Well, its July and summer seems to have FINALLY showed up here in northern BC. The weather last month really sucked - record rainfall reported all over the province, flash floods, rivers spilling over their banks, the whole 9 yards. On top of that, we've been busy renovating our basement and hosting ADV'ers traveling to/from Alaska. A quick count from memory puts it at a total of 17 riders taking advantage of my Tent Space Thread
posting so far this year. Honestly, I look forward to the riding season bringing ppl through the area, meeting all sorts of folks from all over the world as they journey north (or return south).
A few photos of spring renovations and early-season travelers:
Basement gutted and ready for new subfloor (DriCore tiles stacked in the foreground)
Reverse angle, and the father-in-law who was up for a couple weeks doing the bulk of the work while I was holding down my desk at work. Thanks Greg!!
Your truly, starting to lay down the DriCore tiles
And a few hours later... almost all done except for cutting the corner pieces and cleaning up the mess
Its all framed, wired and plumbed now (laundry sink, washer/dryer, etc), but I don't have the most recent pictures downloaded off the camera yet. Just gotta run ethernet down there for the TV and then get the sprayfoam guys in to make it warm and cozy :)
Then the ADV traffic begun... meet Joevano
. Joe was on his way from MN to AK and stopped in for a couple nights. Originally, he was planning on a single night stopover, but decided to stay an extra day to wait out the weather and get some extra rest. I was expecting another group of 4 riders (Brauhausbier
and 3 friends) and I think Joe was hoping to ride with some company for a change.
Joe and his DR
Sorry, I dropped the ball and didn't get any pictures of Brauhausbier & company... got any handy from your travels with them, Joe?
The following weekend we had another large group come through on their way north. 8 riders in total! Good thing I've got over an acre of lawn for all the tents!
Most everyone from this group was from California. They'd met in Seattle and journeyed north as a group, planning on hitting lots of off-pavement routes as they looped up into Alaska and back. Their return loop was what finally got me to get off my butt, renew my fishing license for the season, put a new tire on the DR and go hit some gravel.
I did all my trip prep, tire change, and packing the morning before I left, so no pictures of any of that... but here's the first one after I hit the road just 5 min from my house, en route to meeting Kevin (pictured above) and the remnants of his group (they suffered the demise of a KLR and a finicky F800 which didn't complete the trip) at Punchaw Lake - a mere 40 miles from my house
- for the night.
5 min from my house... some twisty pavement as I headed for the Blackwater FSR
Not long after that... it was onto some gravel for about 30 minutes. No turnoffs, no route changes, just a straight shot right to the lake.
And a quick self-portrait - I'm loving this new Scorpion lid, btw...
In short order, I was at the lake. There were a couple other campers and RVs already set up at this point, as it was after 3pm on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon, but this spot by the lake was wide open, so I claimed it by spreading my stuff out in anticipation of Kevin and his entourage showing up later in the afternoon.
Time to unpack, set up my tent and get geared up to get on the water! It looked pretty shallow and weedy right off the shore and the water was quite dark, but at least it was calm out
I talked to another angler that was out in his aluminum boat with a kicker. He hadn't had much luck other than a lot of coarse fish (squawfish/suckers/spiny sculpin/etc). Oh well.. its still fishing and better than yard work!
So as I was using my flippers to commute across the lake, I took a couple photos
I never did hook into any rainbows... so no fish pics. The only coarse fish I got to my apron on the float tube (as I forgot my damn net at home!) I simply skewered with my pocket knife and tossed back into the lake for fish food. Maybe a rainbow will have a dinner on THEM for a change!
After a couple hours of enjoying the peace and quiet on the water, I heard the distinctive sound of a herd of adventure bikes - a Super Tenere, Versys, F800, two 990's and a 690. That was my cue to paddle my butt back to shore.
Some people were already set up and relaxing by the time I got back to shore. They're well-practiced in set-up and take-down by now, and this was to be their last night of camping along their journey.
I guess after a few days of camping without showers, several of the group couldn't stand their own 'funk' any longer and braved the cool waters for a bit of a bath
You can see the hesitation being displayed by the guys upon getting beyond 'scrotum depth' in the water. It really wasn't all that warm.
What's that? Yes, there are so guys in that picture.
So the first order of business after getting out of the water? Building up the fire! A half-liter of lighter fluid, comin right up!
It didn't take long before the coals were throwing some nice even heat
A few drinks were had, stories exchanged, laughs were shared... then it was off to bed. They all wanted to get an early start to make it to their next planned stop in Hope early enough to enjoy a long hot shower before a nice celebratory trip wrap-up dinner. Packing up in the a.m.
I decided to travel south with the group to Quesnel and then loop back to Prince George via Hwy97. It was a nice day, the wife was working out of town, why not? The roads were awesome, too. Nice hardpack, very little loose gravel. 100-120km/h was the average cruising speed on stretches like these...
But all too soon, the gravel ended and we were back on pavement, heading into West Quesnel
We all stopped at Tim Horton's for a bite before we parted ways. Shockingly, this was the FIRST Timmy's stop the group had made on their entire trip!
So that was it - not much in the way of fishing, but it was good to get out, and it was great to catch up a bit with Kevin & company. Trust me, guys... if (when?) we ever get to Cali, we will most DEFINITELY be taking you up on the reciprocal offer of hospitality!
Looking forward to seeing some pics and hopefully a ride report soon!