RubiKon Adventures

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 6 - BMW R1200 GSA Solo Adventure: B.C. Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola

"When in doubt, use full throttle. It may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspense" - Anonymous

This is my story... my solo adventure motorcycle ride through remote lands where I camped every night except one. I had no real itinerary and a vague plan of the route of where I wanted to go.

Days 6  (Sept 5, 2012)
Note: Click pictures to enlarge

I left Lac La Hache Provincial park with sadness on this day. I knew that by the end of the day, I would be home, all wrapped up in the blankets of my bed and thinking about work the next day. It was going to be a long ride home. I wasn't really sure if I had time for one more side detour. I've ridden Hwy 97 before back to Seattle and it can be a chore in two lane traffic.

I had a quick breakfast, and off I went. Before long, I found myself passing an RCMP officer in a town called 100 Mile House. I quickly slowed and the RCMP sped up beside me and paralled me through the town. I thought I was in trouble for speeding, although, I wasn't going that fast. I looked over and he gave me the thumbs up. He was looking at my ride. I felt lucky. I gave him a friendly wave back and he turned off and made a u-turn back into town.

Shortly thereafter I came upon Begbie summit, the highest point on the Caribou Hwy (Hwy 97). The summit was named after a judge known as "The Hanging Judge". Shortly there after, I was nearly in the town of Clinton.
I ran into this guy out side of Clinton. He (she?) was scouring tthe roadside for a meal. He didn't seem to mind my presence. I stopped and took some video of him.
He looked at me several times as if I was going to feed him. This was a bad sign. Obviously he has been fed. I departed and wished the guy luck.
He gave me a nodding approval, as if he understood my concern, but seem to tell me not to worry.

In Clinton, I made a decision to ride some more dirt. I figured I could retrace my steps form a couple days before and head over to Pavillion via the Clinton-Pavillion shortcut. From there I would head out to Lytton and re-join Hwy 97 (Hwy 1?) south of Spences Bridge. I haver never been down that hwy (Hwy 99), so it would be something new for me.
The above photo and the one above it were taken on the steep grade going up to the high plateau above the Fraser Canyon. It was an 18 % grade or maybe more.
I was riding the road in reverse and in the morning hours this time. Previously, I was riding it north and in the late evening hours heading toward Kelly Lake.
I was approaching the Fraser Canyon.

In the distance, I could see the cold air coming off a glacier kissing the warm morning air. It looked like a volcano eruption.
I began my descent down the canyon escarpment.
From here I could get peek a boo views into Fountain Valley.

I believe this is Hwy 12 as it approaches Fountain Valley.

The river carved canyon was quite a sight.
If I had to ride paved roads home, this one isn't a bad choice.

Looking toward Fountain Valley. It was a very, very cool area to ride.

This was my view looking north from my roadside vantage.

Cool waterfall just before I arrive at Lillooet.

My web research tells me tha this is Dickey Creek Falls
Located just north of Lillooet, this waterfall is also known as Honeyman Falls in winter and is an awesome ice climb.

Shortly outside of Lillooet, I come across some of the most interesting stretch of paved hwy I've ever seen.
That narrow track of road behind my bike is known as the "Big Slide". This is because the geology in question is unforgiving and the engineering problem it poses - The mountainside crosses "rotten rock" from the top of the ridge right down to the river. Not much has changed on the road since it was first built. The road has to be repaved every so often because of all the falling-rock damage. I was unble to get pictures of the road as there was no stopping allowed in the "slide area". There were sizable rocks in the road. It is not an area where one would race their bike through quickly without consideration of safety.
A few miles down the road I ran into these guys grazing on the side of the road.
Goats? Nope, these were sheep. They surrounded my bike like a flock of protective hens. They were very inquisitive.
After awhile, it was time for me to get moving, so a quick beep of my horn and they trotted away.

I thought this was quite funny as they "mooned" me in my rear view mirror as I drove away. Cute buggers.
Not to much farther and I found some more traversing the roadside cliffs.

One last picture and I am off to Hwy 1 to Hope.
This was the last picture of my trip. I quickly rode through country that was all too familiar to me along the Fraser canyon to Yale and finally to Hope where I turned my bike west. I wanted to make time and avoid the evening traffic outside of Hope and across the US-Canadian Border in Abottsford. I wanted to get home before dark. I took Washington state route 9 back to my house in Sammamish. I arrived home about 8:00 in the evening.
WOW, what a ride! This was without a doubt, the best motorcycle ride I've ever taken. I've said it once before, but British Columbia is AWESOME. I can't wait to return. Wether riding the remote back roads, hiking in the high country or paddling her beautiful lakes. B.C. is, without question, one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Thanks for riding with me. It was fun to re-cap the trip in this ride report. I hope you folks enjoyed it.

I posted my route here on Google maps for any one who is interested:


Check out Day 5:
Day 5 - BMW R1200 GSA Solo Adventure: B.C. Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 5 - BMW R1200 GSA Solo Adventure: B.C. Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola

"Driving a car is like watching a film
Riding a motorcycle is like being in the film
 On Motorcycling, "if you need to ask why, you wouldn't understand."~Unknown

This is my story... my solo adventure motorcycle ride through remote lands where I camped every night except one. I had no real itinerary and a vague plan of the route of where I wanted to go.

Days 5  (Sept 4, 2012)
Note: Click pictures to enlarge

How do you top a ride like I am having.

You ride it in reverse

Not really, but I did a 180 degree turn around and partially retrace ground I did the previous days. This time, the weather was different, the conditions were different, the mood was different.
After a refreshing breakfast at the Bella Coola Inn I hit the road and this was the first eye catching view of the day. I know, I should have taken picture of my breakfast... every ride report must have a mandatory meal picture. Me bad. It was good though, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and a coffee... everything a growing boy needs to start an adventurous day.
To give some perspective, here is the big lady.

A stop at Kettle Pond and take a couple of pictures there as well.
By now, I have a pretty good idea that I know what you are thinking. You are thinking "It looks like he just left home. The bike is way too clean. This ain't no adventure ride report. Who is this guy kidding".

Ok, I'll come clean... literally...

The truth is, I washed my bike in Bella Coola. It was too tempting, the car wash was across the street from the inn, and I wanted to ge the dust off my seat, bags, etc... I guess I got carried away.
Ok, with that out of the way, here we are at the bottom of "Freedom Hill". I now had to ride up this infamous hill. Would it be as easy as going down? I hope so.
I think I gave my bike some encouragement.... My ADV sticker was there to prove it, although my clean bike may have given onlookers some doubts about my ability.

No problem. Here I am at the top of the "hill", out of the clouds, enjoying the scenice moutain beauty. Not another soul around. Pretty spectacular.

This was nice. The cold chill gave way to a nice warm sunshine. I had to strip some of my warm riding gear off.
The road through Tweedsmuir is very scenic and not many other roads can compare.
Bring it on...

Looking back..

The park entrance on Hwy 20 as one heads west to Bella Coola.

Rainbow Range in the distance. Someday, I'll hike that.

Another mirror picture.

There are several small ponds, lakes and creeks along the way. This one was very scenic.

It wasn't long and I started coming across stock animals grazing alongside the road again.

Future Big Macs? Whoopers?
 Must be careful when passing, sometimes the cows would dart in the opposite direction of logic... that is, in front of you. Hitting cattle on your bike wouldn't be that fun.

I took a long break here. It was very beautiful and relaxing.

Food for the soul.

Next stop. Lunch and a short nap at Pinto Lake.

This lake was very shallow and warm.
I did wade in it a bit, but I wasn't sure about going for a swim. Instead, I took a nap by the lake shore in the shade. The cool breeze coming off the lake was refreshing.
Back on the road. I made a stop at Lee's Corner (Hanceville) to grab some ice cream. No gas here, as I could easily make it to WIlliams Lake and get some premium gas. They sell only regular unleaded here, and my girl, I've been told, needs the good stuff.
Pulling up out of Hanceville there is a rest stop and the Chiko river flows by in the valley below.
Look, there is a forest fire off in the distance.

On the way down toward the Fraser River I come across some nice hoodoos.

This bridge its pretty cool as well.

Up and climbing out of the valley, I look north and see the Fraser River.

Again, I take a look back.
I am not sure what that mount is called in the back, but it sure looks nice.

The evening light added a nice flavor to the pictures.

One last picture from the road before I head into Williams lake for gas and a nice dinner.
I continue my journey from there toward 100 Mile House on hwy 97. I end up spending the night in Lac La Hache Provincial park campground. Weird name, I know, and as I understand, it gained its name when a trapper lost his only hatchet axe when chopping a hole in the nearby frozen lake.

I was more tired than I realized. I set up my tent and fell asleep almost instantly. It was another great day and another fun ride.

Thanks for riding along with me. Day 6 is the final day of my big B.C riding Adventure. I wish it would never end. B.C. is AWESOME.

Check out Day 4:
Day 4 - BMW R1200 GSA Solo Adventure: B.C. Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola