Sunday, October 2, 2016

Pizza, Tacos, and the Milky Way (Part 2 of Our Trip to Canada)

Bamfield, Part 2!  We were treated to even more beautiful sights and delicious feasts.  I wondered initially if we would get bored out here in this small town, but of course that would never happen with Paulina, Jeff, and friends.  We had to say goodbye to Melissa and Wade, but a new group arrived and they were quite the foodies!  Ayren, Earl, and Carolyn made our fifty pounds of food look like nothing.  Paulina had designated Monday night as pizza night and Tuesday night as taco night, so we all came prepared.  Nobody really knew what anyone else was going to bring, but everything came together like it had all been pre-planned.  Generosity was aplenty, and we left with our hearts, bellies, and memory cards very, very full.  (Part One here)

 In addition to being total food enthusiasts, almost everyone photographing all over the place; we must have had at least five geeky sets of camera gear.  Nobody cared when I stopped/stooped/climbed to grab shots of everything.  When a fish was caught, Wes and I went crazy, running down to the dock with our cameras.  Even at night, the photos didn't stop.  It was fun to all be out in the cold with three tripods set up, on a beach that we could not see, taking pictures of the Milky Way while the moon was still down.  It was also totally excusable to climb onto a chair to take aerial shot after aerial shot of our amazing dinners.  And who would be able to resist stopping to zoom in on the family of neon yellow mushrooms growing by the trail??  Anyway, with great people, great home cooking, great hiking, and great scenery, we got more out of this little place than we ever would have expected.

Day Three.
  • Whale-watching
  • Wes made brunch!
  • Farewell to Melissa and Wade
  • More fishing
  • Kayaking in the Bamfield Inlet.  Brought along the  Go-Pro!
  • Brady's Beach in the daytime
  • Cooking salmon for a "light snack"
  • Pizza-Off
  • Night photos of the Milky Way from our porch

I peed here!

Charming, to be sure.

Wes could start a whole album of me posing oddly to take pictures of stuff.

Well, this is the result of the prior photo.

Evan and his family arrived in the evening.  This three-year-old was a lucky charm.  Right when he hit the scene, Jeff started catching all this fish, including a big salmon!


The smaller fish was cut up and used for crab bait.  The big one, unfortunately, was not big enough for Jeff's standards and got tossed back in.  Wes and I would have totally eaten it!

Rolling out pizza dough was a traumatic experience for us the last (and only) time we tried to make pizza, so we were happy to have some professional advice.  Still, the dough had a mind of its own!

There was only one oven and eight pizzas to bake, so we experimented with the grill.  Wes tried a small piece of dough on there and it worked out pretty well, so we went for it and just stuck the entire floppy piece of dough to the grill.

I still don't get how people get pizzas to be perfect circles.  I was just glad that the dough was thin enough, who cares about the shape when it doesn't need to fit into an oven?

There were lots of cool toppings in this kitchen, like goat mozzarella, blueberry sausage, anchovies...

Wes's creation: crushed San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, local mushrooms, chorizo, anchovies, roasted whole garlic cloves, and basil.

My last-minute creation: sliced nectarines, fresh mozzarella, mint, pecans, and balsamic.

We call the shape "artisanal."

George made a dairy-free pizza with butternut squash puree and smoked salmon!  It was, unlike ours, perfectly round.

Looks like we should have gotten Lorraine to form our pizza crusts for us.

After pizza, Wes snuck out onto the dock and looked up.  The Milky Way was even brighter this day than it had been the day before!

So beautiful, but it gets better...

Day Four.
  • Morning walk, led to a spontaneous stop into Brady's Gallery, where we met the cutest shopkeeper ever.  His name was...Brady!  And he had a fat rabbit named Oreo.
  • Kayaking towards the Broken Islands
  • Hiking the beginning of the West Coast Trail
  • Mushrooms galore
  • Taco bonanza with five types of meat and also an array vegetarian options (chicken, pork, steak, ground beef, red snapper)
  • Last night at Brady's Beach + bonfire with dem stale marshmallows
  • Best Milky Way sighting!

OOTD, haha

Brady was so nice to us and he was really open about his life!  His mom owns the gallery and makes a lot of the pieces that are sold in it.  He's the youngest of four kids - his siblings are named Sky, Lake, and Poppy.  There are fourteen students in his school, all different grade levels, and he gets dropped off by boat every morning.  To him, that is very lucky because the other kids have to walk quite a ways.

We bought this driftwood fish from him - his mom made it!

 He really wanted to show us Oreo, his bunny.  But not before having us taste every edible plant in his yard, which included oregano, stevia, sorrel, and chives.

He also showed us his various toys, one of them was an old fishing rod that he likes to chuck into a specific bush.

Kayaking again!  This time, in the other direction.

Into the ocean!  There are a bunch of islands in the distance, but they were farther than they seemed and the waves were pretty choppy out here.

No, we did not instantly filet and clean out the salmon that Paulina just caught.  This was our last piece from the Port Alberni fish market.

Full and ready for another hike!  This one is part of the West Coast Trail, a famous weeklong Pacific Northwest trail in British Columbia.  Maybe someday we'll do the whole thing...not.

Neville arrived just before this hike!

So many mushrooms waiting to be discovered!!

Apparently, this is a very Pacific Northwest thing to do.  The plant is a type of lichen best known as "old man's beard."  Its real name is usnea.

Other people's campsites.

Huu-ay-aht Nation

 Bamfield Marine Sciences Center.  Jeff and Paulina had their wedding reception here.

Cooking some fresh red snapper with Old Bay for our contribution to taco night!

Chicken - blackened on the grill and shredded.



Beans and rice; nectarine salsa.

Red cabbage slaw.

The combinations were endless!

Happy Anniversary, lovers!

Our last night out on the beach was the best one yet.  Just look at this!!

We went out before the moon rose, so the sky was dark enough to truly expose the Milky Way in all of its glory.

Bonfire time!  We ended up getting scared away by something rustling in the trees.  Paulina and I jumped bigtime, which resulted in my kicking a load of sand into Wes's 50mm lens :( :(

Last day.
  • One last look at the Barkley Sound from our deck.
  • Bill came to pick us up in his fishing boat, rather than the usual yellow water taxi.  He had already caught a huge salmon early that morning and showed it off proudly!
  • Driving back and stopping for a much-needed car wash.
  • Cathedral Grove
  • Last poutine...and ketchup chips!

Fueling up for the drive back to Victoria.

Toonies, haha!

Pulled over at Cathedral Grove after giving our car a nice bath to check out some 800-year-old cedars.  Honestly though, this wasn't as impressive, since it was way too crowded, considering that we had just been spoiled with having entire stretches of land to ourselves in Bamfield.

Thanks for leaving us our first Oh-Henry bar, Neville!

One more poutine in Coombs!

And two more loaves of bread!

Andddd ketchup chips.  The Old Dutch ones.

Good-bye to beautiful Vancouver Island!

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