We got home from the festival and time at our cabin to rain. Hard to see across the yard, grey, miserable, soaking through rain gear, pouring rain and it didn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. So naturally Cam and Lily pushed for us to leave town again and spend the weekend in Oona River. We might as well be shaking our fists at the rain with friends. So I made a quick meal plan and we packed up and got a ride with Ben in his skiff.

It's wet

StrangeNot much visibilityProofStopping to refuel

We ate some pretty kick ass meals together. Fresh beets and beet greens sautéed, fresh caught baked halibut, fresh picked salad, homemade bread, salmon berry turnovers, Lemon Lentil Soup, fresh caught prawns, fresh caught and deep fried calamari, Chocolate Quinoa Cake to belatedly celebrate Shannon’s birthday, broccoli and smoked salmon quiche, sockeye salmon, Lime Pumpkin Seed Cookies, Pizza (eight of them because we briefly lots our minds), Sesame Lo Mein, tofu dogs on the beach, chickpea curry….

Salmon Berry TurnoversGarlic, beets and beet greens from Shannon's garden.HalibutFresh picked

Caught an octopus

I can’t talk about all that delicious food without remembering the bake sale the girls in town put on at the schoolhouse. They organised and baked like crazy! Everyone in town showed up and there wasn’t one piece of baking remaining and the girls made over $100! There were Oona River Turtle Bars, Huckleberry Muffins, Fudge Balls, Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake just to name a few. The best seller was very easily the Oona River Doughnuts. They were delightful! I’m going to have to buy one of their cook books to get the recipe!

Bake Sale!Amanda, Lily and LilyOona River Doughnuts

On comes the town

Lemonade times twoLemonadeAlmost gone

Rolling with the topic of food, you’ll never believe what I did this weekend. Shannon had been going full on canning crab and salmon before we arrived and more sockeye found it’s way to us on the weekend meaning another two batches of 1 litre jars needed to be done. Ben and Cam cleaned the fish at the dock and brought them home in a cooler (along with the heads and tails for Oscar and Kep). Shannon dealt with the first salmon showing me how to prepare it for canning and then let me do the rest. I literally had to take a running start at the fish. I walked away and back and quickly pick up the fish before had time to think about it. I’d never touched a fish before and thought doing so will help me GTFOI and work on this silly mental allergy I seem to have towards seafood.

50 canned crabSockeyeShannon did the first

Canned Sockeye Salmon

I love the old schoolhouse. A real treasure for the community with so much history there and more memories made with each event and use of the space. I love the kids and adults library. It would be easy to be stranded in Oona in the winter and spend the time purusing the many books.


School Maps

The weather was actually looking fairly good once we arrived but we were still cautious when planning a large potluck with the other residents and opted to eat in a boat shed on the water. I got to talk with some of the long time residents as well as some of the newly come visitors. The hatchery is home to a number of young men working in the area.

Potluck in the Boatshed

Low tideWaiting for the tideExploring

I feel very lucky to have met Danny who landed in his kayak in Oona River thanks to poor weather. Danny’s from Scotland and after kayaking a handful of times decided take a couple months to paddle a solo trip from Vancouver to Alaska, passing through some of the most serious waters in the world. I didn’t get to talk to him nearly long enough but what we did talk about left me truly inspired. Later that evening, Danny entertained us with another new-to-him activity; fire spinning. That was pretty awesome! Danny has a blog Spot The Scot and will be putting together some footage of his trip once it’s over. Not having access to the internet has meant not updating the blog routinely but people he meets along the way have commented for his family and friends to read.

Around 1 2 3 4 5 6

SkullSitting around the fire

The weather was kind to us and gave us a wonderfully warm two days. For most of you, these pictures of the beach we hiked to won’t look stellar but trust me, it was exactly that after all the rain and cool weather we’ve had!! I even wore a skirt it was so warm! With the low tide we found many sea stars and shells. I love the teal coloured sea stars the best! The tide was coming in fast and with it came Ben and Cam on their way out fishing. They came to shore long enough to take one of our packs and Leif hopped on as well.


MayaTreasuresTealHey, I know that skiff

Cairn at the beach

Shannon’s garden is amazing! Particularly after such a rough start in the spring. Not being in town and coming home to many of her seedlings eaten, I was surprised when I arrived to see it overflowing! Lettuces of all kinds, potatoes, garlic, peas, carrots, strawberries, beets, tomatoes… wonderful. The chickens were eager to get in the garden and nibble at everything!

Foxglove in front of the houseGardenGarlic Scrapes

Beautiful alder trellis Shannon wove

Cricket, Goldilocks, Ruby Tuesday, and rooster Violet were a lot of fun to watch. Chicken TV. Violet came slowly at me sideways a number of time until Shannon set him straight with a firm voice. Goldilocks is the friendliest. They are so happy to be let out and about; finding bugs and eating everything in sight. Sophie the cat was a good natured menace around the chickens; with all but Violet, of course.

CricketGolidlocks is very tame.Sophie and Violet showdownViolet

Ruby Tuesday comes for a closer look

Cam did quite a bit of work this weekend. He split a cedar log that had rolled of a truck quite some time ago. It wasn’t worth trying to come back and pick it up so with a bit of work it has become our new free fencing. Cam and Ben towed a big 60 foot cedar to Ben’s boat shed to be milled. Cam was of course in heaven helping Ben with milling, working machinery or wherever he could be of use.

Oona is machine heaven to those who careCam split cedarBoat ShedIMGP6169

We love Oona River so much. Almost everyone who comes here says the same thing. It’s peaceful but not always quiet with work being done around town.

Salmon BerryWalking around OonaWalking around Oona

Heading to the schoolhouse


Awesome fun

ShannonA boy and his dog

We spent our last evening having a potluck supper and bonfire on Bobby’s Beach. The sun was going down, there wasn’t much wind and the sand was still warm under our feet. Good food with good friends; pretty perfect really. The kids started their own fire in the sunshine with a little help making kindling. We almost didn’t want to come home.

At the small fire in the sunshineBonfire at Bobby's BeachCam


I realise this post is SERIOUSLY long and I apologise for that. I commend those who read it all! There are even more pictures, if you can believe it and I didn’t mention everything we did during this visit. Click to see more pictures or the ones here bigger. xx Annie

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16 Responses to Come And Gone

  1. denise says:

    I got lost in there somewhere not following who was who and where was where and when…but wow. What a lot of fun packed in there and looks like so much beauty too. I love that type of climate – cool and green. LOve it. ANd all that food? YUM! And canned salmon!?!?! Oh yeah. :)

  2. ~Chelsea~ says:

    It was a beautiful post! I had a few happy interruptions while reading it at the store, but it’s a great read with the usual great photos to go along with it.

    I saw those photos of the beach after the rain on your flickr, and was just blown away – absolutely stunning!

    I commend you for ‘GTFOI’ and canning the salmon and loved the description of the ‘running start’ – something you wouldn’t find me doing, that’s for sure! I can’t even stomach the smell of seafood . . . but then we don’t eat it either, so no worries there!


  3. ella says:

    A lovely long post! So lovely to be invited in on your adventure x

  4. Lise(stjam) says:

    Annie, I really like your sacrid Inuksuk.
    Sure hope I meet you folks someday.
    Thank-you for sharing.

  5. Annie says:

    Thanks everyone! Perhaps one day, Lise!

    Chelsea- why do so many of us in the family dislike seafood?!

  6. JenB says:

    I LOVE love love your blog! Your photos are so evocative and I especially enjoy your Oona River posts. I miss the northwest! I was born in Terrace and I am moving to Haida Gwaii this fall, after 20 years in Alberta, and seriously I think reading your blog has had a lot of influence on ‘coming home’. I can’t wait.

    Thank you so much!

  7. ~Chelsea~ says:

    Good question!

    Aside from an uncle on my mom’s side trying to get me to eat a piece of calamari when I was about 10 (and I’m quite sure I spit it out), and my parents trying to get me to eat salmon at a friend’s house a few yrs earlier (but Bridie threw up in her milk after one bite and I was spared), I haven’t TOUCHED it since I was very, very young. Years before I became vegetarian.

    Must be something in the genes!

  8. Annie says:

    Hey thanks, Jen! I wish I were on Haida Gwaii right now for the Edge of the World festival! You are going to so love being over there. xx

    Chelsea- maybe I’m fighting a losing battle? Heh!

  9. debra says:

    i got to can salmon once up in alaska, after catching some while dipnetting with a friend! i feel pretty freakin’ cool, and we got to eat it that winter back home!

    you know you live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, right? thank god you take such amazing photos for the rest of us to enjoy…

  10. elementsofmylife says:

    Sounds awesome! I was wondering how all those photos of yours fit together but it sounds like you had an extended weekend of heaven. We had one of those too with our islands trip. True bliss and then bam! Home and things are crazy!

    I hope you’re doing better at keeping the healthy, delicious food coming!

  11. Lynn says:

    Love the photos, as always. If you put together a photo book I would totally buy it.
    So many people have told me “You would LOVE Oona River!” Reading your posts about the place confirms it. I have to get out there one day!

  12. Bonnie says:

    Oh, I love this long post! What a fabulous way to spend a weekend!
    I’ve always wanted to can salmon. Last year we caught so many, it would have been beneficial because our freezer was bursting at the seams.
    You need a pressure canner for that, right?

  13. Annie says:

    Thanks! xx

    Bonnie- yes, you need a pressure canner for canning fish or meat. We cooked seven litre jars at a time for 90 minutes. Pressure canners can be super expensive but I think I have my eye on an affordable one. I’ll keep you in the loop…

  14. sarah says:

    what an amazing corner of the world you live in!! some day we;ll get up there and knock on your door….

  15. Annie says:

    Sarah- Oh yes, please! We’d love to have you!

  16. Courtney says:

    I love reading Sensible Living… I am enjoying living vicariously through your so many adventures! ahah xo

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