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Showing posts from July, 2008

Homesick

Sunday, July 29, 2008

Campbell Rive to Victoria.

OK, so I rode, rode and rode til I got home. I didn't feel like another night in a tent and a motel isn't something I like to do 2 nights in a row. Besides, I was getting a bit worried about some rough idling with the bike and I wanted a day off to clean the chain, check everything over and get ready for part 2 of the trip.

I crashed in Patti's bed, but by myself ...sniff. Patti is on Pender Island with her ex ...I'm cool with it, really! She'll be back tomorrow with her tender arms around me.

Lazing About in Port Hardy

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Port Hardy to Campbell River.


The tent is soaked, yet I and my gear are bone dry. That's good camping as far as I'm concerned. I've now spent several hours at Guido's Cafe, complete with complimentary wireless Internet. All for the price of one $5.65 soya mocha. $5.65?? Well, it was worth every penny and not one single person came over to tell me that I've overstayed my welcome on their comfy sofa.

The forecast calls for cloudy skies today, some rain, and some more rain tomorrow down the entire island for Sunday. What to do? what to do? I will soon pack up the laptop and hit the road. Once I have the wind in my face my route will simply come to me. All I know is that I now have 2 1/2 days to make it back to Victoria.

Some dude came out of a monstrosity of a pickup truck and started sniffing around the bike. Out came his cellphone and he started taking pictures of the bike. Either he was very interested in the bike or the undercover cops have fin…

Back to the "City"

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Friday July 25, 2008

Cape Scott to Winter Harbour and back to Port Hardy.
All by gravel roads.


I'm now comfortably sitting by a campfire near Port Hardy as I'm typing. The camp is now quiet and everyone has gone to bed. The raindrops tap out a lullaby on the tarp I managed to set up before the skies opened up. All is dry and all is well ...until my laptop battery runs out.

Rewind to this morning ....

My tent neighbours offered me a cup of coffee and we had another little chat before all heading back to the parking lot. A nice group of 4 young Vancouverite friends on their first and only overnight hike together.

The tank bag was still where I hid it near the parking lot. I guess there aren't too many desperate junkies looking for easy drug money when you're 65km's away from the nearest town, along some bumpy logging road. It was now noon and decision time. I opted to head back towards Holberg. Come to think of it, it's the only way back out. But then I did another &qu…

To The End Of The Road - Literally

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Thursday, July 24, 2008.

Port Hardy to Cape Scott Provincial Park.
All on gravel roads.


The campsite at Wildwood on the way to the Prince Rupert ferry is one I'd reccomend to anyone. The downside is that you're away from town. The upside is that you're away from town and surrounded by trees. It truly resembles a forested provicial campsite. There's free firewood and 2 special little "semi-group" areas. One for hikers and cyclists and one for motorcycles. The showers are truly hot and will sweep you away in a wild torrent of oh so beautiful water if you're not careful. $10/person/night.

Today is the big day where I start heading offroad in earnest. I did manage to find a replacement compressor for emergencies. But no spare tube. I'll just take a chance and rely on my two patched tubes and hope for the best. A quick stop in town to stock up on some food and a wee bit a booze, and to make sure I have a full tank of gas before heading off into the wilds to th…

Sointula to Port Hardy

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sointula to Port Hardy

Today I decided to make it an easy riding day. Packed up and moved the bike to the "Beautiful Bay" trailhead. Strapped on the bear spray and 4" knife due to the sign warning of a grizzly sighting. Pretty interesting since Vancouver Island officially does not have any grizzlies.



Slugs Getting Intimate



The trail winds its way through mossy second growth forest with occasional glimpses of and access to the pebble beach below. The forest had a fairytale feel to it and I was almost expecting to see a leprechaun or pixie jumping out from behind a log. As the easy trail got me to the halfway point I sniggered at the suggestion that the round trip takes 5 hours. After all, I've only been going for 45 minutes. I smugly continued and was immediately greeted with steep stairs heading down into a gully. Not a problem I thought. But the laws of physics of hiking are "what goes down must come up". I huffed and puffed back up t…

Opportunity Knocks

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Zeballos to Sointula, Malcolm Island


I decided to pop into the local restaurant for some breakfast and was immediately greeted in Spanish by Rafael, the same Mexican who was working at the store the night before. $5.00 later and some free Internet time and I was on my way out of town. My heart almost stopped when the pavement turned to gravel. I have no problems with dirt roads but this was deep gravel and I was beginning to dread the 40 km's to the highway. Undaunted I motored into the gravel at 40km/h and my front wheel started wildly swinging in all directions. Everything now happened in slow motion to my accelerated panic thinking and I was slowly thinking about the upcoming crash as I kept going at the same speed and not reacting much to the situation. Not reacting was the best thing for me to do. The bike just powered through the gravel, no crash took place and the deep gravel ended about 300 metres down the road. It gave way to a nice gravel road suitab…

Gold River to Zeballos

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Gold River to Zeballos
Mostly by boat


The morning starts off grey and drab, in sharp contrast to my sunny mood. Low clouds shroud the nearby hills as I take down camp, eagerly anticipating the MV Uchuck III. I rode up to the dock and a forklift driver drove over and immediately said "Zeballos bound I presume?". "Just take your personal stuff with you and leave the bike right here" he said matter of factly. 45 minutes later the bike was suspended mid air on a pallet with two deck hands hanging on for balance. 2 minutes later is was tucked away on the side of the boat with a bunch of incredulous tourists gawking away. The kayakers and I are becoming a bit of a sideshow for them.



Working Tug near Gold River



I had a little chat with the eight kayakers from the Vancouver area. None of them were willing to entertain me by falling off the pallets while being hoisted overboard near Bligh Island. Yup! they put the kayak on a pallet, with the paddler sitting…

Bowser to Gold River

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bowser to Gold River


My excitement rose as I thought more and more of my upcoming trip on the Uchuck tomorrow. I was actually on the road by 8:30am. That's quite a feat for someone like me who likes to sleep in. More quiet roads greeted me along the way through Courtenay and Campbell River. Campbell River happened to have a Driftwood Chainsaw Carving contest and all their artwork was displayed on the way into town. That's where I met my new love, the Wild Man Of the Woods. He and I will run off together and live in the woods. Still not sure how that's going to work, with me being lesbian. But we'll figure it out as we go along.



Bookworm sculpture. Campbell River




Pretty interesting stuff one can do with a chainsaw


As luck would have it there was a Sunday market so I stocked up on some produce for the long arduous voyage to Gold River and beyond ...I love being dramatic, don't I? Campbell River has become a bit of an overused tourist town with the us…

Vancouver Island

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Well, the long awaited vacation time has arrived and I'm going to be off once more. This time on a motorbike. Yup, I can already hear the bicycle purists sighing. But hey! I'm a "biker" of more than one kind :-)

The plan is to take two days to get from Victoria to Gold River. Then hop on the MV Uchuck III for the 8 hour trip through supposedly amazing passes, narrows, etc to Zeballos. It's a working supply vessel which supplies the logging camps, settlements, fish camps along the northern Vancouver Island coast. Some very smart marketing person with this outfit came up with the idea of taking along passengers for extra revenue.

From there I'm hoping to explore some of the remote coastal areas near Port Hardy and Cape Scott, as well as many other places accessible by logging roads. Then slowly back down the island to be back in Victoria after 9 days. Of course, there will be some hikes happening along the way and my hiking gear is all crammed into my bike. Heck!…