Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14, 2014 - Oh, Canada! Where the deer are big and the speed limits are small...

Well, we managed to get up, dressed and on the road by 7:30 this morning.  I thought, yahoo!, we'll be at our intended destination of Quesnel by 4 or 5 pm.  It didn't really work out that way :-)

About 50 miles north of our hotel was the border crossing.  We stopped for a bit at the duty free store so I could stock up on cigs and booze.  Hey, I have my priorities!  It was a beautiful location.


Okay, we got all loaded up with goodies and made our way to the border crossing.  We had a bit of a wait but not too long.  Eric was first at the border control where he was grilled about where he was going, did he have anything he was going to leave in Canada and if he had any weapons or firearms.  To which Eric responded he had nothing but a small Swiss Army Knife.  The customs guard responded that the Swiss Army Knife won't stop a bear :-)

My turn was next.  The guard asked me if I had any firearms or weapons to which I responded with a no.  I forgot I had a Leatherman.  Then he asked when the last time I was in Canada.  Uhhhh....I dunno.  He laughed and said maybe last year?  I responded that maybe, we travel a lot.  He then said maybe my hubby lied?  No, never I said. He passed me through and off I went.  Then I remembered, last year we totally rode all over Ontario, Canada and stayed in Parry Sound for a few days and even swam in Lake Huron.  Duh.....

Regardless, we were let in to Canada, yippee!

We rode along Hiway 97 which took us through miles and miles of orchards and vineyards.  It was outstanding.  The weather was pleasant and we just motored along.  Sometimes having to pass a slow vehicle, but mostly just cruising. I started the day with my heated jacket and mid-weight gloves on and I was glad about that.  We got sprinkled on - no big rain but some wet stuff.

When we got to Penticton, it was time for some sustenance.  We rode through town which was plenty busy with tourists and motorists not watching where there were going.  Eric spied a small cafe that served brekkie and lunch.  Perfect.  We stopped there and had a delicious meal which we shared.

So here we were, less than 100 miles from our start and already four hours into our day.  Not exactly what we had planned!  We put our pinlocks on our faceshields because the weather ahead did not look promising.  I removed my heated liner because it was getting warm but we did put rain covers on our tank bags.  I later regretted removing the heated liner!

Finally, back on track, we got on Hiway 97 toward Quesnel.  We rode along at a nice clip and headed up a mountain. Up, up, up.  Every mile was a drop in temperature.  It got very cold....Brrrrrrr..... I kept thinking we were almost to the summit and it would warm up.  Well, the next turn would show even more elevation!!!  Yup, it got really cold.  I was so glad when we really did reach the summit and started downhill and the temperature began to increase slightly.

From 97 when went to Merritt, BC and picked Hiway 8 to Spence's Bridge.  What a treat that road was!!  A very small, off the beaten track, two lane highway.  Not fast at all but incredibly scenic.  Lots of curves, twists and tons of fun.  We had no traffic to speak of and thoroughly enjoyed this road as we followed a river. The scenery was mind boggling with massive meadows surrounded by evergreen forests.  We stopped at the end for a photo op.  We should have stopped many times for all the photo ops, but we were on a mission to Quesnel.

From Spence's Bridge we hit Hiway 1 and then on again to 97. We stopped briefly at Milepost 100 so I could put my heated liner on again.  I was getting chilled.  And, I was getting tired.  As I said, our goal was Quesnel but we only made it to Williams Lake.  I wanted off the bike and I wanted a nice, warm room with a full bath!!

We made a loop of Williams Lake and finally landed at The Drummond Lodge with a room looking over the lake.  Very nice and I was so ready to stop.  I don't know why I was so beat and tired but today, I was not an Iron Butt rider.  Today, I was a wimpy rider who need to stop and rest.  Maybe it was the past several days of big miles and excitement that wore me out.  Whatever, today I needed to stop.  So we didn't make our goal.  No biggie.  We'll get there tomorrow.  Our only commitment at this time is to be in Hyder on June 16.  I think we'll make that just fine.

We did score with Chinese delivery!  We had a lovely dinner in our room overlooking the lake.  Sweet & Sour Pork with steamed rice (fortune cookies) delivered quickly and hot.  So very nice that we didn't have to gear up and go out in search of food.  I love delivery :-)

Sorry this isn't the best blog ever but I was tired today.  I got cold and cranky.  I recovered some when Eric fed me mini Reeses candies :-)  But, was so ready to call it a day.  I'm glad we stopped when we did.  As we neared Williams Lake, I started to see Bambi everywhere.  It was time to get off the road.  No, we didn't make our goal but that wasn't so important.  We'll make up our lost time tomorrow and still get to Smithers, BC in plenty of time to enjoy ourselves.

I'll try to be a better photographer as we move along.  There was wonderful scenery today.  The kind of places that makes your heart sing, but we didn't stop.  We just enjoyed the beautiful landscapes from the seats of our bikes.  Maybe, next journey, I'll mount a camera or GoPro so I can capture some of the wonderful scenes as we ride by.

My only random thoughts for today -- for a fairly short day of riding, I'm exhausted, beat, tired.  How can I do an eleven day rally riding 1,000 plus miles a day and be okay and today only ride about 400 miles and feel like I've ridden a lifetime?

Another random thought - most folks we meet are awesome, fun and happy to be alive.  A very few are not so happy.  I feel sorry for those few.

And finally, I'm tired today.  Sorry this blog entry isn't so entertaining or interesting but heck, we all have our days, don't we?  I'm headed to bed and hope I have a good solid sleep and wake up full of vim and vinegar and ready to face tomorrow with gusto.  I'll try to stop more and take photos.  I'll also try to take better notes so I can give you all a better travelogue.

Until tomorrow, cheers friends.



  1. This one's your best post so far milady. Thanx for the beautiful ride.

  2. We always feel the third day or so on a trip is the most tiring. The first few days you are fired up about the trip.

    1. I agree Bob. That must be it. I was exhausted yesterday. Today was great. Now that I'm back online, another post shortly!

  3. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Keep the cigs lit and the wheels turning.

    1. Hahaha, love you too RJ and RK and RG :-)

  4. If you come back through BC, try some of the forest roads from Barkerville all the way down they are amazing if you have the time. Some hard some not but you will avoid all the RV's. Have a great time..I am envious even though I just got back home yesterday

    1. Oh thanks! We passed a road to Barkerville today. I don't think it will work on our return trip but it's another place to put on the bucket list!

  5. British Columbia is gorgeous! Can't wait to go there again myself.

    Nice pics of the scenery.