Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Perfect Sunday: Visiting Fort Langley

On a recent weekend, my hubby promised me a blog-worthy outing that would allow me to indulge in some of my favourite idle pursuits. Walking, daydreaming, picture-taking...all at the contented slow-mo pace that suits me best when chores are done, work is tucked safely away for the weekend and the pantry is stocked with endless possibilities for meal-making. Yes, I'm talking Sunday. A sunny one at that!

So, on a beautiful October Sunday we crossed to South side of the Fraser River and meandered throught the countryside to the Salmon River Trail. A modest walk along the riverbank through grassy fields, scrubby bushes and cottonwoods that leads to historic Fort Langley. Fort Langley is a dreamy little village chock-a-block with heritage buildings, antique stores, tea shops, galleries and, of course, a 19th century fort - one of the first on the Canadian west coast.

On this particular Sunday, we didn't visit the fort itself (well worth a Sunday afternoon of it's own and a great spot to take visitors). Our first stop was at a roadside stand to buy some tiny sugar pumpkins. Oh, I love these pumpkins! So cute, so round, so jolly! They are my one weakness, and I emptied my wallet of loonies and bundled an armful into the car.

Our next stop was the Salmon River Trail, where we stood and watched the water snake toward the Fraser. A truly idyllic little waterway, and easy to imagine long-ago picnics on its banks or berry-picking children splashing among the bushes.

The trail took us to the banks of the Fraser - it forks around McMillan Island, and we followed the South Fork - greeting other couples, annoying the cyclists and generally dawdling and stopping to discuss and photograph whatever caught our imaginations.

A boat lazily navigates the Fraser.
The church on McMillan Island

Cottonwoods against the blue, blue, sky.
Once we got into Fort Langley proper we browsed through gift shops, admired antiques and stopped to read plaques and markers. Time stretched in such a luxurious way on this particular afternoon that we were not surprised to find ourselves at the perfect time in the perfect place - teatime at Tracycakes! We stopped for tea, cranberry scones and cucumber sandwiches - Tracycakes is a sweet little cupcake house where our bill was presented on a silver tray accompanied by inspirational sayings for us to take home. Tea, cupcakes, and inspiration. My kind of place! (not to mention the very clever black & white decor).

Antiques and collectibles line the sidewalks.

A plaque commemorating...something. (It was really interesting at the time!)

A classy touch at Tracycakes.

Pumpkin, bench, pig.

Fully satisfied by our afternoon tea, we took to the other side of the main street, peeked in a few more windows, bought some cozy early Christmas pajamas for me and then wandered back along the trail to our waiting car. On the way home we spotted a shameless cranberry bog displaying its redness in the almost-twilight. I wasn't the only picture-taker gobsmacked by the scene.

Cranberries are a many-splendoured thing...

Patience on the bog...

We arrived home full of fresh air, happy weariness and Devon cream. Some time later, I snuggled into my new PJs, warmed up a most delicious mushroom tart and turned on an episode of Doc Martin. Our perfect Sunday turned into a perfectly contented Sunday night. All within twenty minutes of home. *Sigh*

Visit them online:
Historic Fort Langley
Doc Martin on Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful day and area! I have a weakness for the sugar pumpkins too! So many good ways to enjoy them. Thanks for sharing Vicki! I was especially taken with the cranberry bog.