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!