Trip – quick look at Loup Creek

Just back from a short overnight trip. Our goal was to see if we could find a camping spot on Loup Creek (a tributary of the Gordon River). I’ll leave it up to the reader to discover just exactly where we ended up.

July set records here for the lack of rain (it did shower for a couple of days at the end of the month) and we were worried that gates would be closed on some logging roads. Turned out many gates were closed and that stopped us from exploring some other spots before we got to Loup Creek. We drove up some fairly steep and rough roads, but at the end of them there was neither a good view or a creek or lake. For some reason I didn’t take any pics of the steep roads, I guess I was distracted by the search and the road conditions. I have to say that the little mods to add some more ground clearance on the van really paid off. No more scraping the spare tire carrier or the trailer hitch when going over the ditches cut across some of the minor logging roads. Those roads can be fairly steep (+20%) and the road surface is loose sharp rock.

The only pic I took of this part of the trip (not steep and not rough)

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So off we went northwest alongside the Gordon until we found the old, abandoned Forest Service road. Moderately steep climb, loose rock, few over hanging alders. Toodled along until we came to the first bridge over the Loup. This was a bridge built to last – large concrete abutments, 2 giant I-beams spanning, and precast concrete sections as deck. Deck about 30 feet above creek. Other side of the bridge was pretty well alder choked, and the roads led to nowhere interesting so we decided to continue upstream to find the second bridge. There was this sign just up the road.

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Then there was a steep section and the surface of the road was made up of larger than normal loose rock. At this point the van started to miss and buck, just the same thing it did at the end of our last trip. We barely made it up the steep section, van bouncing, tires slipping. Not that much fun with a ditch on one side and a very steep drop down to Loup Creek on the other side. We had to drive on a kilometre or so before we could find a level spot to stop. I won’t go into any thoughts about why the van was missing and bucking in this post, but we let the engine cool down (it was a hot day and we had been working it hard) to see if that made any difference. Well it didn’t and even thought I really wanted to go on to find the second bridge we decided to turn back  and camp at the first bridge.

It really wasn’t a bad place to camp. Secluded, beside a creek, bugs not *that* bad.

So here I am sitting and thinking. Am I marvelling at how good the classic Thule Combibox 250 looks on the van? (that’s for you Phil Z.). Am I enjoying using the table mod? Am I enjoying a drink and some potato chips? Or am I wondering why the van engine is acting up?

All of the above 🙂

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As the creek runs pretty well north – south at this section, and as the sun was in the west, I couldn’t get very good pics of the creek from the bridge. I did get a pic of the van lit up by all the led strips later that evening, for Jerome.

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About 11 am next morning, sun made it down into the creek. Still hard to get a shot, the river rocks reflect a lot of light

Looking upstream (north).

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And downstream.

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We packed some food and drink and clambered down to the creek and walked up stream a short distance. My wife and Jake found the way down.

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There are some small trout, and perhaps salmon fry?

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You might be able to make out the bridge.

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And about 6pm we packed up and drove home. Van bucking came and went, no rhyme or reason. Ah well, that’s something to figure out later. It didn’t spoil a nice little trip.

,

  1. #1 by edbee on August 6, 2013 - 7:24 pm

    Hi Alistair, I really like your trip reports, keep ’em coming. We are on Salt Spring now and the blue westy is running flawlessly. My wife is getting very used to driving it too. (so I can be working at the cabin while she is off “in town” or wherever with the kids.) Before the ‘big rebuild’ she would never drive it as changing gears was a challenge – now it shifts as easily as our Golf.

    We will take a little camping trip on Vancouver Island next week in westy so I am really looking forward to that. Happy August to you!

    • #2 by albell on August 6, 2013 - 7:48 pm

      Ed,

      Moved to Saltspring eh? Nice.

      Let me know if you want any trip tips/destinations.

      cheers

      ab

  2. #3 by edbee on August 7, 2013 - 10:29 am

    haven’t moved yet, just here for a couple of weeks now but preparing for the eventual move. Yes, seems like you know southern Van island like the back of your hand. 🙂

  3. #4 by famillysyncro on August 7, 2013 - 2:43 pm

    Thanks for the picture Alistair, it looks really nice.
    There seems to be a lot of light everywhere like ours, always good where you are standing inside, no shadow. Well, we cannot really stand inside our van without a pop-top, kinda enoying sometimes….

    I just noticed that your table is matching your chairs…..

    Is it only me or the Combibox looks like a missile ramp on the night picture…..

    Jerome

    • #5 by albell on August 7, 2013 - 6:17 pm

      Yeah, the table does match doesn’t it?

      Don’t tell Phil Z. about the launcher, he still thinks it is a ski box.

      cheers

      ab

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