Day 5 – Ride to Desolation Sound

Temperatures started in the mid 50s and reached into the low 80s inland by the afternoon.

Our route today took us down the Sunshine Coast just north of Powell River to Horseshoe Bay.

Spoiler Alert! Today would turn out to be my favorite day of the trip. The Sunshine Coast was definitely on my bucket list for it’s incredibly scenery. The two ferry rides involved provide time to take in the snow-covered mountains reflecting off the water. In addition, our group now consisted of four riders and three motorcycles!

Our Lund hosts joined us for the second half of this motorcycle adventure. The start time for today’s ride would be dictated by the ferry system. We left the house at 6am and rode down Hwy 101 without stopping until we reached Saltery Bay. To avoid delays in our long day, we planned to arrive early.

A total of five motorcycles were loaded ahead of the cars on this transit.

I felt like an old pro getting the bike on and off the BC ferries. Drive on and park where shown, always at a 45 degree angle to the direction of travel in first gear using the side stand. Then place a block under the high-side of the motorcycle. Easy breezy.

Today would be smooth sailing to Earl’s Cove, about a 50 minute voyage. The day wasn’t as clear as a photographer might want, but it’s all part of the journey.

We turned off the highway during our ride from Earl’s Cove to the next ferry terminal because the ferry schedule has extra time built into it. It was interesting to see one of the local neighborhoods off the main road.

Irving’s Landing

The second ferry ride is shorter and is free if you’re heading south. The terminal is quite a bit busier and the ferry larger. There we more cars than would fit and about 20 motorcycles that load first.

Loading takes just a few minutes and we’re off again.

Once off the ferry, we needed fuel and lunch. We stopped in downtown Squamish. I grabbed some cash from the ATM and met Harald at the Zephyr Cafe.

I ordered the Quinoa Bowl and a latte. Both were excellent and at least one contributed to a healthy road diet. 🙂

The next section of ride, Hwy 99 to Lillooet has a few names. From wikipedia,

The “Sea to Sky Highway” is the name given to the section of Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton…. [Twenty miles] later, where the Sea-to-Sky Highway ends, Duffey Lake Road begins. After going for almost [62 miles] in very steep mountains …, Highway 99 reaches the junction with Highway 12 at Lillooet.

Duffey Lake

I’ve ridden this road at least three times in the past. Each has been wonderful and each felt different. The mountains have a character that they can’t resist sharing – one which is weather and season dependent.

Here’s a video I took on a past ride to Lillooet.

We noticed today a new slide on Joffre Peak. I read that it occurred just this May. No one was hurt. Whew!

We camped at the BC Hydro Seton Lake Campsite – a free site and filled on a first-come basis. It had water available and pit toilets. Simple basics tonight.

We shared food and conversation until dark. Tomorrow we head east along roads I’ve not traveled before. We expect warmer temperatures and more sunshine.

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