03-21-2011, 06:22 PM
Cougar on the prowl
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Back to the Island, Sidney, BC
Once I convinced myself that I could actually survive the ordeal of camping I leapt into the fire with both feet. I read numerous threads about gear and drooled over websites full of camping equipment. It seemed the trick was to balance between necessity, cost and bulk. I decided to avoid the obvious choice - a slick, purpose-oriented but pricy outdoor equipment co-op - and made my way to a local Victoria institution, Capital Iron. After two hours dashing around the camping department with a pleasant, knowledgeable saleswoman who more than matched my enthusiasm with her own, I left with a good sleeping bag in it's own compression sack, a Big Agnes, a tiny stove, a dry bag (orange, of course) and a few other necessities. The finishing touch was a marvelous little tent gifted by a friend. I was set!
So where to go to try it all out? A friend suggested a trip to Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Perfect! The departure date was set for the following week. Then began my obsession with the forecast. There was still snow on the summit between Port Alberni and Tofino. Would it be gone in time? Was there a storm brewing for the west coast? Would there be ice going over the top? Finally I had to concede that Long Beach would have to wait, it was just too early in the season for it to be feasible. Instead I would stay on the east coast of the Island and make my way north to Campbell River and Seymour Narrows. I planned for 3 days.
The night before departure I packed all my gear. My entire camping kit fit in the top box - I was so excited!
(WTF, she finally posts a f&$%ing picture and it's of camping gear )
Clothes and toiletries (that's a whole other story) in one side case and rain gear, spare riding gear, shoes, a few tools and other miscellaneous stuff in the other. Oh, and one special item, just in case I was ready!
The day dawned bright and sunny, birds were singing and all that stuff - away I go!
Well, almost One last stop for a couple of essentials that I had forgotten.
I live near the northern tip of the Saanich peninsula close to where the ferries to and from Vancouver dock. To get anywhere north first I have to head south toward Victoria and dip around the bottom of Saanich Inlet. Luckily some of my favourite back roads take me there. Once on the northbound highway I could stay on the main inland highway or wind along the slower coast road. Really, is it even a choice?
The view to the east from the Malahat summit on the northbound road. Below is Saanich Inlet and the Saanich Peninsula.
From the Malahat I descend back to sea level and Mill Bay
On the far shore there's a Canadian Coast Guard ship docked. You can see it between the windshield and the mirror. That'll come up later.
Cowgirl screwed with this post 03-24-2011 at 11:43 AM