Edit: I forgot to post up some sort of map to give you an idea of where I was.
Google map ref to general area.
Rough placement of stops.
This past Saturday afternoon I decided to head off for an overnighter. I wanted to park in the snow, on some viewpoint, and relax. I headed to the area north of China Beach Park, just NW of Jordan River where I had a nice night there a couple of winters ago. The approach is logged much more than it was back then.
I hit snow, deep hard rutted tracks, past some parked cars (day trippers: X-country skiing and snowshoeing) and on until the ruts came to an end. Met a snowshoe wearing hiker who told me that trees were down further up, road was impassable. Ok, back down the road but turning left (east) before the hwy. Road wound along the side of the hill, came to this spur going up. It doesn’t look like it and the camera always seems to flatten things, but it is as steep a spur as you get, probably 25% slope.
No real view at top, so back down.
Kept on going, turned out I was heading up the west side of the Jordan river canyon.
On up to the dam and reservoir (view from the other side of this canyon in this trip).
Was getting darker, I thought if I couldn’t get a sunset, then I would find a spot for a sunrise. Went up a spur… ladder?
Turned around so sliding door facing east, got out to look around, and… dammit, voices from above me. Some guys yelling down from spur above that the gate would be locked tonight. The gate way back where I “turning left (east) before the hwy”. Was truly dark now, got down onto the hwy and headed towards Port Renfrew. I don’t know why, but both my headlights and aux. lights seemed feeble on the logging roads. I’ve used 100/80 W bulbs in my H4 headlights in the past, I might switch back to them. My H1 bulbs in the aux. lights are only 55W, maybe I’ll up the wattage in those too. Don’t worry, all of them are relayed 🙂
Came to Loss Creek, ah, hell with it, I’ll go on up a kilometre or two. Turned out the road had been bulldozed (I won’t say it was engineered) further than I got before. Found a fairly flat spot, popped the top and snacked, drank, read, and slept.
Grey reality of morning – I was looking for a sunset view and I ended up here.
It really does look like the road (which years ago, used run up to the aforementioned reservoir) was just bulldozed. No ditching or culverts. I wonder if it is being put in to service a mining claim rather than for logging. As bad as some logging roads are, they are much better made than this road.
See the pop top?
Was a good thing I stopped where I did, road got a bit sketchy 50 metres on.
Before turning around and heading out I had to move a small fallen tree – hey Peter in Austria, it’s not a Stubai axe, but rather an Iltis Ox-Head.
I now remembered I had the GoPro with me. How to make the wrong diagonal across a ditch. BTW, vids can be viewed in HD.
Loss Creek never seems to get the sun in the wintertime.
Couple of things: first, the front spring install seems to be working out fine. I think I can say the added height has helped in the ditches, and certainly the van handles no worse than before. Second, you really appreciate the short length of the Vanagon when you have to turn around on these roads. Even though it sometimes feels like you are doing 16 point turns, I can’t imagine attempting some of the turn arounds in a larger vehicle.
Back in the sun and on the hwy heading to Port Renfrew. New road work is finished, eliminating a nasty single lane and corkscrew climb section. A view point was put in. Looking south to the USA.
Then on into and through Port Renfrew.
I decided to go up to the Gordon River watershed and make my way to Cowichan Lake that way. I drove past the turn off to Grierson main, then thought why not have a look. Back and up the Grierson, the way we went during the summer trips to Camper Creek etc. One thing, tracked machinery have left hard grooves in the frozen ground, much like rumble strips. You might notice the vibrations in the video.
Gordon river down there, I think that’s Edinburgh mt. with the snow.
Combo grapple and highline.
Pulley on the excavator must have something to do with a choker/highline arrangement.
Teeny tiny Vanagon.
I drove around them.
And about a kilometer or so further on, end of the ploughed road. Actually, ended at a “Y”, the van is facing the road that goes on to Camper and Sandstone creeks, picture taken from road that goes north and access to this area we visited in May. The unploughed snow was only about 1.5 ft deep, but it had a heavy crust and soft under – very hard to drive through.
You’ll be pleased to hear that the GoPro cam battery had run down and that I forgot a spare or even a charging system. No more tedious videos!
So back on down the road. I stopped to look at the grader and the truck.
Is this a Pacific P500 series truck?
Really tough trucks. Has a lowboy attached for the machinery.
Back onto Gordon M/L and heading east. Took a couple of side roads, some with bridges.
Smooth section of the M/L.
Turned north at the old Gordon Camp site and parked for lunch.
Then on to Cowichan Lake. Took a little diversion to find this on an un-marked spur.
Plaque is out of shot to the right, this is on the south side of Cowichan Lake.
Then it was east to Duncan and back south on Island Hwy to Victoria. Despite not finding any fun snow it was a fun trip, and after all, that is why I have this van.