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Old 08-18-2010, 11:30 AM   #16
GISdood OP
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Day 8

Day 8 - Osoyoos to Hope - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, B!!

So yeah... its Brandi's B-day today! She was born on a Friday the 13th, and now she's turning 30 on that same superstitious calendar day. Who says only bad stuff happens on Friday the 13th? Pfft...

We managed to get a reasonably early start this morning, which was good. Osoyoos is almost always the hottest part of the province, so we wanted to get out of there before it got too warm. Just as an example, when we rolled into town the previous evening around 8pm, it was still 37 celsius out.

So we got up early enough to grab some snacks and breakfast from the continental breakfast downstairs and started to pack things up. I took a moment to enjoy the view over the hotel room balcony.


Oh... and the lake looked nice, too


"Can we just stay here for a few days?"


By 9am it was already getting pretty warm out, so we geared up and headed west, stopping at the top of the hill to get a couple parting shots of Osoyoos:




And with that, we were climbing out of the desert oasis of Osoyoos and up to higher - and cooler - elevations:


More hills in and out of Princeton as we wound our way along Hwy 3 towards Manning Park:


At this point in the trip - especially closer to her home town and on familiar roads - I found it amusing how our usual 1-second gap would grow quickly when we hit sweepers like these. Clearly, she was beginning to enjoy leaning the bike into the turns and carrying more and more speed:




We stopped just after a bit of paving/construction, thinking it was just more construction-induced single-lane, alternating traffic. Time for a water break, the hard way:


As it turned out, the traffic stoppage was in order to let some emergency vehicles pass. A police car came towards us with lights and sirens going as we waited here:


Soon after, an ambulance came up from Princeton (behind us at this point) and pulled off to the right near the work trucks. The attendants were focused on someone in the back seat of one of the pickup trucks and didn't appear overly urgent. I assumed that perhaps it was an injured construction worker. When we rolled up a little further, I saw three guys in full ATGATT standing around patiently beside their bikes, looking on with concern.

"Oh crap..." was all that went through my head. Eventually one of the paramedics grabbed a neck collar, but no spine board or gurney, so that seemed promising. Our suspicions of a downed rider were confirmed 200 yards down the road at the next set of twisties. Up against the concrete barrier was a now-worse-for-wear 'Busa. It was upright and looked not bad other than some serious abrasions from the barrier and a busted mirror/lever/perch. (That'll buff right out, eh?).

Here's to a speedy recovery, anonymous rider... get well soon!

Once we got clear of the backed up traffic, we found a shady spot with a creek to pull out and cool off by dunking our heads and splashing some cool water on our faces and gear. Sorry... no wet T-shirt shots


And then it was back on the road for the last push into Hope:


Not far now...




We rolled into Hope without any further adventure and got cleaned up for the festivities to follow - Birthday celebrations!

Brandi's niece shares the same birthday, so there were two birthday girls enjoying the extra attention. And what birthday party is complete without party hats?


Little Gracie apparently thought Brandi was going to slow opening her cards and gifts and was getting in there to help:


And our nephew was helping out with some scratch and win tickets (there's no doubt these kids are related to their aunt, eh?)




"We have a winner!! Yay, Gracie!"


Birthday cake + kids = mayhem. INCOMING!!!


The rest of us were too full after dinner and sampling two different birthday cakes to partake in such gymnastics. I loosened the belt a notch and found someplace quiet to update previous installments of this RR. That's all for Day 8, folks!

Dammit... now I'm craving cake for lunch!

GISdood screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 11:48 AM
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:05 AM   #17
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Nice Ride Report guys!!!
It's good to see you two out on the road enjoying life!

Happy Birthday Brandi!

Q~
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #18
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I love reading the stories of couple riders. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Safe Rides to you.
Greetings from Türkiye.
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #19
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Day 9 & 10

Day 9 was a rest day in Hope with a little bit of bike maintenance. Minor stuff - cleaned and lubed both bikes' chains and air filters. Basically just gave everything a good visual inspection to make sure nothing had rattled its way loose with 3000km worth of single-cylinder vibes since we left home.

Once that was out of the way, it was time to find some shade. Aiden and Patches had the right idea - in the shade on the cool grass:


After a while it was too warm to stay outside, so we decided to go and visit Brandi's sister-in-law and her niece in their brand new house across town. Apparently it was already warm in their house - too warm for clothes, by the looks of things:


Ah, to be a kid again and run around in your underwear... and not have ppl look at you funny. Maybe THAT'S why we live on acreage where the neighbours can't really see us

We just hung out for a couple hours and visited with Brandi's sister-in-law, and played with Gracie, of course. Peekaboo!


It was a pretty casual, relaxing day. After dinner and a visit over to Brandi's grandparents (who also live in Hope) we turned in early in hopes of getting a reasonably early start the next day.

Day 10 - Hope to Clearwater

We were up around 7:30 and were trying to be on the road by 9. I had packed the bags the night before, and just had to load up the DR while Brandi got geared up to go.

Aiden was pretty intrigued by the bikes, staring wide-eyed at the big yellow DR, so I hefted him into the saddle:


Crazy hair is hereditary, I think. You'd see this gene at work if I were able to get a picture of Brandi in the morning before she tamed her crazy mane. Getting such a photo is a task that risks grievous bodily harm to complete, tho... so you'll just have to take my word for it.

I think we may have a future ADV'er on our hands... we might want to start him on a slightly smaller bike tho:


Figured I'd take a couple pictures of the tire tread at this point to compare with photos I took at various mileage points of the trip for comparison. The stock rear Dunlop on Brandi's SM was toast after a mere 3800km. Here's the Conti SM with about 3000km on it already. MUCH better wear rate:


There's a little bit of a flat strip forming... but I should be able to round that off while Brandi's back to work in Chetwynd

My Kenda 761 was wearing pretty well, also. I had nearly 2000km into this tire before our trip, so this was around the 5000km mark so far:


For the price of this tire and the wear I'm getting out of it, I'll definitely pick up another when its time.

So we hit the road and headed up Hwy 3 and then onto Hwy 5 - the Coquihalla - en route to Merrit. There's some great views on that road, but it was the weekend and traffic was thick, and I forgot to connect the lanyard from my camera to the clip inside my jacket pocket, so I wasn't risking dropping the camera until after our first rest stop, which was Merritt.

I had family that used to live in Merritt back when I was in my teens, and often visited here on summer vacation. Since the inception of the Merritt Music Festival (you country fans will probably be familiar with this event), the town has really changed. I hardly recognized a thing. Kinda cool to see how one recurring annual event can reshape an entire town.

We basically just cruised through town, stopped for a refreshment and restroom break and hit the road for Kamloops. Seeya later, Merritt!


Brandi was clearly getting anxious to get home... or at least to our next stop. Vrooom!


It was getting pretty damn hot out through Kamloops, so we just kept rolling. Again, traffic was pretty ugly on this leg of the trip, so not many pictures. We rolled right through Kamloops, filled up north of town in Rayleigh, and had a brief rest/snack stop in Little Fort, where it was also smokin hot and very bright out:


With as much warm, dry weather as the Thompson/Nicola valleys have had this summer, I was surprised at the level of the North Thompson River, and the colour was much different that in past years as well. Probably due to the higher ratio of glacial meltwater vs rainwater/runoff in the drainage basin:


Just a few more corners, then we're back where I grew up!


Ah... couch time!


She had to share the couch with my parent's fat little chihuahua, Pokey.


I'm pretty sure this wasn't an adv salute... but a warning - somebody gets cranky when they're tired!


And yes... I really am feeling as tired as I look. "Is it bedtime yet?"


One more day to go!

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Old 08-19-2010, 03:56 PM   #20
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Day 11

Finally, Day 11 - Clearwater to Prince George, home sweet home!

Its going to be kind of a bittersweet homecoming tho. Just hours after we get home, Brandi will be on her way back to Chetwynd for her next 10 day shift.


Edited to add some pics my stepmom took as we were loading up the bikes:









Oh well... let's enjoy the ride home, anyway! Up and at it for an early start again, hitting the road by 9am today. We only put about 115km between our last fill-up (Kamloops) and Clearwater, so we headed back south towards Little Fort to get onto Hwy 24 to 100 Mile House. Hwy 5 between Clearwater & Kamloops was ridiculously busy, but there was next to nobody on Hwy 24 through Little Fort:


It was a nice leisurely cruise through the outlying farming areas around Little Fort:


Then it was up the hill and into the... smoke? Ugh... damned forest fires. The whole province is beginning to smell like one big campfire.


By the time we got across Hwy 24 and onto 97, the haze was getting thicker. We figured we'd stop for gas and a bite to eat in 100 Mile. And really, what Canadian road trip would be complete without a stop at Timmy's?


Once on Hwy 97, the traffic was kind of crappy again. Lots of campers, boats & RV's. Even a few RV's pulling boats. My personal pet-peeve are the drivers that slow to 70 or 80km/h through the slightest of turns, then light it up to 120 or 130 on the straights. Morons like that need to be removed from the gene pool. After spending 5 minutes several cars back behind one such waste of skin, I witnesses at least 3 passes that bordered on idiocy - people would just get irritated and impatient being stuck back behind someone like that and start taking risks they really shouldn't be taking on the road.

We took a roadside break for a minute just to distance ourselves from the insanity, then continued on to Williams Lake. The smoke was getting ridiculous at this point:




The rest of the drive home was sloooow. Once we got through Quesnel and close to Hixon, it was one construction site or paving project after another. It took two hours to get home from Quesnel, which is usually an hour and 15 minutes, tops. Painful. Especially as hot and smoky as it was. Eventually we made it through all the single-lane alternating traffic queues and rolled through town, heading west out to our house, watching the blood-red sun through the smoky haze:



And that was it! ~3800km in 10 days of riding with one rest day in Hope. Not a bad pace at all, all things considered.

A few observations we made and will consider for the next trip:
  • Better seats. We were running stock seats on the DRZ and the DR, but with decent gel seat pads. I'd still like to try a Corbin/Renazco/Sargent for comparison.
  • Pack a bit lighter. Even for the amount of time we were gone, we had way too many clothes. And given that we were never very far away from any town with decent services, I probably packed way too many tools as well. Next time we take a hwy-only road trip, I'm cutting some serious weight from my toolkit.
  • More pictures! I thought I was doing ok for photos, but when I look through all the shots I downloaded from the camera, there's a lot of scenery I recall seeing that I never took photos of. Gotta be a little more diligent about that next time.
All in all, it was a great 'first trip' for us. A fun use of a week off from the office grind, we got to see a lot of friends and family along the way, celebrated an anniversary and a birthday, and learned quite a bit to apply to our next trip, too.

Can't wait for the next one!

Thanks to everyone who followed along!

And now, the musical recap:

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Old 08-19-2010, 04:28 PM   #21
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Good stuff guys. Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:53 AM   #22
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Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:13 AM   #23
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Great RR. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:11 AM   #24
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Congratulations!

Well I am glad your road trip was a success. Kelly, I think your wife is pretty spectacular for wanting to go on a trip like that with such high km/day rides (esp. with the previously-broken back!!!)

Brandi, YOU ROCK! You are one tough chick!

Happy Birthday--glad you had a nice trip!

Thanks for sharing, ~MAG
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:58 PM   #25
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Nice to see yet another ADV'r is upholding the tradition of marrying way out of their league The pics were great and I actually recognized some of the roads in AB and have traveled some of the BC roads too
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:18 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Night_Wolf
Nice to see yet another ADV'r is upholding the tradition of marrying way out of their league
Guilty as charged, and lovin every minute of it!

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:00 AM   #27
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Good Deal!

Good stuff guys, glad you all had a safe, fun trip!
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #28
job3-14
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We reckon this is the first of many trips to come!!!!! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

A&W
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #29
GISdood OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by job3-14
We reckon this is the first of many trips to come!!!!! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

A&W

I certainly hope so! Perhaps a trip to Ontario in the future?
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:17 PM   #30
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Awesome Rr

Living out on the other coast (Halifax), I've always wanted to ride the Rockies and yes even the Prairie - someday! I hope you know how fortunate you are GISdood (I think you do) as my wife won't go near my DR 650 or the Ninja 1000. I'm sure it's cliche to you by now, but as I was reading, in my mind was playing this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-tRXewCAmU

If you ever go Coast to Coast you got a garage in Halifax!

Cheers,
Martin
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