This morning I was greeted by a bald eagle, perched on a tree before flying by – my first encounter with the local wildlife! After leaving Snow Creek Campground I was met with a nice long downhill to start the day. That, combined with beautiful weather, was a great beginning! I saw my first bear of the trip, too! Sadly I could not take a photo before she ran off, but it was pretty perfect; She was sniffing around on top of a large rock about three stories above the road. So cool. Two moderate hills aside, it was mostly cruising all the way to Port Alberni where I stopped for lunch, a massive and delicious tuna burger at Pescadores Bistro in Port Alberni (so good!!!!!!!) and when I left I realized I had a nice sharp hill in front of me… on a very full stomach. After a quick visit to the Visitor’s Centre I started climbing for what seemed like forever but it really wasn’t, maybe 3km or so. I call it “Rockies Training”. Once the 300 m of climbing was over I was rewarded with a nice, long descent into Macmillan Provincial Park. With old douglas firs lined with moss as far as the eye can see, it is impossible not to be in awe. I took advantage of their nature trails, snapped a few pics, and continued on. Grabbed some ice cream at Whiskey Creek and began to notice a funny trend: Chatsworth Ave., Melrose Rd., Burbank Rd… Methinks someone here had an affinity for California. I rolled into Coombs Country Campground and because they are empty except for one other family, they let me crash here for free!! No complaints here! All in all a great day.
One quick thing to note: I know it’s always hard to trust directions, but it’s hilarious when you realize how wrong people are, regardless of how well-intentioned they may be. A kind woman warned me about an upcoming hill: “I see people having to walk their bikes up it all the time.” I didn’t have to get out of my big chain ring to climb it.
Conditions were more of the same as yesterday; well-paved roads, not too wide shoulders but usually enough, generous traffic.
Distance: 45 miles / 72 km
Climbing: Approx 3700 ft / 1,127 m