The hardest part of ride reports is finding the time to do themÖ
We left Jasper, Alberta, the morning of Wednesday, June 14, headed west to get to Hyder, Alaska.
Being in the north country, youíll hear numerous times about how the elk and possibly the moose are more dangerous than the bears. The elk and moose like to eat the grass next to the road, while bears will look for road kill and trash. Bears are lower to the ground and typically way hundreds of pounds, so hitting one can mess up a car or wreck a bike. But they are also chickens and will amble off if given a chance. A hungry elk will stand his ground and hitting one will take the legs out. In a car this can put over a thousand pounds of pissed-off hurt thrashing critter in your face. Hitting one with a bike may just end your day.
First thing in the morning and as we were less than 3 miles (5k) from Jasper, we came around a fairly sharp curve and came to a stop to get a photo of this guy. The photo doesnít do justice to how tall and handsome he was.
He was eating as we came around the corner and perked up when we stopped. As I took photos he started to get fidgety and gave no sign that he was going to back down. In fact, he took a step forward. We used the far shoulder of the road to get the heck out of there.
The ride was miles and miles of good quality road through tall trees, small lakes, and country side like this:
Canada exports a LOT of trees from here!
We finally came to the city of Prince George, which is a big city for how far north it is. We learned that the good people of PG have two common themes that they like to talk about. One was how bad their roads are and their roads were pretty rough, probably due to the continual frost heaves and traffic. The other thing they like to talk about was the need to watch out for clueless drivers in their fair city. Having commuted into DC for years, we found even the drivers in PG, British Columbia, to be typically polite Canadians. We had a great lunch in a restaurant bar to watch soccer and moved on.
Btw Ė Thanks to the guys at NRMotors Suzuki for a pleasant visit.
We headed west out of PG in the rain. Actually, itíd rained every day since getting to Yellowstone and rain was a recurring theme for the trip. Having been to Alaska a number of time for work and visits, Iíd expected rain but the Northwest has been getting more than normal this year.
The reason for bringing this up is that Trans Canada 16 west of PG is beautiful and dotted with numerous small get-away towns with cabins on lakes. Itís a very pretty place that people like to get away to and we even saw a moose and more elk. But the weather was not very good for frequently stopping to take photos. Here is more about the road: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British...bia_Highway_16
Highway 16 is also posted with bill boards that show photos of mostly young girl victims of a serial killer(s?), who stalks the road, which is how it is also called the Trail of Tears. Pretty disturbing and something we heard about from a young waitress, so looked it up.
We finally came to the village of Kitwanga, which is where the Hwy 37 Stewart Cassiar Alaska Highway turns off.
For those following us, itís about 120 miles to Stewart from the turn. Make sure to top off your gas at the one station / general store on this corner. The restaurant at the station had a surprise for us as well.
For $14.95, we got a full salmon steak dinner, complete with big slabs of fish, heaps of fries, and cole slaw. We learned that the salmon are actually caught in the river that runs behind the building. Nothing like a good salmon steak!
Along the trip, kids always liked to stare at the loaded bikes. Hereís Tim entertaining a fan:
There are a couple of camp sites in the area. We met a couple of guys on BMW GSís who enjoyed staying in the Provincial park. We put up tents at the small Cassiar RV park on the north side of town and this was our view:
A pleasant gentleman named Bill owns the park and speaks a number of languages and is another soccer fan who got into a great conversation with Tim. Tim takes care of the park and the hot showers were fantastic after the last couple of days in the rain and tents.
Of the maybe 15 RVs & tent campers in the area, 3 were German and another was also foreign. It was always interesting to find how many foreign tourists are enjoying the area. Of course, that means that you regularly some across CRUISECANADA rental RVs in the way on the road and those folks generally seem to be incapable of exceeding speed limits. ;)