RubiKon Adventures

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

Friday, September 18, 2015

Solo Beyond the Northern Hinterlands: Rain, Salmon, Common Acquaintances and Arrogant Victory Riders

Rain, Salmon, Common Acquaintances and Arrogant Victory Riders

From: Grizz Lee <grizzlee@xxxxxxx.xxxx>
Date: Tue, Jul 21, 2015 at 9:16 PM
Subject: Rain, Salmon, Common Acquaintances and Arrogant Victory Riders

Lots of rain ever since leaving Watson Lake. Ended up staying at Bell II Lodge. It rained hard all through the night. All the motorcyclists were in the lodge this morning talking about the rain. .. is it going to let up? … What’s the forecast? The rain let up to a constant drizzle and like a mad stampede we all headed for our bikes. Some heading north, some heading south. Me, I headed south.
A reprieve from the rain on the Cassiar highway

Man made waterfalls to aide salmon spawning

Shots of salmon fighting their way upstream

I made a stop at Meziadin Junction for some coffee and a candy bar and an excuse to stay inside the store to dry off from the cold rain. The native lady, running the store, began chatting a bit. She told me she lives in Gitanyow and that Earl (the master wood carver – a native I met in Gitanyow in 2013 … who also carved the Totem Pole in Seattle’s Pacific Science Center) was her uncle. Small world!! In any event, I asked about the Salmon and she showed me some pictures and video of the salmon running up stream (CoHo) in a fish ladder on her cell phone. I asked where this was and she mentioned that there was a fish ladder made by the natives on the Nass River.  It isn’t an obvious place. But I found it, with the help of her instructions. On my way down to the river, I nearly ran into a bear…. As I hit the brakes, going doing a steep gravel drive, my bike slid, almost hitting a bear trotting in the middle of the road. I don’t think the bear could hear me over the roar of the river. A quick pop on the horn and the critter jumped out of the way pronto-like. At the bottom, there was a native camp and a HUGE pile of salmon in a river bowl made of rock. There was a weir setup to guide the salmon to a ladder. This ensured that 99% of the salmon would be able to make it upstream. The river in its natural state only allowed about 1-5% of the salmon to proceed to spawn. I got pictures and video of the salmon attempting to jump the falls. I use my GoPro and a waterproof case to film the salmon swimming by underwater. The fish were interested in the camera and would bounce their noses into it. It was a great experience. Although it was raining, I didn’t seem to notice while I was there as I was so enthralled.
A couple of chefs from Mexico traveling north

125 days on the road ... so far. The bike is a tad bit loaded :-)

A familiar logo ... Alymoto, Mottorad Specialist in the Seattle area
I arrived in Kitwanga at the junction where the Cassiar and the Yellow Head Highways meet up. While there I met a couple riding a BMW F650 650GS Dakar… Loaded to the TEETH. It turns out that a couple, both of  them Chefs, from Mexico are traveling north. They have been on the road for 125 days! As I looked at their bike, a familiar sticker caught m eye. An AlyxMoto sticker was plastered to their pannier. AWESOME!!! Turns out that Alex serviced their bike before they left Seattle on July 4th.  Like me, they said they were impressed with Alex’s work. Way to go Alex!
Dean, celebrating his 50 years of life. Dream trip by bike from California
I also saw a familiar bike pull in. Dean, whom I met on the Denali hwy was getting gas. Like me, he was heading home. Also, like me, he was celebrating his 50th Birthday in a big way. It was great to see him again. We exchanged pleasantries and off he went. Heading south, looking to do 700-800 miles today.
This guy was more than happy to pull over and give me a happy tail wag.

Native dip netting on the Bulkley River at Moricetown
As I was getting ready to leave, a couple of Victory Motorcycles riders pulling trailers parked next to me. You know the type. ¾ helmet, open faced, leather vest with Sturgis pins and other chrome Harley type farkles to go with his costume … goatee, earrings and such ... We talked a bit about our journeys. I made mention that their bikes look too clean (lots of Chrome) compared to mine for such a journey and that they must have washed them. One of them replied that I bought the wrong bike… I explained to them that I also ride off road, a fact that I had just done going to the fish ladder an hour before on dirt. The guy again replied “You bought the wrong bike for this type of trip” …”Why’s that?” I said. He said, “you just did. Got you on that”. It was like he wanted to start a fight or at the very least on argument. I put my helmet on and ignored him… I have never had an interaction with another biker like that ever. I rode away as they were talking among themselves and pointing at me.
Purden Lake outside of Prince George

Chasm Provincial Park

A reminder of glacial flooding

Broken Mirror

Here's looking at you kid
In any event, it’s still raining and is supposed to stop in the morning, with the forecast calling for thunderstorms in the afternoon tomorrow. We will see what happens tomorrow.

That basically finishes my trip. Looksha Lori rode up to join me at Prince George as I made my final push home. Unfortunately, I got ill and it took a day longet to get home than expected. Something like the 24 hour flu, or maybe it was the realization that my expedition north was coming to an end and I was feeling the reality of joining the establishment again.  Secondly, it began to rain. It rained hard off and on all the way home form Prince George to my home in Snohomish (outside of Seattle). It was an amazing experience that I will forever remember and THE BEST BIRTHDAY present I have selfishly given myself. 50 years on this planet and I have much left to see and experience. I feel fortunate and have had a felicitous life. Yes, there have been some bumps, bruises and hazards along the way, but that is what makes life an adventure. I once read that one should never confuse a long life with an interesting one.  50 years of living has taught me many things. The most important lessons I have learned is to live your dreams and pursue your passions. Life has a way on sneaking up on you. Before you know it. It's over.

Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy. The moment one commits; providence moves. Courage has power and magic. Events occur that no one dreams would ever come their way. Whatever you dream; Follow through ... DO IT! Those that have been there understand.

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