Bike Tour of the Gulf Islands

On August 5th, 2019, we packed up the e-bikes for a 4 day bike tour of the Gulf Islands. We drove the Jeep to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal parking lot, and rode our bikes onto the Ferry heading for Galiano Island. Galiano is named after the Spanish explorer Dionisio Alcala Galiano, who explored the area in 1792. Galiano is 27.5 kms long and never more than 6 kms wide. We arrived at the Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal on Galiano Island and rode our bikes to the Woodstone Manor where we left our bags before riding out to Montague Harbour Provincial Park, one of the most popular parks in the Gulf Islands. We stopped for lunch at the Crane and Robin Cafe on Montague Bay, and we had the best meal of salmon burger and jackfruit tacos. We continued the ride out to the Park and stopped for a quick dip in the ocean. Then back to the Woodstone Manor where we checked into our room, the Bridal Suite, for one night. The Woodstone is truly a special place with only 12 rooms, a unique dining Room & Patio offering meals prepared by their executive chef, and situated on 9 private wooded acres with pastoral views. We had the most beautiful, peaceful pastoral view from our room. We spent the evening sitting outside by the Patio fireplace talking with the owners Stefan and Roxanne Orlitzky, and later joined by Tommy Transit, who drives the local bus on the Island. The next morning after a delicious breakfast with Tommy Transit, who sold me his book, “Bus Tales”; we rode our bikes out to The Bluffs Park, which is Galiano’s oldest wilderness park, established in 1948. We rode up the steep gravel rode to the top of the Bluffs and had beautiful views looking out to Active Pass. One more stop at the Woodstone Manor to enjoy a fabulous lunch before heading out to the Ferry to Saltspring Island. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Discovery Coast Circle Tour of British Columbia-Nimpo Lake to Whistler, BC

Nimpo Lake to Whistler, BC

We said farewell to Frank and Kelly and  continued our journey of the BC Discovery Trail heading to Whistler, B.C. We drove along Highway 20 through the Chilcotin Country past Tatla Lake, and turned off the main road onto Farwell Canyon Road to take a more scenic drive in the heart of the B.C. Chilcotin District. The road is gravel for 117 km, it’s a narrow dusty road, unless it has been raining, then it turns to thick mud which we experienced, but the views are stunning. We saw the huge sand dunes along the Chilcotin River, supposedly one of the largest sand dunes in B.C., and the hoodoos along the Canyon. We stopped to check out an old abandoned homestead down by the River. Continue reading

Discovery Coast Circle Tour of British Columbia – Bella Coola and the Chilcotin

Ferry from Port Hardy to Bella Coola

A beautiful red/orange sunrise appeared at 5 AM, as we left to catch the ferry to Bella Coola. The Discovery Coast Passage route is served by the BC Ferries, Northern Sea Wolf, from June through September only. We booked on June 11th and we were so lucky to be able to get the last car space on the ferry on June 26th, as it holds only 35 cars. The ferry leaves the Port Hardy Terminal at 7:30 AM but you have to be there at 5:30 AM to get in line. From the time we left Port Hardy we were floating through unsurpassed scenery, as the fog slowly lifted and the views became more spectacular. This crossing to the mid-coast ranks among the world’s most scenic, as we cruised the Queen Charlotte Strait we saw sea lions, dolphins and even Humpback whales playing in the ocean. On the ferry there was a restaurant with great food, a passenger lounge, and outdoor seating on the top deck, where we spent most of our time. Cruising up the Burke Channel toward Bella Coola we were in awe of the snow capped mountain ranges on the mainland; it was similar to cruising through the fiords in New Zealand. Then we reached the North Bentinck Arm, the inlet where the town of Bella Coola is located. The almost 12 hour ferry trip passed so quickly that before we new it we had arrived at the Bella Coola Harbour Wharf. The fishing boats were right next to the ferry and we watched the fishermen unload their catch for day. We drove through Bella Coola to the Mountain Lodge where we stopped for the night, and they have a restaurant, called the  Brockton Bistro where we had a delicious dinner. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Discovery Coast Circle Tour of British Columbia – Vancouver Island

The Discovery Coast Circle Tour: Part 1

Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to Port Hardy:

This summer we decided to take time to explore BC, our beautiful province. The best way to see all that British Columbia has to offer is to take the Discovery Coast Circle Tour, roughly 1400 km (870 mi) of driving and 16 hours of sailing. We left Vancouver from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and stopped at Salt Spring Island to visit my sister then took the Vesuvius Ferry to Crofton where we began our drive north on Vancouver Island. We stopped for lunch in Sayward, located about 1 mile inland from Kelsey Bay. The village is named after William Parsons Sayward, a successful lumber merchant from Victoria, who came here in 1858 from California. We found a little gem of a cafe in Sayward, the Straits View Cafe, with a view of Johnstone Strait, and excellent food. I went wide and had fried BC shrimp for lunch and we shared one of their famous homemade pies for dessert.  After lunch we wandered down to the Kelsey Bay wharf, once the southern terminus for the B.C. Ferries Inside Passage route until 1978, when Highway 19 was extended north to Port Hardy. Now it is a convenient stopping point for sport fishing and eco-tourism. Continue reading

BC Summer 2019

We arrived in Aldergrove, B.C., on May 29th, 2019, staying at the Eagle Wind RV Park. Our first outing was to celebrate the Prince of Wales 55th High School Reunion on May 31st, at the Arbutus Club. It was fun to get together with Bob’s friends from high school and to celebrate my birthday with them. Next stop was to visit my sister, Sue and Denis, on Salt Spring Island. We took our e-bikes with us so we could ride around Salt Spring Island without having to worry about all the hills. We rode to Ruckle Provincial Park, one of the most beautiful parks in the southern Gulf Islands. In addition to its natural beauty, Ruckle Park is an area in cultural history. Irish emigrant Henry Ruckle first homesteaded here in 1872, marrying in 1877; and their descendants have farmed the Salt Spring property for more than a century. The Ruckle family donated their land to BC Parks in 1972 for the creation of Ruckle Provincial Park. We also rode our bikes to the west side of Salt Spring Island to the isolated area of Musgrave Landing. Musgrave Landing was the agriculture center of Salt Spring Island from 1870 to roughly 1904. It’s now a popular stop along the Gulf Islands Marine Trail. We always enjoy our stay on Salt Spring Island, visiting new sights and places, with Sue and Denis in their beautiful home and look forward to returning again soon. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Vancouver Summer, 2018

We arrived at Eagle Wind RV Park on July 1st, Canada Day. We plan on staying for 3 months to visit our family and friends. Our first outing was to Salt Spring Island to visit my sister Susan and Denis. While we were there we did a bike ride to Sydney and Victoria on Vancouver Island. We started by taking the ferry from Ganges over to Swartz Bay where the Lochside Trail begins and we rode into Victoria, a 33 km bike ride. We stopped for lunch in Victoria at Spinnakers Brewpub and then rode past the iconic Empress Hotel and on to view the Parliament Buildings. On our way back to the ferry we stopped in the town of Sydney and had a beer looking out at the beautiful harbor. We made it back in time to catch the ferry back to Ganges on Salt Spring Island. A great day of biking. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island

We went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my sister, Sue and Denis for a few days, Aug 13th to 18th. We celebrated Bob’s 71st birthday at Auntie Pesto’s overlooking the Ganges Harbor. We played some pickle ball, went swimming in Vesuvius Bay and enjoyed relaxing on the porch chatting, drinking and eating together. We took a day and went on a biking trip over to Vancouver Island to visit Chemainus and Ladysmith.
We caught the early ferry from Vesuvius to Crofton and rode to Chemainus to view the wonderful murals that put this small town on the map. The first mural was painted in 1981, today Chemainus is painted with more than 40 murals, depicting scenes from the town’s history. We had fun riding our bikes around town seeing all the beautiful 40 large murals depicting the Cowichan First Nations, European exploration and settlement, fur trading, railway development and more…… After lunch at the Willow Street Cafe, we rode our bikes along the coast rode to Ladysmith and back to Chemainus, where we had dinner in a fabulous restaurant, the Sawmill TapHouse and Grill. We got the last ferry back to Vesuvius after a wonderful day on our bikes. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Whistler, BC

We booked an Airbnb at Whistler for 2 nights, August 3rd and 4th. The drive from Vancouver was sunny and beautiful but when we arrived at Whistler the smoke-filled air was everywhere. We decided to drive right to Joffre Lake Provincial Park and hike up to the lakes as far as was possible to still be able to see the views. This magnificent park, established in 1988, with jagged peaks, icefields, cold rushing streams and especially the three turquoise blue lakes is one of the best day hikes we have ever done. The trail passes the Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes, and each more stunning than the last. Their striking, saturated blue colour is caused by “rockflour” or glacial silt in the water that is suspended in the water and reflects green and blue wavelengths of sunlight. As we arrived at the Upper Lake the smoke was getting denser and it was difficult to see the glacier and the tops of the peaks. We turned around and headed back down the trail but had to stop for a swim at the Middle Lake from a balancing floating log. What a great hike and would love to return and camp at the Upper Lake. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Summer in British Columbia

Bob and Chris McKay friend from grade 1

We finally arrived back in Vancouver on June 1st, staying at the beautiful Eagle Wind RV Park in Aldergrove, for 4 months. We are looking forward to seeing our family and friends during our stay here. Our first outing was a weekend trip to Oliver, BC, staying at The Lakeside Resort, with Bob’s high school classmates for an all men’s golf tournament in memory of Dan Grimble. Myself and two of the other wives came along, Robbie Harper and Dawn White. We enjoyed our time visiting all the fabulous wineries in the Okanagan Valley, as well as shopping in all the wonderful boutiques in the area. The Okanagan Valley is BC’s premier grapegrowing region, with quiet family-run boutique vineyards to world-class operations. Oliver is considered the “Wine Capitol of Canada”, and is home to nearly half of BC’s vines and more than 40 wineries. We were amazed by the growth of the Okanagan Valley in the past 40 years and we will definitely make a trip back here again. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Summer stay in BC

Getting ready to ride with “Team Ralph”

Summer in Vancouver, BC, 2016, was filled with family, old friends, sightseeing, celebrations and biking. Arriving on July 15, staying at Eagle Wind RV Park, until Sept 15. We spent some time with Bob’s brother Ted and his wife Marg along with Bob’s sister Linda. We re-acquainted with Bob’s old girlfriend from high school, Marg and Don Sheperd, We had a great dinner together at the Granville Island Hotel and went to the Comedy Club near by. Enjoyed a mini Prince of Wales High School Reunion, organized by Ralph White, and what an amazing group of friends to come in such short notice. We had several wonderful biking trips with Ralph White and friends throughout the lower Mainland, and across the border. Culminating in the Tour de Whatcom, a 60 km bike ride around Bellingham, WA. Enjoyed a few beers with my brother, John, Lisa and Toby before leaving Vancouver. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading