RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harstine Island Getaway


Qoute of the Week: "You can make a new friend, but you can't make an old one ~ Tom Bodett

Last weekend Lori and Lee took a "mini-vacation" to join up with our friends, Jim and Carol (aka, "Skeeter Jim" and "Caribou Carol".)  Jim and Carol are retired and are great folks to hang out with.   They have a cute, early 1900's log cabin on Harstine island. The setting is very inviting and relaxing. We've done some kayaking together with them in the past, so when they invited us down to their cabin for the weekend, we couldn't resist. The weather was just warm enough to nap in wether we were on the beach or on the deck chairs by the water just down from the cabin.  

View from near the water
Jim, Carol and Lori with Olympic mountains in the back.
Marine Wildlife taking advantage of man made floating platforms.

Looksha Lori looking good in her kayak.
Skeeter Jim and Caribou Carol taking to the water like pros.
We beached a couple of times duirng our 13 mile paddle trip around Squaxin Island.

All-in-all, a very relaxing weekend. We were spoiled by beer, salmon, steak and cherry pie. Now we must head back to the gym to work off our sins.

Until next time...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Olmpic Coast Boondoogle, Another 600 Mile Motorbike Adventure

Quote of the Week: "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have spent most of life trying to save" ~Unknown

This weekend, the plan was for Lori and GrizzLee were to meet up with Lee's brother Matt. Matt was riding the coast up from California through Oregon and up to the Olympic Peninsula. We never met up due to poor communication of Matt's ever changing plans on his end. After numerous attempts and voicemails we finally caught him on the phone the second day of our travels. He was in Forks, Wa and we were in Seaside, Or (Matt made incredible time). Somehow we missed each other as he spent the night in Raymond, Wa. A beautiful town we drove through the day before. Darn!! Despite this, GrizzLee toured the Olympic Peninsula on his motorbike while Lori headed back home. Later, Lee received word that Matt and his riding partner got pulled over by the State Patrol. They apparently had a little chat with the officer... no ticket was issued. Matt had bragged earlier how he was cruising at 100 mph along the Olympic Peninsula. Given how far they went in 2 days, this speed isn't surprising. However, traveling at light speed, you miss all the niceties that make any coastal tour a real gem.

One of the few times Lori is caught by the camera. A quick stop at Willapa Bay refuge. This a future kayak expedition trip.
Lori and GrizzLee took a side trip out to Long Beach. One of few, if not the only, places left in Washington where one can drive on the beach. Lori was timid and didn't want to take the RubiKon Adventure vehicle much farther. Contemplating a trip down the beach. Hmmm... Taking the GS for a spin along the ocean beach. Not too many people get to do this with their bike. Tearing up the beach. After a quick stop at Long Beach, Lori and Grizz took a side trip from Ilwaco to check out the Lewis and Clark interpretive center and the local state park.
Another rare glimpse of Lori on camera.
Lee posing for Lori :-)

Cape Disappointment state park was incredible. Pictures don't lie.

Northhead light house was spectacular.

This is the light keeper's grounds and facilities. Nice!
Cape Disappointment Light House
We were so caught up exploring and looking at the light houses and the orange clouds that we, unfortunately, missed getting photos of one of the best sunsets we've experienced this summer.

Until Next time...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

B.C. Bike Adventure: 1400+ Miles in 4 Days!

Quote of the Week: "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. " ~ Helen Keller ~

Over the past holiday weekend I rode nearly 1500 miles on my GS 1200 Adventure in 4 days. I had originally planned for 5 days, however, due to bad weather, I cut my trip short.

I left Sammamish Friday morning and found myself north of Kamloops that day (Near Clearwater B.C.) It was hot. I camped along the Thompson River at a Provincial Campground. The following day I rode up the Yellow head highway in the Robson Valley though Blue River, Valemount and up to Prince George (very beautiful). That evening I ended up in Quesnel (Mainly because of the rain.. I really wanted to camp out again). During the day I passed through a couple of hail storms and several rain showers. My ultimate goal was to end up at Bowron Lakes and either camp on our property along the river or rent a cabin from the lodge up there. The salmon were running, and the grizzlies would have been fishing of the banks of our property. But... it wasn't to be

About 10 miles outside of Quesnel, I nearly hit a bear. It was pouring rain and this little black bear (brown actually) entered the road and I nearly panicked as the bear sat on his (her?) haunches directly in my path of travel. I immediately began braking hard, not knowing which way the bear was going to go. In a split second, I hit my horn and startled the bear who moved to the right of my path of travel. It was a close call.

I ended up spending the night in Quesnel and it was raining hard. The forecast was not looking good for the next 3 days, I passed on going to Bowron Lakes. (I would have had to ride 30 miles on a very slippery gravel road covered in calcium chloride). Something I wasn't ready for given how hard it was raining.

Instead I road to Williams lake where the rain let up a bit. I admit that my spirits were in the dump as I had been seemingly "Cheated" out of my original destination and ultimately, my plans of spending a relaxing day at Bowron Lakes. So, to lift my mood, I took highway 20 over towards Bella Coola. I ended up in Vanceville at a corner store called "Lee's" Corner. A very pleasant ride and gorgeously lonely country. From there I returned to Williams Lake and spent the night in a motel. The next morning, the weather was exactly the same as the previous day, lots of rain all the way down to Cache Creek. After a couple of stops along the Thompson river, I road straight home through Hope and back to Sammamish (A total of 500 miles that day in rain). Whew!! I was wet.

I must say, however, the Olympia riding gear was great. I was relatively comfortable, albeit, a bit chilled when the temperatures dropped to 40 degrees. The heated grips were a godsend.

I did drop my bike along hwy 20 (a static fall of sorts). I had my camera out of my tank bag taking photos, and I turned my bike a bit to get a better angle and my right leg gave out from under me on the gravel and I went down in slow motion. No damage other than a very unnoticeable divot in my side pannier and a bruised ego.

After a quick bite and a visit to the Hope city visitors center (check on fires and road condition, I headed up Canada highway 5 towards Merrit and Kamloops. This the northern edge of the Cascade mountain range. The highway was steep and had the look and feel of the rocky mountains.
Knowing the way was littered with bugs, I installed an oil guard and a lexan headlight protector in preparation of the trip. They worked well and don't look too out of place either.
Later that day... a quick snooze at Walloper Lake. Something bit my lower legs (I took my socks off), either that or the grasses were the cause of some chronic itching during the trip.
After Kamloops, dinner along the Thompson River.
Heading north, I arrived in Well's Gray "Country". Beautiful. Wells Gray is a wilderness park directly south of Bowron Lakes, which are located further north. Great roads for motorbiking.
Pulled into camp just before Clearwater, B.C. It began to rain after midnight.
The next day it rained and hailed pretty hard while on the road. Arriving in Blue River, B.C., the sun came out. Glaciers could be seen in the mountains lining the eastern edge of the valley. It was reminiscent of the Cassiar hwy found farther north.
A passing local took these pictures of me as I was drying out under the eaves of the Helicopter Skiing sign.
A nice break for coffee and brunch. The people were great and offered to hang my gear up towards the back near the cook area to dry them out.
Soon after I departed, I had to stop and admire the mountain views.
I think Ansel Adams would be proud of this photo.

Later, I arrived in Valemount. I took a tour around the town to stretch my legs.
Looking west towards Wells Gray. I can't help but wonder what lies beyond. There are very little trails within the park. Most travel is very primitive, canoeing by lakes and rivers.
I arrived in Tete Juane Cache. This is the crossroads and a pass that leads to Jasper. Along the way, one will pass Mt Robson, the largest mountain in the Northern Canadian Rockies (over 13,000 feet). 3 years ago, Yukon Johann and I spent the night at this junction along the Frasier river. It was great to be back.
Looking west towards Wells Gray... Spectacular.
I arrived in McBride later that day. McBride is nearly due east of our property at Bowron Lakes Park. It is a beautiful place and again, the days ride, reminds me more and more of the Cassiar Highway. At one point I rode for over 40 minutes before another car came by. The yellow head Highway is a pretty lonely place.
Rain and mist were always a threat during the entire day.

Later on, I road through some very nasty storms as I headed up to Prince George. I experienced a series of squalls and hail storms. Not place to stop over and get out of the weather. Very nasty. I was very happy to arrive at Purden lake Provincial Park.
For a brief period, I thought I might spend the night at Purden Lake. I wanted to check it out for a future Kayak/camping trip. My thoughts of camping quickly came to an end when it began pouring rain again. So off I headed to Prince George for a motel.
Just a few miles form Purden lake I crossed the Bowron River. Of course, I had to stop for a picture as our property at Borown Lakes was situated along the banks of this very river. It was raining, so I didn't stay long here.
This is on the outskirts of Williams Lake along Highway 20.

The Frasier River was very beautiful.

Highway 20 became a motorcyclists dream. Lonely mountain roads with curves. Ya betcha!!

I brought my tripod to take vanity photos of myself.

Near Vanceville B.C. The country got arid and extremely open. Lots of open grazing cattle.

The Chilkoton river flows through this valley.

Looking towards the coastal mtns. My thoughts and dreams began to formulate another adventure trip.
"Lee's" Corner just off of Hwy 20. All just for me. It just keeps getting better.

I came across this Loran transmitting tower. Loran was decomissioned a couple of weeks ago in the United States. I wonder how much life it has left in Canada. Loran navigation ahs been surpassed by GPS.

CAUTION: High RF Fields. Persons with Pace Makers Prohibited beyond this point!

The bridge over the Frasier river.

The Thompson River just south of Cache creek on the ride home. A big relief from the rain.

If I was into model railroads, I would use this canyon as my guide. It looked something like out of a storybook.

The engineer gave me a whistle as I waved the train on.

Looking like a snake as it winds it way towards Lytton.

To conclude my lunch stop, along came some rafters.

Looks like fun.

The rest of the ride back through Hell's Gate and then trough Hope and Chilliwack was very WET!

The holiday traffic going back towards Vancouver B.C. was a bit unnerving in the rain as it was stop and go traffic for about 30 miles. I was very happy to pull off at Abbotsford to cross the border into the USA. Fortunately, the border crossing lines were short. I stopped to dry out a bit a gas station. I arrived at our fornt door about 8:00 p.m. on Monday Evening. My arse was sore.
Untill next time....