Sunshine Coast, Riding & Our Wedding Journey!
May 5-7 2012
Once again there are twists and turns in the life of Cheryl & Leslie. After 15 years as many who read this blog Cheryl proposed to Leslie and we are going to get hitched next summer 2013. Yep, in Canada we too can join the sector of marriage and it’s legal. I know this is a hot topic for many but at this point in our lives and careers we really have little patience for those who struggle with any two people who love each other and want to show their commitment in whatever fashion they choose.
This is not a BLOG about politics or to promote controversy....it’s simply a BLOG about anything we think might be considered an adventure. Moving ahead and looking towards the future, getting married seems to fit the bill. Over the weekend of May 5-7, 2012 we ventured out on our Beemers in search of the perfect west coast wedding venue and we think we found it in more ways than one. So, this weekends ride was a success and the biggest PLUS was that we got to sneak away from our hectic jobs to enjoy a ride in our own beautiful Province of BC along the sunshine coast up to Egmont, BC through Gibsons and Sechelt.
As usual, because it would not be a ride with us if rain was not included, we headed out into showers but the end result was sunshine which always makes riding in rain not a bad thing if we get to the sun. We did eventually and really made for a spectacular ride. Neither one of us have been up the sunshine coast before. We have been almost all over this Province except for this area for some reason.
Sunshine Coast is not that far from where we live. You have to take a 40 min ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and the lodge we ended up picking for our wedding, Westcoast Wilderness Lodge is only about 75 KM from the ferry. In total only 3 hours or so from our house yet you feel like you are a million miles away. ;-)
Love taking pics of Cheryl on her bike with my one handed on the fly shots. Here she is as we head out of town.
Even with sunglasses on I can tell Cheryl is saying let’s get going with her eyes. A look I often get when we are riding anywhere.
Heading over the Second Narrows Bridge into North Vancouver is always a treat. As you can see the clouds were thick and like every good rainforest we got rained on before we were able to see the sun.
Straight ahead although you can’t see it is Grouse Mountain. Skiing/snowboarding events etc were held there during the Olympics in 2010. Our local mountains still have a lot of snow and like any beautiful coastal area the snow usually stays in the mountains while we in the lower mainland as we call it get rain.
While waiting for the ferry to head over we ran into a very nice couple who live in Halfmoon Bay on the coast. I can not remember their names but we met them at a travel presentation at our dealer, Pacific Motorsports last year before we left for Alaska and they came over to say HELLO to us as they recognized us from the BLOG. Great people riding 2 up on a very nice BMW 1200! No pic of them…and I even had my camera out to take one. Sorry guys!
Short ride only 40 mins. Barely long enough to get some coffee but this ferry takes you to what feels like another world from the rat race of Vancouver.
BC Ferries are fancy inside with all the amenities one would need.
The scenery changes a lot over here
Like any good biker we had to stop and eat breakfast. What would a trip be without food and of course the stereotypical food pics? Sechelt, BC was our first stop after we got over to the coast. Nice little town right on the water.
The obligatory shot of our bikes of course!
The beach at Sechelt. Since I came from New York, Leslie that is….when I first saw what the west coast folks would call a beach I was surprised. I asked myself where is the white fluffy sand? It’s all good, a beach is a beach no matter if it’s rocks, dirt or just dark sand.
On our way to Ruby Lake Resort we thought we made the wrong turn. This area with tent site and a bird sanctuary is part of the resort. Hippie like and kinda cool but this was not where we were staying the night on Saturday. But we said hello to the birds!
Turkeys seemed to be flirting with us ;-)
What is this bird? Looks too tropical to be on the sunshine coast
Even the peacock seemed happy to show off for us
Nice ass Mr. Peacock!
After we got to Ruby Lake Cheryl had to recheck that we were indeed where we were supposed to be. We were expecting a resort with cottages. I spoke to owner Peter and he said cottages with lagoon view. More like a motel but hey, relaxing, clean and beautiful all the same. Thanks Peter.
Resident Geese greeted us
Nice boardwalk to the Fantastic Italian restaurant owned by Aldo! Aldo is from Italy and takes a lot of pride in his food. Fresh, homemade and delicious. Best Tiramisu we have ever had too! His restaurant is in the back ground.
Cheryl looking sweet in her new KLIM Latitude suit. Maybe that is why I am marrying her? ;-)
There you go better view and seriously an oasis in the middle of no where on the 101.
Wild flowers all over the property kept my attention.
Playing with my Panasonic GF3 zoom lens. I have not been able to fit my 3 hour photography class in because of my on call schedule so I am teaching myself.
More wild flowers and playing with my zoom lens and settings
So cool wild Orchids
This was a biking trip after all so there must be shots of our Beemers!
We have relabeled our bike as F798GSa. We are tired of explaining to folks they are NOT 650cc but the 800cc Twin. So, here is our decal to stop the questioning. BMW makes you scratch your head at times.
Our room #5
Cell phone coverage here and Wifi as well as SAT TV
Just some random cool shots….just because I like them
LOVE this picture….don’t know why
Aldo’s food haven
It is so lush there because of the amount of rain they get. Beautiful once you get used to rain and living in it
This is actually Ruby Lake
Sun set over the lake as we were eating dinner
I kept getting up from dinner to take pictures of the sunset
Cheryl loving having a camera lens in her face…
She might kill me for including this picture. Let’s see if she reads this post! :-)
We saw the Super Moon but m camera did not want to take its picture for some reason. Or was it the camera operator? I am aving hardest time getting settings right for a picture like this is KILLS me.
Our only together shot on this entire trip.
More west coast harbor pics. This is right at the turn off as we head towards the Westcoast Wilderness Lodge
Helmet cam on and all…that is me, Leslie showing you all we had SUN!
There Cheryl is again…strutting her stuff in her KLIM ;-) Funny how we grrls think this gear is the bomb and other grrls seem to love there new high heels. LOL
Local native art
Before heading up the Westcoast Wilderness Lodge we stopped at the Back Eddy to check out the possible over flow area for our weeding. Also, there was a wedding at the Wilderness lodge on Saturday and we needed to wait until 1200 to meet with Chelsea the events coordinator. We had some time to kill, ate breakfast…THANKS to the owner Peter, got a tour of the grounds, Thanks again Peter and then headed up the hill where the lodge was.
The Back Eddy has a great little pub, good food and as far as being an over flow, this place has its pluses. Nice cabins, they are adding more premium one’s as well, great grassy area to hang out as well as bonfire area. Nice to know this is just a short hike down the hill.
Peter the owner was more than gracious to show us around and really neat kinda guy!
Plenty of room to hook up your boat if you had one too!
There is even a little campground for wedding guests if this is what they choose to use as their accommodations!
After wondering around the grounds we went into the pub and had breakfast. No drinks for us as we at least had to ride up the hill to the lodge. Weather was beautiful which I am sure played a huge role in our first impressions of this entire area. Egmont is a hidden treasure. Well, not so hidden but you sure feel you are in another world up there.
When we rode up to the Westcoast Wilderness Lodge the front of the building looked so benign. Very modest from the driveway view. Man were we in for a surprise. Here have a look!
What you see when you walk in!
We were greeted by Chelsea the events host and Patty one of the owners. Again nice laid back folks who just have a passion for vision and their lodge. Patty and Paul Hansen bought the property 15 years ago. I think Patty said about 7 acres. There were no services or buildings for that matter.
From their web site:
Our History at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge
The village of Egmont on the Sunshine Coast was settled in the late 1890s by a few families of First Nations and Portuguese ancestry. Accessible only by boat, the community was built around the fishing and hand-logging industries. As logging underwent a period of major growth between 1920 and 1950, the road into Egmont was finally built in the early 1960s.
In March 1997, Paul and Patti Hansen bought seven acres of land from a German development company and established West Coast Wilderness Lodge.
Egmont was chosen for its close proximity to Vancouver and its pristine wilderness setting; its spectacular scenery includes sites such as Chatterbox Falls, Freil Falls and the Skookumchuck Rapids, as well as several beautiful lakes.
The Hansens’ strong background in outdoor recreation and wilderness education led them to design the Lodge as a wilderness retreat which offered schoolchildren and corporate groups the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the beautiful B.C. outdoors.
As Paul likes to say, “Eco-tourism is what we did 20 years ago — we just called it camping. These days all we do is serve better food.”
A 7,000 square foot main lodge was built with a dining room, kitchen, offices and lounge, as well as five mini-lodges with accommodation for up to eighty guests. West Coast Wilderness Lodge attracted students from many local and international schools, as well as business groups seeking a wilderness corporate retreat.
As Paul and Patti began considering their goals and plans for the Lodge’s future, they identified that the Lodge was well-positioned for the international eco-tourism market. Boutique remote resorts have become a highly sought-after destination by overseas tourists. The Lodge’s close proximity to the Lower Mainland meant it was perfect for corporate retreats, weddings and weekend getaways.
In 2003 the property was re-zoned, existing facilities were remodelled and additional services were added. These include an improved restaurant, front desk, a concierge, and an Adventure Centre that caters to in-house guests and other visitors to the area.
This allowed the Lodge to open up to both international and domestic travellers. As the rooms were enlarged and upgraded into luxury accommodations, occupancy was lowered from 80 to approximately 40 guests.
In 2006 and 2007, the accommodations were remodelled once again with larger bathrooms and the addition of a private balcony for each room. Due to these upgrades, our resort ended 2008 with over 160 international tour providers as partners.
Our fine dining room was recently called “the best water front restaurant dining room in this part of the world” by Pacific Yachting Magazine.
As our business depends on Egmont maintaining its environmental beauty and integrity, West Coast Wilderness Lodge is deeply committed to minimizing our impact on the local wilderness and wildlife of the Sunshine Coast.
For example, landscaping is primarily done with indigenous species of trees, shrubs, and plants, with special emphasis on foreshore flora and fauna. The resort will remain a west coast wilderness area that blends in with the natural rock features that flow throughout the property.
Eco-tourism adventures are our niche and we try to help the Sunshine Coast’s economy grow in a sustainable fashion. We have been operating in Egmont for the past ten years; our resort’s impact on the community has been very positive so far and it will continue to be.
OK…for all you folks who live too far to get somewhere like this…start drooling! ;-) I am going to just post many pics for your viewing pleasure!
We got to watch the tide come. The rock around marker at high tide disappears
Our Suite for the night and a suite that one lucky guest will be able to stay in at our wedding!
After checking out our room we went out for more exploring. Paul has been building Lodge 6. A brand 6 room lodge that he is doing himself with friends. He started in January 2012 and will be completed in a few months. These rooms will have complete unobstructed waterfront views. The bride and bride suite is to come. I took pictures of the room being built!
Oh, we should have brought shorts and sandels!
After a nice walk down to the water we hiked back up the “cliff” and went for dinner. The lodge just opened for the season the weekend we were up there and we got to taste and experience delightful cuisine.
So, that was that…one night in heaven, deposit is down, date August 14th 2013…guest list????? Not sure yet, but in any case whomever hares this special day with us will be those who will celebrate commitment, love, friendship with no judgements. Cheryl and I always hear so many that have opinions about gay people. In this day and age as I have stated before and I speak for Cheryl as well…who gives a crap who loves who…there are way more important things to think about. I hope many of you will follow this journey of ours because as I always do…the BLOG will be my journal.
We said good bye to the Westcoast Wilderness Lodge for now, we will try to get back this summer for a visit. We have planning to do over the year. So, we headed out towards reality and once again the sun was out and the ride to Langdale to take the ferry back to the lower mainland was awesome. Of course we had to make some pit stops along the way.
Hey anyone know what TV show this famous landmark is from? We had breakfast here!
Heading back to the rat race but always good to know where we can always escape too
So, that was that. I really enjoyed this post. I hope you do too. So many changes going on over here. Good things. New jobs, new life…I truly hope our future as well as everyone who reads this blog is bright and stay tuned for the next chapter of Cheryl & Leslie’s Wedding Adventure! ;-) Thanks for joining us!