I continued on in the early morning, following 97 north into Prince George, then west to Kitwanga where the Cassier Highway starts. I don't recall much else going on this day, just burned up as many miles as I could manage. I stopped to check out some locals dip-netting salmon out of hte river, then made camp at the only RV park in the area. I was a bit leery about camping in these parts. I admit that the locals had me spooked as far as the wildlife goes. I was sure I was going to encounter a bear or worse by the time I had gotten this far. After dropping 20 bucks on this campsite, only to realize that I had been placed right up against the woods with no fence in sight, I vowed to avoid campgrounds from here on out. $20 definetly left a bad taste in my mouth. I met a German fellow here on a BMW. He had had all his gear shipped over just to make a run at Alaska and was now returning from the loop. We shot the shit for a bit, but I don't remember anything significant being said. I spent the night watching Long Way Round, powering my laptop from a mooched extension cord I had found in one of the out buildings. I made a point to get my share of the hot water while I was here. At that price, I was content just standing under the shower head with boiling water just pouring over me for a good hour, till the tank ran cold. Good times.
Got up the next morning to find the German making coffee and toast over his MSR stove with some weird ass toasting contraption. I found it rather interesting that this guy would be jonesing enough for toast every morning to carry around such a tool, but to each their own. We shot the shit a little more and I discovered something about him.... the dude needed a shower, but clearly had no intent to do so. Alrighty then. He packed up as I spent a good chunk of the morning trying to track down a pinhole leak in my cheap “self inflating” air mattress and patching it with RTV and duct tape. I would continue fighting with this damn thing for the remainder of the trip as seams split, holes were punctured, and the valve just plain old didn't work. Buy cheap, buy twice. That's what they say, right?
Broke down camp late and left just before noon, following the Cassier highway north at a very leisurely pace. I made sure to pull over often for some quality fucking around. I'm a curious bugger, I admit it, and a schedule would go out the window quicker than shit if I saw something that I found in the least bit interesting. But that's what this was all about, right? I would regret passing up on something to save ten minutes than I ever would getting somewhere ten minutes late. I hit the intersection of 37A by mid-afternoon and hung a left towards Stewart and Hyder. Cool little towns. At one point I tried taking the dirt road up to Salmon Glacier, only to be stopped dead in my path by major construction equipment. The road had washed out ahead, and would reopen tomorrow. I vowed to return, and turned back, following some double track along the river before finding a nice little spot to get my head straight. I pitched camp at the local Lyons Club Campground, Rainy Creek or some such, on the Canadian side. It was a nice place, but packed, and I was limited on tent spaces. After unloading my gear, I headed back out towards Hyder to once again do some quality fucking around. I got Hyderized, and had myself a mighty bad chili burger. Not recommended. I kicked around the back roads a bit once a good buzz was established, but continued having problems with the bike flooding and leaving puddles of fuel wherever I had parked. I made a note to fuck with it back at the campsite, but darkness fell fast and I high-tailed it back to the tent. Fell asleep that night watching Long Way Round.
Not the best of panorama