Salt Spring Island

September 17, 2005
Earl and I decided to go on a little excursion to Salt Spring – the biggest gulf island on the West Cost – Salt Spring. This was no easy walk in the park or bike trip for that matter. Earl had just finished a bike tour across Canada this past summer so he was all geared up and in shape to conquer. Me, on the other hand was no where close. I had not even touched a bike since he had left 3 months ago. Our plan was to hike Mt. Maxwell during the early afternoon and then bike all the way to Ganges and take a look at the Fall Fair and conquer anything else to do on the island. I didn’t want to ride the 33 km trail all the way to the ferries so I convinced Earl to take our bikes on the bus. We got off the ferry and rode our bikes to the base of the mountain where we stashed our bikes for the hike ahead of us. I was huffing and puffing after the short 15 min. bike ride while Earl had not even broken a sweat. Of course with no clear markers or trails we got lost and ended up bush-wacking through the steep terrain most of the way to the top. I was hot, tired, and I couldn’t even keep up with “Mr. Long Legs”. This happened for about an hour. We were about to give up until I pulled out my GPS and knew we only had 200 metres left of elevation to the top (as the crow flies). We managed to find the trail to the top and were rewarded by the awesome views! On the way down we tried to find the trail back to where we started but we got lost again and had to take a different detour – this time in the thick forest. After another hour we finally found our bikes but that hike took a lot out of us since we were planning to bike the rest of the island.
Despite the challenging hills, I managed to ride the half hour to Ganges harbour where we went to the annual Fall Fair. It was $5 to get in but we bargained down to $2 since we were only going to be there for an hour. Always fun to be the cheapest ever. After checking out all the animals and stuff we decided to head back home. I had no strength in me to see the rest of the island – much too big and so little time. The funny thing was that after the ferry ride home Earl rode the 33 km Lockside Trail back home while I took the bus and he beat me home!

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Earl and I on top of Mt Maxwell

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This is what I would look like if I were a cowboy

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Weird stuff going on at the Ganges Market

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Trying to find our way back on the trail

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View on top of Mt Maxwell

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Panoramic view of the Cowichan Valley