BC advice please

Discussion in 'Canada' started by JayElDee, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Y'all are just NOT going to stop, huh? That did make me laugh out loud though. Piling on...elder abuse! Will they point at me and say something like, "there's that guy!" or call me a wuss and an ole fart. Will their pillions snicker at me? It's a good thing I won't remember it very long, being so old and all. Or maybe the BC buds---is that a real thing? In Ainsworth?
    #81
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  2. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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    Nelson is a cool town for sure. Poisoning yourself with Kokanee beer I don't consider bucket list stuff. Craft beer, however, oh yeah!!!
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  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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    I must admit, I hope things have changed after all these years at Toad Rock. I remember a bit of a Harley-fest, not my idea of a prime environment. Maybe there was a rally of some kind, I don't know. Heck, it's been 73F and sunny here in Langley the last 2 days, and I'm already sick of the v-twin flatulence!
    #83
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  4. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    Steve, I think the experience at Toad Rock can vary widely, dependent on who shows up. I know they can have some pretty hard core rough drinker types show up (the V-twin crowd?), but the couple of times I've been there, we had a good experience. I sure like that area - great riding, laid back people, awesome scenery, etc.
    #84
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  5. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Oh, man! I get that, kind of like the general store parking lot at Deals
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #85
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  6. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    looking at time frames vs locations, not quite information and geography overload, but approaching it...

    If I were to come up from the south, say Kalispell, and I want to ride the Icefields Pkwy, paticularly to see Peyto Lake. Is staying in Nelson/Ainsworth/Toad a reasonable stop for a night or two, then 31A, 23, 1 to Icefields and up to Jasper for a night, down 5 toward Kamloops? Would it be a "better" motorcycle tour/ride to go toward Banff, to the east instead? From here and elsewhere it would appear that the Ainsworth route would be better?

    After that, how best to get to Vancouver Island...via 20 to Bella Coola then ferry to Port Hardy down to Victoria and ferry, Sidney, to Anacortes, or is that just too much for 7-8 days total in BC?
    And if a bella Coola leg/ferry is too much, is there a alternate route from the Kamloops, turn west before Kamloops, or ??

    I suppose that everyone would have their preferences on what to see/do but it will be impossible to do even half of what is there...I realize that. And if I wanted to do bang for buck locations...And if weather could play a role, ie are some areas more prone to cold wet foggy, while others would have more photogenic weather? All of that could go into the mix.

    Looking for generalities rather than specifics, unless applicable. I admit ignorance on times and distances and practicality in this area though I have been pouring over google maps. I am not looking to do 450 + mile days at all--in the major areas of interest, 200-300 mile days would be fine, I want to see stuff and ride beautiful roads. I am not keen on >30-40 min hikes, so does that itnerary apply, or what fine tuning should be considered.

    I know what a 300 mile day means in the southeast, or in Colorado, or NM, or Texas---and it can mean totally different things- but I don't know for BC. It looks to be more densely interesting than even Colorado.
    I understand how much I want to stop and smell the roses plays a huge role in this, and that depends on the "number of roses to be smelled," right?

    Thoughts? and thanks.

    So, I look up Bella Coola and the first items google chooses to link are grizzly bear human encounters, complete with firearms. Can one cross from the US into CA with bear spray (labeled as "Bear Spray"), and vice versa?
    #86
  7. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    "After that, how best to get to Vancouver Island"?
    hwy 99 thru Whistler, from Kamloops - that's an incredible day ride, ending up at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal. lots to explore along the way, if you choose to do so.
    #87
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  8. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Hello JayEIDee from Vancouver Island! If it hasn't been said specifically, IMHO...THE best stretch of motorcycle highway, especially considering your BMW ride, is Hwy 99 from Lillooet to Whistler (called the 'Duffy Lake') and then the Sea-to-Sky highway to Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver). You will want to take ride this on a bluebird day only, probably in July. The weather is guaranteed to be dry anytime in August, however there could be forest fire smoke in the air late into the summer.

    Once at Horseshoe Bay, it is your choice to take the ferry to Nanaimo (avoiding Vancouver) and then trundle around the Island to Victoria ... or keep going south through Stanley Park in Vancouver - heading to either the ferry to Victoria or south back to USA. If you arrive in Horseshoe Bay at 6PM or later, it is fast and easy (traffic wise) to get through Vancouver, as long as it is not raining!

    Of course, there are fantastic stretches of decent, paved, limited traffic roads here on the Island, especially the Port Renfrew - Lake Cowichan loop. But the Duffy Lake road is visually and technically spectacular, especially on motorcycle - problem is you'll want to stop and take pictures every 10 minutes.
    #88
  9. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Sorry to be redundant - I see yamalama posted the same sentiments before I did.
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  10. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

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    Actually...the fun roads don't end there either.....continue on down to Spences Bridge, east to Merritt, east again to the 5A, north or south to either Kamloops or Princeton. The road to Darcy, Pemberton, Goldbridge......aye...endless places worth the time.
    I think it best to consider the fire situation, if there is an issue and plan for the island if the interior is smokey and if not you have more than a few other great choices.

    The coolest thing is...clearly everyone here wants you to have a great trip, just as we have, when travelling south of the border.
    #90
  11. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    so, reading between the lines, save Bella Coola for another time and use the route above? Thanks
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  12. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    looking at the maps, I see all that, much of it Michelin agrees with y'all regarding their value. Looks like some nice looping to be done.
    Re the Island
    disembarcking at Nanaimo, then south and west to Port Renfrew through Sooke along 14? The fron Pt Renfrew along what looks to be a nicely graded gravel road to L Cowichan? My Michelin shows a complete loop around the lake that seems to have eluded google??

    Or what if I ride up the west side of the lake to Port Alberni, then west on 4 to Tofino. Ag=fter that backtrack to Victoria and a ferry to the states?

    Google street view is dated 2012, but shows nice gravel along much of that route. Is that still the case?
    #92
  13. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

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    I don't recall any gravel from Pt Renfrew to Lake Cowichan along the Pacific Marine Rd. Last time there was in about 2016, on my F700GS. I recall a fast curving road that I quite enjoyed.
    #93
  14. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    the backroad from Lake Cowichan to Port Alberni is interesting. there's 10-20 k of pavement in the middle of it - you gotta be on the alert for logging trucks - they use up a lot of road.
    #94
  15. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer Supporter

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    I'm tentatively booked early August on the new ship from Pt. Hardy to Bella Coola. I placed my request to board back in early January, and BC Ferries will confirm my boarding mid April. It's $360 one way. It is a logistical commitment. It's a solid 12 hours from Metro Vancouver to Pt. Hardy including the ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo. They start boarding at 5:30am on sailing day at Pt. Hardy , so you need accomodation [of some sort] at Pt. Hardy, and it's a 13 hour passage, so arrival at 8:30pm in Bella Coola, so "some sort" of place to put your head down in Bella Coola. Bella Coola to Williams Lake is an easy 8 hours. Williams Lake to SW Metro Vancouver area is a full 6 hours easy. Big area.

    As mentioned before, this is a massive land base, BC. Most BC maps are of a different scale than other states, or countries. England, Scotland, and Wales fit inside British Columbia, with room for the Isle of Man. Vancouver Island is 6 times bigger than Prince Edward Island, 3 times bigger than the Big island Hawaii, almost 1/2 the size of Tasmania. Study the size of things here. Many times i've heard of travellers plan on making a ride/drive goal out here, only to realize the sheer underestimation of it all.
    #95
  16. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Hi JayEIDee, If you take the ferry to Nanaimo, from there going directly to Port Alberni (1hr) (stop at Cathedral Grove ) and then on to Tofino (2hrs). And yes, it is an out an back. Tofino is a destination - you'll want to spend some time there (weather permitting). Stop in Coombs on the way back. Tofino to Victoria is 5 hrs, without stopping. I think you'll want to spend time in Victoria. If you have time, the best motorcycle ride from Victoria is to Jordon River, Port Renfrew -Lake Cowichan loop back to Victoria via Hwy 1.

    Vancouver Island is 2 days if you go to Tofino (or Campbell River). Otherwise go straight to Victoria.

    From Victoria there are 3 ferry choices - Port Angeles, Anacortes (very pretty ride), or Tswwassen (Vancouver, also beautiful trip). The beauty of the ferries and motorcycles is you (generally) don't need a reservation - just show up and you'll be directed to the front of the line.

    Steve G is correct. For you Bella Bella is too much - too far, too much time. BC is a big province.

    People from ALL OVER THE WORLD come here for these destinations: Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino, Victoria, Banff (or anywhere in the Rockies) and also the Okanagen (southern BC). Judging from how you describe yourself, these are all 'the must sees'. You might skip Vancouver depending on time of day, but Vancouver is easy to get through after 6PM. Remember that sunset is around 9PM in mid-July, 8PM mid Aug, 7PM mid-Sep). So if you like to get an early start to the day keep that in mind.

    BTW, all these rides are on YouTube.

    Are you riding solo? That's a big determinant.
    #96
  17. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Grizzlies? That one was on 31,crossed the road in front of me.Altough partly gravel I really like that loop Kaslo-Trout Lake-Nakusp and generally well maintained.

    [​IMG]



    Mind you.....watch for bears,that's a very good road for wildlife sightings. Maybe the goats around Lardeau?

    But I tipped my BMW over a bear a few years ago on my way down to Kaslo for ice cream.Close sighting....face within inches of bear fur?

    Didn't see any last time but I rode my louder bike through,they probably cleared the road when they heard me coming?BMW is too quiet but has a very loud horn.

    Chinese signs?.....Cheap paint that fades away for sure,but I should pick up another one.In my driveway and true.

    15531829405951595370578.jpg
    #97
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  18. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

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    Right, I fully understand and that--my known ability to underestimate-- is what I was trying to convey. The other day a patient told me,"nobody walks on water," and I thought hmmm, that's a good quote...I know I don't, and BC looks like it would be easy to underestimate in many regards. I want to avoid underestimating. I don't want the solution for a problem to be that I should walk on water.

    That sounds like a good plan. Is Tofino a Canada Day destination? Down here, some people travel on July 4th, but for many it's an at home holiday for friends and family, local park BBQ, etc but not far from home....How does that work in CA? Do more people hit the road or do they stick around home? July 1 is a Monday, so a long weekend or more? Would you think motel space will be rare? at a premium? or no problem...generally.

    Right. Riding back from Wisconsin in the fall, a black bear crossed the road in front of me on Mt Magazine in Arkansas. It was about 50 yds in front of me. That thing was big! Definitely caught my attention, but grizzlies are another thing. Do you ride with bear spray? Do lines of cars stop to watch the cute bear and her cubs, and you are hanging out there on a motorcycle, a protein burrito of sorts? That scenario can happen in some of the forested parks here.


    and to all, yes I am doing this solo. So, if I seem to be overthinking this, I remember and apply the adage that Fortune not only favors the bold, but more so, the prepared.

    great info, many thanks
    #98
  19. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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    Tofino is a weekend, summer and Canada Day destination yes. Tofino is busy in the summer, mind you around July 1st is beginning of summer. And there will definitely be more cars on the road that weekend - better to go there mid-week, traffic wise. But Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park and Uclulet are beautiful and (can be) expensive if you stay. There is also 'glamping' at places like Wya Point - have done that - reasonable and very nice - practically on the beach. And of course lots of eateries in Tofino from pub food to fine dining.

    Weather is the main factor. It can be hit and miss - hot and sunny in Nanaimo & Port Alberni but socked-in (or rain) on the west coast. Usually by afternoon the fog has burned off. But best to check beforehand.

    Reservations for long-weekend accomodation - absolutely yes. Mid-week you might be able to show up and find something un-reserved.

    It is sunny downtown Victoria right now and checking webcam @ Long Beach Lodge...
    #99
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  20. Pekes1956

    Pekes1956 Adventurer

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