I should have known things weren’t going to go according to plan when I glanced at the weather report the day we set off for the Sunshine Coast (ha!) and Powell River a short hop away from Vancouver. After weeks of sun and warmth, to the point that grass was already turning brown, the line on the weather graph suddenly took an unexpected plunge downward about a day after our departure date. I didn’t really believe it, the weather reports here are notoriously let’s say, incompatible, with what’s actually happening outside the window.
We set off in glorious sun to catch the ferry taking us from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast. As we sailed across calm waters we spotted a couple of Orcas in the distance as they broke the surface of the water. It was thrilling to see them, a hint of the wildness that we live on the edge of here. A scenic drive from Gibsons on a winding road with views of islands dotted along the shoreline brought us to the next ferry at Earls Cove, ultimately depositing us at Saltery Bay with its lovely green campground and one of several thoughtfully placed benches by the water.
Pretty much after that the rain set in. And we realized we’d forgotten toothpaste. And soap (not such a big deal), and mayo, and Braggs seasoning and the ultimate, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (a very big deal). In deciding to car camp with the bikes on the back – in the expectation we’d park the car at various points and go off for long day rides – we’d in fact over packed. In went an umbrella for lounging on beaches (for the blinding sun and suffocating heat of course), pillows, tons of food to fuel up after all the riding we’d be doing, far too much clothing, extra pairs of boots in case we wanted to go hiking, the list was endless. By taking stuff we’d never normally think to pack, we completely blanked out on the essentials like toothpaste. Lesson learned. Keep it simple.
We barely used the bikes, except to take advantage of a lull in the weather to cycle to a grocery store halfway to Powell River for toothpaste. After two nights of rain in Saltery we drove damply into Lund, a tiny fishing village basically at the very end of Highway 101 and spent the following couple of nights getting up to drain water from a lake that was forming on the tarp over our tent. There was no point in taking a water taxi to nearby Savary Island or renting a kayak to explore Desolation Sound. All we could do was laugh at our misfortune and ineptitude, enjoy campfires and the odd break in the weather to wander around the village marina.
and look over the water at the start of Desolation Sound.
It was a two week holiday that turned into one as we admitted defeat and headed for home to dry out. But I’d go back in a heartbeat, to listen to the frogs at night, to the quiet, to see the richness of the forest green, the clarity of the water, the eagles circling. Only next time we’ll just take the bikes. And maybe not go in Juneuary.