Sunday, 13 April 2008

Interlude - Scooter Ride to Barnston Island

I know that I've been sharing my journal of my trip to Tokyo for the past little while and, even though I'm almost done, I have a couple entries left to write. However, yesterday was an unseasonably warm and sunny day so I packed my camera and went out for a nice afternoon ride.

I first took the Albion ferry - and I love it because scooters get to go to the front of the line! I arrived at the ferry and was the only thing on two wheels until we started loading. Then I heard the rumble of motorcycles but I focused on getting up the loading ramp without having an unfortunate accident....

I parked my scoot, got off and looked behind - 13 leathered guys and their Harleys, some with their biker girlfriends. Happily, a few smiled and waved at me, something that I still find surprising and amazing. Here I was on my little 50cc scooter and a guy on a bike with an engine bigger than my car treats me like an equal!

The sun was shining as I rode in my shirtsleeves through Northern Langley towards my destination, Barnston Island. Barnston Island is a small island in the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows that is basically an agricultural area used for dairy. There are also a few houses where people live. I had always intended to pack up the bikes when the girls were little because it's a great cycle but just never got around to it. Also, there's no stores so my girls would have serious motivation problems, especially now....

I didn't have a map handy (it was with my eldest daughter's car) so there was a bit of exploring but I eventually found the ferry. While waiting, I chatted with a retired gentleman who lived on the island.

The ferry itself is small - really small. It's actually a little barge with a tugboat secured to it. It holds about five cars and the ride is about three minutes.

Once we got across, I rode the very flat road that goes around the island. The weather was fantastic and the views were great.

There was this very nice view of the Golden Ears in Maple Ridge.

And, 100 metres down the road, this view of Mount Baker.

I stopped a couple times, snacking on the cookies that I had snagged from home. It was very quiet and peaceful.

The only negative was this in-your-face sign that clearly stated that visitors were not welcome on the bench.

When I got to the dock to leave, I watched in amazement as the cars backed onto the ferry to get on. This is definitely small scale!

On the way back, I was able to get a few shots of the Golden Ears bridge which is under construction. There were some interesting views of the construction and I was able to get right under the bridge.

This photo I especially liked as it looks like pieces of Hot Wheels track that hasn't been snapped together yet!

I headed home, taking the return ferry trip with only one motorcycle. The temperature was still around 24° (about 75° F.) so I changed into my shorts and chilled out for the rest of an excellent Saturday.


Steve Williams said...

75 degrees... that sounds lovely. We have promises of 70 degree weather sometime this week but the nights have still been cold. It's 29 F right now as I get ready to ride to work.

Your riding environs look beautiful. It's a part of the world I hope to visit someday.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Dave Dixon said...

I admire that you ride year round in your climate. I'm not sure if I could do the same with the temperature as low as it gets for you...

It is a pretty part of the world up here - all that rain has to be good for something!

Heinz & Frenchie said...

Beautiful countryside, we miss having mountains and snow caps here in So Fla. But we don't miss the cold. Your landscape is so much more varied than ours. Really like a Ferry ride, that must be so much fun on a scooter. Enjoy!

Dave Dixon said...

heinz & frenchie

Ah, but on that day, it actually wasn't cold - for a change!

As I say so many times to people, we have beautiful scenery with lots of green but we pay for it with buckets of rain year round.

The ferry ride is a bit of fun - it seems as if I'm actually going somewhere different - same as when I cross the border...