We have been talking about taking this day trip to Sibola for years. Due to the time it takes to get there, the long drive on rural dirt roads, and the alpine conditions, this adventure is best done during the summer or early fall. Due to all the planning that a person would have to do ahead of time, you might be able to tell why we haven’t quite accomplished this yet! However, we made official plans for this weekend, which turned out to be (in my opinion) the best time to go because the leaves are changing all around, creating the most beautiful scenery.
In an effort to prep for the trip I baked a lemon pound cake and fixed some hoagies and Cam packed up the truck. The drive took somewhere in the 3-4 hour range, but no one was really counting. We stopped for coffee and pound cake at a hunting cabin before making the ascent up the hill.
The climb up the mountain was all done in the truck, which the anti-hiker in me truly appreciated. We went looking for an old mine shaft when we finally got to the top, which we quickly located down a steep embankment below us. We climbed down (while praying that I wouldn’t start an avalanche) had a great time exploring the old railway tracks, the out buildings, and then they guys found the actual opening to the old mine. They were brave enough to go inside. I heeded the sign and watched from the safety of the entrance.
Once we conjured up an appetite, we climbed back to the top and perched on the edge of the mountain for lunch. Just before heading home for the day, we explored the top of the mountain for awhile, which paid off when we saw the amazing, colourful streaks on Sibola.
In keeping with northern culture, we planned a dynamite party held at Stellako Lodge (which I would link to, but also in keeping with northern culture, there is no active website…) for Linette’s grand send-off. Stellako Lodge is located at the head of the Stellako River, where the river and Francois Lake meet and has long been a staple of my northern life. It is the one adventure that Linette had yet to experience during her time in Burns Lake so we packed the mini van full of our best friends, excessive amounts of wine, gummies, and chips and headed for an overnight adventure.
Stellako isn’t glamourous by any stretch of the imagination, but it holds a certain charm that is especially enchanting after a late night dinner in the rustic restaurant, a few glasses (or in this particular case bottles) of red wine, and a room lit solely by the glowing light of a kerosine lantern atop your table.
Today Linette and I packed up our best picnic blankets, Chopper the Dog, and a tasty spread, then headed to the Southside for an adventure. We ended up in Wistaria. Doesn’t that word conjure up beautiful images of an almost mythical land? I imagined rainbows, summer cottages, white picket fences, and maybe even a few desperate housewives.
We drove about 20 minutes to the ferry landing (where we stopped for free coffees/doughnuts/coffee cake from the Wagon Wheel!) then took the 10 minute ferry to the Southside of Francois Lake. We drove another half hour, passing Wistaria Community Hall and then Wistaria Community Church, and stumbled upon Wistaria Provincial Park (thanks to our trusty Backroad Map Book). The road in looked remote, yet friendly, so we took the opportunity to stop for lunch. It was drizzling so we unfolded our blankets and unpacked our french bread, goat cheese, basil, and caramelized onions, plus perrier and shortbread cookies and took shelter under the truck’s canopy. We plotted about how we would protect ourselves should a rogue bear appear, all the while watching a storm blow in across Ootsa Lake.
On the ride home, we encountered herds of unruly cattle (how are you supposed to get them out of the road!?) and a giant black bear! With Linette’s impending move, we took the opportunity to debrief on life in the country vs. the city, share our thoughts on the future, and talk about our appreciation for taking little adventures together, especially when that adventure is a picnic in Wistaria.
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to host a garden party. You know what I mean: dazzling white lights, fresh garden produce, the best of friends sharing a meal together, and maybe even a bit of excess wine…
After months of deliberating about when said garden party should occur, we ultimately decided that August 31 would be the perfect date to celebrate the end of summer. We planned the Gatsby’esque affair and invited our favourite people to come celebrate with us. From the elaborate and creative costumes to the roasted fresh veggies (straight out of the greenhouse, I might add), to the dazzling light show that my wonderful husband created, it was a smashing success.
First stop: greenhouse to harvest beets, tomatoes, and carrots
Then we enlisted the help of our guests to prep the veggies:
I made an heirloom tomato, flat leaf parsley & blue cheese salad with these gems:
We set a table for 12 outside on the patio:At twilight we all sat down for the feast and spent the rest of the evening sitting around the table, eating, drinking, and relaxing.
I think this is up there (as far as my favourite events go) with the winter fire that took place in March. It was a great time to celebrate the friends we have, the success of the greenhouse, and the beautiful place that we live. Based on the success of the incredible evening I am thinking that this will become an annual affair!