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The slow ride home - Canada to Australia on a pair of CT110 Honda Postie Bikes

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by tncpowell, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Welcome! +1 on the bed/beer here in S/W Ontario (between Toronto and Niagara Falls)
    Even have a CT90, C100, C102 and a Honda Dream 305 for Scarlet to sit on...:photog
    DualSPRTfan and tncpowell like this.
  2. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Today we were heading out of the city and onto the ferry! We had an amazing sleep last night in our very nice hotel and even though we are a little jet lagged, we are feeling so excited! We're in Canada on our feaking postie bike!!!!!! Now to get Scarlet out of bed...

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    We set the GPS for the ferry terminal and it did a great job of keeping us off of the highways. We get lots of waves and heaps of people want to chat about the bikes! Loving it! One guy pulled up next to us in a massive cement mixer about 6 stories high, blocking traffic just to say welcome to Canada! We are so lucky to be here, and Candians are amazingly friendly!!

    We made it to the ferry with out any driving down the left side of the road, though a few roundabouts had me shrieking in terror as we had to go round them the WRONG direction.

    We parked on the ferry and then enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and watched the islands slip by. This place is gorgeous and it was all topped off by a group of seals swimming past the ferry.


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    On the island we set the GPS to take us to a camp north of Victoria called Cowichan River Province. And ended up back in Sydney...Oh no..hang on..Its Sidney!

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    OMFG!!! The road there was insanely beautiful, tall pines, twist and turns and little hills. Nothing Mabel couldn't handle. Well she did it without complaining too much!

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    Finally we found our campsite, tucked away in a little corner. Under some tall pines and with birds singing all around. just magical! We all sat down and just relaxed. Even fell asleep in our chairs for a little bit!

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    Tomorrow we have no plans! Just to ride northish. Chantelle needs to be back in Victoria in a week to chat to a lady about a potential interview for a tv show! She's going to be a celebrity!
  3. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Awesome! Thanks guys! We will be looking you all up for sure!!!
    B10Dave likes this.
  4. USA1

    USA1 Adventurer

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    Todd, my wife Lisa and I would also like to extend an invitation to you, Chantelle, and of course Scarlett to stay at our home, if your travels take you to the Eastern U.S. of A. (Pennsylvania). Guest room, hot shower, great food and all the beer and wine you desire and as long as you require. If you don't make it this far East, we will ride out to hopefully meet you somewhere for dinner, our treat. My lovely Lisa rides her own bike as well. Enjoy yourselves, we were out in the western parts of Canada and Alaska two years ago. We can't wait to read all about your journey in North America. We have been riding along since you initially started your RR.
    tncpowell likes this.
  5. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We are loving Vancouver Island!! We will be over your way for sure!! We do like beer! And chatting!
    USA1 likes this.
  6. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We would be honoured to meet you both! Pennsylvania is definately on the list! We will be over your way as we want to do this trip right!
    USA1 likes this.
  7. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Sounds great!!! We are so excited to be able to meet you all!! Scarlet is always keen to play on bikes!! You may not get her off them!
  8. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Well it was a weird night last night. We aren't really sure of how to deal with the whole bears thing. We have been told everything from 'Dont worry too much' to "Best get yourselves some bear spray and a portable electric bear fence"...... Plus there's something called a Bear Banger...

    I was woken up in the middle of the night by a noise. As I lay there listening to a weird snuffling, grunting, snorting noise, I quietly made a mental note to swap out my undies in the morning. Because I was CRAPPING myself!

    After 5 sweaty bowel loosening minutes, I rolled over to wake Chantelle up, so we could panic together and then plan who was going to be eaten first, when I realised it was actually Chantelle snoring quietly. Anyone have a spray, electric fence, or Banger for that?

    I eventually fell into a panic stricken sleep and slept right through until 9am. At which point I realised I was half naked, hanging out of the sleeping bag, and bloody cold! Was it some type of weird bear attack?

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    We packed up camp very slowly and had a nice chat to a local fella. From there we set our sights on a 'town' just up the road called Nanaimo. There was a camp here which we were told was lovely, if a little pricey. We are keen to start free camping and will head off for a swag load of anti-bear stuff tomorrow.

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    On the way we stopped at our first Walmart. What a place!!! Almost everything there that one could ever want! Unbelievable! I bought a jar of cheese, a jug of syrup goodness, and joy of joys, we found a Deb Mash Potato equivalent! Tonight we feast!

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    Even Scarlet got excited when she found masses of maple syrup!

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    We made it into Nanaimo and after grabbing some free wifi from Tim Hortons we set off for camp. Which also has free wifi and is where I am typing this up now. I managed to light a smoke pit after a liter of fuel and an hour of coughing and blowing on the fire.

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    The dehydrated mash was brilliant by the way! After which we made up some of our friends amazing Melbourne Marsala Chai. Its so damn good on a cool night! Plus our view was pretty spectacular also!

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    Tomorrow, we scare bears.
  9. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We woke up today to grey skies and damp tents. So out came the wet weather gear and umbrellas. We packed up and after hot showers we headed off towards Campbell River. There is a free camp near there that we want to check out.

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    But first it was off to Canadian Tire for bear spray!

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    We took the coastal highway as there isn't too many options here when heading north. We set the GPS and settled in for a 4 hour ride.

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    Along the way we found a nice little picnic spot for lunch over looking a little river. It was damn cold but so so pretty!

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    As we continued north we saw a sign pointing towards a mountain! So we went off to have a look. Poor Mabel slowly but surely crawled up the slopes of Mt Washington. Her little engine working hard while Rosie just screamed for the top. I am getting concerned about Mabel's engine now as she has a tick and is a bit hard to start (clutch binding up?). I will take her into a motorbike mechanic in Vancouver.

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    At the top the view was incredible! We were surrounded by mountains all topped with snow. I threw a snowball at Mabel, and thought about throwing one at Chantelle. But decided to not poke that bear..

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    We zipped down the steep road and veered off towards Campbell River. The end was in sight!

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    Finally we made it too camp. Both of us ready to get off the bikes for the day. A good ride, a great day and more spectacular scenery.

    Tomorrow......Port Alberni? Maybe.....or a second night at this camp...
  10. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We woke up feeling quite refreshed today. I managed to light a smokey fire last night but it put out enough heat to warm us up. I'm sure this helped us to sleep. I'm taking the credit anyways! We did sleep with one hand on the bear spray all night. Plus we had put all our clothes into a dry sack and threw them as far away from the tent as possible.

    So naked and shivering this morning I was sent forth to collect the bag.

    We had breakfast and packed up our very wet tent. We were going to ride the 30 kms to Campbell River to steal some more free wifi to update the blog and then after that we would head to Port Alberni.

    On the way out of camp we met up with two funny lads who were doing a section of the Trans Canada Trail on their KLR650's. Funny funny guys. One of them was riding in $18 Wellington boots and gardening gloves!

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    The road back to Campbell River was a beautiful winding one with some small hills and plenty of scenery. Loving it here! Unfortunately not too many pics as it was raining quite a bit.

    We sat ourselves down in Tim Hortons with a coffee and a 4 cheese bagel. OMG those things are good. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips...stuff it, I'm having another one! Plus a serve of poutine from Wendys next door. Which we do realise isn't real poutine!

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    As we were sitting there doing the blog we got chatting to a local couple called Brian and Cindy. Who then invited us to stay with them at their house for the night! WOW!!!! Of course we accepted.

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    Scarlet has a friend!
    We grabbed a bottle of red wine and headed on over. What a fantastic night! We laughed, we swore, we enjoyed a few glasses of wine. It was bloody brilliant!

    Then we find out that Brian is an ex Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman!!! So cool. Plus he has his old mounty uniform! Which I could try on!

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    I had a blast and I rate this as one of the most fun nights we have had! Thanks Cindy and Brian! You guys are amazing!!! We will definitely be staying in touch with these guys.

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    Then it was off to bed, with full bellies and happy hearts!

    Awesome day! Tomorrow, Port Alberni and beyond!
  11. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Best sleep ever! Brian and Cindy's spare bed is made of clouds! We were up at 7 this morning feeling like new humans!

    We were greeted in the kitchen by fresh coffee and Cindy and Brian making us an amazing breakfast. Pancakes, pork sausages, cream, blueberries and strawberry's. All served with a helping of maple syrup. I was in heaven!!

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    We stuffed ourselves silly and enjoyed every single bite! These guys have looked after us so well. I love Canada!

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    The chef!
    Then two more lovely people turned up. Deb and Bill. They were gorgeous people and fascinating to talk to. Listening to Bill talk about ships being sunk by the 'boils' in the water was truly incredible! I didn't know such a thing existed!

    Eventually the time came where we had to pack up and go. We were quite sad to say goodbye but the road was calling. Otherwise we would have happily stayed forever!

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    We took a heap of pics of our kind new friends and set out under blue skies, wooohooo!, for Port Alberni and Tofino. Not far down the road it started to rain. A lot! We ended up on the Alberni Highway and rode through Cathedral Grove. A stunning little bit of Canadian paradise. Full of towering pines and thick green undergrowth. Even through the rain and cold!


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    We started to look for camps and checked out a few of the ones at the provincial parks. They were quite pricey though, so we snuck down an old logging trail and after a short while stumbled across an old hunters camp. Perfect! We lit a bit fire and watched the sun go down while we defrosted. Another good, though cold and wet, day.

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    Then it was a feed of sausages in bread and time to hit the sack. Goodnight all!

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    Tomorrow we have to head for Victoria. We may not make Tofino this time around.
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  12. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We woke up today to sunshine!! Yay!! Our poor tent is still quite damp, and as much as I don't like to do it, we packed it away still wet. We really want to go to Tofino, but because our bikes are so slow and we have to be in Victoria in 2 days we decided to start heading south via Port Renfrew. Just gives us an excuse to have to come back here right?!

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    We rode back through the Cathedral Grove and decided to get off for a stretch of the legs. Glad we did too! I didn't know that in ere was the largest fir tree!! What a thing of beauty!

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    From there we did another short ride to the edge of the lake, Cameron Lake, for some photos. We couldn't believe it when we saw people swimming in there. Bloody crazy!! The water was freezing and had me shrieking like a little girl when I stuck my hand in the water!

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    We made a quick stop at Port Alberni where a lovely lady came and spoke to us about her son who lives in Australia. She misses him and the grandchildren so much. Then as she and her lovely hubby were leaving they came past and gave us $10 towards our coffees. We were blown away and deeply humbled. The kindness of strangers in this country is something we haven't experienced at home and it is simply amazing.

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    As we were about to leave another lovely couple had a chat to us in the carpark about our journey and our blog. If you guys are reading this, a big hello to you!

    We followed the highway back through to :Ladysmith via the coast. Such a delightful ride, even for a highway. Our spirits were quite high today and the sun really helped!

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    We zipped along and before we knew it we were at camp. Today disappeared so fast!

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    We stoked up a roaring fire, and by we I mean Chantelle, and warmed the chill out of our bones with a nice cup of Chai and had a moments thoughts for our ANZAC's. Thankyou to those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could have the freedom to do this journey.

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    Tomorrow we shall head down along the west coast towards Victoria.

    Thanks for coming along everyone! We appreciate every comment, every chat and every smile!
  13. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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  14. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    After a peaceful night sleeping in the woods, we packed up and shipped out towards Port Renfrew. We have heard that this part of the island has some spectacular riding with not much traffic.

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    We had a quick stop in at a Tim Hortons, we are becoming addicted to their 4 cheese bagels, to update emails etc. From there we followed highway 18 which went through Port Renfrew and onto Victoria.

    What a ride! What a road! What scenery!!!!!!! Full of twists and turns, small hills and rivers.We stopped often at little lakes and small tracks.

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    There was scarcely any traffic and it made for some fantastic riding. This is what we came for! Though we were both surprised at the scale of the logging here. Still, the scenery was incredible!

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    We stopped for lunch on the beach at Jordan River and stared out at Washington on the other side of the channel.

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    After another short ride we noticed traffic building up again. All too soon we were back in suburbia as we neared Victoria. We were tossing up about staying at a camp called Goldstream tonight, but it seemed the prices there could be really steep. Mabels clutch had slipped a bit today so I was keen to have a sneak peak inside her engine tonight, so off to Goldstream we went!

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    Just as we pulled into the park Mabel cut out. She was red hot to touch and twice as hot as Rosie. Uh oh. Looked like her seizing was finally catching up. After a minute of cooling down she started right up and sat there idling away, as happy as a pig in poo. What is going on here????

    We set up our camp and I started to pull her apart. I cleaned her oil screen, which was pretty spotless, so that's a good sign, and cleaned out her clutch oil slinger. I put her covers back on and checked her plug. It was pure white, she was running way to lean, hence her higher tempertaures. So I richened her carby up and gave her a kick in the guts.

    Not good. RATTTTTTTTTTTLE RATTTTTTTTTLE. A nasty noise is now coming from her clutch area. After spending the next several hours pulling her apart and putting her back together I have decided to admit defeat. Luckily there is a motorcycle dealer close by and I'll limp her there in the morning.

    Sorry Mabel. I wrecked you. :(

    We have our little TV interview tomorrow, and maybe Mabel wont be there for that one. I cant ride her like she is now. Fingers crossed.
    SmilinJoe and Dirt Road Cowboy like this.
  15. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Today was the fastest we had packed up camp yet. We were on the road by 8. Our thinking was that if we were able to be at a motorcycle mechanic just after they opened, that we might be able to get Mabel in and fixed.

    The first store was hesitant to touch her as late model CT110 parts hard to find but they did give us directions to get to another bike shop.This one didn't open until 11am so we sat out the front and waited. Just before they opened a fella came along and advised us to go to a better mechanic. He thought we and the bike would be better off. He kindly gave us directions to a Honda dealer and after a nice chat with him off we went.

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    SG Power took us straight in. They were lovely and really helpful and told us to come back in a few hours. So off we went to....... Yep Tim Hortons. Their bagels are like crack! So addictive!

    Once we had a bite to eat we went back to check on Mabels status. She was in pieces out the back and had the mechanic scratching his head. So we decided to go check into our motel for the night. We were both hoping that Mabel would be fixed by 5pm as she is meant to be showing off for a tv show today.

    Not long after we got to our hotel we had a phone call. She was fixed!!!!!!!! Mabel you little brat!!!!

    We raced back to SG Power and it was cool to see the mechanic was so pumped himself to have fixed this little bike! Thankyou so much guys! Sorry if we were a pain in the bum with our constant worrying and checking in. If anyone is ever in need of a great mechanic with friendly service, go to SG Power in Victoria and ask for Trent Hawkes to work on your bike!

    From there we raced the red lights of the city to Beacon Hill Park to meet up with the Farkle Garage crew. What a blast! We were a bit nervous but soon the girls had us laughing and feeling way more relaxed. We cant wait to see the show guys!!! Check them out over on Youtube.

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    Then it was dinner at a Bin 4 Burger joint and bed time!

    The following pics are taken by Darlene Duncan of Farkle Garage, and I have borrowed them from her facebooks!

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    Tomorrow we leave the island and head into Vancouver. Time to start going north!
    SmilinJoe, Dirt Road Cowboy and USA1 like this.
  16. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We slept in a nice hotel room last night. It was so good to have a hot shower and a proper bed that we both had 4 showers each! Talk about wasting water! But it was so good for the soul!

    We decided to have a bit of a poke around the parliament building this morning before we set off for the ferry. What a cool building! So beautiful inside and out! We had a great chat to the security guards who laughingly made me promise that I wasn't hiding bombs in my motorcycle boots. In Oz you wouldn't even dream of making a joke like that!

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    Once we had finished snooping around there we went and had a chat to another aussie couple. We could hear their accent from miles away! They are having a lovely holiday here in Canada and share the same excitement as we do about you lovely Canadians!

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    Scarlet being arrested for being too cute
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    On our way back to the bikes Scarlet wanted to meet a horse and ended up sat on a horse drawn carriage. She is becoming a real princess Jacquie!

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    Meet Sarge. Such a sweetie!
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    We set the geepers for the ferry terminal and it took us on some lovely quiet back roads all the way to the terminal. It is sad to say goodbye to the island but we know there is a lot more of Canada to see yet!

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    We splurged on the ferry ride and bought some sweet potato fries for lunch and I gulped down a 'root beer' or sarsaparilla as we know it. Love that stuff!

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    Once we got off the ferry it was time to head to a RV park near Lions Gate bridge. We were going to look at a camper van this arvo for a dear friend of ours daughter, make sense of that sentence!

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    We checked out the van and then it was back to camp across the Lions Gate Bridge and time to hit the sack.

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    Tomorrow we are heading just north of Squamish where there is a free camp near a river! Only about 100 km's away. We are looking forward to the Sea to Sky Highway, even though it's sure to be busy!


    Night all!


    Oh, we are thinking we really want to go see a Ice Hockey game. Any recommendations?
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  17. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    Sorry for the lack of updates! We try to do them every day, but lack of wifi can sometimes hamper us!!!

    So we were finally ready to escape from Vancouver and head towards Whistler. We were both excited about doing the Sea-to-Sky Highway, or as I mistakenly heard it called, Cedar Sky Highway.

    The moment we were out of the city things just got better and better. The highway was smooth and wide, allowing us room to stay out of the way of the traffic with ease, and the mountains just rose up sharply above us. Bliss!

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    We made a stop into Horseshoe Bay as we had heard amazing things about it. We weren't disappointed! What a stunning little spot, though I would imagine in the tourist season the place would be crawling with people. Today though, we pretty well had it to ourselves...and a few little baby geese things.

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    On the road again we went through Squamish where we had a pitstop for some food shopping at Walmart. I also had a giggle at some of the names of the food there. Because I am an immature boy!!!

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    From there we set our sights on a free camp outside of Squamish. We turned off the highway and rode down a traffic free road straight into soaring snow capped mountains! Canada you are so damn beautiful! Our short 80km ride today was just breathtakingly phenomenal! I had the camera out at every opportunity here and must have taken 100 or more photos.

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    Our camp was soon upon us and we crossed a gorgeous wooden planked bridge to get there. Signs warning of grizzly bears in the are had us clutching our can of bear spray close and I was ready to sacrifice Chantelle's bike Rosie at the first sign of bear attack.....

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    We set up our tent and gathered some wood for our usual 'smoke the camp out' session and then settled in and enjoyed the serenity.

    What an amazing ride! What views!!!!!

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    Tomorrow we shall head through Whistler and on towards Lillooet. Our gifted mtorcycle rides of BC book tells us the riding that way is going to be great!
    SmilinJoe, Dirt Road Cowboy and USA1 like this.
  18. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    We had some high expectations today about the ride. A book kindly given to us by Brian has listed this road as a great ride! So we were up and at it early, knowing we had to take on some mountain climbs today. I had neglected to tell Mabel this as she hates mountains and hills, and flat ground, so she started up quite happily. Shhh don't tell her yet!

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    We had been to Whistler a few years ago and we were keen to have another look around there again.

    But first we had to back track along the beautiful road we rode into camp yesterday. With one small difference. Today there was not a single cloud to be seen. So with clear blue skies and crisp cool air, we were off!

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    A bear got into our food stash...
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    Again our eyes were bugging out at the beautiful scenery and our necks were getting sore from the constant swiveling about. Just wow. That's all we could say.

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    We had a quick poke around Whistler Village but felt that there wasn't much there for us this time around, so it was back onto the bikes an onwards. We wanted to get to a camp just south of a town called Lillooet today.

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    The ride...OMFG the ride. I just don't know how to describe it. If you're a local and you haven't ridden, walked or driven this route...you really should. We were scooting along enjoying every twist and turn, every new corner bringing a new smack in the teeth view.

    Then Chantelle came over the intercom. "Rosie feels weird."

    Our first puncture. Mabel has NEVER had a puncture, just so everyone knows.

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    We soon had a patch on and the wheel put back together. I must admit, it wasn't a bad spot to have to fix a flat. We even got to chat to some lovely locals who stopped to make sure we were ok.

    As we climbed higher into the mountains the views incredibly became more and more amazing. With lot's of oohs and ahhhs we climbed up into the snow line. There seemed to be hardly any traffic on this stretch of road and it meant we could really slow down and take it all in.

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    We eventually started to descend and shot out of the forested slopes of the mountains and into what looked like a semi arid desert type area. Wow.

    Unfortunately our chosen camp was closed for the season so we had to press on to a camp called Marble Canyon. A nice camp right next to a lake with a soaring rock cliff behind us.

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    Oh and Rosie had a second flat... Mabel didn't.......Rosie did though.

    What a day. What a ride. It just gets better and better......

    Tomorrow......hmmm.....north to Williams Creek via Cache Creek and some back roads.
    SmilinJoe, Dirt Road Cowboy and USA1 like this.
  19. tncpowell

    tncpowell Long timer

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    On The Road
    We woke up to cold cold cold blue skies. Well I did anyway. Chantelle stayed wrapped up in her sleeping bag until she grudgingly gave in to my whinging. I was keen to ride!

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    We didn't really have much of a plan today, just to go down into Cache Creek, about 30kms south, and then head northwards via some back roads to Williams Lake some 180kms northwards.

    Seeing as I kicked Chantelle out into the cold morning air and forced her to ride through some lovely landscape, I thought it only fair that I treat myself to a nice hot breakfast, I mean treat her....

    We stopped at a little diner in Cache Creek and ordered some bacon, sausages, eggs, toast and hashbrowns. Plus bottomless coffee for Chantelle. It was pretty good and helped stave off the cold a little. It was while we were finishing up that a lovely couple from Smithers came over and started to chat to us about our trip and our bikes. For those of you in Smithers she is a teacher called Mrs Apple. Actually her real name is Mrs Macintosh, but she lets the kiddies call her Mrs Apple as its easier for them. Which we thought was pretty cool!

    We had a lovely chat to them both and we were given some pointers on some places to visit and the road we should try to take through to Williams Lake. Lovely to have met you both!

    Once more we put on as many clothes as we could physically wear and hopped onto the highway heading north. Just past a town called Clinton we took the recommended left turn and headed down a gravel road into.......the arms of a waiting black bear! Our first bear!!!! We both did emergency stops on the spot. The bear by this time had run off. Probably at least as half as scared of us as we were of it. I rode first, thanks brave Chantelle, and had my finger on the horn button. Which then made me wonder if I was basically ringing the dinner bell for all the other bears and cougars. Probably some other man eating nastiness too that we haven't heard about yet! You get another flat tyre out here Rosie and you're on your own!

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    That was so cool. Despite our terror we both wanted to give it a big hug! We couldn't believe how shiny she/he was!!!

    We followed the dirt road onwards. Our GPS telling us we had 178 km's of these back roads to go. Woohoo!!

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    We wound through forest, then through cleared land and back into forest. Mountains popping up on our left and flat land racing away on our right. So magical!


    At one point we followed a long snaking road down to a plateau and then this massive canyon just seemed to open up on our left. The road we were on snaked along the edge of it. The views I can not describe. They were so sensational. So immense. It made our eyes water looking at this beautiful thing called Fraser Canyon. We followed the road as it dipped and climbed. Curved and twisted. The riding some of the best we have ever had.

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    We met another group of riders on the way. Some locals who owned a ranch near here. After a lovely chat they invited us to come stay with them tomorrow! We accepted of course! A stay on a real Canadian ranch? Yes please!!!

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    Eventually the gravel ended. Just in time too. Both of our bums were screaming in agony now. We pulled into Williams Lake, grabbed some fuel and some dinner stuffs and headed out to camp.

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    We were both totally buggered after today and after a meal of chilli mushrooms we hit the sack and passed out.

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    Tomorrow we are off to Horsefly to stay on a ranch!!!
  20. USA1

    USA1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    You my friend, have an amazing eye for photography! Of course, your writing is still spot-on! We are all there with you. You more than likely jinxed Mabel in regards to her never having a flat, I sure hope she stays flatless. I'm happy you both are enjoying the beginning of your epic journey, I know I am! At least Rosie now has her quota of flats. Ride on, enjoy, and stay safe!