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Heading down the Island – Port Hardy to Alder Bay (58k/2497k)

(June 28 – written by Nancy)

We’ve had a nice easy introduction to riding on Vancouver Island.  Yesterday we spent the morning in Port Hardy proper – it was about a 4k ride in from our campsite at Port Hardy RV Park.  At the recommendation of the park host we headed to Cafe Guido’s, where we whiled away the morning drinking coffee, people watching and hanging out.  Dave posted yesterday’s blog from there in the morning, so he didn’t have a chance to include some of the pictures from later in the day, so here they are.

Port Hardy Welcome sign 2

Fancy welcome sign

Port Hardy Estuary

Port Hardy estuary

Logger at Port Hardy RV park

Big logger and Dave

Kwagu'l totem pole 4

Port Hardy totem

2 Eagles and 4 Heron

Port Hardy estuary – 2 eagles and 4 heron

There is a nice estuary right near the RV park that you can walk through, so we went for a walk in the evening before it got too dark.  You can actually take a biking/walking track from the ferry road straight across to the RV park – we saw it on the map the other day but when we got off the ferry on Monday night in the pitch black it didn’t feel like a smart thing to try!

We had a relatively short ride today, so we didn’t feel pressured to get out early.  While we may miss the long daylight hours on those days when we want to get a lot of kilometres ticked off, the darkness at night sure does help the sleeping efforts.  We have to remember the headlamps for trips to the washroom at night (or at least I do, Dave never makes it past the nearest tree).

We had a cloudy start to the day but it didn’t take long before we were stopping to take off our jackets in the warmer temperature.  The ride along Hwy 19 is not too scenic, as it is away from the coast.  But the road has a nice shoulder and the traffic was not busy so, with a nice tailwind we were in Port McNeill before we knew it.  Before we got to the turnoff to Port McNeill we had two cars stop to let us know there was a bear on the side of the road up ahead of us.  We could “bearly” see him though when we went by – his head just poking up above the long grass on the highway verge.

2,500k and the first one of these

2,500k and the first one of these – no kidding

For Dave's Mom

For Dave’s Mom

Bad grammer

Bad grammar at rest stop

Port McNeill

The town is about 3k off the highway – all downhill to a harbour area.  We stopped for morning tea at a little cafe in town, sharing a cinnamon bun and a scone and some decent coffee.  Then after a quick trip to the grocery store we rode back up the hill to rejoin the highway.  We only had another 15k or so to get to our destination today – the Alder Bay Resort.  The resort (really just a caravan park) sits right on Alder Bay and we our campsite is just off the beach, but behind a hedge to break the wind.  We had to wait for the hosts to return before we could get our tent space arranged so we paid a visit to the Yummeezz food cart parked next to the office for grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches – yum!

Alder Bay guard dog

Alder Bay guard dog Max

Dave and lunch 3

Dave and his lunch

The sun had broken through the clouds by the time we got the tent set up and for the first time on this trip we were both pretty doing the camp set up.  No complaining though – it’s nice to feel the sun again.  We are now just enjoying the views from the campsite out into the bay, watching the eagles swooping around in the sky above us.  The park is not very full (though it sounds like it will start filling up from tomorrow, as Canada Day is on Saturday) so it should be a quiet night.  It would be great to wake up to sun, but I expect that like many places on the water the mornings are a bit cloudy.  The forecast is good for the next couple of days – no rain and if we continue with a tailwind we should make good time.

USA, BC and Canada

USA, BC and Canada

Our camp for the night

Home for the night

Dave gets a soveinr 1

Dave gets his BC souvenir

Ader Bay dock

Alder Bay dock

Alder Bay eagle 2

Alder Bay eagle

Tomorrow we are headed to a little blip on the map called Woss.  There is supposedly a campground near Woss Lake and a good cafe that goes by the name Woss Vegas -how could you go wrong with a name like that?

We will probably not have internet access tomorrow so we will post when we can.  Now off to get some dinner made so we have time to head back to Yummeezz for one of their homemade desserts…

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6 responses to “Heading down the Island – Port Hardy to Alder Bay (58k/2497k)

  1. Looks like a nice funky deserted place…

  2. Ha! Thanks for continuing to post your adventures. I really looks like you are enjoying the ride. And, it looks like you are taking every opportunity to tempt us readers with pictures of food.

  3. davidbillstrom

    I’m sure you are going to enjoy the island… one of my favorite places.
    And, I keep meaning to mention, your banner photo at the top of the blog… the bridge into the old town of Cesana Torinese… awesome! We have a photo just the same, from our visit in August last year, riding over the pass (and through the long tunnel) from Briancon. A sweet reminder, each time I read your latest blog entry. Thank you!

    Ride safe!

    • Thanks for reading David – we are liking having a cafe every 20-30k, instead of every 400k like up north. Slow riding time but everything is better with caffeine.

  4. Great pics! It is looking like a vacation! Enjoy the more regular day/night hours. I look forward to your adventures every day. Keep it coming!

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