December 8, 2015

More Treasure Hunting in the Bush

Quads near Olsen's Landing on Powell Lake.
We love riding quads to explore Powell River's backcountry. Forest service and logging roads are open to the public after 6:00 pm on weekdays, and on weekends or holidays unless otherwise posted.

Theodosia and Olsen Valley are connecting watersheds that run from the ocean at Theodosia Inlet to Powell Lake. Over the last century, logging activities have left mains, spurs, and trails that give access to points of interest and historical treasures

You reach Theodosia Main via Highway 101, Southview Road, Theodosia Forest Service Road, a logging spur, and a connecting trail.  Beyond the head of the inlet, a turnoff to the left leads to an old homestead quad riders call Rupert's Farm. A few old buildings, a barn, pastures, and rusting vehicles remain to explore.

An old barn at Rupert's Farm near Theodosia Inlet.

Near Olsen Lake, Theodosia Main heads up into the hills. There we found an abandoned logging truck.

Abandoned logging truck on upper Theodosia Main.

Olsen Lake makes a good lunch stop with spectacular views.

Olsen Lake.

From here, Olsen Main takes over heading down the valley towards Powell Lake. Past Olsen Lake, a spur to the right heads to a cabin used by one of the settlers who homesteaded in the Olsen Valley.

Remains of a settler's cabin in the Olsen Valley.

Continuing on Olsen Main, another logging spur to the right takes you to the foundation of an elaborate homestead along the Olsen River.

Foundation of another homestead in Olsen Valley.

The next treasure is on a deactivated logging road between Theodosia and the Powell Lake logging dock called Chippewa North. Just beyond a slash at the Theodosia end there's a collection of old vehicles.

Old vehicles on deactivated logging road near Theodosia Main.

The last stop is Olsen's Landing on Powell Lake. The logging dock is still in use, but you can see from all the growth on it's massive cedar logs that it's a part of history too.

Logging dock at Olsen's Landing

Thanks for coming along on this Powell River backcountry treasure hunt. Want to know more about the region? Here are a few books to check out:

Desolation Sound: A History by Heather Harbord
Powell River's Railway Era by Ken Bradley and Karen Southern
Adventures in Solitude by Grant Lawrence
Up the Main, Farther Up the Main, and Beyond the Main by Wayne J. Lutz

If you want to know more about exploring the Powell River backcountry, contact the Powell River ATV Club on Facebook, or by phone or email. Help from locals may be needed for you to find some of these off-road treasures.

Click the image to the right to enlarge for contact information. -- Margy

December 3, 2015

The Snows of Mount Mahony

"When the sky clears in Powell River, you can see the snowpack all around, but you can't get to it. Mount Mahony is the exception. The dirt road, only a few miles outside town, climbs steeply..." Wayne featured "Mount Mahony" in the first chapter of Up the Lake.

Since then, we've been on quad rides to this easily accessible area in all seasons. But in winter, it's especially enjoyable after a light snow. On one trip, our friend John and his dog Bro took the lead. We are always more confident that way.

It was overcast in Powell River. As we climbed higher and higher, we finally broke through the freezing mist to the sunshine that the weatherman promised.

The snow on the trail got deeper, and the overarching alders did their best to dump their loads on our heads as we passed underneath. John takes the worst of it in the lead, but Bro in his aft quad box gets quite a heavy dose.

Each time we thought we could go no further, John pushed through and made a trail for us to follow. We made it all the way to the bluffs and their panoramic lookout, but low lying clouds hid Inland and Powell Lakes from view. Texada and Vancouver Islands poked their heads through, but the rest of the coast remained shrouded in gloom. Sandwiches and pop taste as good as lobster and champagne when you're in such a beautiful place.

On the way down we hiked a few hundred metres up a side trail to a tranquil lake in the process of freezing. Sometimes it is hard to believe that Powell River has such wonderful places to explore so close to town.

Even though we saw several cars and trucks down below, we had the trails and snows of Mount Mahony all to ourselves.
Want to read more about Powell River winter adventures? Try Up the Winter Trail. It's available in print and Kindle formats at Amazon, and other online vendors such as Kobo and Smashwords.

The stories will take you hiking, snowshoeing, and quad riding along the roads and trails of our backcountry. -- Margy