In this segment we attempt to escape the rainy island for the main land and our duo becomes a trio.
Map for the day.
We woke up to rain and once again it was cold with temperatures hovering around 5-6C (around 40F) in the morning. The night before I had discovered a flaw with my micro-sized tent. It had room for me but not really much of my gear. Not a problem when it was dry but more of an issue with plenty of rain. As a (admittedly poor) solution I slept with gear piled on top of me in an effort to keep it dry. We packed up doing the best we could to keep the wet and dry items separate. We had moderate levels of success in this regard.
The rain briefly let up so we took a short tour of Ucluelet before leaving.
Boating related items are popular for decorating including a whole boat.
Quite a few artists selling to tourists.
We headed out on the road and I got very, very cold. Riding soaking wet in low temperatures with little sun at highway speeds is not a good combo. Especially when you bike offers almost protection without even a windshield. Despite having a schedule to keep by Port Alberni I demanded we stop at a McDonald’s where I used the hand dryer to dry out my gloves. I gobbled up a warm breakfast sandwich as well. I was too cold for photos on the journey across the island so unfortunately there are none. Plus we were cutting it close for ferry timing.
As we approached the ferry at Nanaimo there were signs telling us the ferry we were aiming for was full and the next one two hours later was almost at capacity. Despite this we continued on where we were waved through onto the first ferry. Apparently news of our trip had spread and we were famous … or bikes are small and get to jump the queue. Either way we were on the first boat with what felt like VIP treatment. In the line we meet up with an another friend of mine who lived near by in the Vancouver area. We had planned for him to join us. He informed me it had not rained for weeks on the Island previous to our arrival. His ride was a Honda CB300R which had only seen occasional use since he had purchased it new a few years ago. Our two became three as he joined us for a couple days of the trip.
The wait was so long for some that game of catch had was in full swing.
We were loaded up on the ferry. Some random dude on a Ninja got placed in between us.
The trip from Vancouver Island to Horseshoe Bay (main land area outside Vancouver the city) was uneventful.
This ferry was definitely less plush than the previous one but of course a lot shorter of a distance to travel. Thanks to our earlier loading we got to sit right up front and center.
The ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay.
Unlike the earlier, bigger ferry unloading was a very quick and efficient operation.
The scenic road up to Whistler along Highway 99. Whistler was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and I was looking forward to checking out the town. Unfortunately we did not end up exploring Whistler itself after finding out you can’t see anything beyond apartment buildings unless you park and take a bus into town. Bummer.
A look at the Honda CB300R. The tank bag looking uncomfortable and awkward to apparently worked well.
Packing priorities on display. Despite joining for only two days versus my eleven he had more stuff than I did strapped to the bike.
There is a red second generation Rx-7 if you squint really hard. I believe this is Pemberton.
We were out of room to haul our dinner to the campsite so I needed to strap parts of it to the back of my bike. A few brave hot dogs buns sacrificed themselves so others could stay intact. Some young people laughed at our packing strategy in the parking lot but it worked.
Fantastic roads up here! To top it off hardly any vehicles to slow us down or spoil the view. The lack of rental RVs was a nice chance of pace.
When we arrived at our campsite we were treated to a little bit more rain and a subtle rainbow (just visible in the above photo).
Three bikes, one campsite but annoyingly they charged us for each bike so we in effect paid triple what a full size camper would pay. Seemed a bit unfair.
We tried a bit of tent drying as best we could with fading sun light with only moderate success.
Our new addition brought some Crown Royal but I had neglected to bring any kind of a cup so a bowl was pressed into drink holding duty. While the mountain roads for today had been fantastic they were merely a warm up for the next set.
The full trip log: