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Old 07-07-2009, 09:51 AM   #1
FishGS OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Olympia,WA.
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3 Day 800 mile Epic Vancouver Island Ride

Ok, So I have to go to a Boat show in Nanaimo BC which is on Vancouver Island.
It is 90 degrees in Olympia Washington (where I live) and I have the next 3 days off.

Yep, I'm taking the GS!

This is my first ride report so bear with me.

I leave the house at 8:30 to make the 12:00 ferry out of Port Angeles Wa.
It is already 70 degrees out as I make my way up highway 101 to PA.

I arrive at the ferry terminal, purchase my ticket and park my bike next to a group of custom harleys and a Goldwing.
These bikes all had custom paint, acres of chrome and the wing even had a matching trailer!

Guess which bike had the largest group around it? It was the gray 1200gs with the industrial looking panniers and the non-matching bright yellow drybag strapped to the rear.

There is something about a purpose built adventure bike that makes total stangers come up and ask you about the bike and where you are heading with it.

The crowd disperses as we start to load onto the ferry.


View of Port Angeles from the ferry.




Bikes have to be tied down in case of a rough crossing through the Straits of Juan de Fuca.




Thems some bigs lines!!





Entering Victoria Harbor.



If you have ever been through customs in Blain you know the wait can be 1-3 hours just to get to the booth!

If you take the ferry it only takes about 5 minutes!!
They have their own customs booth just for the ferry riders.





It is only 1:30 and I have the whole day to explore.


Victoria is a BEAUTIFUL city!!

Horse drawn carraiges.







Cute little ferry boats that do Harbor tours.





Whale watching tours.




But as nice as Victoria is it is just too crowded and "touristy" .

So I look on my map and see that just 30 min away up Highway 17 I can catch a ferry to Saltspring Island.
I have been to Ganges on Saltspring by boat but never by bike.

This is going to be fun!!

More to follow........
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
el' hefe
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Perfect Timing!

I plan on exploring the back roads of Vancouver Island in a couple of weeks, and I have been doing some research in regards to the area. Your report will should be a great tool as well! Good luck and safe travels!
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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I hope you have plans on heading out to Ucluelet on the Pacific side of the island I went out there for a fishing trip a couple years back and the views are amazing. There is a little resturant in town I can't recall the name but its worth a stop its in a converted home give it a shot
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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We can has biggur picturz?
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
FishGS OP
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Day 1, Saltspring Island

So I get out of Victoria ok and find the ferry that crosses to the smaller Gulf Islands.




A tank bag with map storage is a must!





You meet the nicest people on a..........


I met "Hans" on the ferry to Saltspring. He lives on the island and commutes on his GS to Sidney most every day.
He is from Germany and really enjoys living on the island.
We instantly became friends and he gave me some good advice on places to ride while I was there.
It was nice to have someone to talk to on the ferry ride over, Motorcycle people are the salt of the earth!

The guy on the right with the leather jacket and Dockers was riding a well used KLR, He had the jacket and helmet but what you don't see is he is riding with SANDALS on!!
Just when you think you've seen it all...







Stunning ferry ride to Saltspring!



I ride around the island and take in the scenery and before long it is dinner time.
I ride into town (Ganges) late with no reservations when I come across this cute B&B. I am crossing my fingers that they still have a room available when I meet the caretaker.
He sees my helmet and asks me what I ride, when I say BMW 1200gs he instantly becomes my best friend, not only does he get me a nice room for the night (at a discount) but he lets me park my bike by the kitchen entrance so it would be close and secure for the night.
Turns out he has a 650GS and is quite the biker himself.
That would explain all of the motorcycle magazines in the lobby.


Cute rooms..



Saltspring Inn, Very adventure bike friendly!
Nice resturant too (great Breakfast)



I have a light dinner and a beverage or two at the Treehouse cafe.
This cute little place has outdoor seating and local live music most every night.
Great atmosphere and mostly locals seem to eat there (few tourists) it is right next to the water by this....



I sit next a group of people who are friends with the folk music band that is playing. They see that I am traveling alone and include me in their conversations.
I love Ganges!



I go for a little walk around the harbor (harbour?) and go back to the room to check out my maps and plan the next day.

CANADA ROCKS!!

I will post more as time permits.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #6
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Day 2 Ganges to Naniamo

Day two I wake up to glorious Canadian sunshine. While on the ferry talking to Hans he told me to make sure I ride up to Mt Maxwell. It is a curvy half paved half gravel road that takes you up to a spectacular lookout.

I eat breakfast at the B&B and take off for Mt Maxwell.



This is going to be fun!!


The ride up was nice and twisty, The gravel part had a fair amount of water erosion but not too bad.



Getting close!



At the top you come to a map that tells you about the area.




The views from up here are INCREDIBLE!!!






The sunny weather brought out the haze but it was still breathtaking!



Yep, self timer still works.



After taking in all the scenery it was time to head to Vesuvious Bay on the North side of the island to catch the ferry to Crofton.


Bikes get to go the front of the line no matter how late you arrive!



Even the ferry docks are scenic!



Once on the ferry they have you put this wedge under your bike to keep it from falling over



I was the only bike on this trip but the driver of this truck rides a Ducati.


He lives on Saltspring and is thinking of selling his Duck. We talked about adventure bikes vs sport bikes and had a nice chat.


Almost to the big island. Oh yea, I'm suppose to be at the Boat Show in Nanaimo.



I try to take the back roads whenever I can, you just don't see stuff like this on the freeway!

Looks like they save money on roof maintenace also.

Speaking of money, in Canada the smallest paper bill is a $5.
They have coins that are called Loonies and Toonies.
The Loonie is a bronze colored $1 coin with a bird (Loon) on it.
The Toonie (Twonie?) is a $2 coin that is silver with a bronze center and a bear on it.

I bought a $3 cup of coffee and thought I gave the Barista a $1 tip.
Turns out I gave her a $8 tip because the four "quarters" I put in her tip jar were Toonies!!

I think those coins are a plot by the Canadian Barista association to get better tips from tired tourists!

Good coffee though!



Once in Naniamo I find the Boat Show.



Talk to some Brokers...



And get a %@#&* $55 dollar parking ticket!

Turns out my clever parking job in a triangle shaped space was not appreciated by the local parking nazi's.

The ticket gives you a discount if you pay it within 3 days so I phone in my credit card for $30 and settle it right there.
Lesson learned.




Thats all the time I have for now. I will post my trip from Nanaimo to Tofino as soon as I can.

Thanks for watchin!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:51 AM   #7
Draechon
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I'm enjoying this. Hope you didn't stop writing just because you didn't get much response.
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Old 07-23-2009, 12:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draechon
I'm enjoying this. Hope you didn't stop writing just because you didn't get much response.
Word! We want more!
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Old 09-04-2009, 12:15 PM   #9
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..the world is waiting...

nice job gdyup... tell us more about Vancouver.... We want to see your pics from the trip!
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