Joffre Lakes Hike – Throwback Thursday

I’ve been dreaming of sunshine lately and thinking about all of the hikes I’m planning to do this summer. Hikes like Joffre Lakes.

Joffre is situated a little north of Whistler and is home to the most beautiful emerald and aquamarine water I have ever seen.

Here are a few pics from my 1st hike to this extraordinarily beautiful destination. I can’t wait to get back.

Snowshoeing Adventures

Squamish, BC is less than an hour from Vancouver but, in many ways, it’s a world away. At first glance you’ll see a typical Canadian small town with strip malls, fast food joints and a bustling Tim Horton’s. But then you look up and see the stunning mountain range right beside the town and Squamish no longer seems anything close to typical. This hiker, rock climber, and snowshoer’s paradise is one of my favourite mini getaways. The mountain range is called “The Chief” and now has a gondola that takes you part way up the mountain to tree lined hiking trails with breathtaking vistas.

If you love the outdoors and are planning a trip to BC, definitely put this winter wonderland destination on your list.

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The Chief

Sooke Harbour House

With all of the political unrest south of the border dominating the news this week, I can’t think of a more soothing place to write about than Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island.

I was lucky enough to spend three nights there a few weeks ago and the whole experience was a blissful, back to nature retreat.

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Let me start with the view. Our room faced the ocean and we saw breathtaking vistas like this every day from our balcony.

sooke, british columbia

vancouver island

The hotel is quaint and luxurious at the same time, making a visit there feel like entering a warm haven from yesteryear. If I had to describe the visit in a metaphor, staying at Sooke Harbour House is like wrapping yourself in a fuzzy blanket with a good book beside you and a cup of delicious hot chocolate cupped in your hands. And, speaking of good books, the hallways of Harbour House are lined with shelves and shelves of books. There are also super comfy love seats nestled in the hallway, waiting for someone to sink into them and dive into one of those good books.

sooke harbour house

sooke harbour house

Leave your room for an afternoon and you’ll see that the grounds around the Inn are filled with an edible garden. Herbs, lettuces, root vegetables, fruit trees and lots of beautiful edible flowers make the garden a delight to walk through. And later at dinner, the unbelievable freshness of your meal is a foodie’s dream. This is due to so many food items being picked from their very own garden but also because they source almost all of the menu items from the Island. Sooke Harbour House is an example of the 100 Mile Diet at its best.

Then there’s room service. Here we have garden pomme frites, a chanterelle soup and garden salad topped with pretty edible flowers.

organic food

Everything tasted amazingly delicious, as did every other meal eaten in the two restaurants, The Copper Room and The Restaurant. If you’d like to make this rich and creamy soup at home, so you can cuddle up in a fuzzy blanket and forget about all of the worries of the world for a while, let me help you out…

Sooke Harbour House’s Chanterelle Walnut Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups wild chanterelle mushrooms, brushed and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, shelled
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrot, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
20 fennel seeds
10 coriander seeds
10 cumin seeds
2 Tbsp garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whipping cream (or whole milk for a lighter version)
2 fresh or dried bay leaves

Place butter in large, stainless steel pot over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add mushrooms, walnuts, onion, carrot, celery, fennel, coriander, and cumin seeds, and saute until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften (about 10 to 13 minutes). Add garlic and ginger, and saute for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Add white wine and increase heat to high. Reduce wine until approximately 1/4 cup remains. Add stock, cream, and bay leaves, and bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat; remove and discard bay leaves. While soup cools, prepare garnish. Place whipping cream in medium-sized bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Once soup has cooled for 30 minutes, puree in blender at high speed in small batches for 2 minutes each, or until very smooth. Return puree’d soup to pot. Bring to boil and serve. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each with a dollop of whipped nasturtium cream. Serves Six.

 

Vancouver Island Snapshots

Meandering through an old growth forest, running along a pristine beach that seems to go on forever, watching the sunset from the top of a mountain.

These are some of the things you can get up to when visiting beautiful Vancouver Island and here are a few snapshots of my recent visit there.

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yoga in the forest

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long beach
Now I’m back home with stories to tell and recipes to share.

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Stay tuned..

 

Hiking Joffre Lakes

There are certain places in the world so beautiful they’re almost shocking. Joffre Lakes is definitely on that list. The first time I gazed at the pristine, glacier water I thought “Is this real?”

The three beautiful jewels that are Joffre’s glacier lakes are very real and getting to spend some time dipping my feet in their aquamarine hued water, hiking along their shores and sitting lake side, gazing at their cool, clean beauty is, in my opinion, a wonderful way to spend a day.

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And the best food to re-fuel with after a day of getting up close and personal with the natural beauty of Canada’s wild west?

A very vegan power salad, full of good-for-your-body antioxidants. Here it is:

Raspberry Cashew Greens

  • mixed organic greens
  • sliced red peppers
  • cucumber
  • raspberries
  • raw cashews

Dressing:

  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • maple syrup
  • fresh raspberries

All ingredients are to taste.

salad

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein

joffre lakes hike

BC Day

I was a little outdoorsy when I arrived in BC from Ontario in the late 90’s but…only a little. Living in this beautiful province has, slowly but surely, turned me into a devoted, treehugging hiker and nature lover. And becoming these things has transformed both my physical fitness and emotional health. I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t moved to BC and experienced the breathtaking beauty of this province’s mountain and forest trails.

I’m also forever grateful to this stunning province for teaching me a few lessons in peace, happiness and what life is all about.

Here they are:

1. Getting outside and working up a sweat makes you healthy and happy. Hello endorphins!

2. Taking the time to question the craziness of our stressed out society. And, when you do, you’ll probably reach the conclusion that the slow pace of the natural world is where to find true contentment.

3. And, last but not least, that hugging and old growth tree in the middle of a forest makes everything better.


Loving and thanking you today British Columbia ❤