When You Reach the End of the Road ... You'll Find Desolation
By Jane and Brent Cassie
Contributors to Travelink Publishing
Desolation Resort. The name justifiably evokes images of solitude, peace and tranquility, and that's what we found as we neared Lund at the end of Highway 101.
The journey to this greatest getaway is well worth the two ferry sailings interconnected by a ribbon of scenic highway that hugs the rugged coastline. En route, colourful Arbutus and thick-rooted evergreens picturesquely framed our frequent peek-a-boo ocean vistas. Along with other picnic-lovers, we were lured into one of the many roadside provincial playgrounds for a short rest stop to bask in the afternoon rays. Laid-back seaside towns also offered a temporary reprieve for a stretch and a bite to eat. For great homemade soup and sandwiches, we highly recommend our lunchtime find, Powell River's Dutch Café.
Thirty minutes past Powell River, the winding Highway 101 comes to an end and just three kilometers shy of its finale was the turn-off to our destination, Desolation Resort.
Sprawled over nine hundred pristine feet of Okeover Arm waterfront, await six craftsman-built, luxury retreats that promise a getaway of rest and relaxation. "Each chalet is unique," owner Josaphine Scheifele commented with pride, as she gave us the grand tour, "and the layout of each was planned so that optimum privacy could be provided for our guests."
Interspersed between towering evergreens, each lodging sports unique architectural features, such as turrets, A-frames and gambrel roofs, making no two alike, and yet each is rich with the same red cedar exterior and wait to pamper from their natural woodsy setting. The region's rural charm makes its way into each interior, where paneled yellow cedar walls instantly welcome with their natural scent. Spiral staircases lead to cozy loft areas, bunks and sleeping quarters snuggle into alcoves, and paneled walls extend to high angled ceilings. Indian cotton duvets drape built-in fir bed frames, polished wooden floors gleam throughout and modern tiled kitchens permit a lengthy stay of seclusion. Some chalets offer one room, some two, some have lofts and all boast spectacular views from spacious cantilevered decks.The Desolation Resort dream started in 1993, when Josaphine and her husband, Bernd, first caught sight of the property during a visit from Germany. Since then, their labour of love has transformed into a rest seeker's paradise. Plans for further development of four additional chalets will offer even more seekers a break from the 'rat race.'
Although it was tempting to curl up with a good book and enjoy our chalet's cozy interior, Josephine enticed us to explore the great outdoors by providing activity options for both on and off the property. For hiking enthusiasts, The Sunshine Coast trail is the place you'll want to head to. There is nearby access to this trek that stretches all the way from Saltry Bay to Lund. For the not so avid hikers, like us, day jaunts are also doable and require a lot less exertion! If you would like to coordinate a tour with a bit of Coast Salish culture, Ayjoomixw Tours will lead the way.
Kayaks and canoes can be rented on site for daytime paddling, and for those with longer excursions in mind, Powell River Sea Kayaking will meet your need. If in search of a dive under the ocean's surface, or a scenic flight over it, the resort can help book whatever your desire.
We found ourselves later skimming the water's surface, while enjoying a tour of the inlet and Okeover Arm. Great Blue Herons sat motionless on pilings while seals bobbed around us and bald eagles soared above, waiting for selective prey to jump to the water's surface. Oyster farms and abandoned canneries lined the shores, and mounds of white remnants from castaway shells created a stunning contrast to the blue-grey backdrop of the enveloping mountains. Salt sea air filled our senses while we later beach combed at low tide.
Later, although dining-in was definitely an option, we decided to appease our ferocious appetites at The Laughing Oyster, a close by, well talked about hit of the town. After the night's sampling, we can attest that there is definitely truth to that rumour!
Rays from the setting sun cast a palate of pinks and golds across the sky as we sauntered back to the resort following dinner. From our private deck, we gazed out at the picture perfect setting and reflected on this great getaway offering peace, tranquility, and definitely a lot more - and all at the end of Highway 101.
If You Go:
2694 Dawson Road
Okeover Inlet Powell River, BC Canada
C-36, Malaspina Rd., R.R. # 2
Powell River BC
Canada V8A 4Z3
Web site: www.desolationresort.com
Vancouver and other lower mainland travelers: B.C. Ferries accommodates travelers from Horseshoe Bay terminals to Gibsons then following an hour's scenic drive along highway #101, another ferry transports travelers from Earl's Cove to Saltry Bay.
General Information for sailing schedule is 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779)
For State-side neighbors: The Washington State Ferries will meet your needs 206-464-6400
Take Island Highway #101 - approximately 20 minutes from Powell River.
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