Sunday, August 03, 2008

North Island Adventure - Day 1

So, here we are sitting beside our campfire at the Quatse River Campground just outside Port Hardy.

It's been a long day, but worth the 5am wake up call to get here in the light and in time to relax with a beer and corn chips after our trek from home.

We left at 6am to make sure we reached the Earl's Cove ferry terminal in plenty of time to make the 8:15 ferry to Saltery Bay. It was a gorgeous sunny morning for a drive, so I took the opportunity to take some pics along the way:

Trout Lake

Ruby Lake

The view at Earl's Cove was even more spectacular:

Looking out over Jervis Inlet

When the BC Ferries employee arrived to start his day, a black and white cat appeared at the office building, obviously thrilled to see his friend. Naturally, I had to go to meet this feline and take his photo:

He was very friendly, letting me pet him and rubbing up against my legs, alerted no doubt by the Chloe and Cleo fur already clinging to me that I am a cat person.

The ferry arrived in good time, the crossing was smooth:

and we headed to the Westview terminal for our next connection to Comox. After some momentary confusion surrounding the actual entrance to the terminal (it's nowhere near as clearly signed as in Gibsons), we pulled in in plenty of time to assure ourselves a spot on the noon ferry to the Island. That was a relief, given that the next crossing from Westview leaves at 5pm, which would have meant a very late arrival up here at the end of the highway.

I had never been to this ferry terminal before - the little marina next to it is very pretty:

The beautiful weather held, so our drive from Comox to Port Hardy was marked by gorgeous scenery. We made it in 3.5 hours, which, considering the windy roads and a couple of steep grades, was pretty good. Here's what we saw along the way:

The Comox valley

A lovely rest stop at Bigtree Creek

Rockcuts akin to those along the TransCanada in Northern Ontario

A row of campers

Deep blue lakes and

Snowcapped mountains

We easily found the turnoff for the campground

and pulled in fewer than ten minutes later. Sean was greeted by Shady the dog, who wanted him to throw a stick!

Being smart, we'd reserved a site

definitely worth the effort considering how crowded it is here. Few sites remain open. Our little area is getting late afternoon sun, Sean has started a roaring fire:

and we're relaxing (as I already mentioned) with a well-deserved beer.

We're still not sure if we'll go to San Josef Bay tomorrow or Tuesday. From our campground we can walk into Port Hardy (45 mins) - after a day of travelling that might be just the ticket, leaving the San Josef Bay visit till Tuesday. That decision we'll make in the morning.

For now, however, I'm going to finish up and enjoy the fire before contemplating cooking dinner (pasta with tomato sauce and veggies, if you're at all interested). And maybe some wine*g*. Possibly followed by smores, or the chocolate cake I baked to bring with us :)

It's now later in the evening, and we're just about to turn in - here's a view of the river beside the campground - isn't it gorgeous?

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