Coming off an epic ride with my son to Alaska (see Our Life Behind Bars: Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier) one would have thought I would have been done riding for the year. And the truth be told, I was ready to put the bike away and do a paddle trek in Central B.C. in kayaks. I have not put my Kayak in the water since returning from my Yukon River Paddle expedition last summer (See our blog). A good friend and I were to take off the week of Labor Day to do just that. However, due to circumstances beyond his control, a pending layoff and forced overtime work schedule, didn’t allow for the trip to pan out at the last minute. While I could have gone by myself, I have never really liked trekking solo in a kayak or with a pack on my back into remote backcountry for safety reasons. Besides, rarely do I find conversations with myself that interesting, nor are the voices in my head very comforting at day’s end on these types of trips. Now, riding motorcycle solo; that’s a different thing you see. I could bring some amenities along to bide my evening time. Plus there is the possibility of grabbing a good meal on the road, something that lightweight dehydrated food just doesn’t compare to. When the paddle trip fell through, I quickly gathered my gear and formulated a new plan. That plan was to go back to the wonderful country I discovered 2 years ago. Back though the Chilcotin Plateau through remote country, canyons, sage, woods, mountains, rivers and glaciers to the Nuxalk Nation country… also known as Bella Coola to us anglo’s.
Video Trailer of my 7 Day Expedition
Now this trip may sound familiar to those that know me and for those who read my report from last year (Bella Coola Ride Report here). But hang tight. This is a completely different experience for many reasons. For starters, the route I took was different and the wildlife I saw was much more interesting. Now I pride myself in being a cautious man when it comes to riding bikes, especially when I ride solo into remote areas. This trip was no different. However, you’ll see candid photos and video of a middle age man having fun, dumping his big bike (A first for me on my big GS), see me nearly cry and you’ll see what mother nature thinks of me… I can tell you that it isn’t always pretty. You’ll also see photos of Grizzly bears taken from the seat of my bike… one hand holding the camera and the other hand on the throttle. Yes, I threw caution into the wind and took on one my most challenging and rewarding solo motorcycle adventures yet.
Many folks have contacted me and asked for a packing list and photos of my gear. I must get around to that someday. Not on this trip… I will however, tell you that I bring lightweight gear that transfers directly from my backpack to my panniers (light weight 3 season tent, cook stove, etc.) with a few exceptions; I bring a very comfortable sleeping pad, camera, GoPro, extra batteries, iPod, laptop (to dump the photos and the videos and to check email). Additionally, I carry my tools, a small air compressor, extra tube, extra oil, my Garmin Etrex, a personal locator beacon , long underwear for those cold frosty nights, a pair of lightweight cross trainers, a cell phone, maps, good conversation and a positive attitude to keep me company as I make my way through this country of lonely roads. As many can attest, adventures are just as much a mental experience as they are a test of physical endurance.
My route is a sight to behold in any vehicle, but it is best traveled by motorcycle. I have found that there is not a better way to experience the country. On a bike there is always a sense of danger, wonder and one can excite the senses as you can smell and taste the land. I’m not talking about just any bike either. To truly experience this grand land, requires something more than a highway cruiser, crotch rocket or a moped. To take a journey of these types of bikes is like inviting a vegetarian to an all you can eat steakhouse. Once you get there you’ll see why it isn’t going to work, no matter how hard you try. Nope, there is only one bike for the job. That is an all purpose bike that can carry your gear, travel pavement legally, perform well enough in the dirt (mud and sand) to get you there in one piece. We are of course talking about a dual sport motorcycle. For me, there can only be one bike. My beloved Gretchen, a 2009 R1200 GS Adventure. But of course, you already knew that. And you probably feel insulted just having read that last sentence. Let me tell you my friends, the last thing I want to do is to insult you or waste your time. Please read on and enjoy the report. I’ll try not to disappoint.
Stay Tuned for Day 1.
Until Next Time....