Schoen Lake campground is closed annually from November 1 to March 31, due to the potential hazard of slides from winter storms. The gate at the park boundary will be closed and locked. The campground will also be closed if rainfall exceeds 100 mm in a 24 hour period. — BC Parks
The forecast for the West Coast that day was for 100 mm and the weather was expected to move across the island as we packed up. We’d read about being prepared to leave if this kind of weather was forecast. The old timers at Schoen Lake had all left and we were the last out of the area. We drove down the highway in the rain past Sayward then headed inland to explore the Mohun Lake area.
We had kind of a good, bad and ugly experience that day. After a very ugly ride up a very rough Menzies Main—much of it at 10 km per hour—we had our choice of any lakeside site at Morton Lake campground. After setting up, we had a great hike through some old forest. Just as we got back to the camper though it became quite dark and the rain started in earnest. While the camper is bright and warm and dry, there were a lot of wet clothes and a wet Westie to deal with under a noisy flat metal roof. The intensity of the rain on the roof throughout the night turned out to be considerably less than imagined (we’d crossed some sketchy small bridges on the way in and by midnight I was certain the bridges were all washed out and that we were stranded. Or at least in for a long day of winch practice…)
We actually had a good explore that day through a series of back roads, rec sites and small lakes. We stopped again at Loveland Bay where we knew there was a bit of cell reception. After checking our options, we decided to return to civilization. A stop in the Parksville area allowed us to split up the next day’s drive to Pacific Rim National Park, to reorganize the camper, do laundry, have showers, get groceries and water, and even eat out in celebration of our survival.