Happy New Years to all!

Since I've eased off on serious New Years partying, I've had a tradition of heading out every year for a camping excursion. This year I thought I'd try a loop through Port Alberni then north through the backroads.

My plans were a little uncertain as we'd gotten a fair piece of snow the day before. I took the big highway south, figuring (correctly - as one can see in the pic above) that the shoulder would be cleared.

There's a 2-3km connector off the big highway to Little Qualicum Falls Park, where I planned to camp the first night. As you can see, it was not an easy go, even though I had my phat tires on.

Didn't take me long to figure that if the snow was this deep near the coast, I was delusional to think the higher, more remote backroads route north from Port Alberni would be passable - so I changed plans and headed to Rathtrevor Provincial Park near along the seaside outside Parksville.

Rathtrevor has long been a favourite park of mine, though it gets REAL busy in season, with miles of the best seaside walking trails, some in the open and some under the forest canopy. Turned out there was a small community that head there every New Years, and some campsites had Xmas lights flashing.

The fireworks started right around dark, and one sure couldn't miss the stroke of midnight.

Early morning on January 1, I woke up to the barking of the sea lions and the hooting of some talkative owls near my campsite. I have fine winter camping gear, so was warm and snug and totally stuffed from so much eating.

Headed home on January 1. There'd been no rain or snow during my trip, so I took the old highway along the coast. The pic above is from near Fanny Bay on a fine riding day.

Wishing everyone a happy, safe and fulfilling 2018!

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