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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Chile January 2018

If all goes well I’ll be headed for Patagonia via Chile in January. I was last there February 2015.

Goal will be hiking, cycling and kayaking during the South American summer.

Lonely Planet named Chile their #1 travel destination for 2018.

Click PLAY or watch a travel promo on YouTube.

Chile is far from perfect. Here are all the things I don’t like about the nation.

I may be spending more time on the Argentinian side this time.

kayaking Desolation Sound

After our spiritual leader – Blill – led our hiking group down from Manzanita hut to civilization, we had 2 extra days on a B.C. hiking holiday.

What to do?

start of the Sunshine Coast Trail

We decided to rent kayaks on Okeover inlet and paddle into the Marine Park. It was inexpensive. C$31 each for an assortment of fibreglass and plastic singles and doubles.

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The weather on the water was fantastic. Very calm.

When it got too hot – needless to say – water fights broke out.

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This area is known for Oyster farms.

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One oddity was seeing a deer in the salt water. It needed salt, we assumed.

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See the full resolution photos on flickr.

 

Expedition Idaho – the movie

Expedition Idaho Trailer, just released.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Expedition Idaho 2011 was a 6 day, 500mi adventure race hosted by Dave Adlard.

Legendary Randy Ericksen will be releasing the full official video early in the new year.

ExpId winners Thule went on to win the World Championships in Tasmania.