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Old 11-26-2008, 05:16 PM   #211
Mercenary
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Heh. I betcha you're wishing you were back on that beach right now...given where you are currently located

Next time I am back down on the island I have to get back out to Tofino again. Its been damn near 20 years since I have been out there.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:57 PM   #212
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Heh. I betcha you're wishing you were back on that beach right now...given where you are currently located

Next time I am back down on the island I have to get back out to Tofino again. Its been damn near 20 years since I have been out there.
Oh man, you have no idea! When you're out there, PM me - I plan on spending my summers on the island from now on, and I'm always up for a trip to Tofino. Beautiful place.

The 'net is kinda slow tonight but I managed to upload four more shots.









Motorbike camping circa 1908!
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:00 AM   #213
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #214
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:09 PM   #215
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Last two pics from Tofino





We had another beer fuelled night, but the weather was closing in and J.D. and Carrie had to get an early start to catch a ferry. We knew they'd have gone by the time we got up so we said our goodbyes to them before turning in.

Sander and I didn't really have any specific plans, other than that he wanted to go and visit a friend of his in Cumberland, and I was going to ride up-island. It was raining quite hard when we woke up and I don't remember whether we bothered with breakfast or not. We rode back to Port Alberni in the rain.



We found something warm to eat there at lunchtime, and said our own goodbyes. Sander is on the trip of a lifetime, in Mexico as I write, having the time of his life. Go figure! Keep going, Sandman!

Here's a rogue pic I took somewhere on Vancouver Island, but I have no idea where.



By lunchtime we were both soaked and I actually went back to the Somass Hotel that we'd camped at on the way through town originally. I was going to treat myself to a room but all the cheap ones were taken and I carried on, riding up to the old island highway and made it to Qualicum Beach before I had had enough and called it quits. I got a room and set about washing and drying all my crap, then about three hours after I arrived the sun came out! Eventually it was warm enough that I set up my tent to dry it out, and I was kinda kicking myself for not having persevered in the rain for a little longer. Oh well, I had a good rest and it was nice to be warm again. I also had a good Chinese fix from the restaurant adjacent to the motel.

The next morning was still sunny and I chatted briefly to a very pleasant couple from Calgary who were on their Harley, visiting their kids IIRC, before I hit the road again.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:29 PM   #216
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Qualicum Bay to Gold river

The next day I rode through Strathcona Park in fair weather, to Gold River. On the way in a GS with an ADV sticker passed me but I never saw where it was from, nor the bike again.

GR is a logging town and as such experiencing the same economic downturn as the rest of the BC logging industry, and was pretty quiet. Remi at the cappucino joint was full of helpful info and he also collects postcards that his customers send him from around the world. I took his card and promised to send him one from Yellowknife once I got back home.

I had planned on riding the logging roads to Tahsis that day, but the news that the road was being graded right then meant that I decided to wait until the next day. By now I'd had enough of graders! I rode out to the end of the road at Muchalat Inlet where there's a logging operation, and chatted there for quite a while with a volunteer from the Park. And took way too many photos!











They had the cutest little tug boats there working the logs, pushing them around. They rather reminded me of bumper cars. I took pics of them too (and some video) and the Park volunteer told me that there were a few sunk out in the inlet. It looked to me as though they weren't exactly deep water boats and I wondered what on earth they had ever been doing that far from the log sort. Anyway, it was too deep to make it possible to rescue them, I gather, so they are still there now.







I saw logging roads on land that I knew there was no road access to, and the volunteer told me that all the logging trucks and heavy equipment were barged over there, which I thought was pretty cool.





He also told me about the M.V. Uchuck, a supply vessel which runs out to the various logging camps in the area daily. It also takes passengers not only for sightseeing but also because it is the only scheduled ferry service to Nootka Island. It is only $35 for a day trip and you'd get to see some very cool places that are accessible only by water, so I resolved to come back one day and take that side trip. Once a week it even takes an overnight trip and you get to spend the night at a logging camp. Sure enough, after I'd been there an hour or so, it came into view.









I had already scouted out the campground in Gold River, and eventually made my way back there. I was very taken with Muchalat Inlet and thoroughly enjoyed my time there.

At the campground my theory about the cost was once again proven when I was charged $10 for a great spot under the gazebo, and I also noted that the toilets were the cleanest i had ever seen in a campground! The woman who came around to take the money from me was extremely friendly. I quizzed her about jobs driving logging trucks and she gave me lots of useful advice (she worked during the day at a logging company), then later I was to meet a local guy who was just hanging out at the campground on his days off, and he also gave me names of people to speak to.

I had forgotten to pick up campfuel in Port Alberni on my way through the previous day, and the campground lady told me where in town I could buy some in the morning - I hadn't even seen a store other than the coffee shop and a restaurant or two.

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Old 11-28-2008, 10:32 AM   #217
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My father-in-law used to work right down there at that sort yard. The buildings in behind are the old pulp and paper mill that shut down in 98 I think. I've been to Gold River a few times now. Always liked the ride in from Campbell River
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:54 AM   #218
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My father-in-law used to work right down there at that sort yard. The buildings in behind are the old pulp and paper mill that shut down in 98 I think. I've been to Gold River a few times now. Always liked the ride in from Campbell River
Yeah, it's a very cool place. Fondly remembered.

The next morning I made my first stop back at Remi's Uptown Cappucino for tea and a scone, and then when the hardware store that the lady at the campground the previous night had told me about was open, I went in for camp fuel. Unfortunately all they had was gallon cans, but I really needed it for that night, so I was left with no choice but to buy it ($15) and load it up. The only place it would fit? Right on top of everything else! Bloody hell...



It was drizzling all morning, which is a shame. It is 60 kms from Gold River to Tahsis, and it's logging road all the way. I imagine it's very pretty, but the clouds obscured the view.













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Old 11-28-2008, 11:08 AM   #219
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Upana Caves

On the way I stopped in at the Upana Caves, which some locals had recommended to me that morning at the coffee shop. Although I had the foresight to bring a flashlight with me, I unfortunatley didn't think to bring my tripod. There were a few shots inside the caves which would have been great if I'd had the tripod. Darn.











I didn't want to venture in too far as the rocks were slippery from the rain, I was alone and no one knew where I was. But they were neat caves and i think that if you visit on a dry day you cld have some fun.









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Old 11-28-2008, 11:40 AM   #220
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Nice pictures Squonker!

Hey did Kari tell you that he's trucking for a lving now?
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:19 PM   #221
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Nice pictures Squonker!

Hey did Kari tell you that he's trucking for a lving now?
He sure did - we've been emailing back and forth. He sounds happy, and as long as he can drive a truck he'll never be out of work. I'm really pleased for him that he made it, seeing how excited he was in the summer and now everything coming to fruition - very cool!
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:51 PM   #222
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Tahsis

It was mid-morning when I reached Tahsis.













I found a hardware store and went in to look for a more reasonable sized container of camp fuel. They had a two litre can which was still more than I needed, but at least it would fit in my bags and I could get rid of that gallon jug from on top of all my other crap. I told the guy at the store that I'd bought the gallon at Gold River that morning because I needed some and didn't know that I'd find any anywhere else during the day, that it was unopened and asked him whether he'd do a straight swap - that that way we'd both be happy. But I was to be happier still when he gave me some money back, too. Very nice. I spent a little while longer poking around some dirt roads and then left with the aim of going back to Gold River for lunch. You can't go on from Tahsis, it's the end of the road.









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Old 11-28-2008, 05:01 PM   #223
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Wow

Those "Saw Blade" signs are Fantastic, and your tale of the tour....is even better!!!!

Cheers: Brian
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:56 PM   #224
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Those "Saw Blade" signs are Fantastic, and your tale of the tour....is even better!!!!

Cheers: Brian
Thanks Brian! Yeah, I kinda liked those signs too. Pretty neat, those old coastal logging towns. Nowadays they're being bought up by Americans as holiday homes and the properties are fetching a staggering price, considering where places like Tahsis are. Thought I was the only one that appreciated that! Glad you're enjoying the story, thanks for posting.

The only road out of Tahsis is the one you came in on, so...






This sign refers to the picture after it










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Old 11-29-2008, 06:07 AM   #225
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On the way back I stopped in at the Head Bay logging camp to snap some pics of the beautiful old logging trucks.




















The plumbing here is for extra water they carry and apply to the brakes when coming down those amazingly steep hills loaded down to 110 tons...gotta have balls of steel!








The rain had been becoming steadily worse all morning, and by the time I got back to Gold River I was soaked to the skin. Dripping wet. Remi at the Uptown Cappucino had recommended a place for Chinese food and that's always my favourite so I stopped in there. He'd really talked this place up and I was thinking to myself, "Dude, we're in Gold River, I hardly think the food is going to be that good, but whatever you say..." Man was I ever wrong, though. For $10 I had a massive plate of Chow Mein and it was one of the tastiest Chinese meals I've ever eaten. Not sure if it's something to do with the fact that my clothes were completely soaked through or not, but anyway I'll always remember that meal. I even took a pic of the place just so that I could mention it in my RR. I remember sitting at the table, my jacket dripping onto the floor on the chair beside mine, my shirt sleeves dripping onto the table infront of me. Did I mention yet that I was wet?



The bike here is facing a framing shop, and I remember that as I parked it the people in there were giving me supportive smiles - the rain was teeming down by now - and when I came back out again they did so again. I should have gone in to say hi and have a BS session but I had other plans. Rather than riding back out through Strathcona Park to the Island Hwy and up north that way, I'd discovered that I could get to Woss, which is on the Island Hwy, by logging road. Right on.....more adventure!
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