Thursday, July 19, 2012 @ 7:00 PM in 2012 Epic Motorcycle Ride
Today we woke up in our hotel at 6:00am so we could eat, pack and head to the ferry terminal for the 7:45 departure to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Breakfast at the hotel was pretty weak. They had a selection of cereal, toast and some mass produced eggs and sausage. The waffle maker was out of mix which is a shame because those are usually really good.
We were on the road by 7am and made it to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal shortly afterwards. We were expecting some traffic getting there but the roads were empty. We purchased our tickets and got in line, only to find out we were looking at the wrong schedule and the ferry wasn't set to depart until 8:30. We had some time to kill so we lubed up our chains and then talked with some other motorcyclists that showed up a little later.
It was finally time to board the ferry and we were the first ones on. We blocked up our bikes so they wouldn't fall over then headed to the sun lounge at the top of the ferry so we could get some cool photos. They have a cafeteria on board with full hot breakfasts if you're running late and didn't have time to eat. The ride over to the island was nice. It cleared up and was sunny for the whole ride. After a while we went down to explore the rest of the ferry. We were hoping they had some stickers we could put on our panniers but they didn't. Also, I tried to get some cash from the ATM but my debit card kept getting declined. I probably should have called my bank and let them know I would be out of the country.
It was almost arrival time on Vancouver Island so we headed back down to our bikes and got ready to roll out. We got onto Highway 19 and started heading north. We decided to fuel up in Campbell River and also had lunch there. We found a place called River City Grill that had some really good food. We both ordered their take on a Philly Cheesesteak. Their rendition had bbq sauce on it with some onion, pepper and melted cheese. I got mine with a side of chicken noodle soup and Ryan got fries. They made everything to order which was really nice.
Over the course of the day we had talked to several people about where we were going and when we mentioned Port McNeil they all looked at us a little strange. At lunch we took the opportunity to try to find a campground up in Port Hardy which is where we originally planned on staying. We found the Port Hardy RV Park and decided to head there. There was still about 130 miles to go from lunch to our campsite so we set out. The highway turns into one lane around this point and almost entirely emptied out a few miles outside of Campbell River. We eventually pulled over to stretch our legs. The day's ride hasn't been too bad but I think we're both just getting tired of sitting on the bikes all day.
We eventually made it just south of Port McNeil and decided to fuel up before our final push to Port Hardy. We got to our campground and got a couple of spots. After that we immediately set up our tents and hung our still wet clothes from yesterdays washing attempt. Some other people tent camping came over and talked for a bit. They were up here on vacation from Port McNeil, which made us glad in our decision to skip it over.
The plan was to head into town to see it and try to find something to eat. We had pictured a decent sized port town but when we showed up it seemed like the entire city had died. There were about 5x the number of out of business shops than ones that were open and everything closed around 6pm. We walked around a bit and got some photos then decided to save our money and come back to the campsite for dinner.
We got a fire going with the free firewood provided and set about making dinner. We both decided on Chili Mac and Beef and also had some vodka before eating.
It's about 8:30pm as I type this and the sun's still up like it's 3 in the afternoon. The lady who checked us into the campsite said there were some bears spotted a while ago and that we should put all of our food away at night. We'll probably hang out by the fire a little longer, pack up our food and then take our clothes down off the hanging line and go to bed.
Tomorrow we're planning on leaving here around 7:30am to head down to Victoria. While there we need to find a Mountain Equipment Company (basically Canada's version of REI) and get Ryan another fuel tank for his stove. We also want to find some shops to go through so we can try to find something cool to buy and take home.
Waiting to get on the ferry to Vancouver Island
Leaving Horseshoe Bay
Highway 19 with some really nice scenery
Our tents with all of our clothes drying in the background
View Entire Photo Gallery
Posted from: United States