Saturday, October 08, 2011

Okay Lake/Sundew Tour

(Click Image to Enlarge)  Today's Route:  Points 1 thru 10
We had a really good ride today.  Paul and I met at Starbucks shortly after 8:00am and set out for Boomerang Lake via Weigles Road.  We fished for an hour or so, perhaps longer, and then decided to pack it in and go on a search for the nearby Okay Lake to continue our fishing.

Paul looking unusually happy

Willing the cast to go further by cleverly extending the left fingers in what Paul likes to call the "Gandalf Cast."  (He was actually wearing his Gryffindor hat today).

An osprey watches our fishing at Boomerang Lake

Okay Lake from the end of the trail

Loads of parking space... even a turn-around loop for trucks!

We found the lake quickly, only to discover that it's practically impossible to fish Okay Lake from the shore.  A fisherman who had also left Boomerang informed us that the rear of Okay lake is also covered in marsh land and is equally poor for shore fishing.  So we just went for a ride instead!

We retraced our steps until we reached an intersection we had passed on our way to Okay Lake and turned right onto what looked like a trail that would go around the lake.  I really enjoyed this section of our ride; the narrow trail wound up towards Okay Mountain, turned north and took us 13.5 Km. until it met up with Branch 142, a major branch of the 155 main that meets the Island Highway.

Heading up towards Okay Mountain:  A slightly upward section with a great road surface.
Continuing along the side of Okay Mountain

An elevation profile of the salmon coloured line starting from the large red arrow.  (The matching elevation chart below the map flows from left to right).

We decided to turn right and follow the road that leads to Sundew Gate, (at Sundew Place).  We followed Branch 142 back to "Intersection B" then through "Intersection A," and on past Round Lake to Triumph Lake.  As we continued we passed a few "controlled" slash burns on the way, and stopped to warm up at one because I'm too cheap to buy a warming vest.  (It was worth the stop even if just to hear Paul's riveting story of how a Boomerang Lake slug nearly took off with his bag of nuts.  It's stories like these that amount to folklore in his family).

Slash Burning

Further along... A bigger burn

Plenty of heat coming off these... and...

...plenty of O2 Emissions!!!
We continued along the Sundew Road and turned left to revisit the bivouac I had seen earlier in the week, only taking the time to continue on this spur road until it reached a dead-end.  (My riding glasses STILL mark the spot).

Bivouac Re-lived
The start of a pretty steep climb up to the dead-end
It's an outstanding view from up here.  That's Nanoose.
The ride back down
An approximate look at the trail past the bivouac.  (Strange glitch in my elevation chart:  We didn't actually fall 25m instantly like that).  :)   The 47.6% max. slope shown on this chart is approximately 25°.

We returned down the hill and turned left to continue once again to Sundew Gate.  Interestingly, Paul informed me that the gate had been replaced by a new gate in a slightly different location.  This answered my question about a more difficult to traverse "get-around" than Paul had photographed earlier.  The way through this new gate is indeed harder, although we made it through with little difficulty... soft sand and all.

The new gate work-around.  You follow that trench of soft sand on the left side of the photo.
The other side of the trench.  That sand is pretty soft and deep.

We ended the tour with a highway ride back to Starbucks north where we continued to stress our kidneys with yet another vat of coffee.  Terrific ride!


  1. I love your blog entries they are great resources for anyone using the logging roads and trails behind Mt Benson. I am thinking of visiting Okay Lake and Okay Mountain, the road to the lake looks decent. Can you comment on the state of the road up the mountain? Is it all choked with alders or are some sections clear enough for an SUV to pass through? Thanks Andy!


    1. Hi Chris! Thanks for your comment. We tried a ride at the beginning of the riding season to reach the top of Okay. I didn't blog it unfortunately. It's a fun ride, but we didn't make it to the top. We didn't meet up with those nasty alders that love to choke up the seldom used trails, but the boulders and steep slope stopped us eventually and we had to turn around. A quad or a high end dirt bike would get you up there with little difficulty, but it doesn't suit the dual-sports we were riding. SUV? Maybe... I don't really have much of a handle on what SUVs can do on those trails, but I'm guessing that it's doable. I'd be interested to know if you made it should you try. Here's the trail up the mountain. Sorry I don't have a track of that one to pass along to you. ( Cheers, Andy

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Hi Andy, we ended up driving out towards okay mountain last weekend, we made it a short way up before we were turned back by encroaching trees. I did not desire any more westcoast pinstriping on our Escape then i have already accumulated so we stopped. My buddy was on a dual sport bike and he scouted it ahead and said it got a little too gnarly for him as he is new to the bike. We then made it to Okay lake without any diffuclty as the roads are fairly new and easy to manage. Thanks for the information! Cheers. Chris


Please Leave a Comment: