misadventures on Lasqueti Island B.C.

Nobody goes to Lasqueti. Nobody I’ve ever spoken to.

I’d heard rumours:

Lasqueti has no cars. Roads are unpaved. Tourists not welcome. Private ferry runs on demand. People live off the grid. …

Turns out most of that is untrue.

Centurion VII, a 60 person passenger ferry, runs regularly in the summer from French Creek marina, close to Parksville. Tourists cannot bring cars.

There are about 425 permanent residents (6 months / year or more) and they do look like hippies. Men don’t use razors. Young women forget to put on a brassiere some mornings.

However, Statistics Canada reports that Lasqueti Island is the most highly educated community in the province. Residents represent diverse professions, from poets, artists, physicists, professional consultants and professional musicians to fishermen, loggers, tree planters and commercial agriculturalists.

Life is off grid. Power comes from solar panels, wind generators, diesel generators and propane.

All 73 square kilometres is designated park or privately owned. No squatters.

I could live there. High-speed internet is available.

No campgrounds. One hotel and a handful of rooms for rent.

read more – Life off the grid: What’s going on in Lasqueti Island?

I rolled my bike on to the first ferry. Planned to explore the island on a sunny day. 

It was busy in July. Locals and their visitors make frequent trips back and forth to Vancouver Island. 

I was happy having just mailed the last of my videos to Gymnastics Canada. I’m about about as free as you can be

The cycling is excellent. Roads aren’t paved, but they are nicely surfaced. (I was warned that people fly over the handlebars when hitting unexpected washboard at high speed.)

Locals all own motor vehicles but hardly ever drive them. There’s no place to go. Very little traffic. 

About 12km along I got a flat rear tire. Sadly I’d not bothered to throw tools and an extra tube into my pack. 

Oh well, I was still happy to have visited. I started walking the bike back. 

The third vehicle to pass stopped and offered me a ride. He was a cyclist who first come to Lasqueti 1981, reading about the little known destination in a Yachting magazine. Now retired, he spends 7 months in Canada, 5 months motor touring New Zealand each year. 

With about a km left to push-a-bike I decided to stop at one of the amazing low tide bays. 

It was a short steep-slope scramble down to the water. I stepped into a wasp’s nest. First time ever.

Freaking, I sprinted out into the mud only to lose a shoe in the muck. What could I do?

… I stood my ground slapping until every wasp was dead or fled. Then dug out my shoe.

Ouch. 

Still, for some reason I remained happy. Stings hurt less than I would have expected. I counted at least nine. 

I arrived back at the dock with about 2 hours left before my return ferry. 

Called my Dad to inform about my useless wheels and dirty, wasp-stung condition. He would pick me up on the other side. 

I ordered some Salmon chowder. And enjoyed the gorgeous day. 

I’d definitely recommend you cycle Lasqueti. Kayaking would be good too. If you come over by ferry bring some sort of transportation.

Click PLAY or watch some drone footage on YouTube.

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Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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