Powell River, BC - 3 Days to introduce the girlfriend to ADV Riding

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by chriswh86, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. chriswh86

    chriswh86 250 Explorer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC Canada
    Powell River, BC in 3 Days
    This is my chance to pop my cherry in the Ride Reports threads with my recent trip to Powell River accompanied by my girlfriend for our first moto camping adventure together. A little backstory on us. I myself have been moto camping now for a couple years, Katie, on the other hand, has just been introduced to riding dual-sport bikes in May. This trip marks her first major trip in which we covered about 500km. Without further ado...

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    Introduction:
    Our decision to embark on a journey to Powell River was only decided the night before we left which was Saturday, July 7th. While we knew we wanted to head out for a moto camping adventure, and we had a few in mind, we really didn't know which to choose.

    Being that I hadn't been to Powell River since I was a kid in organized hockey and Katie had never been, we ended up choosing Powell River. In typical fashion, we had no idea exactly where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do, sometimes I think this is the best way as you have no agenda and you never have to miss something to ensure you stick to the plan.

    Day 1 Planning (Saturday, July 7, 2018):

    A quick look over the BC Ferries website for Comox Valley (Little River) to Powell River (West View)(https://www.bcferries.com/schedules/mainland/copr-current.php) and we were informed of some extra traffic expected on our departure date. Why would there be extra traffic on a Sunday you ask? The BC Bike Race (https://www.bcbikerace.com/), Toted as 'The Ultimate Single Track Experience' was just finishing up in Cumberland, BC and in route to Powell River for stage 3.

    Katie and I choose to grab the earliest ferry we could out of Little River in hopes of missing most of this traffic. There was said to be just over 600 riders in attendance this year from around the world. Pretty incredible. 6:15 am boat is was for us and luckily we live only a few minutes from the ferry.

    Day 1 (Sunday, July 8, 2018):

    We were up for 5 am this morning in order to tackle a bit more of our packing. Due to our late decision to head to Powell River, we hadn't gotten all of our packing done. We also had to drop off the little one on Saturday which meant we wouldn't get home to the Comox Valley until about 9 pm Saturday night. This cut into our pre-trip packing.

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    The sun this morning was just beautiful as it started to shine on the waiting lanes. Our plan to leave on the first boat ended up working out perfectly. We had roughly 20 car's in front of us and no bikes in site.

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    There was something about the way the sun hit the side of the Salish Orca, our vessel for our journey, on this morning. The Salish Orca is a neat vessel around here, if you look closely you will notice the floor on Deck 2 rises up quite a bit. It actually raises up when there are enough customers to provide access to Deck 1. This morning though, we didn't have enough people to utilize Deck 1.

    Beleive it or not, since starting to ride off and on some years ago, today marked a major milestone in my riding.

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    Yes, something so simple. This Ram mount makes a huge difference in my efficiency while traveling. Gone are the multiple stops to check routes. The Ram mount was brought with me to the ferry line up and added to my handlebars while waiting for BC Ferries to load us.

    At around 6 am, we were informed by a nice lady that works for BC Ferries that the boat was experiencing some mechanical issues and our loading time would be delayed. She was quick to offer us cookies and water and we took up her offer. We also made small talk with her in which she asked us if we were headed to Lund at all.

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    It wasn't much, but it was exactly what we needed. This mornings plans on breakfast were to get to Powell River and decided on a local joint. Maybe someone on the ferry would have some insight on a good breakfast joint for us to check out. The water and cookies helped hold us over. Once we got up on the main passenger deck we were hit with the delicious smell of breakfast served at the onboard cafe. It was hard to resist but we managed, sidetracked by the tourist pamphlets rack.

    After looking at some maps, we decided we should check out Lund, BC. As suggested earlier in the loading line up by the BC Ferries employee. It's a short ride, about 28km to get us there.

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    You can catch a glimpse of the Powell River mill ran by Catalyst Paper.

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    The sun is shining bright as we approach Powell River. We really couldn't have asked for a better day.

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    Why not grab a selfie! Powell River is pretty close and its time for us to hit the deck and prepare to throw a leg over our bikes.

    After getting some insight on the boat and making sure a breakfast place would be open for us in Powell River we disembarked and headed for Magpie's Diner (https://magpiesdiner.ca/) This was not a mistake, everything made in house and it tasted like it. What a fantastic breakfast and it was just what we were looking for.

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    With our stomachs full, it was time to start our journey to Lund. We kept a slow pace so we could take in the views on the way.

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    We parked just outside the Historic Lund Hotel with some other riders. We wanted to have a look around town to see what Lund, BC was all about as well as try to find ourselves a Backroads Map Book of the area. We managed to find one in a store nearby to the Hotel. (http://www.backroadmapbooks.com/bac...ackroad-mapbook/vancouver-bc-backcountry-maps)

    We headed up the hill to Nancy's Bakery (https://www.facebook.com/Nancys-Bakery-Lund-BC-159907907399697/) in order to grab ourselves a cold drink and to review the Map book to see what our next move would be. After having a look at what was around us in Lund, we decided to continue North to check out the Sarah Point area which lies on the Northern tip of Okeover Arm and is Malaspina Provincial Park. The first part of our ride to Sarah Point was quite nice and just a regular gravel road. Things started to change around 5-10 km away from the beach. The roads started to become steeper, rocks got larger and the roads became softer and loose. For me, this was just another day, for Katie though, this was new territory. While she's been on some gravel, these new conditions are something she really doesn't have experience on. Not such a big deal though, she knows I am there to help her out. We don't have photos of our journey in but Katie only laid her bike over once. Really not to bad although she had put in a lot of effort before we got to the beach and it showed. She had sweat in places someone should never have sweat. This is good though as you need to push your boundaries from time to time to learn new skills. I was proud of her and pretty confident in our abilities to get back out of Sarah Point until I turned around and looked at the hill we came down.

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    We took a little time on a rock face nearby Sarah Point to relax and catch our breath. We were rewarded with a spectacular view looking out towards Cortes, Twin and Hernando Islands.

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    From this beach, Sarah Point is just over a half kilometer hike. You would come out at the point as seen on the right-hand side of the above photo.

    This was a good opportunity for us to relax for a few minutes before making a push to get back out of Sarah Point. Needing to double ride for Katie had used up quite a bit of our time, definitely not a bad thing as it was a heck of an adventure but we needed to push back south to start looking for a place to camp and other potential rides.

    We fought our way out of Sarah Point and just before hitting pavement near Lund we met a local couple out for a ride to a Cabin on the Suncoast Trail. We spoke for some time and got a suggestion from them about Dinner Rock, A recreation (camping) site on the edge of Malaspina Strait (http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/search/search-result.aspx?site=REC0287&type=Site) It sounded great and we departed ways from the locals and made our way for the rock. We were about 15 km away.

    After arriving we were gifted with a great view of the Strait
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    We weren't able to capture Dinner Rock in the photos but Savary Island can be seen as well as Vancouver Island around the Merville/Williams Beach/Campbell River area. It was pretty easy to convince us that this would be camp for the night. There was also an interesting plaque describing what happened at Dinner Rock, (http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/resources/REC0287/siteimages/Dinner Rock Plaque.jpg)

    Since we found camp earlier than expected for the night we decided to take up a local's recommendation and make a push for Theodosia Inlet. Again we were greeted with beautiful well maintained logging roads which petered off as we started to get rapid elevation changes accompanied by large rocks and loose ground. Again, this was normal riding for me, but for Katie this would become a challenge. Not only was it difficult but she had spent quite a bit of energy on our journey to Sarah Point

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    This is a photo of us just as we got off of the main logging roads

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    As always with photos, you really lose the angle at which the road is at however the rocks are always the same!

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    Katie had a pretty good wipeout here. Shes just taking a minute to get herself back together before pushing on. We had a funny surprise when we lifted up her bike...

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    Katie is thinking about starting a rock collection!

    We kept pushing on for Theodosia Inlet. While we came close, we don't have any photos to show for it. At the end of the road, we found an ATV trail that connects two logging roads just before the beginning of the inlet. I road it for a length of about 1 km before hitting the next logging road. At this point in the day though Katie had exhausted all of her energy and it was getting late in the day. We decided to head back into town.

    We wanted to check out a local restaurant for the evening. Based on time, we decided on The Shingle Mill at Powell Lake (http://shinglemill.ca/) The kitchen was closed when we arrived at 9 pm, but it was easy to convince them to put together a Ceaser Salad w/ Chicken for the both of us.

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    I chased down my salad with a local IPA from Townsite Brewing, I choose the Tin Hat and was very happy with my choice (http://townsitebrewing.com/our-beer/#tinhat) and Katie went with a cider which really helped her to relax after a grueling day riding for her.

    We were losing daylight and headed back for Dinner Rock for the night. We grabbed some off sales from The Shingle Mill so we could enjoy the Sun Set...
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    Day 2 (Monday, July 9, 2018):

    Day 2 started off just as nice as Day 1 although we had heard from a local that some weather was set to come in later in the day around 5 pm. We got ourselves together and planned out our breakfast for the morning. We made a move for Edie Rae's Cafe in the Old Courthouse Inn (http://www.oldcourthouseinn.ca/) another recommendation from a staff member on BC Ferries.

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    As with Magpie's Diner, we recommend both of these locations for breakfast. Both just fantastic. We also took a walk through The Old Courthouse after breakfast which offers old themed rooms to its guests. It was real interest and a lot of antiques can be found throughout. Katie didn't get the best nights sleep due to a battle with allergies and possibly an early cold but shes always down to pose in a goofy photo!

    We didn't get going as quick this morning but we had an idea where we wanted to go. Goat main. We got some recommendations to hit up this area from an earlier Facebook post we made in a local group. Locals also agreed with our choice to go for Goat.

    I had heard of some old hulks used as the breakwater for the Powell River Mill and so I wanted to get down to the water's edge and grab some photos.

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    I think Katie is counting the hulls...

    We couldn't quite get as close as I would have liked but we made this work.

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    It wasn't until later that we found a board describing the history of the hulls and how the breakwater came to be.

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    We continued down the logging road we were on only to come across some cones and nice volunteer folks stopping our progress. It didn't take long until the first bikers came around the corner and we realized we were at the edge of the BC Bike Racecourse.

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    Katie and I hung out for about 30 minutes watching the races before doubling back to connect up with Marine Drive so we could head into town to grab some needed supplies.

    We decided to stop on Marine drive for another view of the BC Bike Race, we ended up spending an hour here as we realized it was an interesting location above an underpass where we watched the BC Bike Race Devil invite unsuspecting riders into the darkness

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    We ran around town, grab supplies and gas to make our push up Goat Main. It was getting pretty late in the day but we knew we could make some time on the main roads and so we continued on.

    Our first real stop along the way for photos was at Windsor Lake, which turned out to be a pretty eventful stop for wildlife.
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    No, Katie isn't the wildlife lol
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    Thumbs up! Can't think of a better way to do it....literally

    We found a couple toads around the lake that were some of, if not the biggest I had ever seen.
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    Katie managed to catch one which you'll be able to see in the video. We also got to witness a snake swimming through the lake which solidified my lack of desire to ever swim in Windsor Lake. Clouds started rolling in after our time at Windsor Lake. We decided to continue further up Goat Main to see what we could get into before the clouds opened up.

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    Made a quick stop here to grab a shot of Powell Lake as seen off in the distance.

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    For someone who has been very exhausted over the past day and three quarters, she still manages to be upbeat. I feel like she is stealing my pose though, Who does it better?

    Our end goal was to get up Goat Main to the 32KM mark to have a quick hike into an interesting river location that was suggested to us. At this point, we were only a few kilometers away. The mountain range back here on Goat main was absolutely fantastic and photos don't do it justice.

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    The rain was just starting to hit us at this point and we had passed the Rock Climbing campsite that we were to stop at for our hike which was actually at the 34km mark. We decided to run up Goat main a little longer since the mountains were so beautiful. On our return down the clouds really opened up and we were pretty soaked in the first few minutes. Katie's first introduction to riding and rain.

    We backtracked to the Rock Climbing campsite and discussed if we wanted to start heading in for dinner or to take the hike. It was a short discussion as the rain was really picking up at this time and rain was starting to creep into the nether regions.

    Katies ride back down Goat involved a crash around the 23-27KM mark. You'll just have to watch the video to see the aftermath. She was fine thankfully but she was alone at the time of the wreck and needed to pick up her own bike. She did a great job and we met up back at the 10km mark where I was informed of the accident. She lost another blinker in the wreck and got her new helmet scratched up pretty good, but she's a gear advocate now and realizes how important it is.

    We got back to town around 8 pm and grabbed dinner. We got back to camp just before we lost all of the daylight which gave us time to get all of our gear off and to slip into the tent for the night. We were quite wet and a little cold. Luckily we had some extra layers we could put on for the highway ride home which made all of the difference. The rain had also stopped at our campsite which really helped although everything was saturated.

    Day 3 (Tuesday, July 10, 2018):

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    Much better! This photo was captured just before we departed for the ferry on Day 3. It took us quite some time over the night to really dry out in the tent and in the morning we were both pretty tired. We wanted to get the midday ferry and so we got up, put our clothes out in the sun and began packing up our gear.

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    Well, the only dry spot was under our tent. We remained pretty upbeat even with the rain that we got on Day 2. We arrived at the ferry about 10 minutes before loading giving us time to meet and make small talk with Bruce from Vancouver, who was riding an Africa Twin to the north end of Vancouver Island.

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    My bike, Katie's XT250 behind it and Bruce with his Africa Twin behind her bike, all on the ferry heading back to Vancouver Island.

    Bruce asked to sit with us during the ferry ride and we got to know each other better as well as sharing some great riding locations on the island for his trip. Turns out Bruce was also at the recent Touratech Rally West that we attended in Plain, Washington.

    As we are only a few minutes from the ferry, we don't have any excitement to share for the ride home. Once home though, we got all of our wet gear out of the trailer and off of Katie's bike and got it all out in the sun to dry. What a great ride we had and Katie is sure feeling it a couple days later. Thankfully she never really injured herself even after falling around 7 times. Good gear is very important. Hopefully, this trip doesn't scare her off of coming with me for future trips.

    Video and GPX files to come!
    #1
  2. KLRARP

    KLRARP Lookin for a way out

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    Good job guys! Great report. I'm really interested in the Powell River area and the adventure riding it has to offer but I'm stuck in SW Ontario.
    Thats a sweet rig you've got. WR 450 I'm assuming. Any issues getting a road plate for it? Is the trailer custom?
    #2
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  3. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    Great write up and pictorial exhibits!
    #3
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  4. chriswh86

    chriswh86 250 Explorer

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    Thanks KLRARP. Its actually a WR250R in disguise. Threw a WR450 light and fender on the bike. Powell River is great, we only scratched the surface and will definitely have to go back. The trailer is a manufactured unit. Cheers

    Thanks 9Realms, appreciate it!
    #4
  5. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    Great report! :thumb
    #5
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  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Good on you for getting your better half out there and for exploring over a few days while camping too. I noticed the Oregon OHV sticker on your bike, have you been down this way riding the trails we have here?

    My wife and I have been on 2 short trips thus far, though nothing with camping yet. It's a fantastic feeling being out there with your g/f, wife, partner - completely different than riding solo or with the guys. Can be a bit worrisome at times given the experience differences, cool to see that you guys both pushed through.

    I haven't been up to BC since riding street bikes up there many, many years ago. I really want to get up there and explore - beautiful country.

    Thanks for taking the time to post the report, the pics are great and I enjoyed reading your adventure :thumb:thumb
    #6
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  7. chriswh86

    chriswh86 250 Explorer

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    Thanks, it was a good experience for the two of us. Something we will be doing again soon hopefully. Yes, I was down in Oregon earlier this summer riding around Hood River. Really enjoyed the trails.
    #7
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  8. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Nice! Next time you make it down this way, you need to drive/ride a bit further west and experience the fantastic riding we have in the Tillamook State Forest. Hundreds of miles of trails and good logging roads connecting everything.

    Though you were right across the Columbia from epic riding in Gifford Pinchot NF (some of the trails aren't for the feint of heart though).



    Hope you guys are able to get out and enjoy more riding together, been riding with my wife since '02 and it's truly one of the best ways to spend time together :nod:nod
    #8
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  9. chriswh86

    chriswh86 250 Explorer

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    That would be great. I had an offer to hit up Hood River or Tillamook and went for Hood River. I did run through the Gifford Pinchot forest on the way south and north but I didn't realize there were trails through it!
    #9
  10. mikeped

    mikeped n00b

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    Nice write up of my town! We don't get a lot of dual sport riders here, even though there is lots of exploring to do. Mostly mt bikers, hikers, and kayakers. I probably would have recommended some of the same roads, campsites, and breakfast places.
    #10
  11. BMWBUD

    BMWBUD I couldn't hack it. Back on two wheels.

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    Great RR. :clap

    My wife and I stayed at Lund while exploring on our boat.

    Nancy's Bakery was our morning highlight. :D
    #11
  12. chriswh86

    chriswh86 250 Explorer

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    We hope to be back to spend some more time exploring in the near future :)

    Cheers! Lund was really nice. How was your stay in Lund?
    #12
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  13. BMWBUD

    BMWBUD I couldn't hack it. Back on two wheels.

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    Fantastic, we stayed there a couple of days before we headed up to Princess Louisa Inlet.

    We would love to go back to that area again.
    #13