Monday, August 23, 2010
Still adding to this blog and my ride reports~
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
|now this is really tacky|
|explanation needed? Nope!|
|The Fraser River at Hell's Gate|
|another self timer|
|Had to take the air tram|
|tourist trap outside Hope, BC|
|got him flying away|
|Adult eagle right after a fight with a juvie|
|getting gas in Lytton!|
|just another bike shot|
|our token helmet shot|
|All by ourselves|
|Killer view between Little Fort BC and 70 mile House|
|This was a fun road|
|Our evidence we rode outside BC|
|more good dirt to play in|
|our bikes of course|
|not sure if we could get any closer to the water|
|great dirt road|
|The Falls self pic|
|Wells Gray Provincial Park|
|another road side bear|
|My American, Cheryl Canadian = great pair|
|We DID it!|
|Final Odometer reading! Over 11800 KM|
On Tuesday the 10th we woke up to partly cloudy skies in Clearwater with an immediate task to do. We had to ride 96 KM round trip out of the way to Wells Gray Provincial Park to see Helmcken Falls and Dawson Falls. What a great diversion and well worth it. The falls were beautiful and apparently Cheryl was there when she was young. Thanks to Cheryl's father Jim who led us to this treasure. After taking pics and appreciating how nature can be so fierce and stunning all the same we were back on bikes heading west. Weather was soooooooooooo perfect for riding. Starting out around 12 Celsius and high of 22. We rode to Little Fort, BC and took Rt 24 which turned into a dirt which too us to 70 Mile House. 46 KM of just us, the dirt/gravel and gorgeous scenery. Not a technical ride but so much fun to get away from everyone. Back on tar for awhile we got to Clinton, BC and took what our GPS called unpaved road. We had no idea what to expect other than there would be no tar for another 30+ KM.
Immediately as we turned on to this uneven dirt road there was a sign saying steep incline. Steep I thought? Where was this going to take us? Turned on my helmet cam and headed blindly up this interesting pathway. We kept climbing and climbing, the road was narrow, and if you looked to your right there was no shoulder just a cliff! We kept climbing in altitude and I think we got to about 1800 meters high at one point. This road was bit more technical and really glad we had the K60 tires on board. Having to stand on the pegs the entire climb of the mountain it was a bit tiring at times. When we got to the summit of something we do not know the name, the view was breath taking. Pics to follow. WE pulled over and just took in the scenery and it was just Cheryl and I. Not another human or car in sight. Total Kodak moment and I think we spent about ½ hour just loving the view.
Back on the bikes, and down we went. Dirt turned in gravel, some big rocks, clay and mud. Awesome to say the least and again perfect weather. Got back to reality and headed towards Lillooet, BC where we thought we could spend the night. NOT! Small Native town and no place where we would want to stay. Then off to Lytton, BC to have a peak for accommodations and same thing, nothing. It was getting late and we had to make a decision, go to Merritt, BC about 146 KM away or back track and go to Cache Creek about 80 something KM. We choose Cache Creek, stayed at a Sandman hotel that was older and met some other bikers who just did the Arctic Circle and Alaska. Exchanged stories and looked over one another's bikes, had some beer and then went to bed late. By the way, everyone was riding Harley's except one BMW RT rider and they all loved our bikes and wished they had a GS up in Alaska. This was a great day for us especially since it was really the last day of fun riding for us. We went to bed feeling very lucky to have been able to just experience the back country and to be able to do this whole trip with one another!
August 11, 2010 we got a late start. Not really excited for this ride because we knew the destination would be our house and the end. So, we took our time with breakfast, chatted some more with other bikers taking their time as well and then as usual packed up and headed west on highway 1 through the Fraser River Canyon. Very beautiful part of BC and even highway 1 was fun at times to ride. We got to Hell's gate, just outside Hope and decided to take the air tram down to the river's edge. We have driven by this tourist trap before and decided what the hell, we will pay the $$ and take it down and be a tourist. Was fun and interesting to see the deepest most active part of the Fraser River. http://www.hellsgateairtram.com/
Hung out for awhile and then headed to Harrison Hot Springs for lunch, rode to Cheryl's father's house in Mission, BC to say HELLO! And then cruised in to Maple Ridge at about 1545 in the afternoon. 11870 KM later after 23 days of riding and being away for 26 we are home. Great to see the dogs and our cat. They were taken care of by Taylor and Dave. Taylor is Cheryl's cousin. The house did not burn down and all looks good. Hung out and talked to some neighbors, had a beer or two, took the hard luggage off the dirty bikes and that's it. Sad this is over but fortunate we got to do this tour. Might have to reflect for the next few days and I will post things we learned and what we might be planning next. We are officially addicted to touring and love our bikes.
I can now reveal that our bikes, 2010 BMW F650GS, handled fantastic as both a touring and off road machine. Almost flawless and our tires are still alive and well with at least a few thousand KM left. We could easily get back on our bikes tomorrow and go away for another month. No kidding and most would think we were done or would be sore. Nope….if we had the chance we would take off and Cheryl and I worked so well as a pair. Got on each other's nerves every once in awhile but in the end she is my partner and best friend and I would never had wanted to do this with anyone but her.
So, this is not the end just the beginning of our adventures and I will be posting pics from the last 2 days in another post. Until my reflection and review post, out for now!
Here is our track from the trip! Will add pics later!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Welcome back we say to ourselves to BC. We did not even have to see a sign that said BC because we hit pouring rain....let me back up for a sec.
Left Hinton, Alberta around 0845 with a temperature of 13 Celsius and overcast skies. We properly inserted our rain liners this time just in case as the forecast was for possible thunderstorms. Went back to rip off Jasper because we were about an hour east after we could not find accommodations last night. Had a great breakfast at Lou Lou's Pizza. Yep a pizza joint that cooks a mean breakfast. After yet again getting some grub and coffee in us we headed to BC. Only took an hour to get to the border of the 2 Provinces. Once we got into BC seriously it started to rain. We had drizzle most of the hour but BC rain. Got to Mt. Robson for a bit of a break with the weather and our butts....we could not see one Rocky Mtn while coming into BC unfortunately. All the mountains were in the clouds. The temperature range for today was a low of 10 and a high of 13. That is Celsius for those American folks reading the BLOG.
Thought this might be an interesting tidbit of information...since July 16th our departure date we have ridden in such a huge difference in temperatures. Not all in one day but we have hit a low of 8 and a high of 41.5 Celsius. Our boots and gear have been able to handle whatever we were dealt with except the Milwaukee record breaking rain storm. To recapture they got 7 inches of rain in 3-4 hours and we were in that for over 2 hours. In the end after these entire KM travelled I am happy with our gear but we both just might have to upgrade our jackets to a Gortex motorcycle quality. Have to save our pennies.
Cheryl had the GPS set for Clearwater, BC and although from Mt. Robson it was only 176 KM away it seemed further. We got pissed on and the temperature was dropping a bit. Neither of us had our Gerbing Liners plugged in for heat. In hindsight we should have but we made the trip to our little cabin in Clearwater. On the way down to Clearwater you can obviously see how devastating the pine beetle has been to this region. So many trees have been damaged or killed by this bugger and even though there were low clouds we could still see the impact. Very sad. Also, when riding the bikes you can really get a good sense of smells and today it smelt like Christmas trees. Very cool!
After we arrived safely in Clearwater we showered up, laid out our gear to dry and got warm. Took a nap and then went for dinner.
We are now on Pacific Time and we gained another hour. I like gaining the hour versus losing it. Still not ready to go home we might spend one more day out exploring places in BC and head home Wednesday. Just sort of not wanting this to end.
Something I forgot to mention about North Dakota and Saskatchewan. They appear to have a lot of OIL. Spoke to a woman in Saskatchewan and she said the oil companies knock on farmer's doors, inquire about setting up oil drills and pay them dearly for it. She said the initial payment could be in the millions and then the companies pay rent for as long as the drill provides oil. Once the drill or whatever they call it, an oil well? Is dry, the equipment stays there for 5 years and then can be safely removed. All the while the farmers still get rent for a drill out of service. Cheryl and I want to own just one drill....and rent it out!
Today is day 24, our tires still have tread and our butts could so another 12000km. Out for now!
|We think a young Grizzly|
|Love this pic!|
|Columbia Ice Field Glacier on the way to Jasper|
|Gondola at the summit in Jasper. I was a few miles away!|
|Look what we got to see!|
|Inside our cozy cabin|
|Cabin in Hinton, AB on Aug. 7th|