Saltspring Island – Ruckle Park

We arrived home today following our final holiday of the summer (*sob*). We spent the first few days of our trip camping on Salt Spring Island, one of our very favorite places in the world. My husband and I started going there together 13 years ago when we were still in university, and it’s become a tradition that we’ve carried on with our kids – summer hasn’t really happened for us unless we’ve camped at Ruckle Park for at least a few days.
This is the view from our campsite. We spend an awful lot of time sitting in these chairs, reading, eating, whale/seal watching, or just listening to the waves.

I absolutely love the Arbutus trees that grow along the water here. They only seem to grow clinging to the rocky cliffs along the coast.
Their bark is the most amazing copper colour.

Rather than a typical sandy beach, the shoreline is a long sandstone shelf that seems to be made from one seamless piece. The waves have created hundreds of tide pools on its surface. They’re home to all kinds of sealife, including anemones…

…and sun stars.
At night we go down to the water to watch the bioluminescent algae that flashes in the water as the waves lap at the rocks. It’s absolutely amazing to see – we thought we were going crazy the first time we saw it! The kids like to think that they’re actually “mer-faeries” frolicking in the surf.

This huge stump washed up years ago and is a lot of fun to play on – we love to imagine sailing across the ocean within the protective hull formed by its roots. We’ve taken photos on it every year since the kids were tiny (it’s actually much bigger than it appears in this photo), and we’ll be really sad if we ever arrive to find that it’s been carried off by the waves.
Salt Spring is one of those places that, once you’re there, you never want to leave.
I’ve got more to show you, but I’ll save it for later.

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