As autumn moves convincingly toward winter, I view the prospects for further formal PROBUS motorcycle excursions as increasingly remote. But both informally and formally, group members have been on more motorcycle outings this year than in any previous year that I know of. It was a good thing. With fewer PROBUS activities due to the pandemic, being able to ride together was good for the soul.
The rides this summer and autumn have not been lengthy but they did afford us an opportunity to get out together and do some safe socializing. We have been to Ralph River and Myra Falls on Buttle Lake, Port Alberni, a couple of more local rides and the last one to Parksville for a patio lunch in a popular downtown spot called Pacific Brimm Cafe. The last ride had six participants, and took place on a warm and sunny fall day. We decided to take some different photos, a few of which appear below. Unlike our usual shots, posed and off the bikes, these were action shots – riding down the old highway south of Union Bay.
I am looking forward to sneaking in a few more rides, weather permitting, and to the more fully functional group rides once spring rolls around. Although an effective vaccine may be just around the corner, I suspect we will still have to be fairly careful for a while. After all, many of us get flu shots each fall, but corona based flu still knocks some of us out for a few days each winter. I hope that once we have been immunized, if we do contract the COVID-19 virus, it will be a milder version – something our bodies are able to cope with more effectively.
Although I will be organizing the downhill ski group once Mount Washington opens, I look forward to spring and the possibility of some nice relaxed motorcycling with PROBUS Riders.
Another month of great hiking weather. We did 3 hikes on the Cumberland bike trails and one along the Puntledge River. The hike maps are enclosed below. Some of us also did a backpacking trip in Strathcona Park. We set up camp for two nights at Kwai Lake and did day hikes out to the Cruikshank Canyon lookout and the Strata Mountain summit. We then did the Forbidden Plateau traverse with an overnight at McKenzie Lake.
Excitement was in the air on October 1st as a group of PROBUS Paddlers set out on an 'expotition', in the spirit of a jocular Winnie-the-Pooh-style adventure, to McIvor Lake. A couple of weeks ago Rosemary, Brenda, and I scouted out this lake which is about ten minutes out of Campbell River, just off the road to Gold River. Twelve kayakers (which is our Covid maximum) signed up for this trip. It really felt like a true 'expotition', as due to our Covid practices it took a convoy of nine cars to get all twelve of us to the lake. Most of us stopped at “Daves' Bakery” - not a typo; two Daves started the bakery, hence Daves’ - at Willow Point to pick up yummy sandwiches for our lake-side picnic.
When we were all off-loaded and ready to set out, I split the large group into two Covid-sized groups. We had the more aggressive 'Sharks' led by Brian and including Teresa, Bruce, Jim, and Ross....They set off first in a froth of churning paddles. My group, which I thought of as the ‘Turtles', included Rosemary, Diane, Brenda, and the Ratel family (Justine, Nick, and Tricia) and followed along at a more leisurely pace.
We managed to meet up part way around the lake for a photo session. Although this was the usual exercise of 'cat-herding', Teresa managed to get some very nice photos before the 'Sharks' took off for an extra bit of exploring. The rest of us continued on with our circumnavigation of the lake. After about 1.5 hours we pulled our boats out back at the launch site and made short work of our lunches. All agreed that McIvor Lake was a very pretty place to spend a nice Autumn day.
Recently a group of us went down to Spider Lake which is a 45 minute drive south on Highway 19. It is a very pretty little lake with many arms and coves (hence the name).
It takes about 1.5 hours to circumnavigate the lake at a leisurely pace. After we did that we stopped at the public beach where we had a picnic. Although it was a beautiful day, none of us were brave enough to go for a swim. Thanks to our official kayaking group photographer Teresa Cosco for the photos.
I organized our second Probus sports car tour last Sunday. We had a reasonable turnout with 7 cars participating. We started from Courtenay, travelling along some back roads with our first stop at the Oyster River rest area. We then traveled to Tyee Spit in Campbell River for our lunch stop.
All in all a good day. Everyone kept their distance so that worked out.
I am planning for another tour in a few weeks.
(Click on a photo for a larger image.)
I organized a Probus sports car tour last Sunday. We had a reasonable turnout with 6 cars participating. It all worked out well and everyone really enjoyed our destination at a secret beach. Some of us stopped for ice cream on the way home.
All in all a good day. Everyone kept their distance so that worked out. Besides the individuals featured in the photo, Ed and Jan Harding were in the shade of the nearby trees at a picnic bench while Paul Atterton with Bev White took the picture.
Another Sports Car-Convertible Activity Group outing will take place in about two weeks.
Report submitted by David Anderson
As we move solidly into the 5th month since COVID-19 changed our country and much of the world, the PROBUS executive gave the green light for the club to carefully resume select outdoor activities. The Motorcycle Group is one of those activities, because it works well with social distancing.
I sent out an ‘upcoming ride alert’ on fairly short notice early last week. A +30 degree day was forecast for Thursday and I wanted to take advantage of it, if riders were interested. To my surprise, five motorcycles signed up for a proposed excursion to Lower Myra Falls in Strathcona Park.
This ride takes the Gold River Road for the first section before it splits off near Buttle Lake Campground and hugs the eastern shore of Buttle Lake all the way to its southern end. Lower Myra Falls plunges and cascades some 54 metres into the lake through a series of pools, and has a short but strenuous walk to 2 viewing areas.
Now for old folks like ourselves, a nearly 6 hour ride must be undertaken in a leisurely fashion, with plenty of breaks thrown in. Four of us (Craig B, Clayton S, George S-S and David A) met at 10:30 AM and collected Brenda M, our 5th rider, near Campbell River. From there, the winding road to the south end of Buttle Lake takes under 2 hours through spectacular scenery. We enjoyed every winding kilometre, punctuating the ride with regular water breaks and stretches.
Now, after a nearly 2 hour ride, most of us were unaware that, as the crow flies, the south end of Buttle Lake lay less than 35 km directly west of the Comox Valley! This is a highly recommended day trip for cars and motorcyclists alike, so perhaps it could be slipped into your summer plans.
Due to the heat of the day and the length of the ride, we opted not to go to the falls viewing area, but we saw it in the distance, from the south-eastern end of the lake. I think that next time, a walk to the falls should be part of the excursion.