Gulf Islands


JUNE 23 – 26, 2005


June 23rd – Thursday


Ferry left Tsawwassen at 10:00 AM, arrived at Galiano Island at 10:50 AM

Left Seattle about 5:30. No issues getting into Canada. Took the wrong exit and drove the Ladner Trunk Road to the causeway. Parked in the economy section. Paid for an extra day’s parking by mistake. Bought tickets, found a bike rack, poked around the terminal. Waited a couple of hours. Queued up with other bikers & fishermen by the loading ramp and watched the cars come off. Rode the ferry to Sturdies Bay on Galiano. Ramp up from ferry looked steep so Odette walked. Got a call from a potential employer while waiting for her. Surrounded by a bunch of summer camp kids. Couldn’t get a signal to call back. Rode to the Inn and dropped off panniers. Rode to the Marina at Montague Harbor for lunch. Steep hill. Rode on out to the end of the road at Porlier Pass. One great viewpoint called Lover’s leap. Odette knocked me off the bike by dismounting on the wrong side. Rode back via Porlier Pass road for a small loop. – 36 mile tour.

Stayed at Woodstone Country Inn, Dinner there at 7:00.   Best shower in at least ten years. Great dinner – lamb


June 24th – Friday


Ferry left Galiano Island at 4:40 PM, arrived at Saturna Island at 5:40 PM

Breakfast at 9:00. Left panniers at Inn and repeated the Montague – Porlier loop – hill seemed much less steep. Loop seemed really short. Spent a long time in the bookstore. Returned call and arranged interview. Rode to the Bluffs park and locked the bike to a gate. Walked the dirt road to a really spectacular viewpoint. Returned to Sturdies Bay and had ice cream. Walked to a bike shop but didn’t go in. Waited all afternoon for the ferry. Explored terminal and adjacent beach thoroughly. Rode the ferry through active passage – against the tide. – 17 mile tour.

Stayed at Saturna Lodge, Dinner there at 7:00

Rode the ferry-ramp without Odette. Waited for a wedding party to assemble and depart. Rode a short hill and then a pretty lane to the Inn. Steep descent into the parking lot. Discovered that we were sharing a bath. Showered in time for dinner. Great meal – beef.


June 25th – Saturday


Toured Saturna Island

Breakfast at 8:30. Hill up wasn’t as steep as it seemed. Hill out of Lyall Harbor was steep and long. Walked last part of it when Odette gave up pedaling. She screamed on the downhills. Rode from Winter Cove to East Point. Walked in the park and on the beach. Rode back to Winter Cove. Saw lots of deer. Repeated ride to East Point and walked on other side of the point. Stopped at Russell Reef on way back so Odette could use the restroom. Hills were much easier in that direction. – 34 mile tour.

Stayed at Saturna Lodge, Dinner there at 7:00.  Showered. Sat in garden. Great dinner – Lamb.


June 26th – Sunday


Ferry left Saturna Island at 10:05 AM, arrived at Mayne Island at 10:30 AM

Packed. Loaded the bike. Walked in garden. Breakfast at 8:30. Got to ferry terminal an hour early. Explored. Pestered ticket lady until she took our money. Saw seals. Rode ferry to Mayne. Rode ferry-ramp without Odette. Steep hills fully loaded to Miners Bay. Steep hills fully loaded to Georgina Point. Steep hills fully loaded to Bennett Bay. Steep hills fully loaded back to Village Bay ferry. Got map from real estate place and read it. Waited three-plus hours for the ferry. Explored terminal. Explored adjacent beach. Explored terminal again. Odette called parents. Talked to other bicycle tourists. Listened to iPod. – 15 mile tour.

Ferry left Mayne Island at 4:30 PM, arrived at Tsawwassen at 6:10 PM

Cheeseburger on the ferry. Rode bike (with Odette eventually) to economy park. Went through truck customs. Guy looked at me in my jersey and bike shorts with a tandem on the top and asked what I had been doing for four days in the Gulf Islands. Resisted the temptation to say that we had been golfing. Rain started at Bellingham. Got home at 9:30. unpacked, ate chips & ice cream, shaved and got to bed about midnight.
(here’s a link to the gallery)

Gulf Island Book List:


Enloe & Richardson – Bicycle touring the Southern and Northern Gulf Islands

Powers & Travis – Touring the Islands Bicycling in the San Juans, Gulf, and Vancouver Islands

Wilson – Exploring by Bicycle – Southwest British Columbia and Northwest Washington

Katz – The Complete Guide to Bicycling in Canada

Priest – Bicycling Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands

Rinn – The Gulf islands Guide