Day’s distance – 195 miles
Total trip distance – 340 miles
Temperatures ranged from 50 to 65 and showers continued along the coast and followed us inland throughout most of the day. The skies did eventually clear in the mid-afternoon.
We departed Harald’s place a little after 8am.
Our first destination was the town of Sooke. We both topped off with fuel here. Premium fuel was $1.74 CAD / liter which translates to about $5.14/gal in USD at today’s exchange rate.
Next came finding that morning latte. For that, we continued along the coast to Shirley, where Harald knew of a cafe in the town of Shirley, named Shirley Delicious Cafe.
The inside reminded me of cafes in Santa Cruz – kind of a hippy vibe. The place was super busy, both with tourists like myself but also with the locals. Good pastries and great coffee, I recommend stopping!
Because Harald doesn’t have a helmet communicator that could pair to mine allowing us a chance to talk while moving, I took the lead riding to Port Renfrew. This allowed me to stop for photos whenever needed.
Hwy 14 had some rough patches, including frost heaves and tar snakes, but was a blast to ride. The road is used by tourists, bicyclists, logging trucks and locals, the road is heavily used and it shows. What makes it fun to ride are the frequent curves, the constant elevation changes as it sometimes is on the coast, sometimes a little inland, blind curves with just a bit of gravel thrown in mostly where the logging trucks exit the forest roads.
While it was raining when we arrived at the cafe, it stopped by the time we left, providing at least a temporary opportunity to get out the camera.
The Jordan River spills out onto the coast between Shirley and Port Renfrew.
Because of how waves break at this point, this is one of the most popular places on the island to surf. Alas, there were no surfers out when we went passed. 🙁
A short time later, we entered Port Renfrew.
Although you only see my bike in this picture, we spent 10 minutes talking to two sidecar riders who were on their way to Alaska.
Randy has over his lifetime ridden BNWs over one million miles. Lori, in the other sidecar, was fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting the Grizzlies in Kodiac. Their custom sidecars carried a lot of supplies and fuel allowing them to camp and travel independently for days. Lori was capable of carrying 18 gals of fuel, for example. Randy’s motorcycle, with him on it, weighs 1800 pounds!
We took a short break at the marina and ate the lunch sandwiches that Harald packed for us before heading across the island past Lake Cowichan.
The Lake Cowichan road was rougher and narrower than Hwy 14. The rain returned as we entered the mountains – heavily enough that we stopped to add a layer of rain gear around us.
For me, this was the most enjoyable road of the day – very twisty, very fun. Watch for one-lane bridges on this road – there are many.
The new tires are performing excellently in all conditions so far! I’m happy to have them.
We stopped for another break in Lake Cowichan. I had a Root Beer Float at the local A&W located right across the park in the center of town.
The rest of the ride to our campsite consisted of stop and go commuter traffic.
We decided to stay at the Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. We did not make advanced reservations. Only the tent area was available. That was fine by us!
The beach was just beyond the trees. The rain had stopped for the day. After we had two of the camp meals I brought, we took an enjoyable walk along the shore.
Tomorrow, we continue north a bit further before we catch a ferry to Powell River, our staging point for a visit to Desolation Sound.