Showing off the interior of BC to an "Amurrican".... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Showing off the interior of BC to an "Amurrican"....

I'm told that it gets pretty 'warm' in Arizona around this time of year, so when one of my winter neighbors in AZ e-mailed that he was... "Getting-out-of-Dodge" - for a respite from the HOT, I invited him to come and ride in BC w/ me. He showed up on his BMW R1200 R in the middle of June, and because we were in the middle of a cold-spell, rainy and chilly some days, I suggested a couple of day-rides, attending a luncheon for retired airline pilots on the 'rain-day', and heading out to ride "the HILL" which goes down about 5,000 feet in 11 miles (THAT is an AVERAGE 9% grade, dirt to-boot!) and the ONLY road access to Bella Coola, over a week or so of riding and camping. Bill agreed, so the first two one day-rides introduced him to a lot of twisties up and around Yankee Flats/ Salmon River, PLUS a chance to see a susquatch while riding BC 33/ BC 3 on the second.

The forecast for the 15th onward was for improving weather, so we loaded our 'rides', heading out early on the 15th



N on BC 97 thru Kamloops, onto the T-Can Hwy 1 for a bit, then N on BC 5 thru the "Caribou" Region of Central BC.

Unfortunately the weather, cloudy and cool, kept me from taking as many pics as I normally do (BTW - there WILL be MORE pics in the "Drag and Drop File Upload" area at the bottom of each day's write-up than in the body of the story), and we stopped at "70 Mile House" to put on rain-gear - the skies a solid mass of cloud - but that only lasted a few miles, and as we descended the clouds 'broke-up', so we stopped at the S end of Williams Lake to remove the gear, gas up, then turn W on BC 20 toward the blue skies we could see.... As I set my GPS destination to Bella Coola I saw that we'd traveled 453 kms from my home, and Mr GPS was telling me that we had another 455 kms to go (I had never realized that the "home-to-Williams Lake" distance equals the "Williams Lake-to-Bella Coola" distance....).



The road soon turns S along the Fraser River, crosses it heading UP a long hill, clouds rolling in, getting SOLID and ominous looking, and as I was in the lead I turned up the throttle, hoping to get back to that 'blue-sky' we'd just seen, riding 'hard and fast'.

It got darker, the winds high and gusting. We pulled over to put rain-gear back on at a wider spot on Hwy 20 (near Risque Creek) just as the rain started again. Now headed in a more-westerly direction we seemed to be riding out of the bad weather, soon being greeted by BLUE so I looked at the map for the nearest campground, and found it near Alexis Creek, Bull Canyon Provincial Park.

We pulled in having ridden 571.5 kms over 8 hrs 35 mins,



found a site, set-up, then I poured us each a "B&B" (bourbon and branch) to celebrate!



As we were eating supper (the USUAL "Stagg Chili" for BOTH of us......), three motorcycles rode in, so after eating we walked over to their camp and chatted w/ two Brians and a Jud, riding a H-D, a Kawi Connie 1300 and a Yam I-4 (FZ1...?). Seems they were heading to the same place as us, and we hoped to see them again, but NOW to bed.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 08:06 PM
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Ahhhh, another of Eddies' rides. What took so long?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 09:23 PM
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Looks like you set up camp on a road. That's brave of you.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-23-2018, 09:24 PM
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On second thought you would certainly never do anything like that.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
Ahhhh, another of Eddies' rides. What took so long?
I'm PRETTY OLD, might be the reason....

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Originally Posted by Arion View Post
Looks like you set up camp on a road. That's brave of you.
Campsites that are gravel. REALLY difficult to put in tent-pegs, so I now carry a hammer and Ardox (hardened) nails!



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On second thought you would certainly never do anything like that.
Certainly NOT on PURPOSE.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Day 2 [16th June] of THIS adventure

June 16th dawned clear… and COLD! Talking w/ another camper we were told that her thermometer showed 1C (about 33.8F) as she got up, so we had LOTS of gear on as we made our brekkie, but cold or not - one helluva nicer start to THIS day, compared w/ the FINISH of the last one, sun highlighting our surroundings!

Getting water turned into a bit of a problem - the MANUAL water-pump was busted, so we headed down to the river for some. The water was fine, but the banks were pretty steep, a REAL challenge to get down and back w/out falling into it, but I managed OK (after years of camping in the Rockies I’m pretty used to drinking from streams, tho’ Bill wasn’t...), tho’ I’d rather NOT go down that bank again. There WAS a saving-grace tho’ - nobody came by to collect our fees, so we saved $20….



On the road heading W, the Coastal Range mountains on the horizon, hardly any traffic as we traveled across the Chilcotin Plateau,





skirting MUCH forest-fire evidence (from LAST year I believe), pics of which WILL be in TOMORROW'S ride, and we stopped for gas at Anahim Lake, where the lady mentioned the construction on “the HILL” was attracting bears (and showed us a pic her daughter had taken of an aggressive black bear that had approached her car while she stopped for the construction work…).

That is pretty much the end of pavement (UNTIL the bottom of the HILL where it is nicely paved right to and thru Bella Coola to the end, a few kms W), and the dirt road thru Tweedsmuir Park started a short while after their store. In about 20 kms we could see the “CONSTRUCTION WARNING” on an electric sign beside the one marking Heckman Pass Summit



- the start of “the HILL” - which basically descends 5,000 ft in 16 kms (averaging a 9% grade, but STEEPER in some sections!!!), so we rode over to the ‘overlook’ for a few pics



(there are NOT many places on the HILL that are safe to stop for pics, as it’s very narrow, w/ sheer drop-offs on the left-side as you descend [S side, mostly])!

The skeeters were in swarms, very aggressive, so lots of bug-spray onto our faces, then DOWN the HILL we rode.



By the ’time-stamps’ on my pics, it was 41 minutes from top to bottom, as evidenced in this pic.



We took a few minutes there for a lunch break, then started W again, pavement NOW under our wheels (Bill MUCH happier, tho' he did REALLY fine on the HILL!).

BTW - CHECK the pics below each write-up, as there'll be MORE pics than are IN the text...!

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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the REST of Day 2....

Near the start of the pavement there was a sign warning "EXPECT ONE HOUR DELAYS DUE CHIP-SEALING FOR 50 KMS", and as today was Saturday, it "hit-me" that we might "dodge THAT bullet" by heading back UP the HILL the next day - Sunday. CHIP-SEALING entails laying oil or tar down then covering it w/ crushed rock, so it becomes INCREDIBLY dusty, like THIS from my ride to Alaska in '16.



So, the plan was to avoid it, and we headed towards Bella Coola....



As we rode W, I noticed that a ’tail-bag’ on Bill’s bike seemed to be “listing” to ’starboard’, so I hit the gas, motioned him to pull over, then slowed and onto the “shoulder”, which besides being quite narrow - wasn’t REALLY a shoulder - and as I stopped and put down my right foot - there was NOTHING there but the tops of weeds - and Bill got to watch me SLOWLY turn turtle as the GREEN HORNET TOO fell into the ditch, rolling me over two or three times to the bottom of that ditch and out of view. He ran over to help, but I struggled in the weeds, OUT of view, till he saw my helmet emerge and offered his hand. Let's hear it for ATGATT!

I was OUT, but the Versys was STILL on its side at probably 20 degrees BELOW level, so OFF w/ the saddle-bags, canoe-bag, tank-bag, and between the two of us we got the bike back onto pavement on its side-stand!

I wasn’t even bruised, the bike seemed OK, so all the bags were re-installed and we again headed W (around 50 kms from the bottom of the HILL to Bella Coola).

First stop in town was the campground I'd stayed at EVERY time I'd come to Bella Coola, but it was NO-GO - construction equipment everywhere - so we continued W so Bill could see the harbor,



then back thru town, looking for another tent-site, stopping for pics of a couple of totems, but finding no camping there.





About 15 kms E on the highway we saw a sign saying "Gnomes Home RV Park", so we pulled in, got a site for $17 (c/w $2 showers which we NEEDED!).

We'd done 390.6 kms in 7 hrs 14 mins of PDG weather!



After supper I went for a walk





but I could NOT find anyplace selling COLD beer OR ice-cream...., so back to camp, and to sleep.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 08:27 PM
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Nice............sorry to hear about the "incident".
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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chip-sealing....

I THOUGHT that I'd included a pic from one of my D2D rides of what the Alcan looked like w/ 50 kms of chip-sealing, but... (so here it is!). I HOPE...!

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Day 3 - Sunday, the 17th June

We were up early (as usual!), shaved and showered, made our normal breakfast,



broke camp, loaded our "trusty steeds" then headed E at 0741, the temperature reasonable altho' some clouds were evident. Stopped to check our loads for security where the pavement ended, then headed UP "the HILL", arriving at the top at 0925, so an hour and 44 minutes from the "Gnome" campground.



We counted ourselves as VERY lucky - NO chip-sealing, NO road construction on the HILL so NO delays for us! The only difficult part of the HILL was it was quite gravelly for the first half mile or so, then settled down to a reasonably good dirt road. I must've got its attention, as Bill reported a black bear poking its head out of the weeds at the side of the road after I rode by.

After gassing-up at Anahim Lake again, we continued E, stopping for lunch at Tatla Lake, sitting on the patio around their 'information center' at 1151 hrs.



A few minutes after our snack we were riding thru 'cattle-country'



then thru the evidence of an older forest-fire.



Half an hour later we stopped at an 'overlook' to view the evidence of the BIG fire of '17....





I remember the coverage on the TV news - HUGE billowing clouds of smoke.

Years back I'd had good luck camping at the Lac La Hache Provincial Campground about 40 mins S of Williams Lake, so that was where we headed, even tho' when we got there we experienced CLOUDS of 'skeeters', but a GOOD spray of "Deep Woods OFF" and they (mostly) stayed away! We picked a site, then set-up, made supper, and enjoyed a B&B or two [] before going to bed.



Today had added another 490.7 kms (305 miles) to our total, in 7 hrs 57 mins, the ride total NOW at 1452.8 kms.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Nice............sorry to hear about the "incident".
It was ONE of my "better" incidents. Broke NUTHIN' on either ME or the GREEN HORNET TOO, tho' I do NOT recommend THAT way of stopping....




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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Monday, 18th June - to Lillooet

We were pretty much "on schedule" - up around 0500, ablutions completed, then brekkie (the USUAL..), bikes loaded and then AWAY by a 'quarter past 7', heading S on BC 5 w/ a stop at 100 Mile House 'welcome centre' to see the "world's largest cross-country skis", left there NO DOUBT by the abominable snowman or a Susquatch,



looking for the sign announcing BC 99



(a REALLY nice, twisty road ALL the way thru to Whistler Mtn ski resort!) to Lillooet, and several pics from this hwy will be in the ones at the BOTTOM of the post.

As we arrived I had a look-out going for my old favorite campground, saw it, then turned in but the sign said it was FULL, NO sites available.

It WAS only just past noon, so I rode down to chat w/ the owner (perhaps... BEG... is a better word for what I was prepared to do to get a site), but right away he said that he hadn't changed the sign yet, and they DID have a site for us. YIPPEE!

We paid-up, set up camp, ate lunch then headed out for a fairly short ride I had in mind, W to Seton Portage, at the end of a "bit" of dirt road. Our camp is in this pic, t'other side of the Fraser River, as we started out....



Bill's BMW is NOT set-up for dirt, and as I rode I noticed him getting further behind,





so I pulled to the side to wait for him, asked IF he wanted to continue, or not. "NOT!" was his instant reply, so we decided to head back to town, get a six-pack of something COLD, then retreat to camp to enjoy it. The road passed these early log-buildings, and I couldn't resist a pic



but soon we arrived back at camp, deciding to "sip"...... THOSE cold beers BEFORE they warmed-up, followed by a "B&B" chaser.



DESPITE the "Evan Williams Boubon" bottle, THESE "B&B" s were Gentleman Jack from Lynchburg, TN, poured into the EMPTY plastic bottle (for SAFETY!!!).



Today's ride added another 274.9 kms in 5 hrs 4 mins, but ended in HEAT w/ NO SKEETERS!

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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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WHY so many pics at the bottom of each post...?

As I'd been used to the Photobucket way of storing images, previously, I wasn't quite prepared that the Versys Forum's photo-storage 'limits' you to a certain number of albums, w/ a MAX of 60 pics per. I'd used more albums up, not realizing the limits, w/ fewer than 60 pics per, so for THIS ride report I wanted to use ONLY the allowed 60 in the "contained" pics, so the extras are added at the "Drag and Drop File Upload" area.

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:07 PM
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I understand Bill's reluctance to go "too" far on dirt with the wrong bike......I took a muddy two tracker for 19 miles (on a 1500 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic) once and had a hard time getting off the bike once I hit asphalt again. My sphincter had a cramp....

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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BTW - those three bikes we saw at our FIRST camp at "Bull Canyon Provincial Park" about an hour W of Williams Lake, heading to Bella Coola too....

After we found that there were NO campgrounds in Bella Coola on the Saturday, and as we were headed E towards the "Gnome" campground we saw them heading W towards us. I tried waving to get them to stop or do a U-turn (to tell them about the construction coming on Monday...), but NO joy, tho' they DID wave back...?

Wonder IF they're STILL at the BOTTOM of the HILL....


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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Tuesday, 19th June - to Pemberton, and BACK!

Because of noise in the campground in Dawson during D2D '16 I'd got into the habit of putting ear-plugs in when I went to bed, and as BC 99 is JUST above the campground in Lillooet, I was wearing them. I awoke to what I thought was the sound of the river, then noticed Bill's voice OVER everything, hollering!

I quickly opened the tent-flap to see a JET of water going UP from our water source, Bill trying to stop it. Got dressed VERY fast, then out to see what the problem was.... There was a POOL of water up to his tent, just starting to come under the end of mine.



Running over I saw that the hose shut-off tap had been ejected from the water line, so I grabbed it, forcing it back down INTO the line, the "jet" now stopped. I needed a slot screwdriver to loosen, then re-tighten the 'worm-clamp' that had loosened enough to eject the tap from the line, and Bill got one from his BMW tools, so soon it was secured. I dragged a stick to try to drain the pool of water towards the N, while Bill was moving his tent to dry (it's in front of the two bikes...).

I ran down to the office to report the problem, told Peter what I'd done, what I figured needed 'doing' to fix the problem (it was about 0545 hrs, so I woke him and his wife...), then back to shave, etc, and make some coffee, breakfast then prepare for our ride, down BC 99 to Pemberton, this road known as "the Duffy Lake Road".

We started out at 0700, via the "Old Bridge" (altho' it was OPEN for walkers, bicycles AND motorcycles - UNFAILINGLY we got the "hairy-eye-ball" from any walkers, obviously hating that WE would ride across their 'hallowed' ground...!)



but soon we were out of Lillooet, on BC 99 headed W,



Seton Lake about 5 minutes away.



In the early "golden" light the mountains glowed, a GREAT way to start the day!





(MORE pics in the space below....)
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Tuesday, 19th June... continued!

WHATEVER this lake is named (Duffy Lake...?), it is beautiful in the morning light, the reflections just... PERFECT!



After MANY pics we continued, the road becoming SERIOUSLY twisty, (when you look at the pics BELOW - you'll get to see MANY MORE 'reflection' pics.)



and we arrived in Pemberton for a coffee around 0920, then rode back to Lillooet (in HEAVY TRAFFIC!) so no pics on the way back, tho' we DID stop at the Liquor Store for another COLD 6-pack to wash down lunch....

Saw a neat sign in there



then saw an osprey nest atop the OLD BRIDGE, so I tried for a few pics.



This day's ride added another 210 kms over 5 hours to the ride total,



but for NOW, it was down to the river to enjoy a beer (or several) while keeping the remainder cool in the Fraser River. LOTS of neat looking rocks, including (IF you 'squint'...) one that looked like a snapping turtle's head.



When we ran out of our cool beer, back up to camp for our supply of B&B, but Bill noticed some yummy looking berries - SASKATOONS! - which are really tasty, so time for some of THOSE!



Later, after supper, we walked over to the OLD BRIDGE to try for more pics of the ospreys (now there were TWO), and of the train going by on the W bank.





Then it was time to roll into bed, as on the 'morrow we would ride to Lytton, then split, Bill riding S to WA, me E to home.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 06:27 PM
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I have ridden Duffy Lake Rd several times with a gent from Abbotsford.............beautiful place and I took some pics at the same point you did.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Day 6, Wednesday, 20th June - goin' home...!

It was NICE sleeping-in till 0540, but what was even nicer - NO sounds of rushing water this AM, even tho' there were still wet-spots from yesterday morning! And DESPITE the pic of the crane-truck in the report from the 19th, we saw it THIS morning at 0747, AFTER brekkie, shaving, etc,



and NOW time to break camp. The bikes loaded up, time to set up the tripod for a 'goodbye' pic.



We gassed up at a native-owned gas station on the SW outskirts of town, a MASSIVE turbine mounted beside it.



From there we rode Hwy 1 S along the Fraser River, w/ lots of road-paving going on, so no pics till we split up in Lytton



Bill heading S towards WA on Hwy 1, while I turned E onto BC 12 along the Thompson River, the CN (Canadian National RR) on the N side,





the CP (Canadian Pacific RR) to my right on the S side, as I headed to Spences Bridge,



where I turned right onto BC 8, another GREAT twisty road, but it was HOT, so I stopped twice to load my t-shirt w/ water from the river to cool off, from the stream alongside BC 8 on the W side of 8,



to Merritt, where I photoed another log cabin,



then onto BC 97C - the "Connector", between Kelowna and the Coquihalla (Hwy 5) to Vancouver, where I arrived back home at 1316, glad to be home.



Today added 315.7 kms in 6 hrs 30 mins, making the ride (for ME!) 2253.4 kms (1,400 miles) w/ 40 hrs 25 mins "in the saddle". Another PDG ride thru BC...!
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