End of August trip

Back to blogging, catching up… here is short trip report I posted on the Samba about recent trip. Back from 6 days of exploring Nitinat and Klanawa watersheds on Vancouver Island. Started with us heading to long time fav spot on Nitinat river. Stopped the van to check on access trail and found it to be well blocked. We were pretty disappointed, and then more so when the van would not start. I discovered that the red/black ignition wire had come adrift from starter solenoid, and on the syncro its a bear to re-attach. Light was fading so we managed to push the van back up traill a bit and then push start. We headed to higher ground, up Worthless creek logging spur road, to about 500 m elevation and camped over looking Nitinat river valley. Google map ref Pics show low clouds around around 8 next morning. I’m sure some of you know what this is: After a lot of cursing I managed to get wire onto solenoid, and we headed down and then north to the Klanawa watershed. We were looking for a nice secluded riverside spot, and went down a lot of old dead end spurs, most of them with alders overgrowing the sides, so the van got a lot of scratching and rubbing. no one else on the roads there, maybe due to the fire restrictions? Who knows, but we stayed away from “central main” logging road which I think gets most of the traffic to Bamfield. We ended up at an ok, but not great spot by a bridge on Tsucowis river/creek, right where Gorge creek enters. No traffic went by us when we were there (infact we didnt see or hear another vehicle for the 3 days in the Klanawa). Google map ref Then on to explore more of the Klanawa, heading west, almost to pacific rim national park boundary… we thought we might be able to get access to Blue lake, but no luck, road that might have done it was blocked on purpose by large cedar log, active logging not far away (logging right up to park boundaries.) And again, more fruitless spur road exploring (btw, lots of berry laden bear poop around). We were getting really frustrated and finally, after a long, and again, failed attempt to get to a map target (this time Dorothy and Arthur lakes) we headed back toward Nitinat. On the way we stopped at Flora Lake forest service camp site, just for a look… Years ago we had discounted this site as too close to “main” roads and very dark and buggy. But this time, it was sunny and no one was about. So we stayed a night. The lake was lovely, but the forest around was still buggy despite the recent dry weather, and really looked like “Mirkwood”. Next day back into Nitinat valley and west to the village of Nitinat to get some gas. Then eastward, back up the river and we found a road down to the river. It seemed like a popular spot for locals, road was clear of brush and there were signs of camping. But no one else there and we set up camp. We spent a couple of days there. You can see the trail from the main road, and it ends at the top of the google maps ref, at the wihite gravel bar on the inverted V of the river. Google map ref Further upstream you might be able to make out the rocky “falls”, we walked up the river to do some fishing there, you can see the large trout in the clear water, quite amazing. No luck landing one, but some fun had hooking then loosing 🙂 Well that’s about it. It was a real shakedown trip for the van, the roads were pretty harsh in spots. Scratched van, right hand side mudflaps hit and loosened from body, front right bumper strip lost, couple of dents here and there, sort of par for the course. No real trouble apart from starter wire except some periods, when van hot, of bucking and jerking on part throttle and acceleration. I looked for all the usual suspects but found no smoking gun. It went away after we gassed up in Nitinat, so for the time being I am putting it down to bad gas. Oh, and the Dometic fridge worked flawlessly 🙂

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