Before I begin, I must preface this with the fact that British Columbia has received and incredible amount of rain this past summer. The area I was heading into, known as the Chilcotin Plateau, is usually arid and dry for most of the summer as it is located in the rain shadow of the coastal mountains. But not this year. As such, all my attempts to ride into this area this year were stifled by rain. Wet roads and mud, not a usually a problem, but, out in the Chilcotin country, the roads are entirely dirt, with the exception of hwy 20 between Williams Lake and Bella Coola… and even then it is a mixture of chip seal, gravel and asphalt. For those who have never ridden out in the Chilcotin country it can be hard to understand, but trust me, I can attest first hand that the mud out there is no ordinary affair. I have ridden the rain soaked calcium chloride laced roads of the north and yes that is an experience best described at riding on a tiled floor smeared with Vaseline. In the Chilcotin, it can be an entirely different experience. So much so, that even the local natives have advised not to drive them in rain, even in 4x4s, as one is very likely to end up stuck in a ditch... or worse yet, a steep ravine, hidden away form the road, in country that is sparsely traveled at times.
|My Actual Route|
|Snohomish-to-the Canadian Border|
|Border to Boston Bar|
|Somewhere near nowhere - Lost!?!|
In any event, I ended up on the correct road, but still managed to get lost as there are numerous side roads and logging roads going every which way. I spent another hour or so retracing my steps on roads going the wrong way. Finally, I made my way to Nicomen road. I had been her earlier this summer, but I had come from the northerly direction.
|High Mountain Pass on Nicomen Road|
As I headed up the Nicomen road I quickly noticed a bunch of bear scat. A lot of bear scat. Some fresh, some old. I was soo excited to see a bear. I had my camera gear ready for action. I even saw bear tracks in the road. But alas, no bears were to be seen.
|Looking Down toward Hwy 1 and the Thompson River|
My route would take me on the east side of Kanaka Mt, Mt Lytton and Jackass Mt. I eventually pulled up on a high pass on the Nicomen Road overlooking the mountains with grand views of Hwy 1 and the Thompson River far, far, below me.
|Zoomed view form my vantage at the pass.|
The views were spectacular to say the least. It was hard to believe, but the road I was on must make its way down that way. There must be a great deal of switchbacks and steps parts. I was a bit nervous.
However, I got nearer and nearer the bottom, I realized that it wasn’t really that bad. A few big ponds and such in the road, but nothing challenging.
|Roadside Lake.. complete with Beaver|
|Time to bundle up... Cold... Brrrrrr...|
Along the way, on Hwy 97 I came upon a really serene lake in between storms. I stopped and soaked up the views and got some video of a beaver.
I also noticed some really cool cloud formations off to the west. I knew that the clouds were moving fast and I was quickly losing my light. I snapped some pictures and shot some video along the roadside.
|Beautiful Cloud formations|
I arrived in 100 mile House with my teeth chattering. Being the tough guy I think I am … some laziness as well, I didn’t stop to put my heated gear on. I got a cheap motel and took a nice hot bath. Afterwards I walked over to the A&W to get a burger and Root Bear. I checked my email and called home to give an update. I see I had a note from Paul, a fellow ADV rider, whom I’ve met before out this way, stating that he and a friend were to be riding out to the Chilcotin starting Sunday. It would be a long shot, but maybe we’d bump into each other out there.
Until Next Time...