Summer Solstice in Bowser will be on June 21, 2023. This marks the longest day of the year with sunrise at 5:12am and sunset at 9:27pm. This is 16 hours and 15 minutes of usable daylight to pack in all sorts of wonderful activities. Below is an account of the day from 2021 that may spark some ideas. How will you be spending the longest day of the year?
160F water is being pushed through a hastily packed portafilter of ground espresso into a mug that contains an expertly measured amount of oat milk and brown sugar. I’m late already. I can tell because I can see the edge of the morning sun starting to show itself through the open window. It’s quarter after five in the morning on the longest day of the year.
June 20,2021 marked the Summer Solstice with a sunrise of 5:12am and Sunset of 9:29 posted for Bowser. This got my mind gears spinning as I started thinking about how much one could do with 16 hours and 17 minutes of daylight. June 20,2021 also happened to be Father’s Day which is the one day that dads across the country have the excuse to sit back, beer in hand and watch the grass grow. Or maybe it’s the day dads can get the kiddos out and experiencing some activity without hearing any whining or talk of Minecraft. Hmm, I like both ideas, but I think the theme of the day was looking towards outdoor activity.
I’ve always been inspired by the folks that enjoy type two fun. These are the ones who venture around the north coast of Vancouver Island on a stand-up paddle board in 3-meter chuck, or those who have been attempting the ever popular “Everesting” on foot or by bike on their local trails. Everesting is when you climb the same amount as hiking the peak of Everest and although I would love to see the peak of Everest, I wouldn’t say I’m one who would enjoy this type 2 fun. I’m more likely to dip my toes into the pool of type 2 fun rather than jump in. That being said, the idea of enjoying summer solstice and Father’s Day doing some sort of outdoor recreation was firmly stuck in mind. And so, I set off with my rough plan and dipped my toes into Deep Bay.
I dropped the Kayak into the waters of Deep Bay around twenty after five in morning. The sun just woke up. The tide was out, and the water was calm. I paddled silently by the rows of moored boats. It was quiet with the exception of my paddle piercing the water. I worked my way over to where Cook creek enters the bay. It’s the first time I’ve been this close to the VIU marine station from the water. There are a few buoys, rafts, and buildings floating in the area most likely all have some part in shellfish research or farming. I’m amazed by the beauty of the surrounding terrain, and I wonder what’s going on below the surface. If only the seals that have been curiously following me could let me know.
My paddle was an amazing experience and to be honest, I’m an early riser, so getting out there and on the water in the wee hours of the morning wasn’t too hard. Later I would share this experience with my family and as it turns out, they all want to try an early morning paddle too. I poured my second coffee of the day and checked over my bike for the next leg of my mission.
The sun was well up and the heat kicked in early. I think it was around 7:30 am. I decided not to track any of this day’s activities. I wanted to make sure that fun and recreation were the key points of my day. My dog joined me as I hit the trails by bike. I love early morning rides with sound of birds chirping and tires gripping trail dirt being the only things notable. I had zero distractions on this ride, which further enhanced the feeling of peace as I negotiated the trails. I also had a feeling of hunger as I turned the corner to the end of my ride and on to the shared adventure portion of the day.
After an amazing family breakfast, I quickly checked over the packed car, loaded up the family and drove a short distance to the Nile. A Family hike to a new spot was the main course of the day and the Nile River won out over Rosewall creek for a suitable size hike with the kiddos. The Nile did not disappoint and brought a real sense of adventure as we scrambled across small bogs and up notched logs. We shared the trip with a few forest wanderers. None of the folks I talked to were local to our region which further solidified what I had been thinking all along that our back yard is one special place. We found a pool close to the falls suitable for a west coast bath and cooled off.
It was well past 9:29pm when the day wrapped up with the tail end of the day being a perfect blend of relaxing at a local beach and a family barbeque. This was definitely a well-rounded day of local adventure, recreation, and relaxation and a Summer Solstice/Father’s Day to remember. A big thanks to my family for helping make it all happen.