Thursday, June 22, 2017

IT WAS QUITE A RIDE!

My brother in law and I joined a group of ATV riders from all over Vancouver Island on a historic ride this past weekend.  BC is very stringent on where ATVs can be ridden and for this ride, we had received a one time permission to ride to the gas station and one of the hotels in Gold River on public roads.  We also had permission to ride all the way through Tahsis.  We hope that the authorities will look at this and expand it to more communities.  We departed from Campbell River on the east side of Vancouver Island and took a combination of rough trails and logging roads to get to the west side of the Island.
I think we had up to 35 ATVs on our trek Saturday to Gold River.  Some machines just rode part way. Quite a few ATVs headed home on Sunday.  While three riders stayed behind, ten of us made the extra drive to Tahsis on Sunday and enjoyed a more leisurely ride.  We stopped at Moucha Bay Resort and checked it out.  We also spent considerable time at Westview Marina and Lodge where we had drinks or ice cream.  The highlight was watching the many Bald Eagles competing for fish scraps.
On Monday morning, we headed off on our return trip to Campbell River in a driving rainstorm. Kind of wished I had a windshield at that point.  Even with rain gear we ended up getting rather damp but at least it kept us warm.  We put on a total of 507.7 kms in the three days (317 miles for US people).  We did have a bit of dust here and there on the first day and quite a bit of rain.  Some of the linking trails were quite challenging on day one so we were happy to take different roads on the return trip on Monday.
Several of the communities on Northern Vancouver Island are hoping the rules will be relaxed so they can participate in such rides.  It could be a boon to tourism in these communities that have been hit by hard times with the downturns in the resource industry.
We parked the motor home at Bill's in Campbell River Friday after finishing up with the RV rally in Chemainus.  Aileen stayed there for the weekend.  We came back to Charlie and Sheila's yesterday.  I spent much of today cleaning the RZR as there was a lot of mud thrown up when we were cruising along at 60 KPH (about 40 mph) on the wet roads.  This type of riding is not what I normally do as I like to cruise at a slower pace and be able to stop whenever I want to for photo opportunities.  On a trip like this, photo stops are few and far between.  Especially on our first day where we covered 192 kms (120 miles) and day three at 168.5 kms.  You just have to keep going or you'll run out of day.



                                      
The Main Upana Cave.  We made a long stop here and I was able to spend some time wandering with my camera.  All the photos were taken with my Canon SX50 as I was travelling light.  With all the rain, I was wrapping my camera in a towel between the seats.  I guess it got too damp there on Monday as partway through the day, the camera quit working.  After putting it in my cargo box which sits above the muffler and gets some heat, it dried out enough to start working again.  By the time we got home, all the features were working properly again.  Whew!

Upana Creek goes underground at one point and resurfaces at Resurgence Cave.  The opening is nearly ten meters high (that's 33 feet for US  followers) and it is easily accessed from a set of stairs.




Looking out from within Resurgence Cave

The rain had just quit as we walked down the path at Upana Caves.  This is a Bunchberry flower.      It is also known as Dwarf or Ground Dogwood.

Bunchberry

Heather

Three Sisters waterfalls along the Tahsis Road

Celebrating our arrival at our destination 

We stopped at Westview Marina and Lodge in Tahsis on Sunday.  They had put fish scraps out and the eagles came from far and wide to partake of the feast.








On our return from Tahsis to Gold River on Sunday, we drove by this pretty little lake

As we departed the hotel on our way home Monday morning, the rain was pounding down

A biffy tucked away in the forest.  Seat looks soft but not sure if I would trust it holding much weight.