Tuesday, September 06, 2022

More Vancouver Island–plans change

We actually ended up parked in a total of five different spots in this one coastal camping area!   While we didn’t actually spend the night at the first spot due to the ‘generator gang’ as discussed in the last post, we did spend at least one night in four of the others!

The first overnight spot was decently private, but not that flat, and didn’t have really good options for putting out the solar panels.  So, after some e-bike exploration we moved about a kilometer down the shore to a more secluded spot.  It was even steeper, but by using some blocks and driftwood the tilt was somewhat reduced.  Of course, that made the tailgate and camper door very high.  It was private, and my long cord to the solar panels let me put the panels on the beach, or up on the road, depending on the time of day.

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After a few nights there, we packed up to head out, intending to explore more spots up the coast.  But alas, our very favourite spot at that campsite had become vacant, and we just couldn’t resist.  So after a day trip measured in hundreds of yards, we parked again, in a flat spot this time, great ocean views and even some sandy beach.IMG_9517

Many of the cruise ships go by at night, depriving the passengers of the great views along the way Sad smile.  But I noticed that they do have to time their transit up the coast to coincide with the slack tide in Seymour Narrows, home of the famous Ripple Rock – that was exploded in 1958 to reduce the hazard.

So, that sometimes meant more than one cruise ship at a time, as well as the various tugs and barges that would have to transit during the same period.

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Resting up after another hard day on the beach!

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Same boat (?), different direction a few days later.

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We decided to leave again, and headed up the coast to check out Little Bear Bay, where we had camped before a couple of times.  But I guess those visits were in the off-season, as this time the place was packed wall to wall with campers, kids, dogs, boats, and trailers (and I’m sure more than a few generators). Reluctantly, we retraced our path over some heavily pot-holed forest road, and headed back for our previous location.  We were only gone a few hours, but a blocky European looking camper had moved into ‘our’ spot, so we were forced to pick our fifth and final location for this visit!

‘Coastal cougar’ on the prowl!

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Reluctantly, we departed the coast, and went to check on a variety of camp spots we had enjoyed in March ‘20’ during our covid tour.  Most of the spots were on or near Campbell Lake, a few miles inland.  This time however, because of the season (?), places that had been deserted in March were pretty much packed full in August.  We drove around a lot of rough, dusty, potholed forest roads, only to be disappointed with the lack of appropriate camp spots.  There were a few available spots, but they were surrounded by the usual crowd of kids, dogs, atvs, and likely – generators.

So, after visiting friends for a few days at Qualicum Beach, we got back on the ferry and headed east again.  Weather reports predicted more hot weather, so it was back to Revelstoke Lake again for another week of off-grid camping.  There was a fire ban in effect, but surprisingly it was lifted on Friday of the long weekend!  Sounds like a political decision to me!

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We enjoyed another week in the sun and water, biking, swimming, hiking, and paddling.

And catching the occasional vole.

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Fall is in the air, and it may be only about 6 weeks and we can start heading south for the winter again.  Happy trails!

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Back to Vancouver Island

When we left our great camp spot on Bridge Lake, BC, we continued west into the town of 100 Mile House.  After the fuel and propane was topped off we swung by the local RV dump.  Well, I gotta say, I’ve been to a LOT of dump sites over the years, but this one has to be the best I’ve ever seen!  Super convenient spot, just off the main highway, easy access from either direction.  It is super clean and located in a small park setting, complete with flowers, and a garbage bin.  Worth stopping by even if you don’t have to dump Smile.

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Headed south on Highway 97 past Clinton, we took the 99 heading south and west towards the coast.  In the Pavilion area the highway passes through the site of a massive landslide a few years ago.  Last time through here, it was full-on construction getting the road rebuilt.  You can see these massive anchors bolted into the bedrock below to stabilize the road area.

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Past Lillooet, the terrain gets even more dramatic, winding it’s way through gorges, and clinging to the canyon walls.  After a while it moderates somewhat and I began to look for an overnight spot that we had stayed at previously.  Sure enough, we found it and it was vacant.  It’s right by the highway, but this road gets pretty quiet at night, and the sounds of rushing water drowns it all out anyway!

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The next day we continued over the summit, and headed down through Pemberton to Whistler.  The plan was to stop in Whistler to eat or look around a bit, but every square inch was occupied, and even the ‘pay’ parking lots were overflowing – so we carried on!  Turns out there was a major cycling event in town, and it was a weekend, so that accounted for the extremely crowded conditions.

Down in Brackendale/Squamish, I was disappointed to find that the main access to the waterfront was closed off for some major construction projects.  Nevertheless, we tracked down a couple of friends who live in the area, and had a good visit and spent the night.

In the morning we drove the spectacularly scenic ‘Sea to Sky’ highway down to the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay, and got in line.  Without a reservation and with no idea what the schedule was, we missed the first sailing and caught the second.

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With no response from my last-minute note to some friends in the area, and not wishing to drive much further up the coast of the island, we opted just to find a quiet secluded , non-scenic spot to spend the night.  It was very quiet at least, and fairly handy to the main highway.

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I spend a fair bit of time ‘recreationally’ looking at real estate online.  Occasionally a place will catch my eye, and that is the case with a place I spotted on Quadra Island.  Even though it appeared to be sold within a week back in the spring, I wanted to have a look at it for real and see what I had missed!  So we got on the short ferry across to Quathiaski Cove on Quadra, from Campbell River.

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Sadly, the place looked even better in real life than the online version, and it looked like the new owners might have trimmed a few trees to make the view even better.  O well, saved a lot of money not buying that place!  As expected, the island is a pretty nice place, so we spent the better part of three days checking out the roads, parks, beaches and the views.

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Spent a couple of days at Rebecca Spit, admiring all the expensive boats anchored in the cove there, as well as some biking and hiking on the trails.

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Some unique windmills on some boats in the harbour.

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Back on the ferry to the ‘mainland’ of Vancouver Island.

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We made a run into Browns Bay, but found the forest service road to be very rough and very dusty.

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Good thing we didn’t leave our boat trailer ‘UNINTENDED’!  That’d kind of like the sign at the laundromat that says ‘no loitering’!

IMG_9452We moved up the coast a bit, to a nice forest service rec area with great view of cruise ships, tugs towing barges and log booms, fishing vessels, and lots of small sport fishing boats.

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It was a great spot, until …

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some arrogant obnoxious types pulled in right next to me with a Class A, and a trailer full of Atv’s.  All good till they fired up their cheap 7000W industrial generator to ‘cook supper, and charge the atv batteries’.  It took about 2 minutes for me to vacate the site after that.  The next spot down the shore was pleasantly private, but not exactly level!

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- to be continued …