Saturday September 29, 2012 – Today is our ‘triathalon’ trip to Agassiz & Hicks Lake – hike, eat & shop…….a woman’s dream trip!
Our journey starts at 7:25am and even though the hour is early, the group is very sociable and animated. Frank, our trusty driver manouvers our way through traffic avoiding the Port Mann bridge and we reach Agassiz in good time at 9:00am. We then make our way past Harrison Hot Springs, in to Sasquatch Provincial Park and to the Hicks Lake Picnic Area.
Ready to stretch our legs, we begin the 2 hour hike around the lake. The clouds are low and grey and there is an autumn chill in the air. The route has several inclines and within minutes we are quite warm and happy to be breathing the fresh clean air of the forest. The lake was only slightly visible through the trees however in several spots we were able to get a full view of the lake and sandy beaches – it really was lovely.
Back into our coach we are looking forward to our gourmet lunch at Limbert Farms. We arrive shortly after 12noon and Trudy & Claude, the owners of this fabulous place, greet us. Trudy gives us a very interesting talk on the various herbs they grow and their uses. She is so passionate and knowledgeable that we are all ready to start our very own herb gardens when we get home.
The long awaited moment has arrived, we are seated for our delicious lunch that Claude has been preparing. Only locally grown produce and the finest of herbs and seasonings goes into the meal – even the chicken was raised on their farm. We start with homemade crusty bread, french tarragon & garlic butter, a wonderful salad fresh from the garden and dressing made before our eyes. The main dish is a chicken crepe with a french tarragon cream sauce, roasted potatoes, carrots and beets, a cob of the sweetest corn I have ever tasted, all accompanied by red, white or rose wine. The grande finale was a piece of chocolate pate (made from rich dark Belgian chocolate) with strawberry coulis. It is a meal from heaven!
We are having such a great time however we need to move along so that we can visit the Circle Farm Vendors before they close. From here the triathalon takes on a whole new meaning and we begin our ‘speed’ shopping.
Our first stop is Blackberry Lane B&B for their incredible pies. 1, 2, 3 go……..with credit card /cash in hand we rush off the bus and purchase every last pie before zipping off to the Farm House Natural Cheeses. We quickly purchase a variety of cheeses, locally grown garlic, fresh chevre and greek style yogurt.
Bags in hand we once again board our trusty bus and Frank quickly drives us to the Back Porch, a collection of character buildings that house antiques, collectibles and garden decor items; a working pottery studio and coffee roasting facility.
Amazingly we still have 15 minutes left before the Canadian Hazelnut Farm closes. We shout “start the bus, start the bus……” and we are off . We squeak into the farm at 4:50pm, rush the store and by 5:01pm we are all back on the bus, out of breath, pounds of hazelnuts in our possession and we begin our journey back to Vancouver.
As the sun starts to set we are pleasantly tired but still have a wonderful time chatting about the great food and good exercise we got during our ‘speed’ shop – a true triathalon!!!