Winter Glamping

About a week and a half ago we noticed that the week before Christmas was supposed to be sunny, but cool, so we thought we should try out winter glamping (still find it hard to say camping, but I would never camp in a tent in this season) in Loytää. We settled on Quadra Island. It’s a new destination, we found a campsite at the water’s edge, and the large island provides many opportunities for both hiking and paddling. Being further up the island, we hoped we would have some great mountain views. Paddling around Quadra, however, has to be done with caution, since the narrows on both sides of the island, with their extremely high currents, are beyond our abilities. But we knew there were places that we could explore safely. So we made a reservation at Heriot Bay and started planning. As the days went on. the weather forecast deteriorated, but we were committed to pushing the boundaries to learn what we could and could not do. We packed the van, complete with our PakaYak boats and got ready. So far, we are so glad we didn’t chicken out.

We left Monday morning under grey skies and figured that we would be seeing a lot more of that over the next couple of days. But it didn’t take long for those skies to turn blue and incredibly clear just north of Nanaimo. We were treated to beautiful views all the way up to Campbell River where we took the ferry over to Quadra. We arrived at our campsite at about 2:30 pm. With such clear skies and sunshine we decided to do a quick beach walk to look around, and we appreciated the mountains that we may lose sight of over the next couple of days. The views were stunning.

We got busy and built our boats, ever hopeful that we would be able to paddle the next day.

We survived the night, with temps ‘plunging’ to -5°C and we woke up to clear skies. The forecast called for pretty crappy weather coming in later in the afternoon/evening so we got out on the water mid morning. With temps hovering around -4, it’s probably the ‘coldest’ paddle we have done. but we were very comfortable since there was no wind. The water was crystal clear, there were lots of birds to look at, and the mountains played peek-a-boo with the ever-increasing clouds as we paddled. We hoped to paddle around a bay, but were thwarted by ice! We tried to use our boats as ice-breakers but it was about 1/2″ thick so that didn’t work at all. But the views were gorgeous.

So then we used Plan B and paddled over to a large island we found on the charts, and did our favourite type of paddle: toodling along the shore. The clarity of the water allowed us to see way down into it to see where the rock plunged deep down below. Guess the water is too cold for sea stars but we still enjoyed it anyway.

Clouds started to get thicker. Time to get back to the campsite.

It was a great paddle and we were so glad that we have the boats we can take in Loytää to enjoy a day like today. I can hear the freezing rain starting to pitter patter outside. We’ll see what nastiness comes our way. It may be a van day tomorrow, if it’s too dangerous to drive to a trailhead for a hike. But the weatherman has been wrong before!

4 thoughts on “Winter Glamping

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