Day Trippin’

Where’s your favourite place to day trip? Maybe you have more than one place that you love to visit? Day trips are a great way to have a mini adventure, to put the cares of the previous days or week away for a short mental and physical break from the everyday routine. Well I love day trips and recently I was going to do a solo day trip to a nearby town and decided to ask some friends if they’d like to join. My friends Amanda & Krista said yes and off we went!
My initial reason for wanting to go to this neighbouring town, Prince Rupert, was to go to the local microbrewery, Wheelhouse Brewery to try a glass of specially created raspberry/lemon zest Gillnetter Golden Ale.  It sounded really delicious and as a craft beer lover, I wanted to check it out. I found out that there was only one 40 litre cask that was being opened at 4 pm on a Friday but I couldn’t make it on Friday so I planned to go out on Saturday and hope that there was some left. You never know, right?

We left for Prince Rupert at 10 am. The highway runs along the mighty Skeena River. It winds in and out of the forest and over the many creeks that tumble from the majestic mountains that sweep toward the river valley. Every time I do this drive, I’m reminded how tiny I really am. It is stunningly beautiful with tall waterfalls visible far up in the mountains, water cascading into unreachable ravines. The mountains are massively intimidating and gorgeous and at some points, hang over top of you as you drive! Mere words cannot describe the views.

The Skeena river is wide and choppy and is also tidal. Prince Rupert is right on the ocean and the tides push up into the river and people fishing or camping on sand bars have to properly time when to arrive and leave so that they don’t get caught on the bar, or flooded out (at certain times of year).

The mountains at Polymar Bar

We arrived in Rupert around 11:30 and headed for the quaint area known as Cow Bay. This area has lovely shops and some fine cafés and restaurants and is right along the ocean, overlooking the docks.
My friend Dai owns a sushi restaurant, Fukasaku of Prince Rupert in Cow Bay, so we stopped there to see if there was lunch that day.  On this day there was only dinner so we decided on the nearby Cow Bay Cafe. Although I’ve been to Rupert many times, I’ve not eaten there! I‘d heard of it though, and was eager to try the food. The 3 of us sat at a table near a the full sized glass window overlooking the docks. Many places in the northwest are supportive of anything local and Cow Bay Café has Wheelhouse (Prince Rupert)and Sherwood Mountain (Terrace) beers on tap. We each ordered a local brew and browsed the menu. There were so many amazing choices that it was hard to decide what to order. And….  I was having so much fun that I didn’t even take any food photos! But I did take beer photos!

Wheelhouse Flagship Pale Ale & Gillnetter Amber Ale behind

Since there are enough foodies out there describing food, I won’t. But it was amazing! The food that we ate may or may not still be on the menu because it changes frequently, depending on what local ingredients are available. We saw that there was an elderberry flower spritzer that we reeeeeally wanted to try, and we wanted to add Prosecco to it, but it was sold out. I’ll be foraging for elderberry flowers next spring! We still bought the Prosecco though and it was delicious. Making a mental note to come back, we headed out the door and wandered up the street to the HomeWork Store gift shop to browse before heading the half block to Wheelhouse Brewing .

The brewery is the tiny back part of a building, nestled along a large rock face with a large gravel area out front. I’d have probably missed it if one of my friends hadn’t pointed it out! As we walked through the door into the gently lit room, I could see that it was very quaint and rustic. There’s a serving bar on the left side as you walk in, a large community table beside it, an area for performers straight ahead and a couple of large industrial coolers to the right. I saw a long time friend sitting at the bar with a couple of buddies and stopped to chat for a few minutes. I then asked about the lovely sounding Gillnetter Amber Ale with the raspberries and lemon zest and as I suspected, it had all been consumed the evening before. I asked if they had their beautiful rich Smokehouse Porter, but being a seasonal beer, they did not. I ordered a Pale ale, filled my 2 growlers, the girls ordered their beers and we sat at the community table. One friend pulled a game off a tall built in shelving unit and we set up to play. I can’t remember the game’s name, but it was really hilarious and we laughed a lot. Plenty of folks started to come in, many dressed up from attending one of the three weddings happening in town that day. I knew a couple of folks, it was good to see friends that I don’t get to see very often.

The girls & I decided on a time to leave, finished our game and our beer and off we went. We’d had a great time and look forward to doing this again.

Full, happy growlers

On the way home, we stopped along the Skeena River and I took a couple of photos. Never a dull moment around here!

Happy trails!


My friend Krista ‘s phone cover matches Fiona!

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