Posted by: Silver | September 8, 2010

There’s something about Sointula

Pretty much every stage of my journey so far has taken me to a beautiful place, and my latest destination was certainly no different in this respect. But Sointula was different, in a way I could never quite put my finger on. My time there certainly seems to be resisting being put into the words of an ordinary blog entry though, so instead, let me simply try and distil a few images for you:

Misty mornings that shrouded from view everything except the bay at the bottom of the garden, wrapping us up in ethereal cotton wool

Sunlight breaking through the mist and urging breakfast on the beach, accompanied by foraging geese, or fascinating conversation

Purple sweet peas placed in a vase in my room

The powerful beating of a raven’s wings, audible from a seemingly impossible height

Two impressively small women (my host and me), in impressive amounts of rain, laying down impressively large sheets of weed-suppressing material, in impressively good spirits

Taking time with my host afterwards to admire the flowers – planted amongst the vegetables purely for their beauty – in spite of the continuing rain

The eerie cacophony of a nearby heronry

The gentle lapping of an incoming tide

A barbecue party in the rain, snug and warm under a shelter lit by fairy lights

Slicing through the water in a dragonboat powered by myself and nineteen friends I’d never met before

Porpoises swimming off a pebbly beach while the whale-watching boats circled vainly down the coast

The startled realisation of my host’s friend that there was no motor on my trike…

Yes, there was definitely something about Sointula, and it was definitely something good.

Sun breaking through the morning mist in Sointula

Even the picnic benches seemed to grow from the same Sointula magic

Sunset in Sointula



  1. It all sounds very beautiful. I was growing sweet peas at a WWOOF site last year, the rain ruins the blooms though, how does your host get round that?
    I was about to ask for photos when I saw your last sentence. I’m a bike nut so I especially want to see bike photos. That WWOOF site I was at was in Forest Row, home of Future Cycles, I could often be seen drooling over the recumbents there……

    • Hello to a fellow WWOOFer!

      I think you are the first one to independently find your way to my blog (unless anyone else out there would like to prove me wrong?!) – welcome! It’s quite possible that the rain did affect the sweet peas that my host grew, but as one of the first hosts to go to the trouble of putting flowers in my room for me, that wasn’t what I noticed 😉 I’ll see what I can do about some more photos of Ranger for you: have you found the one of him earlier in my blog?

  2. After that, I just had to google Sointula. Wikipedia says it was founded by Finns as a “utopian socialist society” and “the early cooperative ventures planted seeds that are also alive today”.
    Have you moved on from there yet? Personally, I don’t think I’d want to!
    Finding 19 friends you’d “never met before” sounds exactly what should happen in a socialistic sort of community. Why not everywhere!?
    Love, John.

  3. The name Sointula definitely sounds Finnish! Ah nothing like a bit of Scandi-loving!

  4. An adventurer & a poet! Glad to see your journey is full of such rich experiences & gracious folks. Thanks so much for continuing to share your discoveries; I’m really loving living vicariously through your words & photos.

    Oh, and an update from me: this 2006 ICE QNT & I are having a blast. I’m on an “adventure” of my own – training for the New York City Marathon in November. I’m going to be the first person to participate using a recumbent trike as reasonable accommodation for a disability (MS). Can you believe it?

    I’m sure a recumbent trike changes most people’s lives for the better – how could it not? But I have to say that for someone who cannot cycle otherwise due to illness or injury, a recumbent trike is a miracle on three wheels!

    I hope you get this way some day with Ranger. We’ll make you some Texas BBQ & show you how it’s really done ;0)

    Happy trails,


    • Hi again Denise!

      So glad to hear you’re still enjoying my blog 🙂 Fantastic to hear your news too: very best of luck with the NY marathon!! And you never know, maybe I will just take you up on your offer of a Texas BBQ one day (providing you can cope with a strange vegetarian, of course!): I mean, how far can it be from my Dad’s place in California? 😉

  5. Hi Silver,
    I am a recumbent bike builder and inventor living in the Comox valley . Judy and I are also wwoof hosts. We would love to meet you on your way by. I just finished a trip to Nfld and back on a little 250cc motorcycle. I stayed at wwoofing farms also . It’s a wonderful way to travel.
    250 336-2460

  6. I’m so envious of these joys & discoveries you’re having while touring. If I could just figure a way to take my mobility assistance service dog Luke with me while I’m riding on my QNT then I’d actually be able to walk around without being a danger to myself and others when I’m out of the saddle ;0)

    Besides which Luke would really like lodging at a place that speaks his language: “Wwoof.” lol

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