Our Vancouver Island Adventure Begins!

Trip Start May 09, 2009
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Trip End May 27, 2010


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Where I stayed
Quatse River Campground

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We arrived back in Prince Rupert on 8/9, picked up our car and trailer and spent the next couple of days getting ready for our trip to Vancouver Island – restocking food, doing laundry, etc. On 8/11 we again boarded a ferry – but this time it was a BC Ferry to Port Hardy, Vancouver Island and we had our car and trailer on board.  The weather was perfect and the accommodations on this newer ferry were great, although it was just a day trip ( long day – left early in morning and didn't arrive until 11:30 pm), so no cabin needed. 

We spent a few days in the Port Hardy area at a regional park campground near the Quatse River.  On our second day there, we headed to Cape Scott Provincial Park via the Holberg Road, which was gravel most of the way (no flat tire this time!).  On the way we passed beautiful lakes, forested valleys and black bear foraging for berries near the road.  Vancouver Island has one of the world’s largest concentrations of black bear and cougar.  We never saw cougar, but we had seven sightings of black bear over the next few days. 

During our ride, we stopped at Ronning’s Garden.  In 1910, Bernt Ronning bought five acres of land and over the next 50+ years, established a garden of exotic plants from seeds and plantings from around the world.  After he died in 1963, the garden was taken over by rain forest growth but now new owners are working towards restoring the gardens.  Some of his original monkey puzzle trees are still standing as well as other exotics but we were pass the prime blooming season and the garden was somewhat of a disappointment.  We would have loved to have seen the garden when it was still in its prime.

From there, we took a relatively short hike to San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park.  The trail goes through a spectacular forest onto a beautiful primitive beach.  The tide was out while we were there, providing a deep area of beach to explore.  It was a great spot for a picnic lunch.

From Port Hardy, we moved the trailer to the campground at Miracle Beach Provincial Park for a couple of days.  The beach was narrow but nevertheless, people were in camping chairs where they could find spots between logs that were everywhere.  We decided to ride our bikes around instead, looking at (with some envy) beach homes being built in the area.
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