Shaking off cabin fever

I'm teaching a course early next year, and have been spending too much time sitting in front of a computer pulling together material. I was getting antsy, so headed off riding & camping.

West from Campbell River there's a grand hinterlands of lakes, backroads & camping spots: I started my ride through there, but was heading further west to check out a couple of new lakes. The above pic is from Brewster Lake, where I camped on my way back.

This past spring and summer, I spent lots of time out riding to far flung corners of Vancouver Island to fill in some gaps for my website. I saw lots of bears and 95% of them behaved like they are supposed to,

One bear, though, gave me a scare, so now I ride with my bear spray and bear bangers in the left yellow bar bag, and a commercial air horn (new & crazy loud) in the right bag.

I met my problem bear coming down a steep hill on the slopes above the San Juan River, out in the middle of nowhere south of Cowichan Lake. The bear was on the road ahead, but didn't bolt like he's supposed to. I set off a bear banger, and he jumped then ran about 5m, then stopped and looked confused, and started to walk towards me. I shouted at him and eventually did a little mock charge at him - and that (finally!) made him run. Whew.

So now I carry more bear deterrents, and keep them a little more accessible to hand.

It was mostly a rainy few days, but some fine riding country. Above, heading into remote Jessie Lake (pic below). The lake sits just outside the north boundary of Strathcona Provincial Park. There's a tiny, basic campsite and a boardwalk/dock to the lakeside. The actual lake, a little above 400m elevation, was a little anti-climactic, but worth the effort.

If it had been last year at this time, the road and lake would already have been snowed in.

Then, I back-tracked a bit, and took a different route back to Campbell River.

So here I am again sitting in front of my computer, but with my cabin fever abated (for now).

A final pic below, coffee break from the shores of Lower Campbell Lake, looking west to the interior mountains, during a stretch of fine blue skies.

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