The Canadian west is a beautiful area. We could have spent much more time exploring this area, and staying parked on logging roads filled with ferny forests and babbling creeks. We found some great people and great locations as we rolled through. Then we toured up the Sunshine Coast before we ferried to Vancouver Island.
We made a stop at the town of Harrison, which includes a lake, resort and a public hot pool. The pool is filled with water from the thermal spring, and then chlorinated for use by the masses. It was warm and relaxing and offered showers afterward! We took a dip in the pool and then walked the lake with the dogs. The dogs enjoyed snacking on the delicious treats left behind by the flocks of Canadian geese on the shores! An art/music event was going on and we met some van owners who were vending there. Then we headed for Sasquatch Provincial Park. The lake view was amazing, but we did not see Sasquatch.
On the drive towards our next driveway we stopped at a university farm tour and learned about cloning blueberries and using insects to control plant disease and other agricultural info. It was an interesting place, and the free ice cream was great!
Just outside of Vancouver is the driveway of the infamous Fern and Barry. They are the management behind the Facebook group – VW Westie Driveway Group – and they are really great people. We had a great visit with good food, dog walks and great chats. We also got a few tips about our travel up the Sunshine Coast.
Leaving their home and crossing into Vancouver is a bit of a shock. The bridge is huge; the city is enormous (compared to all the wonderful small towns we have been through lately). We passed through town and loaded onto the ferry across to the first leg of the Sunshine Coast.
Gibson’s Landing is a cute town. We grabbed some geocaches and watched a sea otter frolic on a boat in the harbor (felt pity for the boat owner who will encounter the mess left behind- yes, otters do poop on boats!). We also found this cool public art. Then we headed to meet Cheri at The Pond. This parking area is familiar to many VW owners and travelers. The pond area is beautiful, the hosts are kind and the outhouse is perfect. Thanks for hosting us goes out to Cheri and the owners of the beautiful property!
Heading north up the Sunshine Coast took much beauty and us through many small towns. We stopped to walk the dogs at Trout Lake and grab a geocache.
We walked the trail to the Skookumchuck River. A beautiful confluence of freshwater and saltwater that creates turbulence when the tide changes! But the trip through the ferny, mossy forest was the most amazing. We grabbed another ferry to continue on the journey. We had been advised to check Dinner Rock as a campsite. This is a free, unserviced campground located right on the water in the forest. It was a great, relaxing stop.
The end of the Highway 101 is at Lund. This is a quirky, small town that serves tourists in the summer and keeps a handful of boats in the harbor. We had a delicious lunch and snapped a photo of Mile Zero of Highway 101.
As we turned back to grab the ferry off the coast, we picked up a hitchhiker. The man told us that he had lived there his entire life. He earned his living cutting trees, digging clams and gathering mushrooms, like so many others in this area. He called it a “lobster and oatmeal life” – this means that when the money is coming in, it is lobster. When times are lean, it is oatmeal. It is a lobster and oatmeal life.
After dropping him at the local pub (it must be lobster tonight) we lined up for the ferry to Vancouver Island. First in line, and then into the underbelly of the ferry, we were headed to the island finally! Standing up on the sundeck was beautiful—- and the first real sun we saw during our time on the Sunshine Coast!
Next up…… Vancouver Island! Remember to sign up to follow these blogs to stay up to date. I blog whenever I have an internet connection and something to add. You can also follow on Instagram and Facebook, but those are shorter posts of information!