Dionisio Provincial Park
We start on a chilly March morning. The plan was to take a taxi to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal from downtown Vancouver at 5 am. Always a great idea to start your day at 5 am right? The taxi comes on time and we board the ferry as foot passengers, no problems. By this time Lora and I were starting to get hungry, so like any good Vancouverite heading to the islands, we rush the on board White Spot for breakfast.
We organized a car rental from Galiano Inn and by 9 am we were off! As most road trips go, we got lost several times (impressive given the island has maybe 4 or 5 roads in total) but eventually made it to the single lane road where we continued on until we reached the blockade (a real blockade, read about why here)
The trail was to the left of the road and climbed gradually through the forest. The trail itself is 4km long and skirts many private residences with strict signs of no trespassing along the way. We reached the entrance of the park about 45minutes later and the path immediately opened up along the coast line with incredible views of the mainland. Seals, Seaguls and crashing waves were abound as we slowly weaved through the trail. You see, what makes this place great is its limited access. You can only get to this park by boat, technically. The entire day we saw about 6 hikers through the campground.
We set up our camp above the ocean on a grassy bank. Our tried and true MSR Hubba Hubba was set up in a matter of minutes! (practice always makes perfect) and our down quilts were fluffed and ready.
The rest of our gear was kept in our bags and stored in the vestibule in case the weather turned poor.
There was much to explore so we set off on the little trails close by. Several areas are closed off as they are Aboriginal settlements from long ago. There are several signs and boards with information regarding the way of life that took place on these islands many years ago. The temperatures were starting to dip so we eventually settled ourselves by a secluded beach and began our exciting and much loved activity of eating. On the menu tonight was Annie’s mac and cheese, Lora’s favourite!
Being March and all, the sun set around 730 so we started our nighttime routine of tooth brushing and bedtime clothing. Lora likes to sleep with her wool leggings and top while I tend to sleep warmer and prefer just shorts. The quilts, which were custom made for us and are a new item we have been testing out, are rated down to -12 (quite versatile for the PNW). We are traditionally sleeping bag fans, but the thought of a quilt and the weight savings they provided were too tempting to pass up.
As the night time sky overtook the day we watched the lights shimmer from the mainland. When we eventually retreated to our tent we threw on a movie (not sure which one) and talked about whatever came to mind. We fell asleep around 10pm when the rain finally started to fall. There is a special kind of happy feeling you get when you are in a warm tent with the rain falling on top.
Like most mornings, It was cold and wet. But my motivation was my coffee. Once that was done I felt I could do anything again. Breakfast consisted of instant oats and trail mix. We packed up casually and started our walk back to the car around 11am. Most times when I am walking back to the car, my main thoughts are what food I will eat first, will the car still be there? And convinced the trail is longer today. Much to our delight, the car WAS still there. We drove back into “town” and devoured a pizza before waiting to board the ferry home. This was a great trip that offered a real sense of adventure without much safety risk.