Monday, July 18, 2011

Lower Falls

So after going to Victoria the week before, we had yet another family adventure this past weekend. We spent two nights at Lower Falls on the Lewis River. We went there a couple years ago (as this blog post documents). If anything, I love that area now even more than I did then. It's just beautiful and a great place to camp and hike. The campground is just a short walk away from the viewpoint for Lower Falls. It's also right next to the trail that takes you to Middle and Upper Falls. All three falls are really impressive and the trail itself is very pretty and not terribly challenging (there are few narrow places where you may not want to look down if you don't like heights).

Lower Falls

One of several creeks that passes under the trail and joins the Lewis River

Middle Falls

The woods are so beautiful!

There's one tree in particular off the trail that's just enormous. As you can see, it makes Christina (standing at the bottom) look tiny, and yet you still can't see the whole thing.

A mini forest growing on top of a log, complete with trees and "ferns"

For a while, the trail is overhung by massive cliffs that echo the sound of the river below.

Another tributary creek.

Majestic Upper Falls

It's kind of become a tradition of mine to take fire pictures on camping trips. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011


About a week ago we took a quick trip up to Victoria, B.C. Mom and Dad had gone there before and this was an opportunity for them to show Christina and me some of the things they had seen and to explore some new places. I really enjoyed it and I hope we can go back some time. We started by looking around the downtown/waterfront area. This is where the beautiful Empress Hotel is located. The downtown area has a fun, British feel to it that I really enjoyed.

The lovely Empress hotel. 

The view of the waterfront across the street from the Empress.

There are lots of nice shops (including yarn shops!) and interesting restaurants in downtown Victoria. I wanted to eat lunch at the Sticky Wicket (loved the name!) but it wasn't open, so we went to another very cute place down the street.

Once we were finished in Victoria, we took the bus up to Butchart Gardens. This was definitely a highlight of the trip. The gardens are just amazing, and very extensive. They were developed on the site of the Butchart family's quarry operation. It's amazing how they were able to transform something ugly into something so beautiful and lush. We wish someone would do the same with the quarry down the street from us!

At the edge of the gardens is Butchart Cove, which was important for transportation from the quarry. Now they use it for tours.

I liked how they incorporated a hanging basket into the sign.