Northern eXposure - gold roads, wilderness trails, and bacon.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMo (& piglet), May 23, 2017.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    8,376
    Location:
    California
    Day 3: Thursday 15th June - Bend OR to Portland OR (198 miles)

    "Pacific North Wets"*

    *unfortunately that is not a spelling mistake...

    So today was going to be a relatively short and scenic ride from Bend through the Cascades on more minor highways (includng the utterly beautiful 224 alongside the Clakamas River that winds through the Mount Hood National Forest), before visiting the design team HQ for Icon/Raiden clothing, who have been very supportive to me over the past few years riding and racing.

    Leaving Bend a little later than planned (this was already becoming a theme of this trip you can tell), I passed through the town of Sisters, which I have only ever breezed through in the dark before now) and was taken by the funky ambiance of the place - quite touristy, but in a nice way, with posters for arts and music events seemingly held every weekend through the summer...

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    photo. I guess this is one way to sell a house that 'needs a little work' perhaps...

    Tapping my 'find coffee' button on the GPS (if only I could find a way to make this a one-touch facility ;o), guided me to the Sisters Coffee roasters, the second largest in the PNW I was subsequently informed (Starbucks presumably the first? - although I presume she meant independent roasters...), and took a few minutes to reevaluate my pace so far...

    Now admittedly I had arranged to meet a number of friends and aquantances during this initial leg north for the Canadian boarder - not least as it was the perfect opportunity to reconnect with existing friends, and put a few faces to otherwise online names en route - and I am immensely greatful for everyone's hospitalty and in taking time out to spend some time riding and socialising together - it really does put a very different and enjoyable dynamic on otherwise solo travelling to which I am accustomed...

    But it does mean I currently felt a little under pressure to stay 'on target', rather than let the trip unfold which is my usual method... Indeed, for example I very rarely book accommodation in advance - I might have a target destination in mind for that evening of course - but this is usually decided on a day by day basis, depending on the route (and particularly how much dirt/trail riding that might involve - and the almost inevitable changes, diversions and potential problems that could occur) and not least what interesting sights might also divert my attention for a moment or more along the way.

    But I was confident today was only going to be a relatively short stint on scenic paved roads, capped off by a little socialising in the weird city of Portland - although already the weather looked ominous, and I was in danger of hitting the rush-hour traffic to make matters worse.

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    photo. Sure enough, by mid afternoon the rain came down with a vengance - I stopped for coffee at a little store on the corner of hwy 22 and 224 (their neon 'espresso' sign drew me like a bedraggled moth to a flame)...

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    photo. Nice of them to signpost some key points of interest along the way... (and I was particularly pleased these guys had lined up in the correct size order too ;o)

    Ultimately I hit the outskirts of Portland in a torrential downpour and rush-hour frenzy... well, it would have been, were anything actually moving throughout the suburban freeway sprawl. I don't mind admitting I did my bit to introduce lane-splitting to California's nearest north cousin, and suggest they bloody well make it legal before I have to come back here again!

    To be fair, the crappy weather was the primarly cause of my frustration (coupled with time ticking away and conscious that those that worked at Icon would all be going home in about 10 minutes), and actually it turns out that Portland (on the west side of the river at least) has a lot of charming older architecture and a backstreet urban vibe that reminded me of parts of New York for example - upcycled wearhousing and alfresco basketball courts under freeway flyovers, that kind of thing... I also found that juxtaposed to this shabby chic neighbourhood (where the Icon HQ is located) is a very fancy collection of luxury [and I mean multi-million dollar] secluded executive homes built high on the hillside overlooking the city - all they need is their own Hollywood sign!

    Despite drip-drying all over the Icon offices, I was given the full tour of their design studios, introduced to some in-development new product (I particularly like their new dual-sport jacket, in which I like to think I had a little inspiration), and was amazed to find that alongside the Elvis rug (hanging on a bathroom wall), cartoon art and retro Nintendo gameboy (presumably for anyone contemplating an extended session on the kazi), they also had a full motorcycle workshop in an adjacent building - where they build all their crazy show bikes for advertising and public events!

    I trust you appreciate it's not really appropriate for me to post (or even take) any photos from inside their studios, so you'll just have to take my word for it that its a cool creative space ;o)


    It was then but a short ride up over the hill (past all those fancy houses) and along Portland's very own Skyline Drive, to rendevous with Wind_Rider who had very graciously invited me to spend the night at his family home. I'm not sure what they were expecting, but once my bike was ensconced in their immaculate garage, my luggage seemingly exploded everywhere in an effort to dry everything out before morning!

    We then enjoyed a lovely social evening with the family, followed by a reasonably early night - particularly as we had a big [group] ride planned for the following day, with some fellow ADVrider inmates...

    But you're going to have wait a little longer for tht particular story I'm afraid - my midday check-out time is looming and I have an international boarder to cross this afternoon.

    I just hope it stops raining soon...

    Toot toot for now!

    Jenny x
    #61
  2. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,181
    Location:
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    Trials & tribulations of a schedule, I will offer the advise of a Utah hi-way patrolman that stopped this ol'fart for excessive exuberance in an attempt to make schedule to Moab---
    "Moab has been there for 10,000 years or more it be there when you get there, slow down ,OK."---So smell the roses,see the sights not to much is gonna move ya,& yes ol'dog's can learn new tricks.
    #62
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  3. RMABTC

    RMABTC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Oddometer:
    117
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Relax!! We are not going anywhere, and much as our logistical operations department (lisa) may have a plan, I am adept at changing it!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #63
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  4. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    932
    Location:
    Idaho
    I had the pleasure of hosting JMo and Piglet for the night. Piglet was wet and grumpy when they arrived! It was some really torrential downpour that JMo arrived in... sorry about that soggy Oregon welcome but that is just how it happens here in the Pacific NorthWet a lot of the time.

    We met Boardforever and HeidiHo the next morning at the See See MotoCoffee Shop in Portland the next morning.

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    Three CB500X RR L3 machines and one Honda Rally 250.

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    We set out to ride the WABDR as far as we could. Despite the rain, the riding was fantastic with a pretty good gravel base on most of the road and a lot of dodging of rocks, limbs, and mudholes. We chased each other through the rain forest, everyone having a good time.

    Here is Jenny navigating, trying to convince us to ride the PCT as an "alternate" route....

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    #64
  5. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    932
    Location:
    Idaho
    Black, Red, and White CBs:

    IMG_20170616_143733882_HDR.jpg

    Here is Jenny's wheel packed with snow....

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    And here is where the two old guys with gray hair stopped while the younger two plowed on up the snowfield a bit before turning back.

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    There is more to this story, but I will let Jenny tell it in more detail.

    A great day of riding with some good riders in some beautiful but wet country.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing the ride JMo !! It is always great to see you and you are always welcome at our fire.
    #65
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  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    ...and it would have worked too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids! ;o)

    Although ultimately of course (quite apart from the legality), 88 ended up being blocked with snow the way we wanted to go, so it would have all been in vain anyway... still, it looked like a prime piece of singletrack, and no mistake ;o)

    Jx
    #66
  7. WDG

    WDG Not entirely domesticated

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    How did the Rally 250 fare, in with all those 500X's?
    #67
  8. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Idaho
    The little Rally did fine in the mud as you would expect: it is a lighter bike. HeidiHo, who piloted the Rally, is a very experienced rider and though he was always riding sweep, we never waited for him. I think that he just liked to ride sweep.

    On the way back to Portland the wind kicked up and there was a hill and the CB pulled up it full speed with no effort while the little 250 disappeared for a while in the rear view until the road pointed down again. That was the only time that we rode apart.

    If you want to do big miles and some high speed then the CB just has 2X the power and more comfort. I have done multiple 650 mile days on the CB and felt pretty good afterwards. It is a pretty comfortable mount to just cruise and crush the miles if you want or need to. 250s, while they are a lot of fun to ride, are not so comfortable for big mile or longer hour days. They just run out of power for the road side of the equation unless you focus your route on smaller lower speed roads and that is sometimes hard to do.

    For a pure 50/50 ADV bike the CB500X with the RR kit on it is really hard to beat. Although I own a Honda Rally 250 as well, I was glad that I was on the CB for this particular ride as at the end of a long day we just wanted to blast back home and the CB is just more powerful and comfortable in that situation.
    #68
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  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
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    "Ookey then" (said with a Canadian accent ;o) - looks like we have a little time to update everyone Piglet, as I've elected to take the day off having arrived safe and bedraggled in Jasper AB yesterday afternoon - and only now have actually dried myself and everything else out - yes, the rain yesterday was the worst yet, and we'll get to that in due course - but lets start where we left off, in another soaking wet town, Portland OR...

    Day 4: Friday 16th June - Portland OR to Yakima WA (292 miles)

    “Cafe intenso”

    Due to a poor weather forecast (potentially clearing later in the day), Neil had taken the executive decision to push back our planned 7am rendezvous to 9.30am - far more civil regardless of the circumstances ;o) - at a cool coffeeshop on the way out of the city - See See Coffee (the owner also has a KTM dealership just down the road):

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    photo. L-R ADVrider inmates Boardforever, Heidiho and Wind_Rider - all four of us still added up less cc's than a Honda Goldwing!


    Here Neil and I met up with fellow ADVrider inmates Boardforever (on another Level 3 CB500X) and Heidiho on his new CRF250 Rally, drank coffee, swapped stories and ogled the crazy custom helmets on display:

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    photo. The DOT would love this one...

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    The shop was so hip it hurt (Portland has this reputaton in general of course), including an XT500 that had been attacked by an angle grinder complete with a skateboard rack, and a shop selling retro helmets and memorabilia, although I think even that doyen of the cotton all-in-one Austin Vince would draw a line as this ensemble!

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    ...so long Portland, stay weird!

    The orignal plan for today was to try and ride as much of the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR) - which for those of you unfamiliar, is a series interconnecting backcountry roads and unpaved trails that navigate though each particular State, much like a 'local' version of the Trans-America Trail if you like - this particular route heading north from the Columbia river that uses nature to mark the Oregon/Washington border.

    Having put it off as long as we could, despite no real let up in the rain (I was reliably informed by my associates that this wasn’t actually rain, just mist) it was time to head out of the city and pick up the first section of the Washington BDR route that starts about an hour east... Of course, by the time we got there it turned out to be the perfect time for lunch first ;o)


    Finally we hit the first trail early afternoon, and fortunately the surface was well drained gravel, albeit with a loose covering of pine needles and other debris to make sure you were paying attention, particularly on the corners.

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    Of course coming from the UK, and trail riding regularly in Wales, I’m used to rainforest conditions on forestry tracks, and certainly the good company made an otherwise dreary journey north and east far more entertaining than it might otherwise have been.

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    Ultimately however, once we’d climbed above 4200ft, the snowpack meant the trail at this point was still impassable (by bike at least), we’d been prepared for this of course, but still it was a little disappointing to have got within half a mile of our descent, only to have to ultimately retrace our tracks - and despite my best efforts to utilise Garmin’s mapping to the full in an fruitless effort to find an alternative route down off the mountain.

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    It was now after 6pm by the time we finally refuelled in the tiny outpost of Trout Lake, and elected to part ways - Wind’ and Heidi’ heading west back to Portland, while Board’ offered to show me one of his favourite roads on his way back south, while I would continue east and north, and try and find somewhere warm and dry to spend the night that would keep me on track for my ‘pilgramige’ scheduled for tomorrow…

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    photo. The twisty Glenwood Highway passes through this stunning gorge either side of the Klickitat River.

    Another 120 miles later (got to love the long evenings further north) and I rocked up at what I thought would be a Motel 6 (according to my GPS) in Yakima, only to find it had been taken over as an independent ‘Budget Inn’ - albeit lock, stock and barrel including all the original linen, and immediately familiar facilities - and even better, the new owners had elected to include free wifi (I can’t believe Motel 6 still tend to charge an extra three bucks for this, really? - it's 2017!) and offered a modest continental breakfast (I’m from the continent you know, And I can assure you we have nothing like this there ;o), but at least it filled a gap before I could find a proper coffee shop later that morning…)

    cont.
    #69
  10. boardforever

    boardforever Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Hood River Valley
    I had a great time riding with you guys, here is a short video of some of the riding.

    #70
  11. Patobez

    Patobez Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, Jasper is in Alberta! Ha ha They have enough beautiful stuff, they can't have Jasper.
    #71
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  12. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    Day 5: Saturday 17th June - Yakima WA to Bellingham WA (281 miles)


    “My pig has a message for you…”

    Although I was now free of [social] commitments for the next few days, it was still my intention to reach the Canadian boarder by the end of today (Saturday), so as to leave plenty of time to explore some trails (or at least dirt roads) north of Vancouver, on my way to stop over with some friends who live in the Jasper National Park; before ultimately meeting up with Alan & Lisa from the Rocky Mountain Adventure Bike Touring Company (please, can I just use the acronym RMABTC from now on, I’m typing this on an iPad!) and our 'CB500X Rendezvous' scheduled for next weekend on the Alberta/Saskatchewan provincial border.


    But first, I had a plan - a pilgrimage if you like - to visit some of the key locations from the TV series Twin Peaks, which was actually filmed just east of the huge Seattle sprawl (rather than closer to the Canadian border which the script implies) - up in the hills near Snoqualmie and North Bend.


    The most direct route for me from Yakima would have been to blast up I90 for an hour and a half, but where’s the fun in that? Actually the interstate here passes though some pretty dramatic scenery should you have no other choice - but fortunately electing to stop over in Yakima meant I did have an alternative, one that promised to be even more dramatic and with any luck, might also include a trail or two en route…

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    photo. Heading out of town on hwy 12 (after a fruitless search for a car/jet wash), I happened on one of those independent drive-through coffee huts next to a gas station, that also had four jet-wash bays - so a result all round!

    I then took hwy 410 north towards the Mt Rainier National Park (410 actually passes through the park, but unlike 120 through Yosemite, you don’t have to pay if you’re just passing though), and tippy tapping on my GPS, realised there was a network of forestry trails that effectively paralleled this section of highway I was on.

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    photo. this was the first snow I found, at a smidge under 6000ft.

    With that it was up into the hills (initially I took Bald Mountain Road, which is actually part of the continuing WABDR route), before heading north on what turned out to be an epic series of trails, offering a fantastic view of Mt Rainier in the distance on the way up to just below 6000ft; before descending on a pukka OHV ‘blue’ route, with all the hazards that entails - mud holes (from snow melt), rocks and fallen trees - quite the workout on a bike with luggage I can tell you!

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    photo. you’ll have to see the video of this log crossing as part of my AV presentation later this Summer... ;o)

    edit. frame grab below:

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    Back on the highway, and it was a chilly blast up to the Chinook Pass - very reminiscent of the Alps I thought, especially with the still sizeable snowbanks from this late winter on either side of the road.

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    What had started as an optimistic and indeed sunny morning, had reverted to type once I descended towards the greater Seattle basin. Avoiding the worst of the interstate network and its associated Saturday shoppers, I headed due north now for my date with destiny…

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    photo. 'Dum, dum dum, dum dum, dum dum, daaaa, da da daaaa..."


    Arriving at the Snoqulmie Falls much later in the day actually paid dividends, as it was far less busy than it might have been early afternoon, and having initially ridden past the main viewing area, I happened on the alternative at the base of the falls - which really shows the size and power of the river at this point.

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    I’d also thought to pre-google a couple of other filming locations between here and my ultimate (now dinner) destination of Twede's diner in North Bend, which doubles as the Double R in the show.

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    photo. The Twin Peaks from Ronette's Bridge (which is now a paved municiple path, rather than an old railway).

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    photo. Since filming the current 'Return' series (set 25 years later), they have actually erected an official Welcome sign in the original location.

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    photo. Although is called the Double R diner in the show, Twede's has hung to its original name despite the obvious marketing opportunites...

    Since I’d ingested nothing but energy bars and roadside espresso all day, I celebrated with a bacon avocado cheeseburger, but forwent the ‘bottomless’ fries for a side salad, to ensure I had room for a slice of Cherry Pie and a Damn Fine cup of Coffee!

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    photo. Inside is still pretty authentic to the film set, and actually the staff do wear Twin Peaks t-shirts to go with a modest range of memorobillia on sale.


    It has been quite the day - arguably the best yet, since the rain had actually stayed away for the most part, I’d found a killer trail, ridden an epic mountain highway and now seen some key locations from one of my favourite shows (well, the first two seasons, the new version is just plain odd). Oh, and I’d just eaten cheese and meat and pie - what’s not to love?!

    So with that, I felt suitably invigorated to crack out another 100+ miles in an effort to bed-down within a stones throw of the Canadian border, in an effort to cross early and get on with the second part of this epic northern adventure!

    ps. Of course the moment I got on the bike, it absolutely chucked it down with rain, and I, and all my gear got utterly soaked again for the third time in as many days. I think I need a new Coyote!

    More soon!

    Jenny x
    #72
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  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Ha, I know that - I just seem to be getting my ABCs mixed up (I blame typing on an iPad of course) - duely edited.

    Jx

    ps. I can tell you what BC does have, and that is a lot of f***ing rain!
    #73
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  14. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 6: Sunday 18th June - Bellingham WA to Whistler BC (217kms = 135 miles)


    “Oh Canada! - Please stop raining!”

    The sound of rain outside my bedroom window was a pattern I had quickly grown tired of the past few days… I don’t mind so much getting caught in the rain (or drinking pinacoladas for that matter), but starting out the day in full rain gear is just miserable, especially when you have potentially hundreds of miles to ride...

    Fortunately this particular Motel 6 had a midday check-out time, so I made the most of my three dollar wifi connection, and uploaded a few photos and updated you all (see a few posts above) - and wistfully reminisced about sunny northern California while I brewed some decent coffee in my Jet-boil in the room.

    I’d not planned to ride a huge distance today anyway - there would be the Canadian border to cross of course, and in my naivety thought his would be as straight forward as crossing into Mexico - ie. a cheery wave if there was even anyone in the booth at all!, rather its the return crossing in to the US that tends to be far slower and fastidious…

    I’d also made a tentative plan to meet up with a long-term internet friend for a quick coffee on my way through Vancouver, before ultimately looking for a place to stay at the Ski and Mountain bike resort of Whistler - yes, I now realise how expensive that was going to be! - a further 125kms (yep, we’d be going metric in a minute) north of the city...

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    photo. The border line at the I5 crossing... about a 45 minute wait. In the rain. At least I'd had the forethought to pick up a sandwich the junction before, although actually eating it meant removing my helmet and getting a wet head of course!

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    photo. Canada Dry? Nope, Canada wet…

    On the far side of the I5 border crossing in the British Columbia visitor centre (the main reason I chose to cross at this - the busiest - point) and I stopped here to pick up one of their National Parks passes, which fortunately this year [2017] to celebrate their 150 year anniversary, are free - gotta love Canada! - before grabbing a quick coffee with my actor friend, where after all these years we finally were able to introduce Piglet to his little penpal buddy Indie in person!

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    Back on the road - and while the spitting rain while I was waiting in the border traffic line was bearable, once on the Canadian side, together with the crawling traffic being hampered by some absurdly low speed limits, the rain returned with a vengeance - damn I could have stayed in the UK if I’d wanted all of this... although ironically they are currently having a heatwave over there, much to my chagrin every time I log into Facebook!

    But hey, I’m in Canada now! - and as I left the sprawl of Vancouver behind, the rain finally eased once I started to head north on 99 otherwise known as the Sea to Sky Highway - beautiful!


    Although I was confident there would be plenty of rooms available in Whistler (there are dozens of hotels, not least as many would have originally been accommodation for the Winter Olympic athletes in 2010), I imagined the prices were likely to vary widely, and none likely to be particularly cheap - this being a premier mountain bike resort during the summer months, and ski city during the winter of course.

    I used a craving for coffee as an excuse to dive into a Starbucks en route, and take advantage of their free wifi - although not to quite the same advantage as this guy who started to set up a bloody desktop computer on the next table - I don’t think he’d even ordered a coffee!

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    photo. I snapped this surreptitious shot with my GoPro as I was leaving and frame-grabbed it later ;o)

    Thanks to Expedia, I managed to score a room in a nice hotel right on ‘main street’, just a hundred yards or so from the Village Amble (a paved precinct through the heart of town, lined with restaurants, shops and bars) for less than $100 - believe me, that is cheap in this town!

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    photo. Complete with secure underground parking... for another ten bucks of course.

    My room was small, but had one of the most comfortable hotel beds I have ever slept in, a massive TV (never even switched it on), super fast wifi and even a Keurig machine - spot on! That evening I spent a good hour strolling around the town, checking out the rental mountain bikes, souvenir shops and indulging in a huge ice-cream.

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    …after four days of riding in the rain, I think Piglet and I both needed a bit of a treat!

    cont.
    #74
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  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 7: Monday 19th June - Whistler BC to Bridge Lake BC (364kms = 227 miles)


    “West side story”

    Tip tip tip tip tip… what is that noise? Oh for f**k’s sake, it’s rain dripping off my balcony roof isn’t it!

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    I’d set my alarm for 7.30, but switched it off as this bed was the most comfortable I think I have ever slept in, and didn’t wake up again until after 9am!

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    photo. Piglet saying: "Can we just stay here in bed forever please..."

    I made a coffee with the fancy machine, and sat down with my [digital] maps to plan today's route. The forecast said it was due to clear up by mid-morning (actually the night before it had said it wasn’t going to rain at all, bloody liars!), and sure enough, by the time I absolutely had to check out (11am), it had diminished to barely a drizzle.

    Rather than take the highway the whole way north east (which would be a rather convoluted zig-zag, albeit a scenic one of course), there seemed to be a network of unpaved/dirt roads that would essentially parallel highway 99, but get me deeper into the wilderness, and in turn offer a different perspective away from the regular tourist traffic.

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    photo. Damn-it Piglet, what are we going to do with all those seeds now then?


    Sure enough, the first of my three proposed ‘dirt road diagonal detours’ today offered some promise!

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    And I was quietly reassured by the open gate that my plan would work out:

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    The Pemberton - Seton Portage Road is a mix of pavement, broken tar, gravel and in places, some rougher dirt (especially on the climbs) - not overly technical at all to be honest, but offers some stunningly scenic views as it winds its way high above the Anderson Lake valley below, and essentially joins a series of Indian reservations - although presumably was initially built to service the erection of hundreds of power pylons that span the valley, taking power from the hydro-electric facilities the punctuate the route.

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    photo. "This is my land you have seen it, The most beautiful land I know. From the tall rugged mountains that screen it, To the beautiful lake below."

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    photo. Once I arrived in the village of Seton, I realised that despite the Portage Road winding high into the hills, there is actually a railway line that skirts the edge of Anderson Lake the whole way... presumbly to more easily supply the inhabitants of the town and one hotel.

    From Seton, the Mission Mountain Road is essentially a continuation of this through route, and although I was tempted to explore an alternative ‘unpaved road’ across the top of the mountain, ultimately when I passed the other end of it many miles on, there was sign saying it was private logging property…

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    photo. Quintessentially Canada (or at least British Columbia) I thought? - and a lovely spot for a crunch-bar lunch.

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    photo. If I'd taken the alternative route, I’d have missed this comedy sign too!

    Dropping into Lillooet (where I would rejoin hwy 99 briefly) way past my traditional lunchtime, I spied a line of cruisers parked next to a suitably independent cafe - time for more coffee and a sarnie I think!

    [​IMG]
    photo. Recommended! And got chatting with a couple from Birmingham (UK, not Alabama) who were on an RV holiday!


    The next dirt section was the Pavillion - Clinton Road, again, a well groomed and well-drained gravel/dirt road that winds its way over the mountains, through forests and up into the high pasture country - food for the soul indeed!

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    photo. The blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Pavillion on highway 99 is where you turn back onto the dirt...

    More coffee in Clinton (of course!) at a cute indie shop, that advertised wifi (gotta grab it where you can out here you know!), and I elected to press on further east in the early evening - to stay ahead of any following rain, and to ultimately give me a shorter day tomorrow into Jasper.


    My final dirt section (and to be honest this really is little more than an unsurfaced road, just waiting for tarmac to be applied!) was the N Boneparte Road from 70 Mile House (surely 112km house these days? - ed.) to Bridge Lake on hwy 24, where, in a fit of rashness brought on by that large espresso earlier in Clinton, I’d employed Expedia once again to find somewhere suitable to spend the night - and score two! - the Lac Des Roches lakeside camping and cabin resort is where you’ll currently find me, eating breakfast in their Italian restaurant/cafe. I really like Canada now!

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    photo. A simple cabin, but quiet and comfortable (once I found out how to turn the heating on!), and right next to a lakeside Italian restaurant - result!


    Toot toot for now!


    Jenny x
    #75
    RevyRider, crashkorolyk, ross and 6 others like this.
  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,376
    Location:
    California
    Ok, one more should bring everything right up to date!


    Day 8: Tuesday 20th June - Bridge Lake BC to Jasper AB (396kms = 247.5 miles - that half mile is important!)

    "Thunderstruck"

    I'd had a really nice day yesterday - the weather had been kind, and the mix of minor highways and unsurfaced roads has seen me weave almost endlessly though some beautiful and remote countryside. The route has also confirmed to me that British Columbia has some world-class independent coffee shops! - yep, Canada had at last redeemed itself!

    Having woken early - very early, initially just before 5am - ultimately I felt I'd been gifted some precious few hours with which to get this ride report up to date (hence the proliferation of posts and photos above, written offline originally due to weak wifi at the lodge), before indulging in a coffee and cake breakfast in the restaurant by the lake.

    Although the forecast was for more rain today, so far it has stayed away - and indeed this morning was what you might even call sunny if still a little chilly - so I hit the road in good time in an effort to stay ahead of the weather coming in from the west.

    [​IMG]
    photo. Originally I'd planned to just ride the 400-ish kms to day on a series of scenic highways, but on arrival in Little Fort, saw an unpaved alternative on the far side of the river... I was expecting a bridge, but it turned out to be a ferry!

    Once on the far side, it was an easy gravel road for the most part, although some repair work was going on where presumably the weather at washed some weaker parts away.

    [​IMG]
    photo. Little Fort and the ferry in the background.

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    photo. Scenery like this is even better when viewed away from the pavement!

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    photo. Windpass Road leading into Dunn Lake Road had been a lovely distraction, but I was conscious the sky was starting to cloud over, so after rejoining Highway 5 at Clearwater, wasted no time pressing on...

    I made it just as far as a refuel spot at Blue River before the heavens opened. It was still 220kms to Jasper this afternoon, and I had no choice but to grit my teeth and suck it up:



    Seriously, this was probably the worst weather I have ever ridden in, particularly for so long - there was no let up for over 130 miles and two and a half hours or more: sleet, wind, rain, lightening, spray - even a falling tree at one point right at the side of the road! - all the way into Jasper National Park. I counted down each 10 kms on the GPS screen with a curse, overtook any vehicle in front of me kicking up spray while disregarding any speed limits or double yellow lines (where safe to do so of course ;o), and ultimately would have stopped for nothing and no one, had they even dared to try me!

    All I can say is thank goodness I was scheduled to spend a couple of nights with some dear friends at their house in Jasper - and subsequently spent a soild fifteen minutes in the shower thawing out when I arrived, before making full use of their utility and laundry room, drying everything I owned out... again!!!

    So while today (Wednesday 21st June) is now technically Day 9 - I feel no shame in having written today off riding-wise; rather used my time productively to catch up on some admin, sort though my photos and videos, and update you all here in detail...

    Tomorrow it all starts again however (minus the rain, please!) as I'm due to meet up with Alan from RMABTC in the morning and head east (hopefully via a few trails), in preparation for their 'CB500X Rendezvous' event this coming weekend - and I'm looking forward to meeting some of you there!

    Aye?

    Jenny x
    #76
  17. MNimum

    MNimum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Oddometer:
    914
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Great ride reports so far JMo. Thank you.

    Careful with the temps Piglet. It is possible to catch hypothermia in Canada year round when the whether turns cold and wet. :vardy
    #77
    Patobez and JMo (& piglet) like this.
  18. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    932
    Location:
    Idaho
    Great ride report Jenny. Thanks for taking the time to post your tales and pictures.

    Sorry about the weather this year in the Pacific NorthWest... it can be that way in June. Looks like warmer drier weather is on the way so I hope you have some more enjoyable riding coming your way soon.
    #78
  19. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,938
    Location:
    Eastern Washington State
    You know it's wet and miserable when someone from the UK is wishing for dry weather.
    #79
    JMo (& piglet), garzan and Patobez like this.
  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8,376
    Location:
    California
    Just a quick check-in to start off the week...

    Had a great weekend with Alan & Lisa from the Rocky Mountain Adventure Bike Touring Company (RMABTC) at the Alberta/Saskatchewan dual-sport riders 'rendevous' randonne event - more photos and the full story to follow...

    But in the meantime, here is fellow CB500X (Level 3) owner Patobez breaking-in his brand new bike on an increasingly overgrown trail - great fun, eh?

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    photo. Patrick and I rode together during the Saturday treasure hunt, together with 'dual-sport Dave' (the main organasier of the annual event) who was on his 1200GSA... let's just say that particular trail was an excellent illustation why the CB is a far better option when riding into unknown terrain ;o)

    After we all said our goodbyes on the Sunday morning, I elected to ride right the way back across Alberta to Jasper again (690 kms no less!) so as not to miss out on the scenic Parkway route south - on which I am about to embark, en route for Montana in the next day or two...

    So for now will leave you with one more photo from the Jasper National Park, now that it has actually stopped raining!

    [​IMG]

    More soon!

    Jenny x
    #80