RubiKon Adventures

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

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Summary [BMW R1200 GSA Solo Adventure] B.C. Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola

Trip summary of my 6 Day Solo Motorcycle Adventure into Central British Columbia

This fall, I had planned a follow-up ride to Bella Coola. A trip that was to last 6 days. I did a similar trip in 2011 (see my blog post: Solo Motorcycle Adventure: Bella Coola, Gang Ranch, Chilcotin & Fraser River ). My itinerary included a great deal of travel on dirt roads (~half of my travels were on dirt, 4x4 and gravel roads). The country is like nothing here in the lower 48 states. I left my home near Seattle and traveled Wa state hwy 9 to the Canadian border (Sumas). From there, I rode up the West side of Harrison Lake to Mt Currie. I proceeded through some freshwater fjords over to the Caribou-Chilcotin Plateau through the coastal mountains to Bella Coola. The country is remote, largely undeveloped, contains no paved roads (save for Hwy 20 from Williams Lake to Bella Coola) and contains lots of wildlife. Aside from that, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking as I traveled through several climate zones from desert country to high mountains to coastal rain forest. The vistas included high desert mountains, glacier covered peaks, deep and wide canyons carved by glaciers and big rivers. I felt like I traveled back in time. The country life in the Chilcotin-Caribou plateau is simply amazing and the people are warm and friendly. I traveled on every type of road imaginable (pavement, dirt, rock, gravel, chip seal, etc..) It is the ultimate dual sport destination and a perfect test of my skills on the large BMW R1200 GS Adventure.

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.

This post is a summary. Select links to read the details of each day. 

See my Ride Report on Adventure Rider

See a video summary of the trip here:



 So here I am all loaded and ready to go. Tent, food, stove, clothes, water filter, cameras, camp chair, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, maps, bear spray, GPS, Personal Locator Beacon, camp towel, soap, tools, compressor, extra parts for minor road repairs, etc... 
Harrison Lake - Amazing!!
 A little fun along the way
Evening beauty on a calm Lillooet lake

As I go to sleep that night, I am lucky, in that I have no thoughts of work, traffic or the daily grind in my mind. It was a great day indeed.


The next morning picked up where the previous evening left off. This day proved to be "spectacular".
My morning view from my tent camp on Lillooet Lake

Looking toward Seton Portage and Seton Lake
The view down Seton Lake is fantastic
Incredible Carpenter Lake
Incredible Road
I pull into Kelly Lake that evening to camp for the night. I set up my tent and took a quick dip in the lake to wash the road off my body. I have a light dinner and some hot cocoa. I pour over my maps to plan my route for the next day. Again, as I drift off to sleep, not one thought of work crosses my mind. Awe, what a great adventure vacation this is.  

This day was long, long, long. It was long, not because of the miles made, but rather, the amount of time spent at each rest place. There were many. Not all of them were for resting, but to soak up the views. There were many sights to see, many things to contemplate.
The Fraser river escarpment is one the most beautiful sights in all of B.C

Slow Ride in Double Time

Fraser Canyon
Gang Ranch
Alexis Creek Area
My day ends with a nice dinner and a dip in the Chilco River to wash the dust from my body. I sit in my camp chair, reading and sipping on some cocoa as the sun goes down. What a great day. I'll say it again. What a great day to ride a motorcycle. It was some of the best back country m/c roads imaginable. I loved every mile of it.

Getting to this point took me waaay longer than I thought. This is big country.
I had plans to go to Chilko Lake. But it was not to be if I was to goto Bella Coola and see some salmon eating bears.
There are many lakes and rivers along the road to Bella Coola
Just past Anahim Lake the road turns to dirt. I will ride dirt for approximately 40 or so miles down a steep 18% grade, called Freedom Hill aka "The Hill". It has quite a reputation. However, I am not afraid. The day before I rode a narrow, gravel road with softball size rocks that had a 23% grade.
his is the entrance to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. I read that I am on or near the route that famed explorer Alexander Mackenzie took on his way to the coast. He made the first east to west crossing of North America north of Mexico and predated the Lewis and Clark expedition by 10 years. Mr. Mackenzie is the MAN!!!
This is one of the strangest glacial mounts I have ever seen
Beauty eh?
The end of the road... Bella Coola
 Many see this as a small town with not much to do. Quite the opposite; Bella Coola Valley is off the grid and remote. A visit here is about leaving the the hectic pace of the civilized world and taking a trip back in time.

I had a quiet dinner at the Bella Coola Inn, and stayed the night there. Hoping it wouldn't rain. I had a couple of beers before turning in. I drifted off too sleep with the TV on. I was spent. Man this was a great ride!

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.
Hard to leave with views like this
 Here I am at the top of the "hill", out of the clouds
Food for the soul
Hwy 20 bridge toward Williams Lake
One last picture from the road before I head into Williams 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.

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.
I ran into this guy out side of Clinton

Peek-a-boo view into Fountain Valley

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.
Cool waterfall just before I arrive at Lillooet.
Goats? Nope, these were sheep. They surrounded my bike
Cute buggers

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.

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

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