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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Road Trip #2: Elk Falls and Sayward



Vancouver Island is 460km (284 mi) long, and is about 32,000 square kilometres. (In comparison, Wales is about 21,000 square km.) Most of its 800,000 or so residents live in the southern half of the island. We've lived here for 16 years and have never traveled far "up Island" as the locals say. 

Before I was asked to go to Mexico with the school, Tim and I planned a little vacation up Island. After I returned from my trip, I spent one day doing laundry and catching up before we left again. I did not drive!


Our first stop was just before the town of Campbell River, to visit Elk Falls. Thundering water rushes and falls steeply, creating a mist that one could almost shower under. Elk Falls is also the site of a hydro-electric project providing electricity for the Island. I was amazed to see that the pipes carrying water from the lake above the falls to the hydro plant were made of wood! Long boards are banded every 6-8 inches with metal cords for 1.8 kilometres. Completed in 1947, the pipes are going to be replaced soon with an underground system.
  

There is a wonderful trail system along the Campbell River, including a suspension bridge for viewing Elk Falls and a dizzying platform that extends over the falls. Skunk cabbage is in bloom these days, brightly visible and unmistakably odorous, as well. 


A few salmon berry bushes showed early blooms and unfurling leaves.


Robins are everywhere these days. They run around in packs, landing to feed wherever they can before heading further north. 


As we followed the trail downwards, turbulent water quieted to calm. 


We spent one night in the town of Campbell River, and enjoyed a very good Greek meal at a local restaurant. The next day was rainy. We drove to Sayward and Kelsey Bay, two adjoining very small communities where logging and fishing are the main industries. 

Three of these little yellow tugboats pushed heavy logs and log booms around in the water, reminding me of dogs corralling sheep. They spun and twirled, danced and bobbed expertly.


A friend recommended the Cable House Cafe, a unique building wrapped in old logging cables. We stopped to take a closer look at the building, but the cafe was still closed for the season. 


There is so much abandoned equipment in the forests here - even in remote, boat access only, areas. On our boat travels, we often find the forest swallowing up tractors, cables, spare parts and more. It's probably more economical to leave stuff from a logging show there than to pack it out. I console myself with the fact that most of it is metal and wood and will eventually break down, unlike plastic. 


Our next stop was Port McNeill, where we stayed 3 nights in a lovely AirBnB overlooking the water. We watched ferries go back and forth (this one needs a clean-up) and admired the snowy mountain peaks of the mainland Coast range.

In my next post I'll tell you about two very different islands we visited, via the ferry seen above. 

Meanwhile, here's a bit of forsythia in the rain, from my garden today.

  
How is spring coming along in your corner? 

24 comments:

  1. We just arrived home from Salt Spring and the island. And the yellow flowers were something we were curious about as we saw them in both locations. Thank you for answering our query! X Chy

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  2. Looks like an amazing break away, fantastic photos. We have lots of old tractors and agricultural equipment abandoned here too, it adds to the charm.

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  3. A lovely trip, with plenty to see. The cafe with its wrapping is most unusual, what a shame it was closed.

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  4. Spring has been in full retreat in my corner for over a week. And knowing that it remains cool and not terribly springy there does nothing to console me. Still, the pictures look hopeful. The robins cheery...The rain drops on forsythia so quintessentially spring...

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  5. Lovely photos, Lorrie! It's been years since I've been up Island. Daffodils and tulips are blooming at home now. Lots of birds.

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  6. What a lovely area to visit! Your photos are stunning

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  7. oops - forgot to answer. Spring is looking pretty good around here. Lots of blooms.

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  8. Beautiful pictures, thank you
    Your trip sounds enchanting.

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  9. Im not sure that comment went through. LOVELY flower photos. Lovely photos of that part of the Earth!!!!! Spring is still under snow, but TRYING

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  10. Lovely that you can travel north and escape the hurly burly of life. Don’t blame you for not driving. Your salmon berry bushes are very different and so are your robins. They look much larger than ours too. Bet it was wonderful to have a few peaceful days after your Mexican trip. B x

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  11. Its fun to vacation in your own area isn’t it? So many new things to see!

    Beautiful mountains and sea, flowers...just lovely.

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  12. So beautiful, love the yellows and magenta flowers. We are going to have snow arrive again tomorrow and Saturday morning... The calendar says Spring has arrived, I just haven't seen it yet~

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  13. LOVELY photos! :)

    No real spring here...cold, wind, snow, rain ( PA / USA )

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  14. Lovely vacation and photos! Those falls are so full and powerful looking. Spring looks like rain here in our corner but I am seeing some pretty color and lots of buds ready to bloom! Happy weekend to you.

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  15. I now have a new place to visit on my Bucket List! Your pics are gorgeous and enticing! So glad you had a great time and for sharing with us. Rain, rain, and rain here!

    Jane

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  16. Lorrie, I'd love to explore the island someday. I don't think we've been farther "up island" than Nanaimo. Your photos are wonderful!

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  17. It looks like an interesting get away, especially those three days over looking the water. After a recent grueling trip by air, I'm all for close to home vacations. There's always something new to see and learn. Great photos!

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  18. With no driving, time to enjoy nature and leisurely meals, this trip seems a nice way to relax and unwind from your long and busy first trip. Looks lovely!

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  19. We had another light dusting of snow so I'm enjoying your pretty spring photos!

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  20. What a lovely trip! Boy that little boat looks awfully close to being swamped by water....LOL Spring has stalled here, but it is slowly showing signs it is coming. :) Kit

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  21. This was just lovely. I enjoyed seeing the falls and the spring flowers.

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  22. Such gorgeous photos of a wonderful place to visit. Thank you for taking us along.

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  23. You probably needed this vacation after being away in Mexico! What a delightful joy it was to see the beauty of Up Island! Beautiful pictures of the world around you - the robin, the flowers, the ocean... always enjoy seeing the world through your eyes :)

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  24. Just lovely Lorrie.
    Spring is beginning to come along nicely in my part of the UK although we have had a lot of rain ... the ground is so wet!

    All the best Jan

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