Part 2: Next it was time to head off again and drive towards Port Alberni, we took the Bamfield road and then continued on towards port Alberni instead of taking the turn to Bamfield. I decided at this point to go on a wild goose chase, and the details of which could probably fill a blog on its own. But I will simply give you the flash briefing, on the drive there is a reported B-24 Liberator crash site that came down in 1944, backroads map book gives a very brief directions on how to get there and I didnt have the GPS coordinates of the site, so bearing in mind these important facts.
- There has been no phone signal since I left Youbou
- Its pouring with rain (not a light drizzle)
- I am following some vague directions I read in a book
With that I turn off the main road towards flora lake and I think I take the correct road that leads up the mountain, unfortunately the road has not been maintained for years and has washed away in part so I was forced to park the car and continue on foot. The dogs were not impressed, the rain was falling so heavy at this point I couldn’t even look up properly and the wind had picked up, I left all my electronics in the car and started up the mountain. I probably should have turned back much sooner, but I am very stubborn.
Eventually when I was literally dragging my 2x dogs up the mountain so much so that my arm was permanently held behind me as the trudged behind on the lead that I decided to call it a day and return to the car. I did not find the site, but after further research it definitely DOES exist and I do have the coordinates now (I was on the right mountain) and will be making the trip again, very very soon. On the positive side, I did see an elk 🙂
After my wild goose chase detour we continued on to our camp for the night, just south of Port alberni, China Creek Campground. The road gets pretty bad here, there are a lot of potholes and it’s a very busy logging road so many trucks, and traffic flying up and down. If you do drive down here especially during the week, take care and remember to give way to industrial traffic.
We pulled into the campground and the rain stopped for an hour or 2, all 3 of us were so wet and so was most of the gear at this point. I got the tent up quickly before it rained again and found some matches to start a fire and get the stove going. I had packed 2x steaks, ideally for 2x different meals but the first one was so good it didn’t hit the sides, so I cooked the second one which went down just as quickly.
A nice hot shower as well and we had hit the reset button, it started raining again as I was going to bed and didnt stop all night, or while I packed camp down in the morning, or I as we set off for the day. The dogs are starting to no longer see the funny side to all this.
So today’s mission is a little different, I want to check a route out between port alberni and Lake comox, through the back roads. But I am also meeting up with my rugby club that I recently joined as they weirdly have a fixture in Cumberland. So the plan is check the route, don’t get lost, don’t breakdown and make it to the game on time.
Filled up on gas and we were out of port alberni by 8am and on the road towards the first potential route, 16kms out of town and I turn off of the tarmac and onto gravel roads again but it was short lived, I hadn’t even gone a kilometer before I came to a locked gate across and no access allowed. Backroads mapbooks do a great job of updating where the gates are but new ones are installed all the time, which is the exact reason we do these recon trips.
I turned around and off we went to option number 2, and 45 minutes lost, but option number 2 proved a dead end as well, 12 kms in and we hit another gate, also not on the map. With the time pressure now on I made the decision to turn around and head back the way we came and to take the paved option along the Hwy4 to the 19 and up the east coast. Luckily I made it in time, the rest of the team were already there – again this is probably a blog post all on its own and not related to our business so I will again just give the flash briefing.
- It had rained all the way up the highway
- The temperature dropped to around 4 degree C
- It started raining even harder as we left the changing rooms
- My legs, hand and arms we so cold they were numb
- Around half time, it managed to rain even harder, the wind picked up and it started to hail as well 🙂
- Plus we lost
I had a fantastic time!
Part 3 …..coming soon.