North to Theodosia
Most folks are not aware of Theodosia region, although it is not far north of Powell River. But it's grand territory, tough to get into, with stunning views and great summer camping.
There's already two Fav rides north from Powell River up the Malaspina Peninsula, one for all cycle tourists, and a backroads ride up to Sarah Point at the far north. This ride heads north again, but into a whole new region, along a route I was not sure was even passable.
You can see the route above, heading north from Powell River before branching up the east side of Okeover Arm, across from the Malaspina Peninsula. Distances were not great - something over 60+kms up to Theodosia Inlet, then NE along the Theodosia River until heading SE down to Olsen's Landing, to camp along the north shores of Powell Lake.
Powell River area, as well as the region north around Theodosia Inlet, is part of Tla'Amin (formerly known as Sliammon) First Nations traditional land. The Inlet is part of the wider Desolation Sound region, fed by the Theodosia River.
I stopped in at the Band HQ north of Powell River, to ask about my planned route. I also found out that the band is working on a plan to remove a 1956 hydro dam on the Theodosia River: turned out it was very bad for spawning salmon, and they have a dream to revive the river.
As you can see above, they've got some fabulous carved poles outside the hall.
The roughest part of the decommissioned route north was the last 10kms before reaching Theodosia Inlet (which near did me in). The old track, now just used by the occasional ATV, has definitely seen better days.
There's significant logging throughout the Theodosia River Valley, and I tried to find out how the logging trucks got in - whether by another route (?!) or on vehicle barges. Alas, I never found anyone to ask.
Looking east up Theodosia Inlet. From here on the logging roads were better. At the centre right you can just see a log boom being pulled together at a regional log sort. I debated wild camping here, but ended up pushing on.
There were 2 sail boats moored in the distance, likely having come through Desolation Sound. To the west (behind me in this pic), I saw the ruins of an old farmstead - wow, that must have been a hardy group of settlers.
Olsen's Landing has a parking clearing, and a dock, with a water bus that ferries workers from Powell River to the south. About a quarter km to the west, along a rough trail, where Olsen Creek flows into the lake, I found this fabulous sandy lakeside stretch, complete with an old barrel for a table, and lots of space for my tent.
Check out my view to the east! The day had been brutally hot, and I had my best swim of the summer here. I saw the ferry leave later that afternoon, though I never actually met anybody. By dusk, I guessed I was very alone. But what a great place to be.
A final pic above - a ghostly remnant from an earlier, forgotten era, along the roadside south of Theodosia Inlet.