Day 7 – Living Forest to Newcastle Island (12 km)

The Traveling Wilburys – End of the Line

Well, it’s alright, even if you’re old and grey
Well, it’s alright, you still got something to say
Well, it’s alright, remember to live and let live
Well, it’s alright, the best you can do is forgive

Well, it’s alright (alright), riding around on the breeze
Well, it’s alright (alright), if you live the life you please
Well, it’s alright, even if the sun don’t shine
Well, it’s alright (alright), we’re going to the end of the line

12 kilometers. Maybe not even worth getting out of bed for that. But it’s another island! That would make 3 this trip! A trifecta! There are no cars on the island! There are no bears on the island! There’s a great ice cream shop!!! Okay, okay that does it, we’ll go.

So off we go for what turns out to be the last day of our trip. More on that later. We’re now pros at packing up our kit in the morning and after a hike around the campground we are off for a very short and easy ride to the ferry terminal where things get a bit interesting! Now, we are expecting a ferry to take us across to the island and yes there is a ferry. However, this ferry more resembles on oversized dingy. Well of course I exaggerate but this boat is small. It can probably hold 20 people and as we are informed upon arrival we will have to remove all our gear from the bikes as the bikes will be hoisted up and tied down to the cabin roof. Oh well we’ve got this load/unload thing down pat by now. But all this for a 12 minute trip!! Hope it’s worth it?

loading the bikes
apparently CC isn’t behaving
CC should have taken his new waterbike

The answer is yes. What a delightful place to visit and camp. Nice campsites spread out so you’re not hearing your neighbours’ snore. Even during the day when there are quite a few people on the Island it is very quiet and has great trails for hiking and biking. We did some touring of the Island and unlike yesterday’s lack of pictures we went crazy and photographed everything we could. RR and LL took a guided tour to learn some of the history of the Island and its native peoples the Snuneymuxw First Nation. And yes we did get to the Ice Cream Shop. All in all (except for the ferry issue) we chilled out and had a very relaxing day.

the campsite
your guess is as good as mine right LL
looking across at Nanaimo
the neighboring island at low tide
can you see the snake head?

Our plan for our last day on Vancouver Island was to revisit John and Carol and camp there for the night and head out the next day. Guess what?? But before I get to that, there was one last mishap. After getting off the ferry (an even smaller one this time) we headed up towards John and Carols. We were within 5 minutes of John and Carols; when as per now an established routine, the Captain would race up a steep hill and would walk back down to lend a hand to the others if needed. Well this time help was really needed. DD was lying on the pavement all tangled in her bike that lay on top of her. It took several minutes to disentangle her without causing further injury. As sore as she was from the fall, the trooper that she is (some might describe this differently, like mule headed) she got back on her bike and finished the bike part of the trip upright.

lots of room
the Bandito Bikers

Now back to the Guess What? John and Carol were having other company for the weekend and although they probably would have insisted we stay we didn’t want to impose and quickly made alternative plans. RR and LL would head back up island, this time by car where they would do some more camping and visiting before heading back to Vernon. CC and DD on the other hand decided to start the trip home and get in a visit with granddaughter Alyssa along the way. So back to the ferry terminal to catch a ferry back to the mainland, but this time on a really big ferry. Well before we could actually get on the ferry we had a 5 hour wait from noon until 5’oclock. Now we remembered what we didn’t miss about coastal BC living. Of course if you’re prepared to fork out an extra $15.00 you can reserve a spot and not have to wait but this option wasn’t open to us given our late in the day decision.

Regardless it gave us a great opportunity to visit our Alyssa that evening and as the poor kid still works for living, a day visit wouldn’t have worked. Get it “works for a living” and it “wouldn’t have worked”. Gee I wonder if all that biking has affected my brain. We really enjoyed our visit, as we don’t get to see her live and in person very often and she is such a wonderful and delightful person. We might be biased of course. Anyway we had a really great sleep, in a real bed, after a week of sleeping on the ground, and we were well rested for our trip home. Sad to leave Alyssa so soon but that’s life.

So you might wonder if we have any words of wisdom after taking on and completing this challenge. Well I do have things to say, but as to wisdom, well who knows. Every turn you take in life opens up new opportunities and closes off others. It doesn’t really matter though because we never know what we might have missed. What seemed like a good path may have been full of perils. Have no regrets. Once you’ve made a choice embrace it and move on and don’t fear the unknown. None of us knew for certain beforehand whether we would complete our trip. And if we didn’t so what. We would have had new experiences regardless. Enjoy the journey, the sore butt and legs, the stone that pokes into your hip while you try to sleep, the rain, the fresh air, the exhilaration of the downhill, and the sweat of the uphill and for DD even the pain of the crash. All of these things let you know that you are alive. Get out and show the world that you are alive in your own way. Erudite (big word for RR) maybe?????

So to simplify the foregoing. Live like a dog. Live in the present and always be ready for a meal.

By stubbs99