This week our hiking group did the annual hike to Denman/Tree Island.  A bit complicated as we have to meet and car pool to the ferry terminal at Buckley Bay to head over to Denman Island.  Fortunately all in our vehicle were old coots so we passengers got to go free and the ferry cost for the car was minimal.

Then came a long drive on gravel roads to the North end of Denman Island.  A small parking space next to a trail that heads to the beach.  A long staircase leads down to the beach, and then a 2 km hike on sand to the very north end of Denman.

It sounds like a laborious hike, but the views to the east of the Coastal Mountains on the mainland with their snow caps made it wonderful.

When we got to the end of Denman, the very low tide exposed a stretch of sand and rocks that led to Tree Island.  I joined the group that hiked over and around an Island that is noted for the nesting of Sandhill Cranes.  But basically a slog that adds 3 km to the route.

On the way back to Denman we walked on the tidal pools where you can pick up wild Oysters and dig for clams to your heart’s content.  I have a license so can take some home.

These are not the small farmed oysters you get at a bar, these are wild.  The size of your fist, covered in barnacles.

We got back to Denman and my friend Howard (who correctly chose not to do the Tree Island loop) had set himself up in the shade with a log to sit on and a small fire on the beach where he was roasting smaller oysters he had gathered in the area around the shore.

When you put oysters on a fire they boil a bit and then open.  I had my shucker and Tabasco sauce and seafood sauce, and Howard had brought wine.  We shared fresh oysters and cooked oysters on the beach for an hour.  Wonderful.  But I had gathered 12 big oysters and stuffed them into my back pack.

The 2 km hike back down the beach was tiring.  Then came the 118 steps up to the bluff, carrying an extra 20 lbs.

Back home I BBQ’d the oysters in their shells.  We consumed them with potato salad and Pat’s corn relish.  Wonderful meal sitting on our Patio.

But it occurs to me.  I often make fun of my buddy Harry, who spends a fortune to go out on the ocean in his boat to catch Salmon.  I tell him that it would be cheaper to just go to Thrifty’s and buy salmon from the seafood counter.  It would be much easier if I just drove down to Fanny Bay and bought fresh oysters.  Still, as Harry keeps telling me, it is not the cost, it is the adventure that makes the enjoyment of the meal.