cycling Horne lakes to Port Alberni

For years I’d heard it was possible.

For years I’d heard those roads were blocked. And there are signs on the roads heading west from Horne Lakes Caves saying there is NO through road to Alberni.

Happily, on the gravel road I bumped into a cyclist coming the opposite direction who had just ridden from Port Alberni. He told me it was pretty easy on a bike. The roads are blocked for motor vehicles.

This is logging country. Seems to me the wood left behind is an extreme fire hazard.

I’d originally been headed up trying to find hiking trails near Cherry Creek.

Instead, I decided to wild camp at a lovely spot beside Lacy Lake.

I had trouble keeping my eyes open ’til dark.

Up early with the sun. Enjoyed several mugs of coffee.

This trip was a gear test for longer BikePacking trips. And my system was NOT perfect.

There are many ways to get to Port Alberni. The advice I got was to go as direct as possible. I took this rough trail.

That worked. But it would have been better on a mountain bike than my hybrid.

I came out close to the Motocross Track.

From there on to the lovely Log Train Trail into town.

After a stop at Tim Horton’s I decided to cycle the highway back to my parent’s place in Parksville. It’s busy. Many trucks. But there is a fairly wide shoulder.

The highlight was a stop at Cathedral Grove.



download Google Maps offline to your phone

The file size is large. But you can delete the file once finished the trip.

Here’s how to do it.

Typically for each trip I download both the Google map I need as well as



Game of Thrones – my summing up

Unlike many, I thought the writers did a great job with season 8.

It’s not easy to end anything. Books. Films. TV series. It was impossible to tie up every loose end introduced by George R. R. Martin.

This series was my favourite all time — aside from, perhaps, Breaking Bad.

Certainly TV was far better than the books.

I’ll be tuning in for any and all prequels and sequels that come along.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

visit Seoul, Korea

My only visit to Seoul was a rushed taxi from the International airport to the Domestic.

Happily videographer Brandon Li captured the craziness in this work of art.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

He’s the son of a Chinese scientist and an American novelist. He’s worked in over 40 countries, featuring in National Geographic, Smithsonian Institute, BBC and TIME. Commercial clients have also included BMW, Nike, Etihad Airways, …

(via Hank Leukart)



Erebus by Michael Palin (2018)

I’ve read all Michael Palin’s book. Always engaging and entertaining.

The audio version is particularly recommended as Palin reads it himself.

In September 2014, marine archaeologists discovered HMS Erebus, her snapped stern furred with algae, on the Arctic seabed. Palin starts there and works back. …

… September 1839, accompanied by HMS Terror, … four years on an Antarctic adventure, where the dashing James Clark Ross captained her to the Barrier, or the Ross ice shelf as it was then known. …

The two ships set the record for most southerly latitude reached under sail alone.

I actually enjoyed reading about the successful Antarctic voyages — 12 months avoiding icebergs — than the more infamous Northwest Passage attempt under captain Franklin.

Sir John Franklin

… disappeared while on his last expedition, attempting to chart and navigate the Northwest Passage in the North American Arctic. The icebound ships were abandoned and the entire crew died of starvation, hypothermiatuberculosislead poisoningzinc deficiency and scurvy.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The TV star’s vivid memoir of HMS Erebus and its epic polar expeditions is lively and diligent

I knew the story best from the lyrics of one of my favourite songs. “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers.

Palin refers to the classic in the last pages of the book.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.