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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend we drove the E over the newly finished road from Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Beautiful scenery there and a recommended drive for anyone in the area now that the road is "sorta" paved the whole way (used to be pot-holes and gravel). A few scenic non-E snapshots too.
 

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Did you stop at the big spruce? It that the path in the 3rd shot?

We drove it two years ago in the fall, right after they paved the north third with material stripped off the Duncan to Cowichan road. The middle third was freshly graded gravel, and the south, chip seal - plus the old pot holes close to Port Renfrew.

That time we camped at Lizard Lake. On an earlier trip I camped at Fariry Lake.

On that trip 2 years ago, I'd driven most of the way from Comox on backroads, past Comox Lake, out to Bamfield and Carmanah. So the good condition of this stretch was a pleasant surprise.

Picasa album from this area: http://picasaweb.google.com/pauljatEOC/VancouverIsland#

Coastal weather was clear, though a bit cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the picasa link. Photo #50 is at Mt. Maxwell on Salt Spring Island, right? You can see our farm from up there. I snapped almost the same photo as you at Botanical Beach too! That's where the path in the woods photo was taken. The last photo with all the ferns is the E at the big spruce parking lot. We didn't make it to Bamfield and Carmanah this trip, but looks like we'll have to real soon.
 

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so i guess with the new road i can do a loop now from Sooke to Port Renfew and then back to Lake Cowichan to Duncan?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
so i guess with the new road i can do a loop now from Sooke to Port Renfew and then back to Lake Cowichan to Duncan?
Yup, that's right. It's not exactly highway quality and there are still some short single lane bridges w. alternating traffic but it's pretty good compared to how I've heard it used to be (especially in the winter). At least some good came out of that terrible attempt to resurface Hwy#18 to L. Cowichan.
 

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Yes, on that trip we spent several days on Saltspring, camping at the 'farm-park', exploring the island, hiking a number of the trails, both in the prov. park and elsewhere. And we did drive up Mt Maxwell, as well as to the bay on west side of the island below it.

I didn't think the road from Gordon Bay to Port Renfrew was all that tough even 10 years ago. Making the full loop of Lake Cowichan was harder on the car's springs. 10 years ago I was driving an S10 pickup. In many ways the Element is nicer on these backroads, though nothing really takes the hurt out of stretches on continuous potholes.
 
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