Live from Hope BC it's ... Biker Stories from the Road!
We left Kalispell MT and headed towards Canada on day 5 of our trip. We had a beautiful ride along Montana highway 2 which featured big ponderosa pine and douglas fir trees, big ranches, lots of cattle and lots of sunshine.
At one point a huge pine stood all alone right in front of us and it really looked like we were going to run into it. The highway of course turned right at the tree and Garth thought for sure that there would be marks on the bark from many close calls over the years but none were apparent. Having had quite a bit of coffee at breakfast my bladder was busting when we pulled into Libby so I asked Garth to please please pull into the first place he can find with a bathroom. PJ's Cafe is where we pulled in ... yikes what an awful place. The ladies room was terrible and the coffee was even worse.
Garth inquired about pie (he is still on his search for the best pie) and I thought oh god don't eat anything in this joint and thank goodness they were all out of pie. We escaped there without any diseases ... well none that have shown up yet, haha! Along our route we drove over a couple of bridges that were so high up that scaredy cats like Cindy and I just took little peeks and sure did not stand up to see over the sides of the bridge. While stopped for a photo opportunity and a carrot munching break at the "Welcome to Idaho" sign a black SUV came tearing into the pull-out spot and out jumped 4 young girls and a young man. They wanted us to take their picture in front of the sign ... which of course Garth did ... but they were also very chatty regarding our bikes, journey etc.
One in particular was interested in how Cindy and I had packed our bags and related a story about a hiking trip she went on and how she came out of the bush feeling particularly unattractive having not had a shower or a chance to do her hair or makeup. Feeling a bit self-conscious about our appearance I said that we wished that we had packed at least a curling iron or hair straightener (after all here we were with flat helmet hair, dressed in our full motorcycle gear and this young thing is cute as could be with hair just so, makeup just so ... brat) and she says "oh no .. you two look fabulous" ... hah she was lying through her teeth! So off we go and we head to Bonner's Ferry for lunch (which is famous for something but we aren't sure what) and GW, Jim and Cindy all decided to try Chicken Fried Steak for lunch. Jim was not impressed that it came on a bed of white gravy! They worked their way through it ... crossing it off the list and figuring that they wouldn't ever have to eat it again. This place also boasted home made pie so Garth tried peach and Jim had pumpkin. After lunch we climbed our way out of the valley and back towards the border.
At the border we witnessed a logging truck driver jump out of his truck to give a young SUV driver from Alberta supreme shit for cutting him off and also a BC driver who thought he could sneak into the commercial lane only to be turned around and made to go to the end of the "car" lane. Crossing for us was quite easy. We are now heading into Creston BC and Garth sniffed out the Tim Horton's so that we could finally have a decent cup of coffee. It was so busy with the 3 o'clock coffee crowd and Jim came out with hearing damage because the gentlemen right next to him was talking too loud to his buddy.
From Creston we decided to take the #1 BC motorcycle route which goes up the east side of Kootenay Lake to Kootenay Bay where we caught the ferry across Kootenay Lake to Belfour.
It was an amazing ride but there was lots of traffic and we passed many many motorcycles.
We stopped at Destiny Bay where we finished off the carrots. 50 miles of highway all along the waters edge ... it was so cool ... up and down and windy! The ferry ride lasted for about 40 minutes and the ferry is big enough to carry fully loaded wood trucks and transports.
They allowed us to come right up to the front so we had a perfect view of the passage and all of the beautiful homes and cottages along the shoreline.
Once off the ferry we motored into Nelson BC. What an absolutely beautiful part of interior BC! We stayed at the Villa Motel just before the bridge that goes into downtown Nelson. The full moon and lights of the city all shone and reflected into the water and it was very picturesque as we sat out enjoyed a beer and watched the world go by. The Villa offered a continental breakfast but little did we realize that it didn't start until 8 and then we found out that Nelson doesn't have a Tim Horton's (it has been declared a heritage city so new development like Tim's is not allowed) so we got the heck out of Nelson and sped 30 minutes down the road to Castlegar where we got confused by the entrances and exits and ended up at McDonald's, haha! After breakfast we were on a big push day to make it to Hope. The ride was incredible with several mountain passages, steep climbs and steeper descents. At one point we were going down at 350 ft per minute!
Of course all of this with long weekend traffic ... I don't think there is anyone left in Vancouver for the weekend. We made our way through Osoyoos, where we stopped at a fruit stand and bought MacIntosh apples, peaches, cherries, and grapes.
We stopped in Princeton where Garth continued his search for the best pie ... apple at Billy's Family Restaurant (Jim figures that this one ranked 2 so it must have been darn good).
We cruised into Hope where Garth had pre-booked rooms at the Swiss Chalet Motel (run by an Asian fellow who just couldn't do enough for us and our motorcycles).
Such cute little duplex cabins.
Cindy and I felt pretty darn good about our day but we were very happy to have it end. We walked down to Joe's Restaurant for a bite to eat. Tomorrow we head into Richmond for Garth and Cindy to get tires changed and then the ferry over to Vancouver Island. Stay tuned folks ... more adventure to come!
Take good care and please pass along.
Day 5 Map Kalispell, MT - Nelson, BC
Day 6 Map Nelson, BC - Hope, BC