RubiKon Adventures

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier (Mile 5999 to Mile 6762)

Days 24-25  (July 23-24, 2013)

Not Dead Yet
Morning came early on this day. I was anxious to find a rear tire and be on my way. I made a few inquiries on ADVRider and got some leads as to where I might find a tire. Prince George has no BMW motorcycle shops. Surprisingly, every shop I called was open on this Monday. I check around and found a KTM dealer, but they had nothing, neither did the Harley dealership. I was becoming a bit disappointed and concerned. The last shop I called was a Yamaha shop. Bingo!! They had a tire for me. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it will have to do. So 2 hours later, I have a new Shinko 705 installed and I am on my way. I am feeling confident about my ride and even think I could ride some dirt roads on the way home. Yes!!  I had lunch and rolled out of Prince George about 1:00.
The rocky mountains along the Robson Valley are stupendous

I decided to take the Robson Valley route on the Yellowhead highway. I know it was shorter by taking hay 97 south, but I was looking at 2 days to get home to Seattle, so I decided to take the more scenic route. I am glad I did. The weather was perfect and the road was lonely. I saw several bears along the way and came upon the remains of a charred semi that had rolled off an embankment and caught fire. It wasn’t pretty. I only hope the driver was alright.

Last camp on the trp. See the empty beer bottles
I ended up in camping near Clear Water that evening. It was to be my last night out on the road. So I celebrated by getting some beer. I found some local IPA that sounded good. Once at the campground, I downed two beers before I even had my tent setup. The beer hit the spot. I had a quiet evening and finished off all six beers. I slept like a baby that evening.

Kelly Lake.. Always refreshing

Who's dat?
The next morning I awoke, refreshed with sunshine and was giddy with excitement. I knew if all went well, I would be home today. I would meet up with my son and the trip would be over. My arse was extremely sore from 3.5 weeks and over 6700 miles on the bike. I was looking forward to a break and sleeping in my own bed.

 I took hwy 24 over to 100 Mile House and then south to Clinton. From there, I took the Pavillion Road from Kelly Lake over toward Lilloet. I was now retracing our ride on the first day.  It was wonderful and the views were fantastic.  I rode through Fountain Valley and back through Lilloet.
Coming down the back side Pavillion Road toward Fountain Valley

The Fraser River flows through this magnificent land 
In Lilloet, I was nearly hit by a cager who wasn’t paying attention. I had my GoPro on at the time, so I have it on video.  I wound my way through toward Lytton and had some sheep dash in front of me. I would have stopped to get some pictures and possibly some video, but I had another idiot in a pickup on my ass.. nearly kissing my rear tire. I was afraid that he was going to hit me. The road was narrow, curvy and bounded by cliffs. As soon as I could pull over, this guy took off past me like a banshee out of hell, sliding his truck around corners and such. I hate to say this, but he was driving like he was drunk and as far as I could tell, he was a native. I wish my cell phone had service, I would have called the RCMP and reported him.

From there, it was a relatively benign ride through Hell’s Gate and the Fraser River Canyon. All very beautiful and a ride that I had done a few times before. In fact, I have driven this route many times on our way north. So the wonder and excitement was nothing new here for me. I was wanting to get home now. And the traffic was beginning to increase. I had to be more cautious of other drivers now.
Fraser river as it passed by Fountain Valley

Beauty eh?

Some of the best motorcycle touring country in the world

Home at last

The family dog is checking for some signs of life
I had an uneventful crossing at Sumas into Washington State. I arrived home in my driveway around 7:30 pm. I MADE IT!!! I was spent, tired and hungry. It was great to meet up with Johann. I had tears in my eyes and we hugged each other and chatted about my solo adventure ride over the last 2100 miles. I couldn’t believe that I had made it. This was a dream that I always wanted to do. Despite what happened with Johann, it all turned out OK. He was home safe and I was now home safe. We could now take some time to reflect on the trip together.

Not dead yet!! The ADVRider double salute says it all.

Gretchen... I love this big girl.

Hey, there he is,.. father and son reunited. He even has his boot.
It has been fun to post this report and relive the trip. As I sift through the hours and hours of video and pictures, I can recall nearly every mile and nearly every corner we rode on this trip. I am putting together a series of videos that highlight sections of our trip.  It was magical.

The story isn’t over yet. We are both waiting for the Dakar to arrive and assess the damage. Both of us are looking forward to getting it back into tip top shape for our next riding adventure together. A door has been opened for both of us. He has embraced this adventure riding activity with enthusiasm. I think I may have a riding buddy for life. Only time will tell. It will be neat to see what the next couple of years bring as he goes through many life changing events. College, career and more than likely girls… As a father, I only hope that he remembers his old man and wants to continue on with more of these types of adventures.

Father-Son Bowron Lakes B.C.  2005
Father-Son Mt Rainer Washington, 2005

Father-Son B.C. Paddle Expedition 2004
I feel fortunate to have had these unique opportunities over the course of his life (and mine) to share with him and be a part of the grandest adventures I have ever had. Not every child has the attitude or aptitude to do these kinds of things. We can both thank his mom as well for being supportive and patient with us “boys” over the years and encouraging these types of adventures. Not every mother is so understanding and so willing to let their children embrace the kinds of challenges and adventures that we’ve shared together. Lori is too be commended for her role in our adventures. Not only has she not ever said, no.. never once… She encouraged us every time, helped us with gear, food and logistics.  

Father-Son Yukon, 2007
Thanks for riding with us.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a great experience, even with the mishap. Reading about you and your son's adventures was how I started my morning these last few weeks.

    See you on the road sometime.

    Austin, TX