The Red Chair visits the Kinsol Trestle on the The Great Trail near Shawnigan Lake

Before we open our doors again to a new year of meeting new guests and welcoming back ones who have stayed with us before,we wanted to thank all the guests who chose to stay at Cobble House in 2016.  It was overall a great year for tourism in BC, and that was the case here in the Cowichan Valley as well.  We welcomed UK guests on both sides of the Brexit situation, more guests from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany,  Australia, Washington State, Colorado, California, Arkansas, and many from all parts of Canada, and welcomed back some guests who had stayed with us many years ago and still remembered where we were! Such a rewarding part of having a B&B business!

2016 was also the year we hosted a very well traveled guest when we welcomed the Red Chair to Cobble House, as part of its first visit to Canada. Taking Red around was a great way for us to explore the Cowichan Valley and learn a few more things about this great place we call home and do business in.  Touring with Red only made us appreciate the Cowichan that much more.  Along with new places we also met some new faces at some of the attractions and food and wine places that the Cowichan is becoming increasingly well known for.

Our designated charity for 2016 was the Trans Canada Trail, also called The Great Trail.  In 2017 Canada celebrates its 150th birthday and the goal is to complete the Great Trail by Canada Day 2017, July 1st.  It is currently 90% complete, and once completed this will be the longest trail in the world, linking Canada from coast to coast to coast: from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans.  Currently work is in progress to link the Cowichan Valley section of the trail to the Galloping Goose trail in Victoria.

After raising $300 for the BC SPCA in 2015, we were able to contribute $312 towards the completion of The Great Trail thanks to all the wonderful guests that stayed with us in 2016.  And the largest part of that contribution was being matched during a time when donations were being matched, so doubling the funds. Thank you to ALL our guests who played a part in this.  The Kinsol Trestle on the The Great Trail is a favorite spot in the area that we always recommend to guests visiting the region.

Unsworth Vineyards, one of many wineries in the Cowichan

As nature and animal welfare are always close to our hearts, for 2017 our designated charity will be the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  The mission of the NCC is to conserve important natural areas and biological diversity across Canada.  Featured projects in BC that the NCC is involved with include several projects on Vancouver Island, including the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve.  A few years ago I was fortunate to attend a blue bird banding session at the Cowichan Garry Oak Meadow right next to the Preserve.

We look forward to sharing the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island with many new and returning guests in Canada’s 150th birthday year.  Give us a call once we are open again in March and come and visit the Cowichan – Slow Down, Savour Life!