Vic – Port Alberni – Bamfield – With Tony, July 22-24

This was a great trip, got me thinking that I could enjoy staying out on the bike. The offroad riding is great, it is the getting there that sucks. When you stay out, you get more of the good stuff :)

If I had to pick highs and lows … the bugaboo bypass was a high, and the flat tires immediately before and after were lows. Lunch and swimming in McClure lake was good, so were the campsites. Exploring on the shoulder of Arrowsmith was good. The Port Alberni side of the Port Alberni -> Pachena leg was not so good (thick gravel, dusty road with fast traffic).

Waterfall a couple minutes down the river from our 1st campsite.
1st campsite … tents ended up behind the bikes.
1st campsite, after setting up. Needed some smoke to keep the bugs at bay.
Tony
Quick break up on the N shoulder of Mt Arrowsmith… about 1200m here.
Exploring some of the spurs on the NE side of Mt Arrowsmith
Some parts of Vancouver Island are FLAT (just to the East), and others (to the North) are NOT.
Tony, with Denman and Hornby Islands in the background.
Port Alberni, with Sproat Lake in the background. Probably shot from Cameron Main.
Bikes, Tony, dust, and the Alberni Inlet in the background… just a little way down Franklin River Road.
Sarita lake. Followed an ATV trail in here. Getting back up to the highway was not easy.

We were starting to feel a bit rushed/tired at this point, so we didn’t stay long, nor seriously look for a way to get the bikes onto the beach for a photo op.

Pachena Bay/Beach

Same thing here, a very quick visit to Bamfield.

Bamfield, Gov wharf.

And from there, to the 2nd/final campsite. Which was supposed to be the Flora Lake recreation site. But it has been decomissioned, as they pulled out a bridge.

Road Closed, at Flora Lake.

So, we made do with the campsite at the (new) end of the road. We walked to the old sites, and griped about not being able to get to the 2nd one which had a dock! But all-in-all, it was fine. Water just past that barrier, a lake to get clean in, a trail to explore, and cause to scout the area to see if there was another way in.

This was the night I was wishing for a chair. I could have eaten better, I could have had a windbreaker, I could have carried more water … but the only thing I really missed was having some way to sit down with a backrest. Once I ate and stopped moving, I was tired.

Flora lake, getting closer to sunset.
Typical log-jam where the water exits the lake.
… with the typical “Garden” where the logs are bigger.
“Missing: one bridge” … the view from the road barrier.
Signage is still up. They can get someone in to remove a frigging bridge, but they don’t take the signs out?

Next day, we headed toward Nitinat. First stop was the hatchery, but it was closed.

Tony on the decrepid bridge over the little nitnat river. Just North of the hatchery.

From there we checked out the wind/kitesurfing camp on Nitinat lake. (I really need to make some time and get out there with my windsurfing gear again.) From there it was up Carmanah Mainline for the bugaboo bypass.

Except I wanted one more stab at Caycuse main, since google maps seemed to indicate where the old mainline went … versus the spur we followed last time I was here.

W end of Caycuse Main? Jury is out.
Lunch on the dock at McClure lake.

Little did I know, but my rear tire was losing pressure while we had lunch (and a swim).

Time to fix a flat

And I botched the patch job (too much glue). So we had to do it again just S of Port Renfrew.

I appear to have gotten some reasonable video… (used up 2.5 gopro batteries and 15 gig of storage). If I can find time, I might be able to edit it down to something worth watching.