Thursday, June 27, 2013 – The plan for today didn’t go beyond riding the Port Refrew – Lake Cowichan road. We had discussed it the night before and agreed that we’d be wheels up at 9am. It had rained most of the day yesterday and overnight and the forecast was for more rain today. Some of the guys weren’t sure they wanted to ride all day in the rain, but as we were gearing up and getting ready, the weather looked to be improving.
So a few guys that were wavering on the fence decided to come along with us keeners.
However, the further north we went on Highway 14, the heavier the rain got. There were a few of us who were pretty blasé about the rain – we had the right gear so we stayed warm and dry, and I had my Aerostich finger wipe blade – but there were a few others that turned back for a spa day at the hotel. It was a steady downpour by the time we reached Port Renfrew. We stopped at a place on that was supposed to make good pie or something but it was closed on Thursdays of all days – and today was Thursday.
Someone, I can’t recall whether it was a passerby or one of crew, suggested going a little further up the road to the Port Renfrew Hotel.
That turned out to be a great idea – the food was very good, and we had large number of WeSTOC folks here for a group brunch – in fact we pretty much took over the place!
After brunch, a few more riders dropped off, heading back to the hotel. Us survivors carried on to Lake Cowichan and we rode through rain and lighter showers, with very occasional bright spots. With the road so wet, it somewhat took away from the experience in that no one was cranking and banking. We all took it pretty easy – so much so that instead of turning around at Lake Cowichan and doing the road again in reverse, the group consensus was to simply jump onto the highway at Duncan and slab it back to Sooke. We made pretty good time in spite of the rain and the beginnings of rush hour. It wasn’t really that hard a decision to come back, we all wanted to be back at the hotel cleaned up for the group picture and the big banquet dinner.
Arriving back in Sooke around 3pm or so, we all filled the tanks and Gord asked if I was interested in a coffee at the Stick in the Mud again? But of course I was!
After heading back to the hotel and getting a quick shower, I wandered about killing time until the group photo was ready to go. With the full support of the hotel staff, various generations of Honda STs were run up into the courtyard to be in the foreground of the picture. This is almost the same angle as the eventual picture:
We all enjoyed the banquets dinner and the prize handouts. Sadly though I did not win a set of tires like I did in 2011 in Nelson.
I ducked outside for some fresh air and noticed the fog rolling in …
After a couple of drinks I headed back to get a head start on packing – I had to be up early so I could get to the Victoria Airport to pick Louise up at 830!