|02-21-2013, 10:37 PM||#31|
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Victoria BC Canada
Day Ten Starts off with another sunny day man have I been lucky with the weather this trip. I have only had one and a half days of rain.
I grab a shower in the new facilities at the Six Mile river Resort. I get to met Doug the owner, who was out fishing until late. Doug is a biker, and has a Harley, parked at the resort. He shows me around , and I help him get one of his vintage tractors running. I take a few more pictures, pack up , and say goodbye.
My destination is Atlin, BC. Its directly south of Tagish, and the road is exceptional. It rolls through forest, and changes from good pavement to rough pavement, then dirt. Beautiful country, lots of up and downs. I see some huge bears along the way, moving quickly across the road, as they here me approaching. They must eat well around here, they are the largest bears I see on the trip.
After cruising through the forest the road opens up at Atlin lake. Beautiful glacier fed shade of blue, with mountains surrounding the lake. Its very picturesque here. I am having a great ride, until I hit road construction. I have to wait for a pilot vehicle. I ask the sign girl, if she will ask the pilot vehicle to go a little quicker, so I can keep my momentum up, as the frash grading is about six inches deep. Its a bit skecthy in a few areas, but i get through okay. After a while I roll into the town of Atlin. Its right on the lake. Its like a picture of the alps, or maybe the Rockies. Some pictures;
Some of the old buildings of Atlin;
And another with the bike in it;
I ride around the small town, and take lots of pictures. I ask a few people where I can find a good place to eat lunch, and find a small museum. The outside yard;
What a backdrop!
Lots of pics, I know, but I though this place was pretty cool, I really like it here.
I find the place to eat lunch, and every one in town seems to be eating here. I order a clubhouse sandwich, and grab a table on the patio. Its nice and warm out side, and after an hour of chillaxing, and trying to eat my huge lunch, I feel like I am getting a sunburn!
I could spend several days here easily, the kayaks on the lake were very tempting. There are a few hotels here, they are trying to bring in the tourists here, and some locals told me they are trying to have the road paved, as the tour buses wont use the existing dirt/ rough paved road. The road in was a blast, and I was ready to ride it back out.
said goodbye to Atlin, and headed back up the road out. I took a side road to a campground, and it led to camping on a smaller lake. I saw one camper in the whole place. I thought about spending the night here, but its still early, and I remembered those huge bears I saw on the way in. i took a ride around the campground, there were some lakefront sites, and also some in the surrounding forest. I had fun doing a few laps through the trees;
On the way in to Atlin, I flew buy a small shack on the side of the road, I thought I would now check it out;
Trading post? I have to check this place out;
I go inside, and there are trinkets on shelves that people have traded. A
Yukon license plate catches my eye, and I decide to make it a souvenir. I trade it for an unused water bottle, that has been taken up space in my saddlebag. Cool. The license plate is now on my garage wall.
The paved part of the Atlin road;
I get back to the hwy east, and start making my way towards Watson Lake. Four hours later, I arrive back in Nugget city, where the start of My Yukon adventure began. I rolled up to the Hungry wolf cafe. And ordered a roast beef feast
A couple of beers, and dessert, and I was feeling better. The RV/ campground is right next door. I sent up camp in the tent area, and meet a couple of guys from Australia, who have been riding their bikes around North America for months. Nice!
The campground has a big shelter with wi-fi, so I catch up on emails.
Tomorrow, Watson Lake is just down the road, then I leave the Yukon, and make my way through Northern BC.
Tagish to Atlin, and back, approx 200kms. Tagish to Nugget city, approx 380 Kms.
Another long day in the saddle. My ass is killing me
|02-24-2013, 02:01 PM||#32|
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Victoria BC Canada
I woke up to a cold morning, but the sun was again out, it was going to be another stellar day I recall hearing what turned out to be a young moose calling out to its mother in the night. It was an eerie cry, kind of haunting, especially in a tent, as it sounded close by.
After a quick shower, I walked over to the Hungry Wolf cafe for a big breakfast, to start the day off right. This was my last day in the Yukon, and I was going to miss this area a lot
After breakfast, I packed up the bike, and said goodbye to the to guys from Australia, that were camped next to me. I rolled out of the campground
heading east towards Watson Lake. I had to check out the world famous sign post forest;
There are signs everywhere here, its a pretty cool place to check out. Some of the signs go back to the building of the Alaska Hwy, in the 1940s. I walk through the rows of signs, wishing I had one to put up, but maybe on my next visit.
After a pit stop to get gas and air, I head out down the Alaska Hwy, towards BC.
There is no traffic, just a great road, I plan on making good time today.
I pass through the Yukon/BC border, and say adios to The Yukon. Its has been a great ride through, I will definately be back.
Rolling through Northern BC again, the landscape is open plains, I can see the Northern Rockies getting closer. The road follows the Liard river.
After maybe 100kms, I start to look for the famous Wood Bison, that wander this area grazing along the roadside. I had been warned about these big guys, by other bikers I had met, and knew they were in the area. Soon I found one all alone;
Not sure if he was a scout, or had been kiked out of the heard. He was no where near the rest of the herd, which I found miles further down the road.
I came to this spot where the river is running fast, there is a rest stop here;
After a few more KMs I ran across more Wood Bison;
These guys stopped traffic for a few minutes. They could care less about vehicles, and unfortunately tend to get hit by vehicles all to often, despite all the signs warning traffic to be aware
I got off the bike a few times, to photograph these guys, but the head bull will consider you a threat to the herd, and will come towards you. I never was charged by a bull, but it can happen, and these big animals can run fast if they want to. I would keep the bike running just in case, I needed to make a quick getaway, I wasn't taking any chances!
Dont do any thing to piss this guys off!
I had planned to check out the Liard river hot springs, but when I rode up, there were lots of people there, including a few tour buses. I kept going. The Rockies were getting close, and the scenery starts getting better!
This is Muncho Lake;
The road around the lake is lots of fun, I pulled over lots to take pictures.
Just in time for a lunch break, I arrive at the Toad River Lodge;
This is an interesting place. The history of the building of the Alaska Hwy, is all over the walls, with some pictures of the constuction. I am eating my lunch,and The four seniors at the table across from me are talking about the old days, and turns out one of the guys was part of the crew based near here in the forties, building the Hwy! How cool is that! I join in, and get some insight from these folks, to what life was like up here back then. Also in the cafe were four guys from europe, riding rented BMW GS650's They spoke very little english, and we didnt communicate very well. They left well before I did, and I took note that they were heading the same direction as I was
I wished the seniors well, and I left The Toad river Lodge feeling good.
From the lodge the road was still interesting, and it winds through the Northern Rockies, there are lots of long unpaved sections, and even the paved sections looked like gravel.
A while later I could see four bikes up ahead, hmmmm, time to reel them in.
I catch the four BMW riders, one by one, and they all seem surprised. I wave at each one as I blow past, but I dont get a wave back from any of them. I catch the last two on an unpaved section, and they dont seem to like eating my dust
I laugh as they try to catch me, they have all bunched up now, I can see them in my mirrors. They follow me for miles, I keep them in the distance, and finally they give up the chase, their single cylinder engines are no match for the mighty wee v twin. Good fun, I had to entertain my self some how, its a long ride!
After hours of riding, I roll into Fort Nelson. This is where sane people would stop for the day, but not me. I cruise through town, doesnt interest me, I dont even stop to top up the gas tank. (Big mistake)
I decide to keep going, as its only around 4:00pm. I am tired by now, but the road is like a magnet, and pulls me forward
Hours roll by, I see signs for gas ahead, but the gas station is closed, next gas 50km. I get to the next place, gas station shut down. Oh shit, now what I am running on fumes. I continue on, head on tank bag to increase mileage. I picture myself running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, and camping beside the highway. I somehow keep going, and come to yet another gas stop. this one is open, but the sign on the pumps say no gas until tomorrow
I go inside,and ask if there is any where I can get gas. The woman behind the counter says there is a work camp across the road, I might be able to get gas from there. I go to the workcamp, and see a gas pump. A guy comes out of the bulding and starts filling up my tank. I look at the price, and it says $1.70 per liter Holy shit thats some pricy regular. I am happy to pay it at this point, relieved, I dont have to camp on the side of the road. I follow the guy into the building to pay, and I get to see whats it like at a gas workcamp. You can smell the gas in the air everwhere around here, from Fort Nelson, to Fort ST John.
There are workcamps everywhere, they have taken over all the old motels, and ones still in operation. and set up workcamps. I ask the guy if he knows if there is camping near by, and he points to a sign just down the road. I say thanks, and cruise by the campground, but keep riding. I pass a few more campspots , but I am joined to the bike now, and keep moving. Buy now, I hear a strange noise coming from the back Wheel. I pull over to check it out, and see my chain guard dangling in the breeze. It has been rubbing into the chain, but still in one piece. I wire it up, as one of the screws is gone, press on. The sun has gone down, and its cooling off. I see a sign for Fort St John, and decided I can make it all the way there.
It gets dark about 50 kms from town, and I see deer eyes glowing in my headlights. Yikes, I need to stop. Finally I arrive in Fort St John, and roll into the first RV/campground I see. I walk into the office, and the guy there looks at me for a bit, and says, you have been pushing it pretty hard havn't you? Then begins to tell me how stupid it is to ride at night up here, as there are animals all over the road. I agree with him, and he says have a good night. He was actually a really good guy. I set up camp in the dark, and have some boil in a bag food for dinner, wow my butt is killing me1 Why I cant stop earlier, when my body is telling me to, I dont know. At this point I am ready to sleep in my own bed.
What a day, Watson lake to Fort St John, approx 893 KMs, 11 hours in the saddle! ouch
|02-24-2013, 04:11 PM||#33|
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Victoria BC Canada
I awake to morning in Fort St John. I can still smell gas, smells like propane. Turns out its the first day of hunting season, which explains why I was lucky to find a campsite last night.
After a shower, and charging my iphone, its time to pack up and hit the road. I could really use a day off, I have ridden every day, mostly long days in the saddle. My goal was to ride to Dawson Creek, the start of the Alaska Hwy, or the end for me, as I was riding from top to bottom. From Dawson Creek, I will head to Prince George, then south to my goal, Lac La Hache. From there, I know I can make it home the next day.
I roll through Fort St John, and find a road side cafe for some breakfast, and coffee.
The ride to Dawson Creek does not take to long, and I arrive and ride through town. I looked for The Start of the Alaska Hwy sign, but somehow miss it. I find myself heading west of of town. This area looks a lot like the prairies;
After passing the wind turbines, the road begins to get gradually more interesting.
I am back on Hwy 97, riding a section I have not been on before.
It begins to wind through some nice valleys, and mountain areas. I am having too much fun to stop and take any pictures. I roll through Chetwynd, BC. and Keep going. This part of Hwy 97 is probably the most scenic, and the road is a blast. Eventually I come to Prince George, where I have completed my loop of Northern BC. Wow this province is massive, but what a great loop!
I stop at a gas station/ food market, fill up the tank. They are baking fresh pizzas inside, so I get a couple of slices, and take it outside to eat at a picinic table. It's hot down here, and I am riding back into the southern BC heat wave, I head left behind almost a couple of weeks ago.
The further south I get, the hotter the day gets. The Hwy south of Prince George has little to interest me, and eventually I roll into Quesnel. I need gas, and like everytime I fill up, I take my magnetic tank bag off and put it on the back of the bike. This time I fill up, and have a look at my chainguard, check tire pressure, and lube the chain. I ride away, and pull out onto the hwy. About ten KMs down the road, I look down, and realize my tank bag is missing! WTF! I realize what has happened, and do a quick U-turn , and start scanning the road back towards the gas station. Now there is a ditch running beside the hwy, all the way back into Quesnel. I fear its fallen into this ditch, and I wont find. I arrive back at the gas station. No one has turned it in there, so I am fuming mad at myself by this time
Inside my tank bag are my newish iphone, my favorite ball cap, and a bunch of other things I would prefer not to lose. Luckily my wallet, and camera are in my jacket pocket. I leave the gas station, and realize the tank bag probably fell off in the intersection, getting back onto the highway. Its nowhere to be seen, so I continue on hoping to find it down the road. I get back to the point where I realized it was missing, and, I pray some one finds it, and finds my phone inside, and is nice enough to call my home.
I ride on to my destination for the night, a provincial park beside Lac La Hache. (which is a long lake) The campground is pretty quiet, and I pick a spot. The sun is going down quickly by this time, so I set up camp quickly, and have my last bag of Mountain house dehydrated food. Mmmm good. I am still frustrated at losing my tankbag, (which I bought for this trip), and all its belongings. The day is done, I have to be hopefull someone found my bag. I try to go to sleep without losing sleep over it. Its been another hot, long day, I am tired, and once again, my butt is killing me!!!
Fort St John to Lac La Hache, approx 800kms.
|02-24-2013, 05:23 PM||#34|
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Victoria BC Canada
It start the final morning of my trip, with the last of my coffee, and pack up and hit the road. I plan on taking my time today. I had ridden from here back home a few years prior, on my Triumph Bonneville, so I knew how long it would take. I stop for breakfast in 100 Mile house, at Tim Hortons.
Soon, I am heading south down Hwy 97. I am lucky this morning not to get a speeding ticket, a police cruiser, ended up pulling over a car that had passed me, and I was doing 120kms an hour.
The turn off to my next road came up, and I looked forward to riding Highway 99 south towards Whistler/Blackcomb, then on to the ferry terminal At Horseshoe bay. It was another smoking hot day today, and once again I pass through Lilooet, which is always Hot!
Iget through town as quickly as possible. and make my way up the steep windy road that heads towards Whistler. I am in the groove, and having a blast along this stretch of hwy.
Only one picture today. at the pullout looking over Duffey Lake.
I arrive eventually in Peberton, having been held up by road construction, along the way. fuel up the bike and the body. my credit card wont work, here, I think it is maxed out, and I was trying to be cheap. Most of it was spent on fuel, I used cash for food, camping etc.. Oh well be home soon. Pemberton to Whistler is still scenic, but more traffic as well, keeps the pace down. I decide to take it easy from here home, I dont want to take any chances, as I am so close to home now.
I arrive at the ferry terminal, and have to wait a couple hours for the ferry. Its smoking hot in the sun, in the line up for the ferry. i have to go find shade. I head into the villiage of Horseshoe bay, and find a pub with a nice big sun deck. i pick a table with shade, and order a beer, and some lunch. what a great place to kill a couple of hours. I can watch the ferries coming and going.
As I sit here, I start thinking about my trip, and how amazing it has been.
I am still getting over losing my tankbag, but I can live without everything in it, if I have to.
My ferry arrives, by now there are 25 bikes in the line up, and we all ride onto the ferry.
The crossing is pleasant, I spend most of it out on the upper sun decks, enjoying the ocean breeze. I cant believe how hot it is even on the ocean. We get to Vancouver Island about 7:30pm. I still have an hour and a half of riding to home, but It is cooler now, and I savour the last leg of my trip. When I pull up at my house, my wife comes running out to greet me, and is grateful I am still alive I get a big hug and lots of kisses!
She begins to tell me how someone found my tankbag in Quesnel, and had craked open the watertight case, that held my phone etc...The guy who found it had called the worst person to call in my contacts, my father. He is the biggest worry wart there is!
He ended up calling my wife who freaked out. She thought I had crashed, and my tankbag was found
(I had tried to call her from a pay phone, but had no luck.) I told her my story, and she settled down. Turns out the fellow who found my tank
bag was a really good guy, and was going to mail it down to me!
We received the bag a week later, and everything was intact! Tough bag! We sent the fellow, and his wife a gift card to say thanks!
What a great way to end the trip!, approx 613kms.
Final day of trip done!
Lac La Hache to Victoria BC
I am eternally thankful to all those great people who live up north, and who helped me out along the way. Its the people you meet, who make a trip memorable.
I realized I have a guardian angel who takes care of me. The bike ran perfectly, I had 0 flats, mechanically, lost the front bolt that holds on the chain guard. When I went to change my air filter, I found a dozen bees in it! Pretty successful trip, and I cant wait to head north again.
North will have to wait though, as I want to point the Bike south, for my next big trip!
Thanks for following along. I cant say enough how awesome a trip this is, and if you are thinking of doing it, JUST DO IT
|02-24-2013, 05:56 PM||#35|
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Orange, CA
Great write up, added 2 places on my map to go on my trip this summer.
|02-24-2013, 07:32 PM||#36|
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Southeast Ga.
Awesome report! Really appreciate you taking the time to share. You had some of the best pictures I have seen in ride reports. I will certainly be looking for your next trip!
|02-24-2013, 07:48 PM||#37|
Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Victoria BC Canada
thanks for the positive feedback! I have been wanting to do this rr for a while. writing it brings back all the good times. I cant wait to do some more long trips, its addictive! I want to head to Mexico next winter for at least a month
|02-24-2013, 07:57 PM||#39|
Joined: May 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Very nice RR and pictures. You managed to highlight our 'backyard' well. Good to hear that you have your tank bag back.
|02-25-2013, 09:36 AM||#41|
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Sky High Evergreen, Colorado
Too bad I can't start this exact trip today!
I think I will copy your map, stops, food etc. And just duplicate this RR trip!
|02-25-2013, 05:00 PM||#42|
Ride Fast Travel Slo
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: High Level, Alberta
Thanks for the report and the great photos, it was nice to see the same spots I have stopped at over the last couple of summers. I know what you mean about the road just pulling you especially on the way home. On my way back from D2D I left Liard Hotsprings and drove all the way home that night. My Wife stopped checking the Spot update in Ft St John figuring I would stop for the night, but I kept going and pulled into the drive 4 hrs later, total distance was about 1200 Km that day.
08 KLR (the cool green one)12Vstrom 650
You don't travel to see different things, You travel to see things differently.
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