Vancover Island

My ride got off to a great start. I left Bremerton on a sunny Wednesday morning accompanied by two friends (one whom I’ve known since kindergarten -Mark King) and a send off committee of three (a life-long friend, Wendy Dreaney and my sister and niece), as Wendy said, “I feel like we need a marching band.” Perhaps if I make it back!

Yes, the first day was sunny. The second day was a torrential downpour. We got soaked and had to re-group under shelter half way through the day. I’m happy to report that this has been the only day of riding in the rain for two weeks, although I’ve had nights of rain – ugh!

Accommodations

Apart from camping, I’ve been enjoying “Warmshowers.” What the heck is Warmshowers you ask? Well, it’s a brilliant network of social exchange for bikers. I send a request through a legitimate on-line platform and fellow bikers invite me to stay with them if they are available. It’s a fantastic way to meet like-minded people and get the local scoop on politics, economy, industry and where to go and what to see. They also go above and beyond to offer a warm meal and a breakfast to send you on your way. Here are some of the people I’ve stayed with and homes I’ve been in so far.

I’ve also had some interesting camping situations…

First Nation People and culture

The First Nations people and culture has been fascinating. One of my favorite places so far is the island community of Alert Bay. I was able to talk with several Namgist people and learn a bit about their history. I also stayed with a Namgist family and had dinner with them. Ya, we broke bread – Italian bread with spaghetti!

Friends Along the from Way

I’ve met loads of very friendly people. Lots of RV travelers from all over the world have given me their cell numbers in case I run into problems. The southern part of Vancover Island is very populated but once you get beyond Campbell River in the north amenities are few and far between. My most memorable encounter was with a kayaker namer Annan who I met at the ferry terminal in Port Hardy. I went to the terminal the night before the 15 hour boat trip to Prince Rupert to ask if I could just camp there. Annan came ashore after two weeks of paddling to ask the same question. After not running into any cyclist the entire two weeks, I was super excited to meet Annan and exchange stories with this brave ocean going explorer. As you can see, we tented side by side – it was the only stretch of flat we could find! My tent is the one with all the duct tape.

Prince Rupert

I spent two nights camping in P.R. Before jumping another ferry to Haida Gwaii, formally called Queen Charlotte Islands. More on this to come.

So far so good…I’m mentally preparing for the ride up north, the great distances between towns and the animals I’ll meet along the way!

If anyone wants to say hi you can send a greeting on WhatsApp at 206-402-2599 or text me a message at my Canada number that’s only for texting at 778-674-2886. It’s nice to hear from people as I’m days on end by myself. You can also see some photos at Dee LaFountaine on instagram if You’re interested. Thanks for your support. It’s always easier knowing people I know and love are out there!

A big hug,

Denise

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