All summer I had been planning to take a trip over to Vancouver Island to visit my Uncle in Campbell River. I was going to take either my motorcycle or Scooter but I mentioned it in passing to several people during the past couple of months but there were no takers. This is more or less the way it has been for the past couple of years. So this year things were going to be different. I planned my first solo trip to the Maxi-scoot rally during August as sort of a test run to see how it was like to travel without a riding buddy. And I survived, so perhaps there will be more solo rides in my future plans. Of course, there is a limit to how many weekends I can be away by myself
thus as I was doing my planning I decided that we would go to Tahsis if the road wasn't too bad. We took the early ferry from Tsawwassen to Duke Point, which is just south of Nanaimo. The plan was to take the Oceanside route along the inner coast up to Campbell River, have dinner with my uncle and head east on Hwy 28 the next morning towards Gold River. We left the house at 6am to allow enough buffer time to make the 7:45a ferry. It is a 2 hour crossing to Nanaimo, then north on Hwy 19A stopping to see all the sights. Our ferry docked at 10am (2 hour crossing), but we didn't arrive at CR until just after 3pm.
The next morning we had a quick breakfast and headed out at 9am towards Gold River. It is a beautiful road, all the curves are banked to our benefit and there were no nasty surprises. No reducing radius turns, No reverse camber corners, nothing nasty to get you into trouble. It is said that this is "probably" the best motorcycle/scooter road on Vancouver Island (but of course, this time, we were in the car, but I have a mental note to come back in the future with one of my 'bikes' .
This section of road is all paved and it can be travelled easily in an hour and a "bit" .
From Gold River heading east the road is paved for a few kms, then turns to gravel
There are a few "single lane" wooden bridge crossings over creeks & rivers
I would say that the road is mostly well groomed. We encountered a grader about half way to Tahsis that was spreading new gravel to fill in the ruts, but loose gravel is not good when going around corners. At any speed over 45 kmh I could feel the rear of the car slide/skid, so we could make time on the straights, but slow down into the corners.
We didn't see very many cars/trucks along the route and we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We went up and down a few "hills" and there were a few shelf roads along the side of the mountain, and of course NO guard rails and a big drop down the hill if you made a mistake. This section of road from Gold River to Tahsis is about 68 kms and it will take you about 1-1/2 hours (as we stopped often to take pictures). They call this the "Tree to Sea" highway
Eventually, we make it to our planned destination. Here is our first view of Tahsis
The road winds its way around the end of the bay as the main town is on the south side of the inlet.
Originally there was a large mill here which employed "a lot" of people. Then the mill shut down. You can see the mill site on the left as you enter the Village. All the buildings are gone and all you can see are the remnants of the footings.
In recent years they are trying to attract fishermen (tourists) as they are known for the best salmon fishing on the West coast
They have a very nice marina here complete with a floating restaurant, actually a mexican restaurant (Cantina Marina), and we were hungry only to find out that they had just closed for the season 3 days earlier. All this way and we had to settle for only a Cappucino .
If you enjoy fishing (or boating) and lots of solitude, then this is the place for you.
It was a relaxing day and the scenery was great . Great roads for a car but not so great for any two wheeled machines, dual sports excepted.