2008-08-16 48 -123
Not content with sitting at home on the weekend, thepiguy hauled himself and his new bike 170km to Vancouver island and back!
The hash point was located on the southern portion of Vancouver island. It appeared to be on private property, but the local road passed very close by and looked out over the water and point itself.
Although I only made it to within 150m of the geohash, I had a super awesome day!
I set out bright and early at 0700 hours and biked through Stevston to the tunnel's bike shuttle stop. I'd never taken the free shuttle before, and I'm not sure what I expected. What I got was a middle aged Indian man with sketchy van and trailer. Few words were exchanged between me and shuttle driver but we made the 10 minute trip through the tunnel and the aforementioned van only stalled once!
I made it to the Tsawassen ferry terminal for 0900, leaving me with a large wait for the 1000 to Schwartz Bay aboard the "Queen of Much-needed-repair." The ride itself was uneventful (save for my delicious Belgian Waffle!) and I ended up sleeping most of the way.
I arrived on the island at 1145 and quickly made the greatest discovery of the day. While I had exquisitely crafted a google-mapsterpiece the night before, it turns out that Victoria has an amazing system of bike paths that span hundreds of kilometers! Even though I had no idea what sort of condition these paths were in, I threw caution to the wind, discarded my map and began to blindly follow any sign that had a picture of a bike on it!
This turned out to be the best possible decision I could have made; these trails are amazing! I followed the Lochside route until it met up with the Galloping Goose. They were a mix of quiet on-street paths, lightly forested gravel trails, paved bike lanes next to highways and shortcuts through fields. In addition, there were numerous wooden trestles, large tunnels and more than enough signs to keep even the most distracted cyclist on track. It was amazing!
I made it to my destination at 1530 and set up camp. As I had suspected, the hash point was located on private property (a nice ocean view home) but the highway looking out over the water was within 150m and had a good view of the point. I hung around for an hour, eating lunch, taking pictures, and picking up garbage. Several people stopped at the side of the road, one car to inquire if I had seen their lost dog and another just to admire the view, but alas; no geohashers in sight.
I marked the territory (with the letters xkcd, what were you thinking of?) took a few last shots and proceeded on my way.
The ride back was good, and took considerably less time than on the way there. I ate dinner on the ferry and enjoyed a sunset from the middle of the Georgia Straight. I arrived back in Tsawassen at 2130 and biked the rest of the way home in the dark.