All-Season

Locals are assessing their woodpiles, adjusting to the winter ferry schedule, and taking time to reconnect with each other after a busy summer of guests. We’ve been scattered, in and on the water, camping and vacationing and enjoying outdoor activities of every description. It’s been wonderful, but we’ve been going full speed. Now the familiar and comforting sight of school buses ranging the highway and side roads with their precious cargo has put us into a different gear.

The “off” season on the Sunshine Coast brings so many delights. The creeks and streams have filled with autumn rains and the salmon are returning! Fishers in waders line the shores near the mouths of creeks, and kayakers troll past, rods balanced on their knees.

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Soon our forests will be filled with fungi. Don’t bother asking; the locals won’t tell you where their chanterelle patch is, or which slope hides the elusive and choice pine mushroom. But vehicles parked at odd places on the logging roads will give you a clue. Watch for posters advertising informative mushrooming forays conducted by experts. This is the safest way to learn.

Out on the water, the northern seabirds are returning to our relatively sheltered coves for the winter. You won’t even need binoculars to identify surf scoters, buffleheads, goldeneyes, pintails, harlequin ducks, grebes, and mergansers.

The fire bans have been lifted. And there is nothing that says “West Coast” like a seaside driftwood fire. Give a nod to Oktoberfest and cook some sausages on a stick, drink your wine or beer from a tin mug, and enjoy the sunset. You won’t have to stay up late to see the stars as the days get shorter.

Indoors, choirs gleefully reassemble after a summer hiatus. They’ll be working on songs for their Christmas concerts, but really they’re just happy to be together and singing again, and they are always pleased to welcome new members. Art Crawls are under way, so you’ll have a chance to view studios and galleries. Restaurants aren’t as busy now. And there’s live music in every community every weekend. Check information sites and billboards for special guests and comedy or theme nights.

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Well-attended Remembrance Day services are held in each of our communities.

Winter on the Sunshine Coast can be as active as you like. The trails for hiking and mountain biking beckon now that the heat has subsided. Watch for equestrians too. The opening meet of the Fraser Valley Hunt is held in Roberts Creek every year, the first weekend in November. This is an exciting event for spectators, horses, and riders. Organizers arrange for a catered Hunt Breakfast and will suggest good spots for viewing as the red-coated riders and baying hounds gallop past and over logs and natural jumps.

Here on the Coast we have access to the more usual winter sports too. Last winter was epic up on Dakota Ridge with metres of snow, groomed trails, and a full season of skiing and snowshoeing minus the crowds of Whistler and Vancouver. And all this only twenty minutes up the hill from Wilson Creek Mall, where great coffee, baking, and sushi are available. The IGA will satisfy all your grocery needs. Alpha Sports is there too, where you can rent snow-sport equipment, so there is no excuse.

You weren’t coming here to rest, were you?

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