Cowichan Valley, B.C.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by squonker, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Hmmm, don't think I've posted up a day trip before. Thought about it lots of times, but today I finally got off my arse (literally, as in I got off the bike to take some pics during a ride!), so here we go....

    When I woke up this morning it was a beautiful day.
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    It had been a few days since I rode and I had no plans for the day so I thought I'd go exploring. But where to go? There are some logging roads out near Port Renfrew that I want to explore, but I was out that way a couple of weeks ago and besides, we've had a fair amount of rain since then.

    I know! I recently went to test drive a car in the Cowichan Valley. It's beautiful out that way and I don't know it that well, so that's where I decided to go.

    What to wear? Well, it wasn't going to rain but the internet said the temp was 0c. Oh. I stood on my deck and it seemed a fair bit warmer than that, so I threw on a fleece and my electric vest just in case - don't have to plug it in if I don't need it - and off I went.

    Up over the Malahat - traffic was light for once - and I was intending to turn off the highway north of Duncan. By the time I got to Mill Bay, though, I was fairly well chilled and decided that a change of pace would be good so I turned off there.

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    I didn't know there was a reserve here. It's right by the Mill Bay ferry, which goes to Brentwood Bay out on the peninsula.

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    It's nice and peaceful here
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    and I rode alongside the ocean for a little way before coming into Mill Bay itself.

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    Once in Mill Bay I had no choice but to rejoin the highway for a few kilometres, but I soon found a road I didn't know to turn off onto :D
    #1
  2. caljw

    caljw Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Great pics thanks for bringing back memories. Raised in Victoria and Brentwood Bay...20 years now in SoCal. Crossed on that ferry many times! Is there still a Pub right there at the ferry dock? Cheers!:freaky
    #2
  3. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    Hurry up <STRIKE>Slacker</STRIKE> Squonker.

    :wave
    #3
  4. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Hey - yep, sure is still the pub on the corner there, but I have to admit I've never been to it. Shameful, I know! Cheers!

    Sheesh, keep yer hair on will ya? You're such a fork!! (I still get a chuckle out of that on an almost daily basis).:lol3 Ok, I'll go and get some more pics lined up. Just opened a smugmug account last night - I like it. :thumb I like it a lot.
    :wave
    #4
  5. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Anyone want to buy a tractor?

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    I turned off the highway again here because as it turns out that temp I saw online turned out to be pretty accurate and it was a wee bit chilly.:gerg There was still frost on the road and on the ground in the shade, so the slower speeds were welcomed.

    A friend of mine just bought a tractor from this place for the marina he runs. It's a Kioti, 22hp diesel with 4wd, pto, 3 point linkage, hydrostatic tranny and roll cage. Brand spanking new for $14,000. And they threw in a loader, bucket and forks for free. Suh-weet!

    I came across this place and thought it had potential to be quite cool.

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    I was just about to consider whether or not to go in, when I saw the sign next to this one.

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    Alright then, poo poo to you too! Bike wins every time!

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    Some pretty scenery around here. Lots of farms, and lots of wineries. :1drink

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    This a vineyard here
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    Same place - I'm really not sure what the significance of the inukshuk is this far south, but still.

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    Then I saw this sign and decided to turn onto Telegraph Road. I thought it was a cool name and will write to Mark Knopfler, suggesting that he writes a 15 minute opus with the same title :D

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    Ooh, another vineyard
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    Ooh, another bike/sign shot
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    #5
  6. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I was just exploring now. Didn't have a map, but I knew that I was basically running parrallel to the highway, heading north. I didn't knw when I'd next some across the highway again so it was fun just to scoot along, enjoy the sights and take some pics.

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    You can see the fresh snow on the hills in the background a little more clearly here.

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    Hmmm, had no idea I was this close to Ontario!

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    All of a sudden I found myself in the village of Cowichan Bay. I love this place, think it is so pretty...despite being very touristy. I took lots of photos here.

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    I've always been fascinated by large commercial vessels like this one. I'll have to see how close to it I can get....

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    Operator error?!
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    #6
  7. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    The Udder Guy's ice cream is delicious. Made using local organic ingredients, they have some cool flavours, too. The coconut one is most peoples' favourite.

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    #7
  8. Advdave

    Advdave jubilado

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    Man, good to see you're out riding. Exploring close to home is good, look around see what's been nearby all this time. When it's all scoped out, head this way! Now I'm thinking of local RR's too.
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Looks beautiful! Thanks for the pics :thumb
    #9
  10. caljw

    caljw Been here awhile

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    You're killing me man:evil
    #10
  11. Advdave

    Advdave jubilado

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    Mainly, trying out new smugmug acct to post photos.[​IMG]
    #11
  12. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Bloody hell, sorry about that! If this next installment doesn't help, I suggest you call 911! :D

    Looks like you got the hang of it, Dave!


    And onwards...
    There are all sorts of fancy-pants bakeries and delis in Cowichan Bay.
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    And this was parked outside one of them
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    I was hoping to spend a few minutes here looking for some decent photo opportunities, but I think that this was a tourist attraction and I'd come around the side rather than through the main entrance, so I hadn't paid and beat a hasty retreat.
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    DUCK!!
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    I made a friend...
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    ...But how did they get the coins under the ice, Dad??!!
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    'Cos we've all wondered what the Gulf Islands look like...
    from space!
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    By this time I was getting cold just walking around and I'd seen most of what there was to see, so I grabbed a hot chocolate to warm myself up before heading back to the the bike.
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    Thought about sending you a postcard, but this is as close as I got.
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    Now, off to get a better look at this sucker before heading home....
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    #12
  13. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

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    Yo Squonker
    You were in our back yard(almost).Next time e-mail us and we'll show you some sweet gravel roads.
    #13
  14. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

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    North Vancouver, BC (right beside the forest)
    Nice shots there Squonker! I haven't been over that way since '06, these pictures are certainly making it somewhere I need to return to!
    #14
  15. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Hey thanks! Appreciate that offer and I'll definitely get in touch first next time. Maybe early in the New Year? Cheers! :thumb


    Thanks! Yeah, you should head over again - it sure is purdy :D. Let me know first, if you like. I'll show you what atk_nut shows me!!!
    #15
  16. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

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    lots of snow in some places but great views and a good challenge too!!!
    Just let us know.We plan on a fair bit between christmas and new years(weather depending)
    #16
  17. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    Awesome, thank you! I have a friend in town between Christmas and New Year, but I'm sure I'll be able to get away for a day. Looking forward to it.

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    That cargo vessel was loading lumber at the far of a yeard that I wasn't allowed in to, so I wasn't going to be able to get right up to it.

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    I rode up a hill to get a view of the bay and the road kept on going...so I did too!

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    Eventually found myself at Cowichan Station. Pretty.

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    Pretty bridge.

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    Pretty church.

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    Fugly bike and pretty bridge.

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    And then I found myself in Duncan.

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    From there, decided to take the highway home because it was about to start getting colder as the sun went down. But I did stop at this bike shop that I've been meaning to call in at for years.

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    There was no-one around.

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    I couldn't find out anything about the place.

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    Off again...one quick stop for gas in Mill Bay 'cos it's cheaper than at home, and once I was back home I stopped to top off the tank again because at this time of year I never know when I'm next going to ride and I'd rather park with a full tank.

    Last of the big spenders!
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    And that's it. Mission accomplished!
    #17
  18. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

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    We're just past the pretty bridge....
    #18
  19. dustycrust

    dustycrust Adventurer

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    Looks great! I loved riding on the island when i was still living down in vancouver! I definitely need to go back sometime soon! you cant beat the riding and scenery! :clap
    #19
  20. squonker

    squonker Eat my shorts

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    :thumb I'll see if I can find it again!!

    That's a big 10-4!
    #20