RubiKon Adventures

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

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....

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