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Old 03-29-2015, 08:30 PM   #1
Me_Rock OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Cheney, WA
Oddometer: 35
Where the gas is sold by the liter and the money has monarchs on it

Here in the Northwest, we've had a very warm winter. That made it possible to take a spring break overnighter to Columbia Lake, BC from Cheney, WA. I wanted to see the source of the mighty Columba River, which I grew up on. It was a little over a 500 mile round trip.

My buddy had recently purchased a Kawasaki KLR650, and was eager to go on a moto camping trip. We strapped what gear we could to our bikes, and headed north! The whole first day was remarkably sunny and warm. A very beautiful day for riding.

Newport, WA, just before crossing in to Idaho:

Between Bonners Ferry and the border of Canada:

Crossing the border went smoothly, and we continued on our way north.

Waiting for my buddy to get through:

Bilingual stop sign and the "welcome" sign:

The borderline has a buzzcut:

After crossing the border, we noticed that the locals exceed the speed limit quite a lot. It makes sense, seeing how far apart the towns are and how few RCMPs are rolling around. We settled in at about a 115 kph pace, which was still slower than the locals. It's a pretty cool feeling to be cruising all day while doing 115 of something. While my Honda's speedo has kph in fine print on it, my odometer only displays freedom units. I passed the time by doing mental calculations converting the distances in kilometers on the signs to miles so I could understand what progress we were making.

Taking a break before reaching our destination:

After not too long, we arrived at Columbia Lake, where we planned on spending the night. In Canal Flats there was a "saloon" where we stopped in for a Kootenay beer and to ask the friendly locals where we might find a camping spot on the lake. Canal Flats is a very blue collar lumber town, and for some reason the locals had heavier Canadian accents than the folks in other towns. One saloon patron in particular warmed right up to us and explained how we could camp pretty much anywhere we wanted as long as it was not in someone's backyard. After a little bit of searching, we found a housing development that was nothing but empty lakefront lots with electrical transformers on them. We chose to set up in some trees as protection from the wind. We were even able to set up camp before the sun went down!

Camp set up. The sunset over the mountains was quite beautiful:

I remembered to bring a lighter in case we could have a fire. There were no "burn ban" signs up, and we found a shovel laying on the ground not far from where we set up camp. I used it to scrape some ground to the bare dirt as a makeshift fire pit. There was plenty of dry wood laying around so we made good use of it. I love the challenge of building fires using only grass, sticks, and gathered wood. Couldn't have asked for a nicer location or a nicer evening:

Sometime that night while we were sleeping, the rain started coming down by the bucketfull. We stayed warm and dry in our tents, but the next morning was a soggy one. I woke up, opened my front door, and snacked on some saltines and peanut butter for breakfast in my tent while waiting for the rain to let up. This was my view:

The tents, sufficiently soggy:

The ride home was really wet, but the weather got better and better as we made our way south. By the time we reached Freedomland again, the rains had stopped and the sun decided to come out and say hello. I didn't take any pictures of the ride back, because we took the same route back and were trying to make as much time as possible and get out of the rain. Overall an awesome first moto trip of the season. It could have been more dry, but the rain certainly did not stop us!
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