June 1, 2018

Take Your Quad on Vacation

Last summer we put our quads on a trailer and took them on vacation with us to Vancouver Island. Our destination was Stella Lake near Campbell River. Here's the article that was just published in the Spring 2018 Riderswest Magazine and on their website.

Take your quads on vacation.

My husband and I have ridden ATVs in our home region of Powell River, B.C., for 15 years. In 2017, we explored the Campbell River region on Vancouver Island.

Old logging road to Bear River.

I follow the Campbell River ATV Club (CRATV) on Facebook and the CRATV Forum and know they are active in trail maintenance. They’re also instrumental in developing long-distance ATV routes (Riderswest article) and have secured riding permission in some towns to access fuel, restaurants and overnight accommodations. CRATV uses the Pye Mountain Recreation Site, which they built as a base for club activities. It can be accessed via Highway 19 north of Campbell River and the Elk Bay Forest Service Road (FSR).

Stella Lake Beach campsite.

We wanted to camp near water, so we selected Stella Lake based on a recommendation from friends in the Powell River ATV Club. There are two ways to get there, either by Elk Bay or Rock Bay forest service roads. We chose the Rock Bay to Stella Lake FSR because, with our double quad trailer, we wanted to avoid the steep hill and tight turn on the Elk Bay route. On the way we stopped at the Roberts Lake Resort café for one of their famous cinnamon rolls.

Blue sky and water at Stella Lake from Elk Bay FSR.

We travelled in June on a Thursday. Stella Beach’s campsites were mostly open and we chose one with lake access. We offloaded our quads at the entrance, then parked the trailer in the ample site. There are pit toilets, picnic tables and fire rings, but campers should bring drinking water. Even in June, the campground filled over the weekend, but there are other camping spots in the area.

Excellent signage including experience level.

From our campsite, we rode forest service roads and trails developed by the Campbell River ATV Club. There’s excellent signage that includes experience level symbols as you enter trails. As an intermediate rider, that was very helpful. We also purchased Backroad Maps software for our Garmin GPS to make us more confident about riding in a new location.

Overlooking Johnstone Strait from Rock Bay FSR.

Some of the most memorable rides were to Elk Bay on Johnstone Strait, visiting the Pye Mountain Rec Site, and going to neighbouring Pye and McCreight lakes. My favourite ride was along an old logging road that branched off Bear Bight Road and wound through second growth to the Bear River (a.k.a. Amos de Cosmos Creek). Here, we enjoyed a picnic lunch in warm sunshine surrounded by a meadow of sweet gale.

Sunny day for a picnic at Bear River.

Where will you be going this summer? Check out the Powell River Quad Rides blog and Powell River ATV Riders’ Facebook group and bring your quad on vacation to the northern Sunshine Coast.

Check out Coastal BC Stories books about quad riding including Farther Up the Main by Wayne J. Lutz.

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world!

A new meme is All Seasons. Stop by and take a look. -- Margy

May 29, 2018

Available Online: "Up the Main"

Coastal BC Stories
by Wayne J. Lutz

Up the Main is the book that started it all. Come along as we explore Powell River's backcountry by bike, quad and hiking. Ride with us to places like Theodosia Inlet, the head of Powell Lake, and on logging roads and local trails near and far.

A great book for the outdoor enthusiast.

http://www.amazon.com/Main-Coastal-British-Columbia-Stories-ebook/dp/B003IWYEOU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=After my first book in the series Coastal British Columbia Stories, I decided to write about a subject that initially excited me very little -- exploring the local area by all-terrain vehicle. My friend John insisted I learn to ride a quad, and I followed his lead only because adventures with John are always worthwhile. I didn't think I'd become a quad addict, but it happened. The Powell River ATV Club is a big part of my book, Up the Main, and influenced much of my future writing. Now you'll find me on the trails regularly, and writing more about off-road riding. Join me (and John and his dog Bro) in exploring the Powell River backcountry. 

Go to PowellRiverBooks.com for more information.

Kindle version for $2.99
Print version for $12.95
Other e-book versions $2.99

Also available at other online booksellers and Coles in Powell River.

May 25, 2018

Spring Quad Ride Up Chippewa Main

Offloading at the Chippewa Bay barge ramp.
I've shared about rides up Chippewa Main here and on Powell River Quad Rides several times. That's because it's an easy place for us to access with our barge and because it gives us choices in directions to ride.

On this spring ride we took our quads to the Chippewa Bay barge ramp to offload. This is our usual starting point. Because there's current logging activity, the barge ramp is well maintained.

We chose a Saturday for our ride because the logging company expects more private use of their service roads, and because weekend activity is usually less.

Ready to ride,

On our ride, the only work being conducted was vehicle maintenance. We stopped to talk to the crew and they said that the roads and trails were all ours.

An old section of logging road heading up towards Heather Main.

This trip was to see if we could get through the snow to Heather Main. This higher country logging road connects Powell Lake with Theodosia Inlet to the northwest, but we were blocked by pockets of deep slushy snow near our destination.

Using the slushy snow to make a slushy drink. Take that deep snow.

Come along on the ride up to Heather Main in this YouTube video.

Since this ride some of our friends made it through. The warm late spring weather is quickly melting snow in the high country and reopening many of our favourite trails.

Blue skies over Powell Lake on the way to Hole in the Wall.

For more information about Goat Island check the Western Forest Products website or call their Road Access Hotline: 604-485-3132. It is available 24/7.

Do you have any quad trails in your area that you would like to suggest? We are always looking for new places to ride and explore in British Columbia including  Vancouver Island.

You can read more about our Powell Lake quad rides in Beyond the Main and Powell Lake by Barge and Quad. Both are available online in print and ebook formats. -- Margy

May 19, 2018

Ode to Bro

When Wayne and I came to Powell River in 2001 our first friend was John. You can't be friends with John and not love his dog Bro, Brody if you are being formal.

Bro lived a long, well traveled life. If John went anywhere, Bro was always at his side. That ended sadly this month when Bro left this earthly world to go meet his maker.
As Bro would say...

I was living in a shelter on Vancouver Isle,
When John and his family came to visit awhile.
I used my best Black Lab attitude,
And soon enough they were wooed.
We took a ferry ride to Powell River,
to a loving home that would last forever.

During my eighteen years with John,
I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere.
I've been to...

Last Chance
Powell Lake
Goat Lake
Duck Lake
Princess Louisa
Last Resort
Goat Island
The Head
St. Vincent
Olsen's Landing
The Eldred
Frog Pond
Rupert's Farm
Rainy Day
Hole in the Wall
Our Float Cabin
And Best of all
My Westview home!

And many more, man.
Many, many more.
I've been everywhere, man.
I've been everywhere.

Thanks John for the best life
a Black Lab named Bro could ever imagine.

February 20, 2018

A Winter Quad Ride on Goat Island

We waited a long time for a sunny weekend to go quad riding. On the first sunny Saturday we headed for a favourite destination, Goat Island.

Logging roads in working forests are available for public recreation after 6:00 pm or on weekends and holidays. For more information about Goat Island check the Western Forest Products website or call their Road Access Hotline: 604-485-3132. It is available 24/7.

We took our new Garmin VIRB Ultra30 with us. Here are three short videos from the film taken on that trip.

We left Hole in the Wall in our barge with the quads loaded out front. We headed north in calm water to Western Forest Products' Goat Island (Clover) Dock. We used their barge ramp to off-load and later on-load our quads.

We used Frog Pond Main to get up to Spire Main on the southwest side of Goat Island. On the way we encountered deep snow on the road, which surprised both of us.

After turning around we went on a spur in search of two large trees we can see on the ridge of Goat Island from our float cabin home in Hole in the Wall. We didn't succeed, but had a great ride on an older deactivated road.

Thanks for coming along on our winter quad ride. We had a very enjoyable day and learned a lot about our new camera. And later I also learned a lot about using the new version of iMovie to create my videos.

Do you create videos about your activities and adventures? What kinds of cameras and software do you use? -- Margy

October 17, 2017

Fall Quad Ride to Chippewa Bay on Powell Lake

Unloading the quad at Chippewa Bay.
Summer rides are fun because the weather is usually sunny and warm. The down side is dusty roads and trails. Fall rides are just about perfect, the weather is pleasantly cool and the roads have received enough rain to tamp down the dust.

We loaded up the barge with what we would need for a day quad ride to Chippewa Bay. The quads stay on the barge all year long, but in the rainy season we take everything out of our cargo boxes to keep it from getting damp and possible damage. Plus it's always good to take along a chain saw just in case a fallen tree blocks your way.

Riding well used Museum Main to find the new logging roads.

We wanted to ride over in the Chippewa Bay area on Powell Lake because Western Forest Products has been building new roads into future cut blocks. We like riding through the trees before logging begins. We've been able to experience such rides in the Eldred River Valley, at Chippewa South, at Pickles Point and now in Chippewa Bay.

Large fir trees along Chippewa Main.

After the roads are completed, the logging company waits for several months for the newly compacted dirt and rock to settle before heavy logging trucks and equipment begin their work.

Wayne coming down a new section of road.

We missed seeing all of the large trees cut down to make way for the new road beds, but a few were still resting at the side of the road.

Wayne next to two sections of a huge fir tree.

This fir tree was over a hundred years old based on the tightly spaced rings. Just think of all the lumber that could come out of each section and how many new homes it could help build.

Tightly spaced rings make this tree well over a hundred years old.

There are sections of road that are too steep for me to feel comfortable. Wayne rides ahead while I get off my bike to explore and take pictures. I found a Western Toad hiding in a hole. Right now her looks pretty secure, but I'm not so sure it will stay that way when huge trucks start rolling with their massive log loads.

A Western Toad in his hidey at the edge of the new logging road.

And there were still a few flowers to be seen.

Pearly Everlasting doing what it does best, lasting forever.

A bee enjoying a last few sips from a Butterfly Bush.

We stopped by the log skid and could see a boom of logs already boomed together. These came from road clearing. It's good to see nothing being wasted.

Looking down the skid to the first boom of logs.

Wayne checking his iPad GPS to see our track for the day.

Wayne using his iPad GPS for road identification and tracking.

Western Products Products has online geo-referenced maps that can be used with handheld devices. Click here to find WFP map and other road building, logging and hauling information. Click here to find information about the Avenza map app. The basic app and WFP maps are both free.

Have you been riding this fall? What are some of your favourite destinations?

Want to read more about how we use a barge to take our quads to ride the logging roads surrounding Powell Lake?

Powell Lake by Barge and Quad is available in both print and e-book formats at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. It's also available at other online booksellers and Coles bookstore in Powell River. -- Margy