Since blasting through the aftermath of some devastating forest fires in BC (see Part Two), Scott and I continued our summer motorcycle trip along the more relaxing setting of the Sunshine Coast. We swapped in some clean clothes in Vancouver, then hopped on the ferry at the Horseshoe Bay terminal. It was so sweet as we literally arrived minutes before departure and were whisked right to the front, as motorcycles get priority.
Scott was all stoked because I was the only female rider in the line-up and the only one with a rad kickstart dual sport from the ’80s. Admittedly, it was kind of bad ass. I do get some nervous energy on ferries since there’s always that fear that your bike won’t kickstart over. It’s not really a big deal, but would just be a pretty awkward moment having to push your bike off while a hundred cars wait behind you, scowling.
The Sunshine coast highway up past Gibsons and Sechelt gets pretty sweet with smooth rolling turns and a great view of the ocean. I have a tendency to get a little impatient when stuck behind cars along the best parts, but Scott kept me mellow as it was his first time enjoying the ride. Our destination was Klein Lake campspot, at the Egmont road turn-off. It’s fun because you get a bit of gravel road action up some steep hills, the lake is super warm, and the camping is pretty cheap.
Our site was a mossy, sun-drenched nook in the forest and we decided to stay two nights, it was so idyllic. We just took our time to enjoy swimming in Ruby Lake, treats and lunch in Egmont, and a great hike to the Skookumchuck Narrows (where there happened to be a quaint bakery cafe in the forest for sustenance).
The next ferry hopped us over to the upper section of the Sunshine Coast including Powell River and Lund. We set-up camp at the Saltery Bay Provincial Park with its grand, cathedral-like trees and lovely waterfront boulders to lounge on. From there we could rip up and down the highway, stopping off at points along the SCT (Sunshine Coast Trail) to check out Desolation Sound and other features. It was actually a really cool discovery, as I didn’t know how well-developed the SCT was. There are cabins en route and no reservations required like other larger hiking trail systems. Definitely worth coming back for an exclusive hiking adventure.
The best part of this final leg of our trip was the beasts! Our Saltery Bay campspot had a resident fuzzy white owl. We watched him for almost a half hour as he swooped around his favourite tree, antagonizing the other birds. There was also a teen black bear on the side of the highway who stood up as Scott approached on his motorcycle, then scuttled away into the bush. One evening we could hear more than see two dolphins playing in the ocean. Ruby Lake even produced a proper 5 inch lizard on the rocks running between our feet! I didn’t even know we had lizards in Canada, haha! There had also been loads of deer and fawns, snakes, and cute dogs, throughout the whole trip.
The vibe on the Sunshine Coast is pretty mellow, too. The Farmer’s Market at Powell River totally ruled with live folk music jams (we loved the father / son duo), and truly local produce, baking, and small-town crafty creations. We stopped off at a yard sale to discover some sweet leather belt wallets, and then the cutest old timer was so pumped to see us cruise along his road. He was waving away like we were his Prodigal son and daughter coming home. It made us feel pretty good.
We delayed our ride home as much as possible, making another stop off at Ruby Lake and indulging in a delicious meal at Robert’s Creek “Gumboot Restaurant.” The last time I came home from the Sunshine Coast, after the 2013 Disasterdaze event, was a total nightmare since my clutch cable snapped on the temperamental Triumph. So, I was grateful for a super smooth return and my favourite windy section of the highway was clear for a good run at it.
The dual sports were solid, although could now use a bit of maintenance (ie. new tires for Alaska, oil changes, and valve adjustments) since we managed 3000km in total. And yet, we could’ve just kept going and going. The moment we arrived home we started brainstorming a 2016 adventure… possibly hitting up Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Arches, Glacier National Park, etc. I do believe it will happen!