Sunday, June 19, 2016

Never thought I'd spend the night in a 186 year old fort.

Old Fort Langley in British Columbia was once a trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company. Construction of the fort began in 1827 and is about 50kms (31 miles) from the mouth of the Fraser River. It is considered the birthplace of British Columbia and actually established the 49th parallel.

Three major factors contributed to the fort's demise by 1886. Paddle wheelers on the Fraser meant one could travel further up the river to do business, the relocation of the 'colony's' 'capital to New Westminster, and then to Victoria and fierce trade competition and under cuts from US companies.

In 1923 the federal government designated it a national historic site.

There are five main buildings on the grounds of the fort. The Storehouse is the oldest standing structure in British Columbia, having been rebuilt in 1840 after a fire destroyed some of it a year earlier.

The Servants' Quarters, The Big House and the Bastions were all rebuilt in 1958.
The Black Smith was reconstructed in 1973, the Cooperage in 1992 and The Depot was reconstructed in 1997.

Fast forward to 2016...

Time for another quick little over night road trip for the travelling trio.
We headed out at a leisurely pace, first stopping in Surrey to visit the Honeybee Centre. Where we had a delicious lunch and learned that there's something delicious called "Goat Tea".  We made obligatory honey purchases and got back on the road. We were heading out to Fort Langley.

To spend the night alone in the fort.

oTENTik is a program the fort runs between May and October.

There are 5 (beautifully constructed) "theme" tents set up around the grounds that can be rented for over night or multiple-night stays.

You can choose from:
The First Nations tent.
The North American Gold Prospectors tent.
The Hawaiian tent.

The French Canadian Voyageur tent.
The Scottish Boat Builder's tent.

The three of us spent the night in the Scottish Boat Builder's tent.

It . Was . A . Blast !

We had a fire roaring in the fire pit and we ate yummy toasted marshmallows as the fort sat quietly around us. The sun set behind the wall and darkness slowly settled in to spend the night with us.

The fort is beautiful by moonlight.

We were the ONLY people in there all night. The only other living creatures we encountered inside the walls -other than the few 'petting zoo' ones- were the cutest little cotton tail bunnies that hopped away if we got too close.

I took pictures. The photos go from our arrival mid-afternoon until first light when there was still dew glistening in the grass.

WARNING: image heavy.

First a sweet visit to the Honeybee Centre in Surrey.
Goat Tea. We were ready to buy some but didn't find any.

Our accommodations for the evening.
The Hawaiian themed tent.

The First Nations tent.

The French Canadian Voyageur tent.

The North American Gold Prospector's tent.
The Scottish Boat Builder's tent. All ours for the night.

Beautiful clouds over the fort.

A Sundial.
All you needed before all the silly fall-back or spring-forward nonsense.
This picture captured Orbs in the middle of the day.
(floating in the doorway)
Same door of the Big House - no orbs ..... curious. 

They projected a vignette depicting a social gathering of the time.

Looking out at the fort from the Big House.

A Scottish replica.

Our accommodations on the inside.

Roasted marshmallowy goodness!

Our tent at dusk.

A nasty smelling stuff kept oozing out of the logs.
We referred to it as 'ectoplasm'!
And dark has come to spend the night.

Steep steps up to the parapet.

The Travelling Trio.
Dancing demon.

Morning dew sparkles in the grass.

Panning for gold.

As the crow flies.

Breakfast before heading home.

Port Mann Bridge.

Where to next?