Cougar tracks: The initial pawprints

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Cowgirl, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Rex Nemo

    Rex Nemo horizon calling

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    Excellent stuff--planning on riding BC this summer, and am interested to see your routes and nifty spots. Glad you returned to camping!
    #21
  2. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    I arrived at the Provincial Park at Rathtrevor Beach around 6 pm and cruised the campground looking for the perfect spot to set up camp. All but 4 of the sites were vacant so I had lots to choose from. It quickly became apparent that I was missing an essential piece of kit - the giant tarp suspended from the trees over the campsite. Hmmmm, guess I should start a list of still required equipment.

    I pulled into a secluded spot next to the trail to the beach and in a surprisingly short time had erected the tent, blown up Big Agnes and had the sleeping bag and pillow tucked in the tent with her. As I gazed around my camp I realized that panic had not yet set in. This camping thing might just be doable after all!

    Then it was off to Parksville for a quick dinner and to pick up some firewood. After I got back it didn't take long before I had a cheery little fire going and was busily chatting with my friends on the iPad. What? You didn't think I was going to abandon all the trappings of civilization did you? There are limits after all. I couldn't possibly go a whole day without checking in on ADV :D

    After a while I realized it was getting pretty chilly so I decided it was bedtime. I crawled into the tent and zipped closed the door. My heartrate remained steady. I slipped off my boots, stripped down to my longjohns and snuggled down into the sleeping bag. I was still able to breathe. Twenty-eight years later the demons finally seemed at rest. I relaxed and soon drifted off to sleep lulled by the barking of sea lions and the crying of gulls.

    And two hours later I was awake. It was darn cold! No matter, I put on another layer of thermal underwear and went back to snoozing. An hour later I was again freezing. A hoodie and another pair of socks was added to the layers. For the next 3 hours I was awake much more than I was asleep. I was learning a valuable lesson - a sleeping bag rated for an extreme of 0C to 3C doesn't do very well at 2C. At that point I decided further sleep was a fruitless quest. At least it was a chance to try out the stove. A few minutes later I was armed with a mug of lovely hot coffee. It felt positively decadent. I wandered down to the beach to watch the sunrise.

    [​IMG]

    It took considerably longer to break camp than it had taken to set it up but eventually I had everything packed back into the original configuration. I took that as quite an accomplishment - you know how seldom that happens!

    I forgot to take a picture while everything was set up. You get the idea.

    [​IMG]
    #22
  3. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    :lurk
    #23
  4. drsales

    drsales Wondering Why

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    I swear that sun rises are the best! Keep it coming you are doing fine. :D
    #24
  5. tremor38

    tremor38 Long timer

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    Good stuff! Do you think getting cold was due to the thermal rating of the Agnes pad you chose or the top part......or both?
    #25
  6. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    It was probably the sleeping bag. When I was shopping I was thinking summer camping and I got a little over optimistic with what the sleeping bag could handle. The BA is the insulated model (I went back and checked hence the edit). Also, I get cold easily when sleeping - I should have brought a bed warmer :wink:
    #26
  7. Gitana

    Gitana A work in progress

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    Try a silk bag liner. Light, and they work to add about 10 degrees of comfort.
    #27
  8. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

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    From a fellow Wee Stromer.............You rock!

    Nice work with the lens also!
    #28
  9. truckguy

    truckguy awesomeness!

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    Omaha, NE via Tulsa, OK
    Beautiful scenery! It was always my dream to go mountain biking in BC, it's said to be the best in the world.
    #29
  10. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    Thanks. I've ordered a couple of these off ebay :D
    #30
  11. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    Thank you very much :D My camera is just a little Pentax point and shoot but I like it.
    #31
  12. durtwurm

    durtwurm Talented Amateur

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    Great ride report! Great photos! You confronted your fears and got on with the tent and all that goes with it!
    #32
  13. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    I love living here in BC, there's not many places as beautiful for sure. You need to live that dream!
    #33
  14. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    I was feeling pretty good as I left Rathtrevor Beach that morning. I'd successfully spent the night in a tent and lived to tell the tale. As I cruised along I was already planning my next adventure in more spring like temperatures. Long Beach is definitely going to happen in April!

    Next stop was 15 minutes down the road in Qualicum Beach where I was to rendezvous with fellow ADVer and Stromtrooper grizzlyone for breakfast. Several months ago I had been checking out who had checked me out on ADV and I noticed that a person from Vancouver Island had looked at my profile. I'd PM'd him and we'd been in contact ever since. He mentioned that he'd been lurking for a couple of years without making a post. Hey buddy, you've been well and truly outed now! :wave

    [​IMG]

    He's a very interesting guy with an adventurous life and great taste in bikes and riding gear :D

    Over breakfast we decided to head inland and slab it north on the four lane to Campbell River then drift back along the coast. It was a fantastic ride! There was almost no traffic and the sun stayed out for most of it. We continued past Campbell River to Seymour Narrows, the northernmost point of the trip.

    [​IMG]

    I apologize for the quality of this picture. I was mucking around with it attempting to remove power lines and inadvertently saved it. Generally I take 4 or 5 shots of the same view in case it comes out blurry or otherwise crappy but for some reason I only took one so I'm stuck with it.

    Seymour Narrows is the most dangerous part of the Inside Passage to Alaska. It's only 4 cables wide (700 metres or 2400 feet for non-nautical types) and currents run up to 16 knots (28 kph or 18 mph). From April to October huge cruise ships share the waterway with tugs towing barges, fishboats and numerous pleasure craft. The Canadian Coast Guard provides traffic information to vessels in the area and has specific procedures for vessels making a transit through the Narrows. That's part of what I do :D

    [​IMG]

    While we were admiring the view it began to rain. We jumped back on the bikes and high-tailed it back to Campbell River. The skies opened up! The rain pelted down and as we approached Campbell River it really started to sting. Then I noticed it was bouncing off the tank - it had turned into hail.
    #34
  15. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    Thanks! Now I'm all ready for Colorado :D
    #35
  16. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    We think, we understand that this RR is covering a previous trip but regardless the above quote really got our attention especially for those of us from Tete Jaune CAche.:evil
    #36
  17. grizzlyone

    grizzlyone n00b

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    Hey CG :wave

    Great job on the ride report...
    Thanks for sharing your ride with me!
    #37
  18. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    Yep, this RR is for a trip I took last week but I'm heading to CO in June. :D
    #38
  19. Cowgirl

    Cowgirl Cougar on the prowl

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    Thank you.
    Any time, my friend, any time :D
    #39
  20. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    #40