December 27, 2014

The Power of Mother Nature

You can ride in the Powell River backcountry year round. The lower elevations have clear trails, and the high country snow is easily accessible. But remember, logging is also a year round activity, so check the hotline at (604) 485-3100 and watch for vehicles on the main roads.

Khartoum Lake makes a good winter destination. Just in case, bring your chainsaw and tools to clear roads and trails along the way if needed.

We've been to here quite a few times. The first was by kayak up Lois Lake, through the Lois River and into Khartoum Lake. That trip we camped at the Forest Service campsite on the west shore. We used the same campsite for the book launch party for Up the Main, the second book in Coastal BC Stories series. Friends came by car, truck and quad for a lakeside fire and BBQ.

On one winter trip we saw the devastating results of a powerful storm. Our quad ride up Stillwater Main and Third Lake Road to Khartoum Lake was through a path of destruction. High winds snapped and uprooted huge second growth trees. Sections of the roadway looked as if they had been logged, but the ravaged stumps told a different story. Downed logs of this size were no match for a small chainsaw, but fortunately someone with heavy equipment had been there before us.

That same year, the bridge near the Khartoum Lake campsite was washed out. The approaches were gone and the center packed with huge boulders and logs. Imagine the power that caused it. Runoff from heavy rains must have been blocked upstream.

When the water was released, the river's level raised, washing out the bridge and scouring trees in its path. Sometimes, when we are sheltered in our city homes, we forget the true power of nature. A trip just off the beaten path can be an awakening experience.  -

Here's a short video about another ride to Khartoum Lake.

Want to know more about quad riding in the Powell River area? Check out Up the Main and Farther Up the Main by Powell River Books. -- Margy

December 7, 2014

Return to Goat Island by ATV

Click to enlarge for details.
Fall is a good time to go quad riding in the Powell River back country. We used a recent cool, sunny day to head out in our barge.

With short days we couldn't go far and still have enough sunlight to ride, so we chose nearby Goat Island. From our float cabin home base, it takes about forty-five minutes.

There was no logging activity, so we could use the Western Forest Products barge ramp and dock. I hovered offshore while Wayne prepared the bikes for offload.

Clover Barge Ramp
This time of year there's a lot of activity on the lake with the fall hunting season open. We've seen people taking their quads and motorcycles up on landing crafts, barges, decks of houseboats, home-built barges and rafts, and squeezed into regular boats.

It's a good reminder to wear bright colours and keep your eyes and ears open.

Clover Lake
The first leg of our journey took us north on Clover Main. We've traveled this section of road before, but not to the end.

Along the way we stopped at the quad trail heading down to the mouth of Clover Lake. It's a good road, but we decided to hike down. Bad move with all the runoff and muddy puddles.

We'll know better for next time.

But we did discover why they call it Clover Lake, lots of clover growing in the area.

As we progressed north, the road went from active to not used in many, many years. We retraced our steps at the ends of spurs, and continued as far as the alders, cedars and firs in the roadbed would allow us to travel.

I think the old roads are really pretty to ride.

We turned around and headed back down Clover Main. At the main junction we continued south to find the opening to Elvis Main. This section of road is named after the King of Pop who stands proudly on the point, also named in his honour.

Riding a section of Elvis Main on Goat Island.

No caption needed!
This logging road hasn't been used for quite some time, and is being quickly overgrown. But we were able to wind our way around trees and bushes to make it to the end of the road.

Unfortunately, we couldn't make it all the way to the Elvis statue without a slog through the bush, and there wasn't enough sunlight left for that. -- Margy