RTW the Jamie Z Way: Winter Hiatus in Phoenix

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. shiryas

    shiryas Dragon with matches

    Jan 13, 2013
    Western Colorado
    I turned off the Cassier at Cranberry junction and went west on the Nisga Hwy to the Nisga Lava Fields, then south down to Prince George. I was impressed, this was not what i was expecting from other igneous fields i have seen. Its gravel from Cranberry to New Aiyansh, then paved, scenic, twisty down to Terrace. From here on southward the logging trucks and traffic just kept increasing for me.

    Agreed on scenery for this section, it was very pretty and I enjoyed the elevation changes. For me it was very cold though. I had 3cm of snow on the Icefields Parkway the day before.

    We will stay tuned for what ever you come up with .. . Its all good.

    Cheers, Chris
    Kinsman likes this.
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    August 29, 2021

    Back to the mainland.



    I woke up early today. An SUV had pulled in across from me last night and this morning I could hear a young woman outside playing with her dogs. I got up out of my tent, waved and said good morning.

    This was the view outside.


    For breakfast I ate the cake Holly had given me to take along, and it was wonderful.

    I planned to ride out to Gold River today. After that, I didn’t know. The road is beautiful.


    I stopped at a roadside park to use the bathroom and take advantage of the picnic tables. Did I mention I have a great love of picnic tables.


    Getting caught up on my ride report took about 45 minutes, and then I got back on the road.



    I passed a trail going back to a waterfall so I stopped to get off the bike for a bit.

    The trail back to Lady Falls is short and easy.


    The waterfalls are small compared to some I’ve been to.


    I stopped briefly in Gold River to fill up on gas and then continued to the end of the road along the coast. There are a handful of tourism businesses here, a few large boats, and some smaller fishing vessels. Reminded me of @nofate


    I considered riding further. There is a gravel road that loops around, but after further thought I decided to turn back and start my way back to the mainland.


    The out-and-back road is a great ride, though a little more fun on the way out. They’re laying fresh tar snakes.


    For late lunch I stopped at a rest area.


    I figured out I could make it to the last ferry of the evening off the island, leaving from Comox. It meant that I’d land after dark, but I checked iOverlander and saw a couple of potential spots to stay. I figured I could find something.


    As usual, they loaded motorcycles first. I parked next to a father and son who I overheard were on their first motorcycle trip together.


    Dinner aboard.


    Sunset off the back.


    The captain announced that a whale was visible on the port side, and everyone rushed to see. I slapped myself for not bringing my telephoto lens with me, so I had to digitally crop this one in order to see anything.


    Leaving the boat I felt a strange sense of disorientation. It almost felt like I was back in Mexico coming into a new city. Everyone is in a rush to get off the ferry, racing 160.9 km/h. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going, and I had a flashback to being in a non-English speaking country. It’s a curious familiarity and foreign-ness, like when you’re a little kid and your parents get divorced and your dad moves in with his new girlfriend and you go to stay for the weekend.

    I’d scouted iOverlander and had what I thought should be a pretty good place to stay. It’s fairly remote, about a 30 minute ride from the ferry terminal down a narrow road.


    There’s a small campground, but it was full, and in the darkness, I had a hard time navigating the steep loop. I turned around, concerned. It’s dark, and I have no place to stay.

    No worries, though. I’m a pro at this stuff. I rode back toward the town and watched the road for any small tracks leading into the forest, and then bingo. A little two-track, and about 50 meters back, a wide spot with plenty of room for a tent.


    At first I felt a little spooked. It was very dark out here and there’s some trash spread out, but once I got my place set up, turned on some lights, and even a little music, it was home.
  3. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    Thanks Holly. It was a wonderful experience staying with you.

    For those of you who aren't Holly, John Muir is the father of the United States National Parks, and thus National Parks throughout the world.

    I'd love to. I went through there more than a week ago. :doh

    Apparently you've never met me. :lol3
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  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    August 30, 2021

    BC Ferries!



    When I woke, I got a better look at my surroundings.


    I also had a better look at the tear in my riding pants. They ripped last night when I started to set up my tent.


    It looks like my fly is open, but that’s the torn seam, and every time I move, it gets worse.

    I followed the track I had camped on back toward the coast.


    Eventually it ended in the middle of the forest.

    I followed the main road up to Lund, not quite sure what to expect. It’s a sleepy town at the end of the road on the coast. Literally the end of the road. This monument claims to be the northern terminus of the longest road in the world, all the way to Chile.



    There were a lot of tourists here, as well as a handful of shops, restaurants, and a hotel.


    Being the end of the road, I had to turn back. I went through the town of Sliammon, a First Nations community. I liked that they had bilingual signs.


    Powell River is home to the “famous” hulks. I’ve never heard of them. There are nine (or ten?) ships anchored in front of the port as a breakwater.


    Unfortunately the land is private, and this is the best view from the road.

    Though I was on the mainland, I had another ferry to take, and followed the road east until I hit water.


    I was the very last person to board the ferry. In fact the lady at the ticket booth initially told me they wouldn’t be able to get me on, but then after a bit of discussion, they decided there was room.



    If you look closely, you can see my bike wedged between a couple cars at the back.

    The ferries here are like taking a scenic cruise.


    We made it to shore and everyone raced off. A mile away I passed a small bike pulled over on the side of the road. I stopped to see if she needed some help. It was Anabel from Germany who had stopped to put on her rain gear and somehow her key got bent and now it wouldn’t go back into the ignition.


    I told her I was pretty good at getting things like this to fit, and I used a pliers to straighten the key. Kiwi Canuck, I could have used your help here.

    The rain didn’t last long, and I never did bother to put on my rain gear.

    I wanted to make quick time here to make it to my next ferry crossing, but I did stop for one photo.


    I got to the ferry terminal early this time. I didn’t want to miss boarding. The booth attendant waved me through without paying. I don’t know if this happens to be a free ferry or not…

    I parked behind a Hells Angels member and his girlfriend.


    On board, dinner. It wasn’t great.


    I also figured out that my credit card does not have a tap-to-pay feature. I had been confused until now because every time I paid with my credit card, the clerk would hold out the card reader in the air, and I’d have to hold the reader steady to insert the card. I realized that most Canadians use tap-to-pay… My fancy-pants travel card doesn’t have this feature.

    Once again, a scenic, though cold and windy, ride.


    I had about an hour or daylight when we hit shore, and I rode straight to one potential campsite. It wasn’t great. The ground was rocky and uneven, and there was trash all over, but I found a flat spot and set up my tent.


    There was sort of a view of the sea down a short path from my campsite.

    Meatn'taters, jon_l, gpfan and 60 others like this.
  5. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Jan 19, 2016
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Just caught up again @Jamie Z - so thoroughly enjoyable to read through your updates man. Glad the time on Vancouver Island was so nice; you definitely lucked out on the weather front (haven't been there in ~18 years, need to get back and enjoy some Canadian hospitality).

    Good on ya for helping out that German biker, and damn cool about hitting the literal end of Hwy 101.

    Sticky side down as you make your way inland and around Canada. Did a long street ride many, many years ago that looped through Banff, never made it as far north as Jasper national park. Look forward to seeing those pics and reading your story about traveling there.

    Safe travels amigo.
    dano619 likes this.
  6. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer

    Oct 27, 2005
    Dude, you must have sacrificed a virgin to see those sunny skies on the island. I worked on an archaeology dig near Port Hardy for 6 weeks and it rained or drizzled every damn day.
  7. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

    Jul 19, 2006
    The Bluegrass
    You don't carry a sewing kit ? It won't take up any room and sewing a quick repair will save you from looking for a 'Professional" to mend little things like the zipper.
  8. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Apr 10, 2011
    Clark Co, Wa
    If/when the world goes back to normal someday, I'd encourage you to travel the Icefields Parkway! Incredibly beautiful scenery- we just don't have anything like it down here. In fact, I'd be happy to go there with you if you want a riding buddy. I had planned on doing another trip up there and then over to Hyder last year, but....well you know the rest of the story.
  9. samhain

    samhain Adventurer

    Sep 6, 2011
    Saint Johns, FL
    @Jamie Z

    Wow! What a report! I have been reading off and on for months and it has been amazing. I finally caught up! Thank you. I thought the report would get kinda lame once you made it back into the states. Boy, was I wrong!! I liked it better than Mexico and Cuba! My favorite part so far was when you were at the ADV Weekend and went for that group ride and those old dudes argued for 40 minutes on which way to go! Hi-Larous, as Mr. Burns would say. It's amazing how little you have spent on food and lodging when you were in the US. You camped out so much more than when you were in Mexico. I loved hearing about your cycling adventures and traveling the Mississippi River! You should write a book! I don't know if anyone would read it, but I would. And I hate books!

    Can't wait to see where you go next! Thanks so much for letting us ride along.
  10. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

    Feb 11, 2007
    A sewing kit is easy to put together…sewing needle assortment and some upholstery thread. Wrap the thread around some cardboard or plastic, both flat and take up zero space.
  11. 8lives

    8lives Dharma Bum

    Jan 16, 2012
    Nor Cal
    Icefield Parkway was definitely cool my wife spent the entire road taking pictures
  12. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    Of course I have a sewing kit. :fpalm


    My zipper isn't ripped. It's one of the seams, and it's multi-layered with a separate liner. Yeah, if it were an emergency, I could hack it together, but I don't have the skills to properly fix it, when I could wait just a bit and have someone fix it right.

    The sewing kit is for things like my tent, or shirt, or pants.
    gpfan, y2blade, advrockrider and 20 others like this.
  13. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Nov 27, 2009
    Edmonton, Alberta
    re: Tap to pay. That's old news. Many in Canada now wave their arm and pay with their smart watch. No card in sight. :D
    imnothng likes this.
  14. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile

    Jul 28, 2016

    I just pay with my vaccine chip now a days, it has everything loaded on it.
    DC950, Bapeter11, Kinsman and 9 others like this.
  15. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

    Apr 10, 2011
    Clark Co, Wa
    And we know where you are right now. :lol3
    Golden955 likes this.
  16. olderigetfasteriam

    olderigetfasteriam Long timer

    Jun 19, 2011
    I was wanting to "sewing kit" shame you, alas. :D
    Jamie Z and Golden955 like this.
  17. DaleE

    DaleE TransAlp Adv

    Jan 13, 2006
    Boulder, CO
    If you come into Mt Robson Park from the west there is a great photo op with the mountain (faintly visible in the background)

  18. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    August 31, 2021

    Long, cold, wet, scenic day.



    It had rained last night off and on, but this morning was dry with mostly overcast skies. I wanted to make some big miles today, as I was hoping to catch the fleeting weather farther north. I had a couple-day window without rain coming up, but today wasn’t that day.

    I rode north on the Sea-to-Sky highway, a stretch I’d marked on my map a long time ago, and have heard numerous recommendations since then.


    I stopped at several scenic overlooks.


    Not only to photograph the scenery, but to add a couple extra layers.

    I went through some First Nations land, and they had signs out asking people to stay out.


    And another bilingual stop sign.


    Rain came and went intermittently. It never rained hard, but instead a constant drizzle. The road goes up and over a couple mountains.


    The temperature dropped when I went up in elevation. I saw as low as 5C (41F), though most of the day stayed around 10C (50F).

    The road was great.


    I had to time my photos for when there wasn’t any traffic. There were quite a few cars and trucks, and even a lot of motorcycles, despite the weather.

    There were a few sections of construction, though I think I got lucky and didn’t have to wait very long at all.


    I stopped at a rest area to use the washroom and spoke to a local guy who said he had a V-Strom at home. I see a lot of them in Canada.


    He said that this traffic is a lot better than it usually is. We both commented on the lack of US tourists here. He told me that usually the road is filled with RVs from the US.

    A while later I made a stop at a gas station in a small town to figure out what my plan for that evening would be. I had been cold almost all day. Holly had told me about Deby and Donn who also have a ride report here about their trip to Alaska. Apparently they had some trouble finding hotel rooms, not because the hotels were closed, as I thought might be the case, but because all the rooms were booked! I checked booking.com for rooms in Prince George, a couple hours up the highway and was happy to find plenty of rooms, and rates lower than I was expecting. I found one with good reviews for CAD$92.

    While at the gas station another rider came up to me: “Let me guess. You’re going to Alaska?” I thought maybe he saw my Colorado plates, but it was the loaded adventure bike that gave him the idea.

    Another fellow came up and asked me about my bike. He wanted to sit on it. he said he was almost 70 and wanted a new bike, but something smaller than what he had now.

    And then a guy who appeared to be intoxicated tried to make conversation, complaining about masks and vaccination requirements. He told me that he would never get the vaccination because “they’re injecting poison into your body!”

    With a room booked in Prince George, I now had a goal for the evening, and it was still a couple hours away.



    I got to Prince George after dark, picked up some fast-food dinner and a couple of beers, then went to my hotel room and cranked the heater up and stripped down to my underwear.

    [photo removed by moderator]
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  19. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Feb 11, 2007
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    Hmm, photo removed by mod.. what are we missing?
    Females can post a pic of themselves in a string bikini, so was your pic more revealing? :lol3

    I think it's fantastic to see the country I live in through another, well seasoned traveler. Your perspective gives me new perspective... Thanks!!
    steved57, liv2day, cprbusa and 4 others like this.
  20. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Aug 21, 2016
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    Well if anyone wants to see something you will “never unsee”
    I grabbed a screen shot before that mod “Don’t F with me” pulled it.

    But I can’t send it cause it put a tracker in my puter like those vax shots are doing. So I wrapped it in foil and mailed the whole thing to Jamie at his Newfoundland address.:imaposer
    jon_l, liv2day, GringoRider and 8 others like this.