Day 6: Early birds cross the waters 

Dawn light and loud bird chirping woke Steve up at 4:30 am. Last night we had resolved to catch the first ferry to Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island, where we would ride to Victoria. Steve shook Jackie awake and said, “I’ll make coffee, let’s get on the road. Jackie said blearily, “Skip the coffee, lets go.” 

We packed up in record time, returned to Canada for our Border Crossing No. 3 of the trip, and cranked out the 10 miles to the ferry terminal in Tsawassen, BC (who needs SoulCycle?!). We arrived with 25 minutes to spare. Never EVER again will we be found pleading to be let on the bus/boat/train just as its pulling away. The lesson hath been learnt. (In our haste, we failed to leave a note with the park ranger to pay for our second night. Aaron, if you’re reading this, please charge us).

Jackie, first in line to get off the ferry.

The ferry arrived at Swartz Bay, in the Northeast corner of Saanich Peninsula, home to our destination city, Victoria, located at the Southeastern tip. We rode off the ferry until we saw a bike route sign. Oh divine providence! We followed, blindly. A mile and a half and one large uphill later we discovered we were not headed Southerly, but rather were making our way East across the peninsula. We rerouted.

Sidney was our intermediary destination along the Lachside Trail where we stopped to make oatmeal on a shoreline park, buy a pump and pressure gauge at a bike shop, and rest from the early morning escapade. We made our way to a FRESH STRAWBERRY stand, but when our Canadian money didn’t stretch enough to buy a box of strawberries, we ate ice cream instead. It was at this point, sitting on that picnic bench, that two Important Things happened.

Important Thing No. 1: We consulted the map, assessed the route possibilities of our trip, and came to some decisions. Jackie had noticed a trend. Every time she suggested routes down to Oregon, which would involve long days in the saddle, Steve would respond, “Yeah, I’ve done that before. It’s not that fun.” When pressed, Steve admitted that what he really wanted to do was see more of Vancouver Island, the inner waterways, and the mountainous islands off of Washington, parts of the Pacific Northwest that neither of them have seen. When pressed back, Jackie agreed – she quite prefers spontaneous exploration to the mileage grind, as well. So. Our ambitions of exploring north of Seattle outweigh our ambitions of covering greater mileage South to Oregon, and we’re looking into departing from Seattle Amtrak instead of Albany at the end of our trip.
Important Thing No. 2: People here are very helpful. When we asked a simple question to a local (“Is it true that you can camp free in Victoria city parks?”), we ended up with a thorough biker’s map, two cell phone numbers in case of emergency or loneliness, about 22 suggested sites to see, and a litany of warnings against sleeping in public parks. The same thing happened when we asked a friendly looking fellow how to get to a nearby campsite. 15 minutes later, as he biked away, we resolved to choose our questions more carefully.
We settled in for the night at a beautiful beachside campground on the Eastern side of the Saanich Peninsula, overlooking sunlit pastoral island vistas. For several hours, the afternoon sky cleared up completely. The sun warmed us and dried our laundry. Jackie cooked another gourmet meal, Thai coconut curry and brown rice. After a stroll on the beach and early to bed, this tranquil chapter of the Ready Riders Pacific Northwest Tour 2017 Day 6 Blog Post is closed. 
Signing off from Island View Beach Regional Park.
Jackie: “Is there anything more you want to say?”
Steve: “No.”

Sunset at Island View Regional Park.

One Reply to “Day 6: Early birds cross the waters ”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.