Well, I have been really busy the past year. As noted, I have not paid as much attention to my blog as I normally do. Being my second year into my new job and most of my weekends being consumed with riding throughout the region, I just haven’t provided many updates.
Over the past weekend, my wife and I spent four days in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. This is an area that I have not been to in many years and have never seen on two wheels. We left Vancouver early Friday morning and joined another couple at our meet point in Abbotsford. From there we carried on through the rain until we reached Hope, BC where the rain had not yet reached. Just in time for nice breakfast at the Hope Drive In and Restaurant. Just as we were finishing breakfast, the rain came in and we continued on a wet ride all through Manning Park.
Our route would take us from Hope to Princeton and then north to Merritt. From Princeton to Merritt, the rain dissipated and it was an almost pleasant ride the rest of the way to 108 Mile Ranch. We arrived that first night around 5:30pm and met our B&B hosts, Hans and Esther.
The house was a beautiful log house on an amazing property. Lots of frontage forest land right to the lake with deer visiting every day. We arrived tired and satisfied with our first day. Restful night and ready for the adventures the next day.
At breakfast, we decided to venture out and explore some of the side roads around 150 Mile House. The couple we were with were keen to ride out to Likely, BC and then connect to Horesfly, BC using a logging / service road. The ride out to Likely was fantastic! Great sweeping corners and amazing, picturesque scenery. Stopping at Likely for coffee and pie, it was only then I put two and two together realizing that this was the site of the Mount Polley Mine Disaster.
We also failed to heed the words of the locals about the recent evening rain storms and proceed along our plan to ride the service connector road to Horsefly. Well, this turned out to be a disaster! What started as a packed, dirt road for the first 8 to 10 kilometres quickly changed into a mud bog. We road for over 10 kilometres in slimy, slippery mud and even had to cross a muddy, wooden bridge. While some may consider this a ‘growing’ experience, it is not one that I would relish to repeat. Persevering through, we made it to Horsefly where we found a gas station that was willing to let us use their water hose to wash both ourselves and our bikes down. We then carried on back on a ‘civilized’ road to 150 Mile House and ventured into Williams Lake for a fantastic pub dinner.
Day three saw us explore some of the roads closer to 100 Mile House. A great find was Horse Lake Road which meanders along and eventually connects on to Highway 24. We took that road East to Little Fort, BC and found the only diner in town, the High Five Dinner. Turned out that this was a fantastic little find as it was a 50’s themed dinner complete with old fashioned milkshakes, a generous menu of luncheon options and the most amazing, freshly baked pies. After lunch, we headed back West on Highway 24 and originally had the plan to take Watch Lake Road south to 70 Mile House. Having encountered rain and hail along the way and seeing a darkened sky to the South, I decided to alter that plan and head back to 108 Mile Ranch. My riding partner dropped his wife off and was not going to miss out of taking that road. He headed back and sure enough, hit a massive hail storm that almost caused him to crash his bike. He came back two hours later after we had already consumed a couple of ‘refreshments’ and shared his stories that we missed.
We headed back to Vancouver on day four and I decided to incorporate Horse Lake and Watch Lake roads into the trip back. We experienced amazing lakeside country and saw so many cottages along the way. It makes you realize that so many people are very lucky to have something like this that they can retreat to most weekends.
We connected back on Highway 97 and headed South towards Clinton, BC. Along the way, three other bikers obviously traveling together came up behind the traffic behind us. The lead rider aggressively passed cars in order to get to the front, at times putting himself at risk in my opinion. The other riders did not keep up with him and waited until we reached a passing lane. Once there, I accelerated to get in front of the campers and trucks and once I had attained that goal, moved over into the right lane. The two other bikers slowly passed us with the tail rider on a yellow Harley giving us the finger as they went by. Not sure why that was warranted or offered but guess some guys just have to have their say.
We followed these three bikers through Clinton and saw that they also turned at the Highway 99 connector. For some reason, they pulled over and we carried forward. We rode through some nice land and experienced small communities along the way as we came into the mountain region entering Lillooet. Stopping at the Esso station in Lillooet for fuel and a bio break, our travel companions suddenly had an issue. Their bike would not start. Even boosting it did not result in the engine turning over. Good thing they had BCAA! They called and were advised that the tow company was out on a call and that it may take a while. They expressed that we should carry on with our journey, that they were safe in Lillooet and would wait for the tow operator.
We continued on our travels West towards Pemberton and rode some of the best roads in BC. Stopping in Pemberton to stretch, we had a text message from our companions letting us know that they were enroute, bike in trailer to Vancouver. Turns out just as we left Lillooet, the other three bikers arrived at the Esso. The guy on the yellow Harley was losing oil and he could not ride any further. The fellow we rode with was kind enough to share the trailer with his bike and give him a ride as well into Vancouver. Bet he really must of felt like an idiot giving us the finger on the road just an hour or so earlier.
Just goes to prove that all bikers should respect each other. You never know when you may need the assistance of someone else.