I find it hard to switch gears when the seasons change. It’s always easier for me to keep doing what I’ve been doing for months than to embrace a new direction. Even when it’s something I love to do. May is the start of the summer kiteboarding season on Vancouver Island. You can kite all year round, but the wind quality isn’t as good nor is it as reliable as the summer thermal winds we enjoy at Lake Nitnaht. I have friends that kite all through the winter and I try and get out a few times during this time, but the amount of driving involved and the uncertainty in getting a great session makes me less than committed to the task. Of course the fact that I typically spend a month or more in the Baja sunshine over the holidays kitesurfing also means that I am not particularly hungry for getting wet and cold when I get back home.
Fall & winter is a great time to mountain bike on Vancouver Island. The trails are emptier than usual and with lights you can ride anytime you feel like. Temperatures are cool, but comfortable and there are lots of dry days available to play in the forest. As spring comes to pass brevets are organized and ridden. At some point in May my thoughts turn back to kiteboarding. With a few months off from the sport it’s hard to stop thinking about it knowing that conditions are getting better and better at Lake Nitnaht. Yet somehow turning those thoughts into action is harder than it should be. Earlier this month we missed a great weekend at the lake while we stayed in town and mountain biked in the sunshine. It was just so much easier to keep our trail riding habit going than to dig out and organize our kite gear and car camping equipment.
As last weekend approached I knew it was important to break the vicious cycle of weekend biking and get my kite on. So we headed up to the lake for a day trip. Packing for a single day seems so much easier than for the weekend and it leaves time open to do other things. The reality is that it makes a lot more sense to spend 2 days at the lake after driving 2hrs to get there, but sometimes it’s the perceived efforts [getting organized to camp] that are more troubling than the real efforts. As we rolled out of Victoria and rumbled down the island highway then logging road to our favourite lake the sensation of getting out of a rut was pleasant and the memories of many fun kiting trips started to come back.
It doesn’t take very long once you arrive at Lake Nitnaht for a kiteboarder to get excited. Not only do you have reliable world class thermal winds to play with – the rustic campground set amongst giant old growth trees on a quiet lake far from civilization is hard to beat. In fact a week long kiteboarding trip to this lake in 2009 is the reason I’m living in Victoria now. Even better the lake is mostly empty this early in the summer season and the only folks who are up there are island locals we know. So it’s a bit of a reunion of the lake regulars.
It was a gorgeous sunny day with enough wind to kite and lots of open water to play on. Your kiteboarding skills get rusty fast so it was great to have a chill environment to clean out our cobwebs and get back on track. As expected once we had a taste of the new season’s fun we are all eager to head up there this coming weekend for a 2 day campout & kiting extravaganza! Our bikes will get relegated to weekday missions unless the weather looks poor at the lake and we stay in town or we decide to haul the Pugsleys up there for some fat tire beach riding.
Change is good…=-)