Friday, June 28, 2013 – It’s been a week since I’d seen my wife Louise, except for the evening FaceTime sessions to catch up. But I’d be picking her up at the airport in the morning at 830am. Back when I was planning this trip, Louise wanted to come, but it was the very last week of school for her, which is a really tough time to take off. So she thought she’d do the next best thing – she’d fly out early Friday morning with the minimum of stuff, wearing her gear and carrying her helmet – and ride back as pillion with me. So I packed all her traveling clothes and toiletries with my stuff when I left, so she wouldn’t have to have any luggage and a minimum of carry-on.
When I first arrived in Victoria, I connected with my friend Richard Catinus and we’d arranged for breakfast for us and our wives at the Brentwood Bay Resort restaurant. So as soon as I picked up Louise at the airport, we’d head over there. This was handy because our plan from breakfast was to head across Brentwood Bay on the small ferry and from there ride up to Departure Bay in Nanaimo for the ferry back to the mainland at Horseshoe Bay north of Vancouver, then stop for the night at Squamish.
So I was up early to finish packing up and to load the bike, and have a coffee before heading out at about 745am.
Traffic on the roads through the outskirts of Victoria were pretty light until I got closer to the airport, it seems I got in on the start of rush-hour traffic. I got there early, which is way better that being late, so I wandered around the airport and outside for a while until I noticed Louise’s flight had arrived. I waited, camera in hand, for Louise to come through the doors …
I thought that there would have been some unusual looks or non-routine security hassles seeing as Louise didn’t have any luggage and was dressed in her motorcycle jacket and pants, carrying her helmet. But apparently no one gave her a second look, as if people dressed like that for the plane all the time!
It was only a few minutes to the Brentwood Bay Resort where we met up with Richard and Deb – they had arrived just before us. We had a great breakfast and they even had a cool looking teapot assembly to keep Louise’s tea hot:
We had a great time catching up and before we left we asked the waitress to take a picture of all of us …
With breakfast complete, we said our goodbyes, and we headed off to the Brentwood Bay Ferry Terminal not even a block away from the resort. We just missed the ferry and watched it pull away as I rode past a line of cars to near the front of the line. I couldn’t get right up front because a car pulling a tent trailer and truck pulling a horse trailer had the ramp totally blocked. I thought of riding up the off-ramp to get to the very front, but Louise didn’t like that idea so I stayed where I was. For some reason, the ferry was late coming back, so the wait was longer than the schedule showed. I chatted a bit with a BC Ferries employee, but he didn’t have any information on the holdup – he was just delivering a package for the other side in Mill Bay.
Eventually the ferry arrived, unloaded, and we got onboard for the 20 minute or so ride to Millwood Bay.
Once we unloaded, the Zumo GPS led us to the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal for the 90 minute ride to Horseshoe Bay and from there, we’d ride up to Squamish for the dinner and the night. Since we had just missed the last ferry, we had a bit of a wait until the next one, so we had a snack from Starbucks and communed with the semi-wild bunnies that inhabited the grassy area next to the parking area.
Oh wait, that’s not real grass there. It’s fake grass, astroturf or something. Looks real from a distance, but it’s clearly fake closeup.
It’s not too often you get to ride two ferries in one day – well, for a guy from the prairies, two in one day IS worth crowing about. Louise and I spent a pleasant 90 minutes or so just sitting reading and chatting as the ferry crossed over to Vancouver …
… while the bike stood lonely in the belly of the boat.
I did, however, take the time to make a hotel reservation at the brand-new Sandman Hotel in Squamish – Louise wanted nice places to stay at, not random small cheap motels.
While we were one of the first ones onto the ferry on boarding, the way the deck narrows, we wouldn’t be the first off, we pretty much had to wait until the entire centre section exited before the traffic guys waved at us to move out.
Now an interesting thing happened, and while I’m sure that other folks who ride two-up get this, sitting on the back Louise wound up taking tons of pictures – way more than either of us would have riding out own bikes. Louise literally took a hundred pictures or more a day on the way home. So many in fact that it became difficult to figure out which photos to post!
So here’s a bit of a sample as we zipped along the Sea-to-Sky Highway on our way to Squamish.
Late in the afternoon, we arrived in Squamish and prepared to seek out the Sandman for the night. So our first stop was at the Information Centre, which is a very cool looking new building on the highway. It must have been built for the Olympics …
Does my bum look big in my Aerostich? Actually I don’t care if it is …
We figured out where the hotel was (it was so new that it wasn’t in the GPS), checked in and got showered.
Then we stopped at the front desk to see about recommendations for a dinner. A woman was checking out or in or something piped up and quickly suggested a place called The Water Shed. It sounded good, so with a minimum of pretty inadequate directions we took off looking for the place. Now Squamish isn’t very big, so you’d think that even with inadequate directions, it’d easy. First we had to decide – left or right?
We chose left.
We chose the correct direction, but we drove up and down this one road until finally, after agreeing to go past just one more curve … Turns out it wasn’t so easy to find, but we found it and it was worth it – the food was pretty darn good.
It was still pretty warm out but as we were finishing our dinner, we saw the mist start rolling in on the river, which was pretty cool – the picture doesn’t really do it justice.
Back at the hotel, I parked right in front of the main entrance and that was it for the night.
Tomorrow, we planned to get to Princeton, via Lilloet and Merritt.