Thursday, September 10, 2015

Galiano Bike Camping Adventure: Day 4

Good morning, sunshine! 

Wish cleaning my floors at home were this easy!
Here is day four of Four Kids, Four Adults, Four Bikes, & Four Days*. (If you missed Day one, go over here & read about our epic trip to Tsawwassen firstDay two of our trip is here & you can read all about Day three here.

Up 6:15am, I'd slept better but still fitfully. I guess maybe I need to camp more so I can get used to sleeping with all the ambient wind & tree noises. It had been a cooler night, so somewhere in the wee hours I added my fleece vest on top of Bronte's sleep sack. Three layers of fleece kept her snug for the rest of the night.

Packing up & breakfast were mostly uneventful & we were all ready to go on time again. Must be Lisa & Dan's good influence!

The ride back to Sturdies Bay was a breeze, with much less weight in food. We still needed to walk the bikes up a few of the hills, but the ride felt much easier in the cooler morning. It only took us about an hour, so we had a little extra time before our ferry.

Why yes, our toddlers do have matching MEC fleeces. & no, we didn't plan it.
We hung out at a cafe & chatted with some other biking families we met there. When we were talking about bike camping with little kids, we discovered that the guy we were talking to knows friends of ours. Small world!

Our next stop was to pick up our Through Fare ticket so that we could pay the single fare for Galiano to Tsawwassen when we rode the ferry to Swartz Bay & then another one back to Tsawwassen. We needed to do this because of the timing of the sailings. We didn't think we could make the early morning one leaving Galiano directly to Vancouver, so we took the noon ferry that went to Victoria & the rode back again to Tsawwassen. It added a couple of hours to our trip, but made the morning a lot less stressful.

I never get tired of a view like this when I look up.
Once through the tiny ferry terminal, we ordered currywurst to go from the Max & Moritz food cart right by the dock. The proprietors were on 'Island Time', preparing our lunch unhurriedly & assuring us we'd have time to eat it before the ferry left. We got our food just before loading on ferry to Swartz Bay & had to eat it on the ferry.

Despite the wait, the currywurst was so good! It's been years since I've had one & though these aren't technically authentic (they use smokies instead of proper German sausages) their house made curry ketchup is really tasty.

The kids were like zoo animals on the ferry, so we spent a lot of time chasing one or another of them running/crawling in different directions. I always enjoy ferry rides though, & with the incredible weather we had the whole trip, it was still beautiful.

Off at Swartz Bay, we disembarked & bumbled our way through the lack of biking infrastructure or signs to pay for the return fare. Unfortunately, I realized after the fact that we were charged for all the kids when those under five should have been free. It was also a little annoying being whistled & yelled at by ferry staff when we weren't told where or when to board. Bike passengers are just expected to know all this stuff, I guess? I understand that there's a rush, since we have to board first & they can't start loading cars until we're all parked at the front of the boat, but they need to be more clear about their directions in every way.

Pay once, ride twice on BC Ferries!
Once on the boat, I planned our route home through Ladner. While we all agreed that the route we rode to Tsawwassen was picturesque, there was no way we were going to ride the same way back. We were set to arrive in Tsawwassen just before 4pm, so we didn't want to be biking home well past the kids' bedtimes.

We arrived in Tsawwassen at 3:45, rode with a quick stop for air & one half hour break to switch kids around & have a snack. Biking through Ladner was quite nice--there wasn't much traffic at all even though we were riding during rush hour. We arrived at Scott Road Station at 7pm & after a quick breastfeeding break for the babes, we ferried all the bikes & trailers up the elevator to the platform.

Max & Moritz currywurst is one of the main reasons we come to Galiano.

We decided to get off at Broadway Station to avoid the steep hill on the way home from Main Street Skytrain Station. This was way better because Broadway Station has HUGE elevators with doors on both sides of them making it super easy to get out--no need to even back the bikes out. After a quick ride home via the 10th Avenue Bikeway into our neighbourhood, we arrived by about 8:00pm, tired but happy.

Despite a few hiccups along the way, the trip was really enjoyable & it even felt like a vacation. I actually got to relax more than I expected to & many things I was worried about--like losing the childreturned out easier than expected.

Little ferry #1. Our bikes are right at the front.
If you're curious, here is our exact route:

BC Ferries Tsawwassen Terminal

Head east on BC-17
Turn left onto 52 St
Turn right onto 28 Ave
Turn left onto 53 St
Continue onto Arthur Dr
Turn right onto 44 Ave
Continue onto Harvest Dr
Turn right onto Ladner Trunk Rd
Turn left onto 64 St
Highway underpass
Turn right onto 60 Ave
Continue onto 68 St
Turn right onto River Rd
Continue onto 96 St
Turn left onto BC-17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road)
Getting ready to disembark at Swartz Bay & switch to ferry #2.
Turn right onto Old Yale Rd
Turn left onto 120 St/Scott Rd

Scott Road Station

This route was 34.7km--about 10km less than our route on Monday--fairly flat except for the BC-17 section of it. It took us 3 hours 15 minutes of cycling including a 30 minute break & occasional quick stops along the way. I think the fact that the entire route was paved made a difference on our speed. Having properly inflated tires on the Yuba couldn't have hurt either!

Free colouring sheets & crayons went over well with the under four set.

Off the ferry, we stopped for air at the first gas station just off the causeway.

This sign made me like Ladner.

This side of Highway 17 was slightly less full of debris, but still a pretty crap place to ride.

Skytraining back home again to East Van, this time actually holding my ticket!

We survived! & we actually had fun!

This was the last day of our trip, but it won't likely be the last post about it...

*Full credit goes to Lisa M for coming up with the name for our trip: 4 Kids, 4 Adults, 4 Bikes, 4 Days.

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1 comment:

  1. Loved reading all about this adventure! We almost made it to the West Coast for some Gulf Island hopping last summer but there was so much smoke we bailed. Hoping to do something this coming summer though! Maybe late August so we can time it with supplementing our diet with a steady stream of blackberries... :)


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