Sunday, 1 April 2007

Golden Ears Ride

Last month, when I tried to ride to Golden Ears Park, it was closed due to the severe wind storms. It recently reopened so yesterday, I took advantage of the fine weather we had to go for a scoot into the park.

The first photo shows the entrance once you pass the gate. The mountain goat carving has always been associated with Golden Ears Park. There are usually two carvings, one on the other side of the road, but that one has been taken away for minor repair.

The park staff has done a good job of cleaning up as here was little sign of the damage by the wind. In one area, there was some heavy machinery tucked away in the forest but other than that, the park looked fine.

The park is at the base of the Golden Ears - two mountain peaks - so the ride is mostly uphill. It’s not too steep a grade so I kept a good speed up in most parts. The road is paved all the way and is in good condition. My main concern was for a wandering deer or bear to cross the road while I was riding past.

It was a little chilly, even on such a sunny day, but it felt so good to be out in the sunshine, zooming along, that I wasn’t really bothered at all. I’ve had a couple of rides in the sun this week and it makes it so much more enjoyable - less of a challenge, but a lot more fun. I’ve only had the scooter since August so more than half of my riding has been in typical rainforest weather conditions.

I parked briefly at the boat launch area (beside the no parking sign) and watched some boaters take their boats out of the water. Even though I felt a bit of warmth while standing in the sun, I am sure that it was quite frigid on the water. I love to fish in the summertime and go out on a boat but this time of year is still a bit too cold for me.

Speaking of parking, Golden Ears Park, which is a provincial park, started charging for parking of vehicles a couple years ago. The charge is $1 an hour or $5 a day. Many people are upset with this as traditionally government parks have been free to park in. Apparently the compliance rate is only 30- 40%.

I finally stopped in at the day area called Alouette Lake (no, I didn't pay for parking). This is a great area for families to come as there are many picnic tables, lots of trees, a big beach area (although the beach itself is rather pebbly and the water is - well - glacier fed so it’s a wee bit cold), and basic conveniences like bathrooms. We used to go there quite often when our girls were small and didn’t care how cold the water was. There were a few families there when I wandered around, wearing big coats, hats, and gloves - as I said, it was a bit chilly.

Afterwards, I zoomed down he mountain. By this time is was later in the afternoon so it was quite cold. Luckily I had my lobster gloves in the pet carrier so was able to stay pretty warm.

As I returned home, to face the pile of weekend marking from school, I felt good that I had taken a bit of time for myself to clear my head and recharge.


CodyandMichelle said...

Do you know how blessed you are to ride where you are? Everytime I look at your blog, it's just wows me with the scenery! Just another reason we can't wait to move to N.Carolina.Florida is just so blah for riding. :( We can't wait for our Summer vacation to Michigan and NC. Good on ya bloke!

Dave Dixon said...

The scenery in my area is pretty nice - what with the mountains to the east and the ocean to the west, there's lots of variety. I'm sure Florida has it's share of exciting scenery, though. I think that you get used to your surroundings and don't get nearly as excited as people who aren't from your area. As an example, I love visiting the UK (and have a few times) because it is so different than here!