90th Anniversary celebrated at Port Alberni on Vancouver Island!
Standing beside one of these mammoth Hayes HDX trucks in Port Alberni during the 90th Anniversary was a bit intimidating! How can you not be impressed by the truck or the people who drive them. It’s no easy task.
These gigantic working trucks were built to carry the cut logs down from the mountains to the sawmills, which may sound easy to the uninformed but it isn’t. Can you imagine having 120 tons of logs sitting behind you as you work you way down a narrow, winding logging road overlooking a distant view hundreds of feet below you. It’s not for the squeamish.
This BC company was established by W. Anderson and Douglas Hayes in 1922 who built a large factory in Vancouver and then 2 more at a later date. With over 600 employees they were a busy and active operation but was bought out and in 1975 the Hayes plants were closed.
That doesn’t take away from the huge presence these monsters still have and still impressed me when I saw them at the Truck Show in Port Alberni, known for it’s involvement in the logging industry.
Known for it’s lumber industry as well as year round sports fishing. In 2010, Port Alberni was awarded the title of Canada’s “Ultimate Fishing Town” in a contest by the World Fishing Network, a television network devoted to fishing.
But that’s not all Port Alberni has to offer, because it’s a recreational paradise for year round adventures. Salmon fishing, hiking, mountain biking, camping, boating, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, tubing and of course some of the less strenuous activities like golf.
Steam sawmills and trains
Chugging its way through the valley is a vintage passenger train that will take you to Canada’s only working steam sawmill, the 1920-era McLean Mill National Historic Site.
How to get there
Situated on Canada’s west coast and in the middle of Vancouver Island, Port Alberni is easily accessible and has all the amenities needed by anyone who visits here. Leaving the mainland at Horseshoe Bay, west of Vancouver, you will dock at the Harbour Town of Nanaimo. There’s lots to see and do here (but we will save that for another day). Head north towards Parksville and follow the signs to Port Alberni.
After turning off the highway near Parksville you will travel through MacMillan Provincial Park and Cathedral Grove, one of the most accessible stands of gigantic Douglas fir trees on the island. Take the time to stroll through the trail and enjoy seeing some of the 800 year old fir trees.
Carol Ann Quibell is an author, freelance writer and columnist who has been RVing or camping for most of her life. After a yearlong trip throughout Canada, the USA and Mexico in the 1990’s she was hooked on travel and is determined not to stop. She loves to share information with fellow RVers and promotes travelling, camping and RVing to everyone she can.