, before she sailed for Mexico. The rain sets in as we hike down, but the forest provides enough shelter that our regrets about not bringing rain jackets are minimal.