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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RamonaRider, Jun 30, 2018.
In as a fellow S3 rider. Keep the rubber down.
I’ll reiterate the earlier comment... staying at Toad Rock by Balfour is a must-do... brilliant mc campground with buses, VWs and even a boat as accommodation if you don’t fancy tenting.
Mary’s great, the pavilion is awesome and watch out for the pig.
If you have chance, the route from the ferry at Crawford Bay to Creston is a delight for riders.
Safe travels and enjoy! I will be keeping an eye on this thread.
Looks like a good ride, One thing though, once you get to eastern WA. Allot of high winds all day long.
Subscribed and waiting for the journal to be added here upon your return.
Enjoy your ride and stay safe out there.
In for the trip. You two are going to an absolutely beautiful area with good roads and scenery. Have fun and enjoy your adventure.
T-1 hour to departure!!
Just found this. Have a great ride. Be safe. watch out for critters in the road.
Enjoy the trip and stay safe. Can't wait to see some pics.
If you need a spot to camp on your way home, i got tent space galore in Bellingham, wa right over the border. awesome trip! Following along.
was wyeastrider an avid beer maker?
Ramona, ride safe and have fun. That is a beautiful area of North America!
Hats off to you both! Looking forward to seeing and reading about this journey! Safe travels!
Have a great trip and yes, FCUK CANCER! I think any road through eastern BC is a good one. You will love Jasper, kick back and fun. If you need a place to stay check the Info Station in the middle of town, they have a list of people with rental suites. Or the Whistler Campground is nice to stay. Banff? Meh! Nice scenery but the town is over-run with yuppie tourists and over-priced shops. I just pass through it anymore. The farther north you go the less crowded. 10 days will give you a nice time without being too rushed.
Someone mentioned the holiday drunks in BC, yes I have experienced this a few times. I met the angriest Canadian a couple of years ago, all the guy wanted to do was fight. He was drunk as a skunk from the wine country in Osoyoos. I didn't feel like spending my vacation in the Canadian hoosgow so I just jumped on my bike and rode away. Someone told me later he was probably part of the BC motorcycle gangs. But for the most part BC is an awesome place to ride. Just watch out for the Albertan drivers.
Wyeast is Mt Hood, the yeast company took the name.
Isabella and Kitty getting warmed up
At the Taqueria
Looking back towards the wildfire, heading back into harrowing winds
July 1, Day 1: Portland to Ellensberg
~220 miles/350 km
Holy fucking shit! We’re doing it! Tahnee and I are in her lovely little tent, a pile of clothes and boots and helmets at our feet, ensconced in our sleeping bags and marveling at getting here. The wind was outrageous! We didn’t leave Portland until after 4pm, what with one thing and another. Up 205, off east on 84, and our first stop at Biggs, my usual gas station refuel on the way to Oregon Raceway Park. Gusts hit us first along 84, as Hood River is renowned for its wind surfing with good reason, and then FULL on as we headed north across the Columbia on the bridge for 97. I was leading and the adrenaline hit me hard as gusts blew us across the lanes. I pulled us off in an unscheduled stop in Goldendale just to take some deep breaths, while Tahnee got her tires to the right inflation. I was literally shaking post-adrenaline but thankfully I consulted the interwebz and read 10 tips for riding in strong winds. I knew not to clutch the bars too tight but I’ve never known about the trick of extending a knee towards the prevailing wind and that was an enormous boon. It tapered off some as we headed into Yakima country and the smell of evergreen was a delight. Later we rode through sweet smelling crops of some sort — not marijuana but something corn-like; who knows? The setting sun in our eyes was a doozy as we entered Yakima and a hopeful exit for food yielded a delightful Taqueria on a side road. It reminded me powerfully of Thailand — a set of benches out in the air under some shelter, a lady with a grill and ingredients off to the side.... Six pollo tacos and two horchata aqua fresca set us back $10. A large wildfire spiced the air and kicked the sunset into flaring oranges and lavender washes. We set off with full bellies hoping to reach the nice Swauk campground up in the forest but again the wind asserted itself. The new trick was helpful, but now it was also full dark and chilly. We pulled off to pile on warm clothes and I re-oriented us to a KOA in the next town of Ellensburg. I don’t know when 25 minutes has ever lasted so long, but we made it in (around 10:30pm) without any further external ado. Hurrah! And what was that about courage meaning *facing* your fear? Hear, hear!
Fantastic photos. Congrats on the start of the journey.
July 2 - Day 2, Ellensburg to campsite in British Columbia
~240 miles/385 km
The day began in Ellensburg, waking to the sounds of quiet birds and waves of traffic on highway 97. Our little tent sat amid mostly RVs, alongside a flat and rapidly flowing river that reminded me of the crocodile-baiting boat tour in the Northern Territory that I did last summer. We got on the road after oatmeal and coffee, in a weird rain with the sun shining down. We rode into more winds, the gusts less fierce as we skirted through more forests and alongside hills rather than through more open plains, but still I watched the treetops for the wind direction and made liberal use of my knee sail. I didn’t want to roll too fast, and Tahnee usually pulled ahead. We cruised up 97 peacefully, and I stopped us at the Take a Break Cafe for a hot brekkie around 11. T. had some insane idea that we would ride 7 hours and make it to Toad Rock Campground in one go, but mostly I laughed at this, and made sure to keep us fed and fueled in a more leisurely fashion. We had patches of rain amid shining sun, and joked that Canada was too polite to even rain without offering a bit of sun to offset it. We yakked nicely in our communicators most of the time, altho her Sena is cutting out battery-wise and requiring frequent recharges. We had a late lunch at a restaurant on a lake, enjoying the patio and the now distinct lack of wind gusts. Refueled, we kept on and passed thru cherry-growing country (yum!) before reaching the Canadian border. The line was surprisingly long but we made it thru without any drama. Oosoyos was a lovely town on a big lake where we considered stopping, but the campsites along Lakeshore Dr were way too packed in with RVs. So we picked up a bottle of local pinot gris and headed up into the mountains in the direction of our original target of Grand Forks. This marked some of the first roads with us truly climbing up in elevation, with switchbacks along cliffs that made it feel like I might ride right off into the sky. These heights are my toughest moments, being acrophobic, but T is unaffected and even energized — just as conversely she has strong terror reactions to bridges high over rushing, water-filled ravines, an element that lights me up and makes me feel like I’m flying so much so that I usually stand up on my pegs and shout some version of “fuck yeah!!” in my helmet. We’re well-matched and our bikes are now fast friends, too — Kitty is like a Teutonic ice goddess and Isabella is the quirky girl from London-town. Or perhaps, as we determined around the campfire that night, she’s Buffy and I’m Willow (a reference only just conprehensible as I watched the first epidode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with my daughter the evening before the trip!). We rode just about 45 mins further, and as the temps dropped into the low 50s, we decided to check out this little spot called Johnstone Creek Provincial Park. We secured a stunning dry site beneath towering pines. A bunny, some ground squirrels and birds including a hummingbird bade us welcome. Dinner was food in a bag, much enhanced by the pinot and our bubbling conversation.
River in the morning
Views that do not suck...
Rainier cherries, fresh-picked!
Day 2 pics, continued...
Lakeside lunch view
Into a new land!
Still watching the direction the trees bend...
We’re all smiles
Day 2 pics, cont...
Stunning Jacobs Ladders looking back at Oosoyos
Loved this spot for the night
July 3, Day 3 - Johnstone Creek Provincial Park to Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground
Today was a very slow start - we first woke around 9, then T fell back asleep and I read for an hour before passing out again; we both woke for good around 11. Coffee and oatmeal and we were off just after noon - a nice leisurely pace that we must’ve needed, altho we rued the late hour sometimes as we plowed towards the renowned Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground. Our stop in Greenwood for gas and espresso (hello macchiato!) also became a long stop with logistical wrangling to try and have T’s friend ship her eyeglasses via UPS to a future stop; T was fighting a migraine, which seems to correlate to vision issues. We decided on two nights at Toad Rock, and just one night later at Lake Louise, in order to arrange a good spot to camp around Revelstoke. And who knows, T speculated, maybe Toad Rock could provide some moto hotties who’d entertain us...? When we stopped for food at Clyde’s Pub in Grand Forks, we learned the shipping would cost about $200 and not get to our Revelstoke destination in time. So that was a bust - but my cheeseburger was awesome! Onwards, and onwards - we would round another corner to have another stunning green valley open before us, a river meandering through the middle with some hamlet spread out a bit on the flat and up the lower mountain reaches. The clouds remained gathered and gray, splattering us occasionally, and it got very cold (and pelted us with tiny hail to boot!) as we summited the range west of Nelson. Then down, down the curves, warming air and clearing skies as we reached this charming artsy town around dinner time. We enjoyed gourmet ramen, and then gassed up and headed on another 45 minutes along an arm of the Kootenay Lake. Cruising at just 90 km/hr along this lovely meandering route with its gentle esses and nicely cambered embankments, I felt fucking invincible again, like I did after riding Ramona down the Lippincott Mine Road in Death Valley in spring 2016. I was leaning into the left- and right-handers with aplomb, trusting myself again and loving my fine red steed. Then we rolled into this ridiculously awesome place - a true mecca for riders, Toad Rock is, with sites and amenities appealing to this bizarre specimen of the human race: the motorcycling enthusiast. We quickly set up camp in Blues Alley and made for the Pavilion to socialize. Spent some time around the fire in the guitar-song circle, then I made a break for the pool table and played 3 games, winning twice on technicalities. T collected the many ideas that came our way for rides the next day with Toad Rock as our base, but I’m just not feeling like stressing myself with doing any gravel routes on the Triumph, what with so many more days yet to go. We talked with some nice folks across the evening and into the late night, everybody getting each other’s home towns and motorcycle models as a first order of business. There is sadly a preponderance of Harley dudes, while we have eyes only for the adventure riders.... I’m pretty sure at least one guy was surprised to learn we were both riding, sexism that was tiring and disappointing to encounter even here, but I suppose he didn’t mean badly and he recovered quickly as I poked after technical details of his Triumph Tiger. Many folks come to this place often, friends who reunite here over years and years. It’s well after midnight and one of my neighbors just called over to congratulate me on being here, a place that brings the world together. Let’s all play nice, folks — it sure is a lot more fun that way, isn’t it?
Not long after getting underway
Smiling despite the wet
Our Toad Rock spot