Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6 – To Port Alberni and Stamp Falls

Yesterday we did another short jump, this time west, to Port Alberni.

Parksville, BC to Sproat Lake Provincial Park - Google Maps

We are staying at Sproat Lake Provincial Park. Back when I booked the site in February, I thought that it would be OK to stay in a no hookup site for a few days. Never did I imagine that this would be the hottest three days of the trip so far. It has not been the time to be without power for the air conditioners.


I took this picture in the morning so it doesn’t show that the back half of the site gets full afternoon sun. Good for charging up the batteries with the solar panels. Also good for turning the RV into an oven.

After we had lunch we thought that maybe it was cooler down by the water so we went in to investigate Harbour Quay, in downtown Port Alberni, which is their small tourist area.


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There is an old tug boat that has been turned a restaurant and B&B.







We are going to be taking an all day boat trip down this long narrow inlet tomorrow.


It was still blazing hot here so we didn’t stay long. Back at the provincial park, we went down to its beach to see if it was any better.


It was much cooler. Nice shade and a breeze off the water. I waded in a bit but it was too cold for me to go very far.


The beach was right next to the boat launch. We watched the succession of boats coming in after their day on the water. There had to be at least 50 trailers in the parking lot.

Back at the RV, we are only allowed to use the generator between 6 and 8 in the evening. I hate to use it because it is so loud but we had no choice. Thankfully the park is almost empty. The thermometer said that it was 36C inside the RV. We ran the ACs for about an hour to get that down to a more reasonable value.

It cooled down in the evening so we didn’t sleep too badly.

Today it was another hot one. We went to the nearby Stamp River Falls Provincial Park. The walk from the parking lot was easy and short, only about 1/2 km.


Some peeks at the rapids above the falls.




The view just above the main falls.


This river has a massive salmon run. During an average year about 350,000 adults of various types go up river and later about 35,000,000 smolts try to go the other way.

To make it easier they have built a huge fish ladder. This top section is just a tiny visible part of the whole ladder. They drilled a long tunnel through the rock beside the falls to get around them.


There is a computerized video and counting system in the ladder. It has its own turbine generator that some guys were working on today.


One was up checking some of the cameras.


This shed has the computer and a large monitor on the outside.


When they are actually running, which seems to peak in September, you can watch them on the monitor.


A little farther along and we could see the main falls.


Sort of.




Farther along we could look back along the canyon to the falls.


Just beside Jennie’s head you can see the entrance to the ladder, going into the rock face. It is a long way to the falls.




There was a branch of the trail that climbed a short distance to an upper viewpoint. OK but kind of far away.


The end of that branch let you look downstream after the canyon.



Heading back to the car it was nice to be in the shade again.


Driving back we came up behind these logging trucks stopped on the road.


It seemed that another truck had been trying to back into a driveway and missed by a mile.


I don’t know how he could be so far off because he was at least 15 feet from the nearest driveway.

One of the truckers said that there was just enough room and that cars had been going through. When we got to the other side, the cop was a bit annoyed at us because he was trying to back the tow truck up our lane. Oh well.

I made the mistake of driving through town on the way back and we just couldn’t resist stopping. When we get hot, we get stupid.


The world’s largest water bomber, the Martin Mars, is stationed on Sproat Lake. They used to allow visitors at its base but this year it is being refurbished. I found the base and just took some pictures over the fence.

This black one is used by the navy. They are flying boats and can land on the water


The red one is the water bomber.



Later in the day I got a picture of the base from across the bay.



Back at the RV we had managed to keep it fairly cool by closing all the windows and drapes. It was dark as a tomb inside but it was livable.

There are some old petroglyphs down along the water in the park. Jennie had had enough heat so I went off on the short hike to check them out.

They are on a cliff face right at the water so they have built a dock so that you can see them without a boat.







There were signs on the dock saying no swimming or diving but…


There as a steep drop off but if you dove from the cliff you had to run to get out to it.



This guys even went head first. Not smart or maybe just less smart than the others.


It looked like this guy almost didn’t make it to the drop off.


And then back to the RV. Hopefully it cools off again tonight.

We have an early (for us) morning to make to the boat ride.

1 comment:

  1. The Codfather - love it! I remember reading about that water bomber - cool!