Nanaimo Lakes fallback – 2016/07/10

Wanted to try the ride through the Nanaimo Lakes that someone did back in late May… No dice, gate closed at N end of second Lake… and there were people around and it isn’t a high gate (e.g. not easy to get under) … So backed up and explored.

Most of the exploration was around the first lakes, although the real opening was to the North… that just seemed to keep going and going. I also “meandered” a bit heading home/south… including my “normal” route through the Mt Woods power-lines… I really recommend that little chunk of the powerlines to anyone who has their offroad basics nailed down, and is on something other than a dirt bike. It gets harder the farther you go (up to the N looking lookout), with the last climb being pretty gnarly on the KLR. The gotcha is that if it’s hard going up, it isn’t much fun coming down… so I usually turn off where I did today and skip the last (funnest?) climb. That turn off takes you to the N end of the Malahat, just about where the northbound traffic goes from one to two lanes… at least it does if you follow my track.

Today’s riding was interesting. Was lots of trail I could push a bit on… and I was travelling light (tailbag, no panniers) … except that I shook the tailbag off … heard it rubbing against the rear tire… barely held on. Stopped, re-attached that, strapped it down with the one sleeping bag strap I had. That seems to make a big difference, as it takes the give out of the bag. I also bounced the GPS off the bike. I hit a bit of a jump and the bike came down with a bang. I thought it had bottomed out … but the bike seemed fine, and I didn’t get jounced the way I would have expected. I didn’t clue in for a bit. I probably backtracked 2 km to the site of the “bang”, so the track isn’t actually complete.

(Google says the raw track was 220 miles / 350 km, no wonder I hit reserve on the way home. Today was the first time I’ve had to use the reserve on the KLR, and I had to do it at both the start and finish of the day.)

pix… lets start with a gate… the same gate I ended with. I took this shot while scouting my way inward (not expecting to come back). I had noted at that time that the quads had cut a little trail around the gate.

gates, gates, everywhere a d*m gate.
second lake (click for big pano)
And the important gate, with the small f**k you, “no public access past second lake gate anytime” sign. (click for big)

What do you guys think is going to happen when you block up all the mainlines. We’re going to turn around and go home? Not if it’s the start of the day and we drove 100+ km to get here. We’re going to explore. You want to avoid fire and liability risks? Don’t make us go looking for alternate routes!

Looking up the Nanaimo river from the road/bridge to the first lake camping areas.
There… I wanna go there!

“re I wanna go there” … I did. Not the top, which DOES appear feasable according to google, and not the obvious scar across the top of the slide area… but over the less obvious road near the bottom of the scar. That was a bit technical for a solo rider who was deviating from his planned route. I did sometimes avoid the “easiest” line … that was close to the cliff face, as I left the self-rescue system at home (no panniers today).

old decaying railway ties

The openstreetmap coverage of the nanaimo lakes area sucks, but it DOES show the old abandoned (logging?) railroad.

Neat little moss covered spur… but overgrown behind the bike.
Looking S down at first lake.
Old log dump / loading area… I think OSM shows this as being the far end of the old logging railway. (Head of first lake)
“out of order” … remember the first shots that showed (by accident) where I got to. Well this shot from where I got to, shows where the first shot was taken… up the hill to the SE of first lake. Going up there is where I bounced the tailbag off (good hard riding)
Looking down the landslide slope to the bike, and up the road.
Same spot, viewed from the other side
mind the gap. out of order. men at work… whatever. I don’t recommend coming up here in a big heavy 4×4
Almost back to the Island highway. Power lines going over the Nanaimo River… upstream from wildplay’s tower.

That’s it… GPX track, some pictures and some text. There should be more notes here, usually things to fix on the bike, reminders to oil the chain, etc.