OpenRoad Driver Volume 15 Issue 1 - Page 84

84 » OpenRoad Driver Gibsons. Sechelt. These are the well- known, populated hubs of the Sunshine Coast. Egmont, with a small post office, a general store and a small handful of year-round residents - who call themselves Egmonsters! - might not be on the tourist radar whatsoever with the exception of its two star attractions. Princess Louisa Inlet is one of them, known for her calm serenity. The other star is the Skookumchuck Rapids, a four-kilometre hike through the rainforest that leads to a lookout above some of the fastest tidal currents in the world. In an ebb tide the water churns and roils furiously, creating a frenzy of rushing whitewater. In a flood tide the presence of a single, continuous wave attracts hardcore wave kayakers who come to test their skills as 200 billion gallons of water flow each day through the narrows connecting Sechelt and Jervis inlets. The currents have claimed several lives over the years, and most visitors who venture out for the view come by speedboat, or hike through the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park. Along the way they can sample baked goods from one of BCs more remote bakeries. The Skookumchuck Bakery & Cafe, 300 metres from the road, is nestled deep enough into the rainforest that its very existence seems implausible. But its cinnamon buns are reputedly the best on the coast, and on weekends its baked goods fortify the steady stream of visitors who come to play the word Skookumchuck on their tongues and see one of nature’s great shows. The next day we were on the water again, this time on jet skis with Luke Hansen, whose family owns the West Coast Wilderness Lodge. We zoomed a few kilometres out to Hotham Sound in the Harmony Islands, where the water temperature is a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius and the Freil Lake waterfall cascades into a four-foot pool. “We often come out here for the day,” Hansen reflected. “We stop for lunch on one of the islands, shuck oysters straight from the rocks, and take a dip beneath the waterfall.” It’s spring and there’s still a chill in the air, but as the warm water rushes over my feet, I wish I had a swimsuit and towel at the ready. Later we feast on steak and linguine patio side at Inlets. The resort’s fine dining restaurant, it is perched on a craggy bluff overlooking sundrenched islands and mountains densely packed with trees. Herons fish from the docks and even though they don’t make an appearance for us, schools of Pacific white-sided dolphins often splash through the channel. With the exception of a few homes scattered across the way on islands and the inlet