Written by Loytää
I just came back from exploring this really cool island called Gabriola Island. It’s only about 30 minute drive and a 30 minute ferry ride from my house, which with gas prices they way they are now, is a good thing.
I know I will soon be towing a trailer full of gear, but for this trip, I was fully loaded with camping gear and the PakaYaks. But, I have lots of room, so it was easy for me to carry it all.
When we got to the island we explored the eastern side, facing the Salish Sea, which was new to me. The road was a bit bumpy and when we went up some steeper hills, I had flashbacks to Quadra Island in the winter, but traction in March is just fine so we powered our way up.
I didn’t get to go on the hikes, but when Anita and Bill hiked along the coastal cliffs, they loved the wonderful and clear views of the coastal mountains on the mainland. It was really windy so they were glad they were not paddling, but the views were spectacular.
By mid afternoon, the tide was out, so they got to walk along a true sand beach, a real treat, apparently.
I was really happy when we got to the campsite. I was re-united with my twin, owned by good friends John and Heather. It seems like nobody but really hardy souls camp in March, because we had the entire campground to ourselves. We could park anywhere, and we made good use of the space, even if we did really long extension cords to plug in!
Evenings in the living room, around the firepit were a lot of fun, full of laughter and good conversation; I heard every word!
I don’t fit inside a kayak very well, so I stayed behind while everyone had adventures on the water, but I heard all about it when they came back. The kayaks that are pieced together was always a good conversation starter!
It was still pretty windy on the first day of paddling but they told me that the Flat Top Islands would provide lots of protection to they were all anxious to get out. There were some fun waves and chop between the islands, but all made it through safely!
The views of the mountains, contrasted with the blue water and skies, were stunning. I kept hearing that they could have kayaked all day with these types of views! They even saw Mount Baker in the somewhat hazy distance, in all its snow covered majesty.
The sandstone formations on Carlos and Saturnina islands were so interesting to look at, and lots of time was spent investigating, taking pictures and lounging in the sun, eating lunch. What a great way to spend a day.
The second day of paddling was windless, and perfect for exploring the cliffs on the western side, including the Malaspina Galleries. Flat water allowed them to get close to the cliffs and look for marine life (there were lots of sea stars and anemones) and marvel at all the wonderful erosion patterns, from soft and rounded, to intricate lacework and beehive patterns.
There is a lot of gear to wash and clean when we got home. I enjoyed getting a bath inside and out and so did the boats, in all their pieces! Home almost looks like a garage sale.
So three days with perfect weather, fun time with friends, and wonderful scenery made for a great trip. I really enjoyed it. I’m back in my resting spot now, all clean for the next adventure in a few weeks.