Flying & Airport Camping in the Interior of BC–Day 5

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Spectacular mountains–orange-tinged from the firesmoke-saturated air

Once again, we woke at 5am in Kelowna and scurried to our plane, to beat an influx of forecast dense smoke.  We decided to wave the white flag and give up on flying the interior of BC this summer, as we were feeling rather ragged by avoiding smoke and forest fires. img_4813 Instead, we flew to Gillies Bay, Texada Island (CYGB) on the west coast, elevation 326, ATF 122.7, rwys 14 & 32 (slightly uphill), Avgas available.

 

 

 

An isolated little airstrip that welcomes camping pilots, the Texada airport is a quiet haven where the cries of hawks and rat-a-tap-tap of woodpeckers echoes from the surrounding forest.

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Donated bicycles available to visiting pilots (but beware! the bikes are in a condition that makes walking preferable!)

Be forewarned that occasionally there are deer on the runway.  Overnight camping is by donation.  There is a flush toilet, and potable running water available—yay!!img_5065

 

Upon landing, we headed down to the ocean along a delightful winding old logging road that descends from the airport to the island’s western coastline.

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The old logging road from the airport, down to the beach.  To get here on foot, exit the airport onto the only road, turn left, follow the road for a few minutes, and there is a yellow iron “no vehicles” bar on your left (right across from a LaFarge company sign on the right hand of the road).  This is the logging trail to the beach!

Absolutely quiet save for the sound of waves on the shore and the occasional cry of a loon, it’s a spectacular spot overlooking the Strait of Georgia.georgiastraitview1Texada Island is the largest of the Gulf Islands on the sunshine Coast of BC and offers a plethora of hiking trails and beaches.  After the challenges of flying the smoky interior of BC, it was balm on the nerves to unwind in such a serene setting.

 

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Daisy field en-route to the shingle beach at foot of airport (when it is low tide, there are wonderful sand bars and warm tidal pools).

The Ravenous Raven Lodge & Restaurant (604 486-0471) will assist you in airport-pick up & return to pilots wishing to dine or sleep at their picturesque facilities, as does, I believe, the Texada Island Inn pub (604 486 7711).   makingdinnerBecause we had our four-legged companion, we opted to cook dinner  on our campstove before curling up for the evening in our tent, delighted that, at last, we were camping– without concerns for smoke grounding our next days’ plan.

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Zeus, snuggled in the tent with his Eeyore blanket, which I take full blame for (David has nothing to do with Eeyore blankets for dogs.)

 And then, of course, it poured rain all night!  With a thunderstorm!

Related posts:

Flying & Airport Camping in the Interior of BC–Day 4

Flying & Airport Camping in the Interior of BC–Day 3

Flying & Airport Camping in the interior of BC—Day 2

Flying & Airport Camping in the interior of BC–Day 1

Flying & airport camping in the interior of BC, Canada–9 day itinerary

 

 

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