01 Jul Day 4: Going South Now (Saltry Bay to Rathtrevor Beach PP)
If you ever been on a bicycle tour, you always look for the worse day of the trip. For this week, today should have been it. We had over 70+ miles to ride for the day, we needed to make it to the first ferry out of Powell River in order to get to camp at a decent time, the first mile included a long ascent up hill which was suppose to be the steepest for the day, and the forecast called for a 80% chance of rain.
Hit the Ground Running
We had to get to bed early and wake up by 4:30AM in order to get out of camp by 5:30. The ferry out of Powell River was 20km north. We both needed to hustle out of camp after a quick oatmeal breakfast. We did just that and found that it actually worked out for us. Being out in the road that early meant that there isn’t any traffic going towards our direction until we were half way through our destination. The hill was long and steep, but we had the entire width of the road to zig zag up while we watched on coming traffic fly by which we’re assuming was racing to catch the ferry back to Earls Cove (where we came from the day before).
As we traveled towards our destination, we even got to hear wolves howling in the hills. Sang Hyun got that on video and we’re sure it wasn’t dogs. That was pretty awesome as neither of us ever experienced that in person. We finally made it to the ferry dock without a minute to spare as we saw our ferry pull in right when we got there. We quickly purchased our ferry ticket and walked our bikes on board.
We made it across the bay to the most northern location of our trip, Comox on Vancouver Island. This was a hustling and bustling place with lots of cars and strip malls. We finally got a glimpse of our only Target store so far. When we began riding south, the weather started to clear up and we even had sunshine. We pealed off our rain clothes and rode down the coast with no rain except when we got into Parkville but that was towards the end of our day.
It got warm enough for us to pull over and enjoy an ice cream cone. One of my favorite things besides getting WiFi connectivity at their Sav-On Supermarket. It feels like we’ve been disconnected from the world for awhile. Vancouver Island is beautiful on Highway 1. We saw so many trees and passed over several creeks. Too bad it wasn’t warm enough for us to pull over and enjoy the beautiful landscape. We weren’t the only ones who thought this place was a bicyclist’s paradise as we saw at least a dozen of other loaded up cycle tourists riding north and south. We spoke to a few of them who were mostly locals taking a quick trip for the upcoming Canada Day holiday.
Much Better Than Expected
We rolled into the Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park around 5PM and found the place mobbed by familes of people and kids on bikes. They were everywhere! They put us in between a middle age couple and a family of 8. It was noisy but I slept through it using my earplugs. The site was located on a grass field so the ground was nice and soft. We even got to shower for the first time since we left Vancouver. Yay! I hand washed a few things as well. It felt good that our tent and some of our rain gear dried out for the day. We had picked up a whole rotisserie chicken and devoured it with some pita bread. That was delicious and necessary for a long day with that many miles.
At the end, what we thought was our worse day actually turned out to be better than we thought. Interesting how you prepare for something mentally and hope for the best. Day 4 would be one of those days that the best happened more or less.