Pause sometime to reflect on the rich historical heritage of the Southern Gulf Islands.Spanish explorers in the 18th century left behind their names by which we now know many of the islands and places within those islands. Galiano Island’s name comes from Dionisio Galiano, one of those early Spanish explorers.
10 BOC hikers assembled on the morning ferry which, surprisingly, left the terminal on time and 50 minutes later was docking at Sturdies Bay on Galiano. From the dock we walked to the Trincomali Café to buy baked goodies for lunch, or just because. Trincomali channel, which is on the south west side of Galiano, was named after HMS Trincomalee, a sailing frigate with 24 guns, which was stationed in this area in the mid-19th century.
From there we walked, in the sun, along quiet roads to an unmarked turn-off, which John had remembered as a nice, alternate, trail up onto the Bluffs. Along the way we passed a mysteriously abandoned house. Once up on the Bluffs we enjoyed sweeping views to the south of nearby islands and more distant Olympic Peninsula mountains. Losing elevation, we then dropped down to Georgeson Bay Valley before starting up the trail ascending Mount Galiano itself. Part of this trail is on private property, but owners have posted signs allowing hikers, who respect their property, free use of these trails. Foxgloves were in full bloom along forest fringes, both in white and the more usual purple colours, looking dramatic in sunlight against the dark back-drop of forest.
Soon we emerged from cool forest into bright, warm sunshine on the open bluffs of Mount Galiano. We were treated to even more spectacular views from here as we were some 200 meters higher than on the Bluffs. Ferries and multitudes of pleasure boats were churning up white wakes, far below us. We lingered long enough for a leisurely lunch and then pressed on, back down the trail.
At the foot of Mount Galiano, we headed north along Georgeson Bay Road, passing fields with grazing sheep, Llamas and horses. Rounding a bend past the volunteer fire-hall, we spotted our objective, the Hummingbird Inn. Here we paused a while to refresh ourselves. Surprisingly, there were no hummingbirds spotted, in spite of many feeders and the normal population of these beautiful little birds found around the Inn. Finally, leaving the Inn, we joined the Sturdies Bay trail, in the woods opposite the Inn, and walked the final 40 minutes to the ferry terminal. With one final stop, at Scoops ice-cream parlour, to round out the day. Once more, and to our surprise,the ferry back to Tsawwassen left the dock spot on time. What a wonderful day, thanks to all who came out for this trip.