The day after fixing the coolant hose problem we went on a trip. Of course, I was nervous. Maybe foolhardy to go off on such a trip , out of cell coverage, long walks to get help, without doing a better shake down of the van. A 35 year old van. But off we went anyway 🙂
Headed to Port Renfrew on the off chance we could get through RCMP roadblocks and get to our favourite spots northwest of the town.
There is a big logging protest in the area, as of writing I think there have been over 800 arrests of people protesting the logging of one of the last remaining old growth watersheds, the Fairy Creek watershed.
Wikipedia entry here:
We got stopped by a private security roadblock well south of the bridge over the Gordon river. The stated reason for the roadblock was road work further on. Yeah, right. Very uncommon to hire private security when doing road work. Makes my blood boil just thinking about it.
Turned around and headed to Cowichan Lake via Harris main ( also know on as Pacific Marine Road. This road is paved and a popular part of a circle route back to victoria via Cowichan.
At the lake we headed west on the south shore road , and back onto rough gravel. Onward west, and into the Nitinat watershed. Nipped down the wee road to check out Nitinat river falls camping area. We’ve camped there a couple times before, but there were others there this time and so we headed back on main road, onward to the bridge across the Nitinat , and looked for spur road that we had gone up 10 years ago…
I took wrong spur and ended up on the south side of Worthless Creek, road got steep. Nothing we aren’t used to, steep enough to have to use G gear on the syncro, and ease through a couple of ditches across the road.
Here’s the approx location.
Yes, that’s Nitinat lake in the distance. We could even make out the kite surfers ( binoculars ).
You might think us crazy, but we love having a view even if it’s on a rocky logging road.
The marine fog, low cloud, the next morning .
Off again Klanawa Main. Oh btw, passed Flora Lake and the forestry campsite. Pleased to see the campsite has been fixed up again. Few years ago we saw the access road washed out.
Then down Klanawa main logging road. Stopped at a spot on the upper reaches of the river. We have stopped here on other trips, lunch spot. As expected the river at this point is dry. Forst pic looking upstream, second downstream. And yes, others have been here and left fire pits on the gravel.
Further on down we came across some helicopter logging. Erickson by the look of it.
Sikorsky Skycrane, I was surprised. I knew they were used for this, and have seen them used on the mainland some years ago. But to be honest I didn’t think they still were in service.
About a minute and a half round trip, from picking up logs to dropping them and return.
Then onward down the river to find on of our high view point camping places ( shown in other posts labelled Klanawa). Passed the Tscowis creek campsite, no one there, but we wanted high. First try we found the road trenched, de activated. Damn. Then onward again and found that Darling main road is washed out close to Klanawa river.
Then back track to get the the other end of Darling main, found some interesting things and also found road to another high spot choked with alder. Tried to drive thru but gave up after about 100 m.
So then back up Klanawa main to little lake we have camped at a few times before. And it’s been logged on one side!
That kinda spoils the ambience. Interestingly though, found some sundew plants there, never saw them at that spot before.
So back again to the Tscowis site.
It wasn’t that bad. Very little traffic on the road nearby. Mind you the creek is unusually cold. We haven’t been there at any time when the water is bearable for more than just a quick dip.
Spent two nights there. Did nothing but read,eat, drink, lounge.
And one more thing… first night on this trip noticed the fridge not working well. It was lit, but not cooling. Just like what happened on last trip , last year. I posted recently that I had cleaned the burner jet and the fridge was working great at home. So I figured the jet was partially clogged again. I’m thinking the bumpy roads is stirring up some contaminant in the propane supply and causing this blockage at jet.
I pulled the fridge after we got to Tscowis. Cleaned the jet the best I could, and back in it went. Fridge lit and worked like a champ! Close to showing plumbers crack here.
Return trio to home uneventful. Went back via Cowichan lake and Duncan. All in all about 550km.