Part 2 Kayaking, Hiking, and Seafood!
After our enjoyable time in Powell River (read part 1 here), we continued down the Sunshine Coast Highway amid the spectacular views of the Malaspina Strait to the west. After 30 minutes, we arrived at the small seaside village of Lund.
Nestled between towering mountains and the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean, Lund B.C. is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. This charming village is home to a handful of shops, restaurants, and accommodations, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking a quiet getaway. Lund is also the gateway to Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park, a popular destination for boating, kayaking, and viewing wildlife. Whether you're looking to explore the great outdoors or simply relax by the water, Lund offers the perfect escape.
The movie called Lund: The End of the Road depicted the village in the 1970s. Lund was a popular destination for hippies seeking a different lifestyle. Among them were many US men who preferred to live in Lund rather than be drafted to serve in the Vietnam War.
Today Lund is still at the end of the road but at the beginning of the fun! Be sure to walk the boardwalk to The Boardwalk Restaurant. We arrived before noon, so they were not open, which was disappointing, so we took the pleasant stroll back to our car. Another great food option in the village is Nancy's Bakery. They have been known as the "Home of the Blackberry Cinnamon Bun" since they opened in 1991. Guess that is one reason that most tables were full as we went by.
We met our guide John Hermsen of Footprint Explorations and were ready to enjoy our three-hour paddle in the body of water known as the Okeover Arm, which is part of Desolation Sound. Everything is provided by John's firm, and no experience is required. John shared his vast experience in kayak safety and is a wealth of information. He also teaches classes for the non-profit Paddle Canada.
After a very thorough safety talk and skill review, we were ready to kayak in the protected waters under perfect spring weather conditions. We paddled across the water to the steep cliffs meeting the shore. We were able to paddle right up to the rocks and had a great view of some ancient petroglyphs made by people of the First Nations many years ago. As we continued along the shore, we saw many beautiful starfish (purple and gold!) and several big jellyfish. Even safely in our kayaks, we did not want to get too close to those jellyfish. I swear, one was as big as my head!
We thought the water temperatures seemed surprisingly warm for June. John told us that Desolation Sound is known to have water temperatures close to 68 (F) in June. One reason is the more extended daylight. Also, the Sound does not get much tidal flow from the Strait of Georgia, which would bring in cooler ocean water. John said the weather is generally great for trips from May through September, as average high temperatures are in the mid 60s, and this period tends to be the drier part of the year.
We finished chatting with John and walked the short distance to our home for the next several days, Desolation Sound Resort. When we checked in, we realized that John and his wife Christy also helped to manage the resort.
From its perch on the hill, each unique chalet overlooks the open waters of the Okeover Arm, providing breathtaking water views. All the chalets were custom-built by local craftsmen using local woods, making our stay in this paradise all the more special. After settling into our cabin, we headed down to the patio at the water's edge to enjoy a snack and bask in the beauty of this lovely spring day.
The next day we took a very short ride to Okeover Arm Park, a popular spot where experienced kayakers launch trips into Desolation Sound. There were also some folks fishing and camping. On the way back, we stopped for dinner at the Laughing Oyster. The special for this day was the Seafood' n' Meat Platter. Our meal started with roasted garlic mushroom soup, which was creamy and flavorful – the perfect comfort food! We also enjoyed the fresh seared salmon served with wasabi lime aioli. The platter included other seafood choices, such as Red Snapper Fish and Chips, along with roast beef, veggies, and potatoes. My highlight was West Coast Seafood Jambalaya with shrimp, sausage, mussels, scallops, rice, and a nice spicey kick to it. My only regret is they did not serve the oyster shooters that night.
We returned to our cabin and sat on the patio to relax while our souls were fed by the stunning sunset view over Okeover Arm.
The following day it was time to head back home to the Seattle area. However, only 10 minutes into our drive, we were tempted by a sign pointing to the trail and a small area to park. This trail takes you north to Manzanita Hut, located on the Manzanita Bluffs. This is part of the Sunshine Coast Trail that goes for 180 km. It is Canada's longest hut-to-hut trail. Sadly, we did not have time to go since we needed to make the Saltery Bay ferry to Earls Cove, which is part of the Southern Sunshine Coast.
After the ferry ride, we stopped in the small town of Roberts Creek at Gumboot Café, located in the small town of Roberts Creek. This delightful café is known locally as the "Soup Mecca." The Gumboot Café proved worthy of its title as we savored the delicious lentil soup and freshly baked multi-grain bread.
We wanted to make one more stop before we went on the Langdale Ferry to sail from the South Sunshine Coast to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal on the mainland. The stop was also in Roberts Creek at Bruinwood Estate Distillery. The proprietors, a married couple of Jeff and Danise, run this craft distillery on their small farm property. Tastings are offered year-round. They have a selection of some 50 different flavored gins, vodka, whiskey, and more to sample. My favorite was Maple Cream Liquor. As we were leaving, Jeff gave us a book of delicious-looking cocktail recipes (also available on their website), and we poured over them on the ferry boat ride. The Frothy Wallbanger with Bruinwood Vanilla Vodka looked very appealing. We were going to try that as soon as we made it home.
Editorial disclosure: food, beverages, and lodging were generously provided.