Powell River to ?

On Wednesday I hope to head up to somewhere around Lund, a little establishment 20 km up the coast. After that is Copeland Islands Marine Park, where I hope to get some good underwater footage with my video camera. Beyond that is the end of the Sunshine Coast peninsula, and the end of the coastal highway stretching from Central America up to this point. You can go further north, but you have to take a more inland route because the coastal mountains are too rugged for a continuation of the road beyond here. There are too many fiords and steep mountainsides. Thankfully for me, this is the end of the endless rows of waterfront houses and the beginning of the real wilderness. I will travel up through Desolation Sound and the islands separating northeastern Vancouver Island from the mainland. Since my battery charger no longer charges my camcorder batteries, I will try to top up my charge as often as possible in any tiny settlements I may come across.

Despite this leg being the beginning of the real wilderness, I believe it will be much easier travelling for me now. The problem so far is that with very few exceptions, all the nice locations along the Sunshine Coast which offer a protected place to pull out and camp, already have houses backing them. This meant that I had to search around for suboptimal camping locations and had to reach certain destinations by the end of the day. I have some pretty strong opinions about this unbridled, unbroken waterfront real estate development, and the necessity for protecting what little undeveloped land remains, but I will hold off on any further ranting for now. From now on, I will find plenty of easily accessible camping spots. The other thing that will be on my side is the tidal currents. The tides really rip through these islands since the channels are the only things linking the vast inland Georgia Strait with the open ocean. So if you time your travelling right, you can catch a ride for free on these currents and I expect to make very good time. Winds will also not be of such a factor anymore since the currents will overpower their effects. Also, I won’t have the big waves since Georgia Strait will be behind islands once I reach Desolation Sound. I hope to be in Telegraph Cove within two weeks, and after that the real wilderness begins, where I may be away from human contact for a couple weeks at a time. My trip will have been a nice gradual buildup to that point so far, so I can’t curse the civilization of the Sunshine Coast too much because it has provided me with cell phone coverage and internet and necessary supplies in Powell River.

On Tuesday evening a kayaker walked up to my tent and asked me if this was a good campsite! It turns out that Brian and Maggie are from Vancouver and have been paddling on their way to Ketchikan for the last week! We shared the tent site and they bought me a nice dinner and beer to pay for their half of the rent. We talked a lot about our trips and routes. They stayed in Roberts Creek too! And they had the police come down and break up the teenagers’ party! They gave me some good information about Yucalta Rapids up near Big Bay. They have to be finished by September because Maggie has to return to school. They are also raising money for their charity, an orphanage in eastern Kenya trying to raise enough money to build a chicken coupe for the kids. Maggie wants to see my kayak all loaded up before they leave in the morning but I think I may be a little late heading out tomorrow with all the computer stuff I still need to do. As I write this at 1 am the internet is down so I’ll have lots to do in the morning.

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