Joined: Feb 2010
As always I am up as soon as there is light and much too early this morning as it would turn out. I take my time and get packed up and have a commando shower using the ice cold water at the tap beside my campsite. I am sure it is piped directly from a near by melting glacier and refreshing is an understatement. I have jumper cables at the ready to restart my heart if needed. Now fully and truly wide awake I break the silence of the site and idle out to the LOCKED gate, WTF! This is a serious gate and the hills on each side have been built up and sculpted to keep people out, or in in this case. Camp warden takes on a whole new meaning. When I arrived last evening I had failed to read the sign saying gates locked at 10:00 and open at 07:00, oops.
It is now 05:30 and I’ll be damned if I’ll sit her until 7 a.m. It is an adventure bike isn’t it! I consider taking off the bags and squeezing around the end of the gate but with the tree and the slope I foresee a crash, so I do further recon. The hills on each side look more like Dam construction and are very steep with strategically placed boulders (been there already). I sit on the gate and consider my options (like packing a plasma cutter next trip). I am a bit ticked but not everyone appreciates the early part of the day so I may have to wait it out. I am nothing if not stubborn, so I continue doing recon on foot. The “warden’s” area at the west end of the camp says “no unauthorized vehicles beyond this point”, sounds promising. I spot a couple of boulders that look to be blocking an old road but it is hard to tell in the underbrush so I investigate. Sure enough we have a road leading in the general direction of the highway and freedom. I go stomping through the waist high underbrush and find a doable path and am just getting back to the highway when the Warden shows up early! My bike is now blocking his path as it is parked right up to the gate which he is unlocking as I stroll up. I am in a much better frame of mind now and talk with him for a few minutes about the road to Gold Bridge and where I might find sustenance at this hour. A&W it is and just so happens to be on the corner that I need to turn at in Lillooet to get to Gold Bridge. Breakfast is not bad and the road is better. I forego pictures on the really nice, narrow, covered in rock fall, first stretch as I have a sudden onset of prudence (and the light is bad). Later I stop numerous times as the road is just awesome.
I take a little detour through the tunnel at the Seton Portage turnoff and ride back and forth through it. Seton Portage and the Highline road will have to wait for next time.
Back on the road to Gold Bridge there is lots of rock fall on the road so it is best to pay full attention, which is hard with such amazing scenery. I fuel in Gold Bridge with what is available which is regular, and since I am only taking less than a third I don’t worry about it. The gas station owner is very talkative and it is hard to get going without being rude (lonely I guess). I stop in front of the Hotel for a “I was here” shot before heading up the hill toward Bralorne.
The road is surprising new pavement climbing out of Gold Bridge, but covered with pea gravel, presumably from winter maintenance. I see a Doe and her two fawns on the road and wished that I had a camera handy. One handed shooting on this road would have been foolhardy and this would be the first (but not last) time that I would wish for a Go-Pro camera. Bralorne was as expected since I had seen many pictures on the ADV site before my trip.
I once again took the (see I was here!) shot then headed down East Hurley road toward Hurley road to go east over the pass to Pemberton Meadows. Calling East Hurley a road is a bit of an over statement and although it is good for the first 10 minutes coming out of Bralorne it quickly narrows to not much more than a quad trail. I was standing on the pegs and cruising along winding down a steeper, curving decline when as I rounded a corner I see the back end of a rather large Grizzly running away from me! It was truly the largest grizzly that I had ever seen and the silver tips on its hump rippled as it ran on legs the size of tree trunks. I thought, OH SHIT, but turning around on the trail at that point was going to take a bit of time and on the slope be difficult at best, so I kept going toward the bear, honking the pathetic little horn, pulling in the clutch and revving the engine and standing on the pegs making myself look as big as possible. The trail was nothing but tree lined curve after curve. Every time I came around another curve there he was, still running down the path and this carried on for what seemed like eternity. I kept hoping that he would go into the bush and not turn around. I had a funny thought as I chased the Grizzly (funny what comes to mind sometimes), a scene from the movie Mars Attacks. The horn on the 990 reminded me of the green alien’s speech (Ack, Ack). The Alien walking down the street with the translator machine saying “do not run, we are your friends” as he shot people with his ray gun, all the while going “Ack Ack”. Like I said strange things come to mind, but it made me grin. After about a kilometer I came around another corner onto a straight stretch and no more bear. This was good but where did he go?! I picked up the pace (a lot) and continued with the horn passing over a repair over a stream washout, done with very chunky rock, that would be tough on anything other than a bike or quad. Not long after I was out to Hurley Main road and turned left. This road was pretty rocky and I was glad there was no traffic throwing those rocks at me as they passed.
Just doing my part for the site
Just a normal day on Hurley Road
There was a good amount of snow at the top and a wrecked pick up. I stopped to make sure it was empty, it was. There was a note on the passenger (top side) window “ I’m OK no problem, will return tomorrow to recover the truck” I guess this is par for the course along here. The road was scenic but unremarkable and I made good time into Pemberton Meadows. I did almost overshoot one switchback when I came in too hot, but lived to tell the tale. Coming out of Pemberton toward whistler I came in hot to the one nice hairpin waving to a couple of sport bikes heading north and felt something touch down. When I stopped in Squamish at No Limits Powersports (KTM dealer behind the Wendy’s) to see about a new latch for my bag I saw that I had dragged the bag in the corner. I was impressed that with TKC’s I could still drag a bag in a corner (not that old after all).
The guys at No limits checked about the part but could not find one in the KTM system. I had been using a small black tie down strap to keep the bag on and when I explained what had happened the guy behind the counter went in the back and grabbed 2 white 6 foot ratchet straps that are use to tie down bike crates when they ship. He gave them to me and said no charge, very cool.
I had to buy something so I bought a KTM coffee cup which would come in handy in the evening for my scotch. That way I would not look like a hobo anymore, drinking from the bottle. The ratchet strap (I only needed the one and packed the other away) worked like a damn and I carried on to the Ferry for the sunshine coast. I had to wait for about an hour to board allowing time for food and coffee. I headed for Sechelt and Bayside campground on the busy 101 on the other end.
Horseshoe to Gibsons ferry
campsite at Bayside Campground in Sechelt
After setting up camp at Bay side campground in Sechelt I went in search of food to a nearby dockside Pub. The lighthouse Pub was a nice, if somewhat formulaic Pub, with a vibrant atmosphere and an eclectic demographic. The view was great and the sunshine streamed across the packed patio to the cool interior and the cooler drink. My food on order I relaxed and people watched. I was feeling a bit under dressed and road weary complete with wild man / helmet hair. The power had been out at the campground and had been for hours explained the attendant. The city had promised it back in a few hours. There were no power problems here, oops… until now. The place’s music and multiple competing TV programs suddenly fell silent, and the load conversations seemed more so now. Those quickly toned down to a murmur. After a few minutes the waitress came over to explain that they had been told the power might be out for hours, and did I want to wait a bit and see if my order could be completed? I was hungry so I said I would have another drink and wait for a while. Some food was coming out, the last orders of cooked food as it would turn out. I asked if they could at least handle a Caesar salad and that they could. It was not what I was in the mood for but it would have to suffice this night. After another hour in the quickly emptying Pub I settled up and returned to camp, to tired to bother with a campfire. Sleep would come quickly.
The saga continues....
Lycan1 screwed with this post 07-02-2011 at 07:30 PM