2017/07/09 – Cowichan Area – solo

This was a long day, and a fun one. I covered a number of areas I wanted to check-out.

I started off looking for a way into copper canyon from Hillcrest. I had spotted what looked like a ford across the Chemainus River in Google Earth. The track looked way more obvious in the satellite image. On the ground, you had to ride pretty much blind through the tall grass. Once you got started it wasn’t bad. The ford is there, but too deep to be usable. A couple guys could throw rocks around and change that. Best if they had an afternoon to spend on a hot day and didn’t mind getting very wet.

ATV ford across Chemainus River.

I continued up the track from there and found a couple of trails to the right… the 2nd of which was pretty damn beautiful at the end. Came right down to the river bed and went up and downstream. The downstream end had some nice pools! (no pix, was hot and tired.) There were a pair of 4x4s in there, and one of the guys said I’d be able to get across to copper canyon… just needed to take the next trail to the right, etc etc.

Well, I had no luck with that. Both the point that Adam Crowe had pointed out, and a preceding trail shown on OSM had been quite effectively blocked by the logging co. Adam’s “ATV” waypoint? I could get in there… wouldn’t want to try getting out.

From there it was continue over to the back (lower) hill 60 area and finish mapping the “upper loop” track and anything else I found. I really do like that area. It is a pity that the “East Thompson” trail is such a brutal start. It wasn’t easy to climb when I did it, and I was a bit surprised I got down it today without getting bounced off. It’s just the last 100 meters or so that is a washed out rock-garden. You can get in from the NW, but then you aren’t transiting through the area.

From there it was “check out a GPX track from Skutz Falls to cowichan”. For a change that was basically trivial. There was an horizontal obstacle to go around… but the GPX track did show that if you looked closely. That basically runs up “Skutz Main”, through a short connector trail, and onto the end of “Fair Service Main”. The track twisted and turned a bit at the far end… not entirely sure why. Basically you turn off “Fair Service Main” at FS3000, the rest is probably optional.

In Cowichan it was time for caffeine and more food. I’d stopped at the tank traps to eat what I had brought, but the coffee container leaked, and the boiled eggs didn’t travel well.

The OSM tracks shown for cowichan lake didn’t show the local logging roads connecting to anything. (Which included NOT showing the track I followed in.) I considered exploring locally

ugh, 2am, I’ll work on this tomorrow. You have the GPX track :) … wow, almost exactly 200 miles (197) according to google… so 300+ km. Gas mileage wasn’t that great though … still, it was a long day’s fun on less than $20 worth of gas :)