The sun was shining and the weather was warm. One could not have asked for a better day for the Sunshine Coast Tour. This was my 4th time on this drive, and the first time the weather has been this nice. The Sunshine Coast is such a beautiful area, and on a day like this day, it does not get any better. I left my decision until the last minute because of my past experience so I called Brian McCormack to see if there was room for me. Apparently, someone had just cancelled so I was okay to go.
As I left my decision late, of course all of the ferry reservations were taken. They only reserve about 30% of the boat so people that don’t make reservations can still can get on, first come first serve. I hit the deck early that morning and arrived at the terminal about 7:20AM. When I got to the booth, I told the clerk I wanted to get on the 9:45 and she told me I had go through and park out of the way, then walk back after 7:30 and purchase my ticket. Otherwise I was on the 7:30 sailing. There was another couple behind me from Aggasiz and they had to do the same. They must have left half way through the night to get there at the time they did. Coming back in the afternoon does not create a problem for no reservations, especially on a Saturday.
Brian knew I would be early and going direct so said I would let him know what the traffic was like. He would be at the Caufield Starbucks with the rest of the folks who were coming. When I walked back to purchase my ticket, the power to the ticket booths had gone out so they were scrambling to figure out what to do. The cars were starting to back up so things got a little exciting. BC Ferries ended up hand-writing receipts to customers as they could not process or print anything. I called Brian and told him it may be a good idea to start sending people down, right away. I got a call later and Brian was in the line-up and about 30 cars back from the booth and the line was not moving. All in all everything worked out and everyone arrived and got on board.
We all met at the information booth at the top of the hill in Langdale, where members that live on the Sunshine Coast met us. Brian Fornier, Gord and Susan Milne, and other members were quite gracious and it was nice to see them again. Brian McCormack and Brian Fornier got us all together and explained the route and where we would be having lunch. It was a little different than past tours and I was looking forward to the day.
We were arranged into two different groups and as there was almost an equal number of mainland people as Sunshine Coast people, we spaced out accordingly, so if anyone did get off track there was someone close that could get them back on the right path. We left and headed down through Gibsons and up and around and finally onto the highway. The first group was led by Gord and Susan Milne and the sweep was Kevin Pickell. I was in the second group with Brian MCormack as the sweep and Brian Foriner in the lead. It was a great run, lots of curves and corners and the traffic was decent. We were all going to meet at Mederia Park for a pit stop before lunch, but by the time we got there the place was full. Apparently, the Wooden Boat Festival was on and the place we normally would go had no parking. We carried on and headed for Ruby Lake and lunch. Susan Milne had scoped out this place and I must say, it did not disappoint. Thanks Susan. A great place to stop if anyone is up in that area, a truly Italian venue with good service and great food. A very welcoming atmosphere for the club.
A good break was had by all, and then we headed back. Again, lots of corners and nice spots to have a good spirited, safe drive. I will say this, the road certainly reacts differently when you go at it from the opposite way. Once we got back into Gibsons we met at the Starbucks in the parking lot. Some folks had booked off earlier and some were going to hang a bit and enjoy the quaintness of the area. This was the end of the tour. Thank you once again Brian, as I always enjoy your tours, very well organized and a lot of fun. Thank you to Brian Fornier, Gord and Susan Milne, and all the folks that live on the Sunshine Coast, your hospitality is greatly appreciated. Until next time, be safe and keep driving.