Blog 263 Sproat Lake 27th – 29th May 2013


Current News – We have successfully negotiated Alaska USA, the Yukon and British Columbia in Canada and returned to bustling civilisation at Edmonton, Alberta Canada and a reunion with Scott whom we last met on the Trans Siberian hwy in Russia in not dissimilar countryside than we have just been through. Our plan is to spend Labour weekend in his enjoyable company before we head back to Banff NP.

We woke to rain and it didn’t let up all day, we rode through Duncan the Totem city but trying to photo the totems in the down-pour just didn’t happen.
We did get the cameras out for the Petroglyphs. These rock carvings were made by native people to record important ceremonies and events  mostly featuring mythical creatures and animals. The real carvings were so weathered it was hard to make some of them out but they had made casts of them for us to see. One of the Petroglyphs only occurred at the Petroglyph park, it was a strange mix of bird and deer.



Original Petroglyph.




This was another mythical creature a sea-wolf, part killer whale, part wolf. Here are the casts and lastly we think the original carving.

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We stopped early at Sproat lake provincial campsite and erected the tarp to have a little shelter to blog and cook underneath. Note how clean the bike looks fresh from its uncrating. The rain never let up the next day either so we remained another day and blogged and did a few general catch up jobs. We read up on the camping with bears and cougars leaflet and vowed to be a lot more aware of our food, how we stored, cooked and disposed of it.


Wet camping at Sproat lake

Writing a blog in the rain at Sproat lake

Sproat lake camp

Sproat lake camp


It turned out Sproat lake had its own Petroglyphs and as these were only accessible by walking on the floating jetty they were still in good condition. The ones here were nearly all fish.

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Sproat Lake was also home to two of the Martin Mars Water bombers called  Philippine and Hawaii Mars named after the designer Glenn L Martin and Mars the Roman god of war. Hawaii Mars is the only one of the seven built during the World War II era still in active service and was the largest flying boat ever used operationally. Its fate next year is unknown due the fact it hasn’t been needed for fire fighting for the last two years and there are more versatile aircraft in the fleet. Philippine Mars was retired in August 2012 and put in a aircraft museum in Florida. They are a remarkable aircraft which refill their 27’276 litre internal water tanks by skimming the waters surface. This 30 tonne load of water can be scooped up in 22 secs whilst the aircraft is moving and each drop can cover an area of up to 4 acres. For more detailed history on these amazing aircraft see the wiki link.

Martin (Hawaii) Mars water bomber at Sproat lake, Vancouver Island Canada

Martin (Hawaii) Mars water bomber at Sproat lake, Vancouver Island Canada


The sun finally emerged late in the eve and allowed us a chance to photo Hawaii Mars in all her glory.

Martin (Hawaii) Mars water bomber at Sproat lake, Vancouver Island Canada

Martin (Hawaii) Mars water bomber at Sproat lake, Vancouver Island Canada

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We woke to yet more rain in the morning but decided to go for it and bundled the sopping tent away and headed out for Tofino. The rain stopped and the roads finally dried out as we entered the Pacific Rim park on the outskirts of town. Tofino was a fishing/tourist town and we wandered around town taking pictures whilst the locals checked out our bike.

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This is what you call a house boat, it was off on an island where the only access was by another boat.



We left Tofino for Ucluelet at the opposite end of the peninsular passing the long strip of beach with the strange name of Incinerator rock which was a lump of rock rising from the beach with no explanation as to its name. This area was very pretty but was called “the rainy coast” and it was living up to its name. We just hoped for better weather in Ucluelet where we were planning to camp.

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Next up – Ucluelet and a return to Sproat Lake


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