Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Playing Hooky
Northern Bound II: The Returnining
Well, a while back they rejigged the RR sections here, so since this trip was more than a week it's going here - however it makes no pretense of living up to the 'epic' as promised in the section head. It's just some notes and photos, of Captain Highlighter hitting the road for 15 days in search of some clarity of mind. He got that, and perhaps there's a few of you out there who might glean something from the trip log and a few photos, so it's presented here for your perusal should you be interested.
After the fact and commentary text will be done in plain font; italicised text throughout the report will be excerpts from the trip log, written as I went along.
It's been a while since Captain Highlighter did a ride report. Actually it's been a while since he did any real riding to speak of; life has a way of interposing itself unless you make time for these things.
It had been 5 years since I last went into the north by motorcycle, and I've been itching to go again. This time I wanted to take along a medium format camera in hopes of getting at least a couple of shots suitable for large format prints to put on my walls, to give me something to look at when I can't get out from the city. I started planning a few months in advance, and for a while it looked like some friends would come along, but things came up and in the end it was only going to be me.
Then, two weeks before my planned June 15 departure, I got word from the only major steady client for my company - as of July 1, they were 're-prioritizing' their expenditures, and I wouldn't be getting further business from them. In other words, as of July 1, I would be effectively unemployed.
I mulled on this for a few days and in the end, took what I saw as the only reasonable course of action. I looked around for some suitable openings, I sent off a series of applications, and I decided to go ahead with the trip. Life is too short to wait around cowering in fear. Better to set a course of action and get a response to the situation in motion, then get out and live life - it's not like tenting by motorcycle is very expensive, and it was going to take some time to get any replies back anyhow.
Saturday, June 15. Last minute packing and checks. Say goodbye to Tasha [my cat] and Lu - tell them not to fight too much while I am away. Nice sunny morning. Traffic is pretty heavy leaving town. Stop in Abbotsford for gas, cheaper than in town. By Chilliwack traffic starts to ease off. Into Hope for break at tourist info centre by 10:10.
[wood carvings in Hope. Canon SX130].
Already starting to relax a bit. Riding doesn't allow you to think about much more than the immediate. With earplugs in the thing I mostly hear is my own breathing - slow and even.
Don't have to worry much about daylight - whole point of going this time of year. Good to take rests early, before I feel I need them, like right now. Still, I want to make distance today, so don't think I'll take many photos.
[Hwy 1, north of Lytton. Road signs promising good riding!]
Lunch of water and jerky in Cache Creek. Timing was good, low fuel warning starting to flash as I reached town -275 km from last fuel. Light rain showers around Clinton. Rest stop at 100 Mile. 2:20.
Refuel in Williams Lake. Short heavy rain squall north of there but not enough to get through suit. Rest break in Quesnel. 4:39 pm, sunny. Only 125 km to PG, should be good. Generally light traffic this last section.
Rain, steady and sometimes heavy, from Quesnel to Hixon. Funny, because it doesn't look to be a big rain cloud, it's clear all around me, but for 20 minutes or so it manages to stay right over me. The evaporating rain is cold, I almost stop to add more clothing, but I keep expecting to break out into sun. Finally happens at Hixon - although then there's a lot of gusty cross winds.
Really slippery wet muddy section with grooved pavement for a few km just south of PG. Really unstable but luckily no problems. Into PG, found the tourist info center about 6:05. Ask where to tent and they suggest Heart Way RV park / campground about 7 km out of PG on my expected route for tomorrow. Place is $25 to pitch a tent and there are some drunk yahoos but there are free showers and I'm tired. Pay for the night, set up the tent, and make supper. Singapore style curried noodles - with canned turkey chunks. It's "fusion" cuisine. Beer can stove runs out before all water soaked in but noodles are soft. Actually - it's delicious, and filling, I can just finish it and squeeze in a few cherry-soaked craisins (! Yes, that's what the package says) as dessert.
I do need to get a markedly different bottle for the methyl hydrate as opposed to water, though. I missed the "FUEL" I'd written on it and started to pour it into the cookpot. Of course it doesn't smell or pour like water so I caught it. I knew it was a bad idea to use a Nalgene bottle for it, but it's what I had that won't leak. Need to find a red plastic fuel bottle.
Charge cell phone off bike accessory plug. Have a sip of scotch (flask has to last two weeks, so a sip is all per day!). Tired. By 9:20 campground is pretty quiet except for noise from Heart Highway. Hope it stays this way, not in the mood for crazy drunk yelling etc tonight.
Today's run: 812.6 km