Day 10 – Destination: Fort St. John, BC

Elliott’s Post

Coooooollllld start to the day omg.

After the third straight night of rain we packed up and were out of the campsite by 9 am. Geoff ran out of gas yesterday at the campground so we he hopped on the back of my bike and we rode into town last night for dinner and to fill up our extra gas canisters. This morning we went back into town again so Geoff could fill up and then we were on our way.

We did about 70 numbing miles into Prince George for breakfast and went pretty  strong all day and stopped for a rest in Chetwynd. Today was a combination of open plains, snow capped mountains, rain, hail, sunshine, and super strong winds. Aside from the elements it was an amazingly beautiful ride. I had my heated vest and handgrips going all day as well as thick gloves and balaclava in an effort to stay warm.

We left Chetwynd and made the final 1.5 hour push up to Fort St. John on the scenic route which hugged the Peace river. You can see the pic at the best vantage point along the route. It was probably 50 mph winds when we stopped up there.

Rolled into Fort St. John around 6:30 and found a nice little camp spot for the night and now down at the local pub for some dinner.

Tomorrow is the first day on the Alaskan Highway.  3,200 miles down, about 1,500 to Anchorage still!

Random observations on the trip thus far:

  • We haven’t seen one trooper in the 800 miles or so that we have ridden in Canada (that comment just jinxed us)
  • Geoff and I use almost the exact same amount of gas (except for when he ran out and I still had about 0.1 liters left to get us to the gas station)
  • It’s amazing how, even in the middle of nowhere, I can still get internet access on my wireless card.
  • If I had a nickel for everytime someone asked us where we’re going…
  • Canadians are really nice
  • The bike rain covers have proven to be the most important piece of equipment so far
  • It’s staying light later and later every day as we get farther north. Really not dark til 10:30ish at this point
  • Traffic is really thinning out – way less people on the road (especially starting today)

Geoff’s Post

The Honeymoon is over….

This morning was cold again.  41. Rained AGAIN last night… third in a row.  Started the day getting gas since someone (not Elliott) tried to test the range of the giant motorcycle and wound up running out of gas at the camp site.  For the record- ~320 miles is it and 45 of them with the yellow warning light on! We have filled up the bikes at least a dozen times and are always within .2 gls.  Not today!  Elliott wins (and for the record- he did suggest we get fuel before going to the campground and I was the one who wanted to see how far we could go!)

After an illicit fill-up we were planning on knocking out 60 miles or so before breakfast to ease-up the back half of the long day.  The reason it was illicit was that they didn’t have any premium fuel for on-road use.  The premium they had was non-taxed and was only allowed in off-road vehicles.  After much coercing/begging/flirting she agreed to look the other way while I fueled-up instead of making me fill up my spare fuel cylinder (1 quart) and then dump it into my tank 32 times.  We left best of friends….

The road to breakfast was a nice and easy 80 miles but sans coffee I got a headache and by the time we got to Prince George we were both famished.

This is where the fun starts.  It was a gorgeous ride through the forest along beautiful lakes rivers and mountains.  All around in the sky were groups of very low puffy clouds and some of them were dropping isolated showers around us and it was so cool looking to dodge the showers like it was a video game.  Reminded me of dodging squalls on the sail to Hawaii several years ago- really neat to see so much nature all happening at the same time.  The color, smells, temperature changes and geography are almost sensory overload.

So it’s still not been above 50 all day until probably about 2PM.  Yeah!  51 degrees!!! That was also just about the time the rain started.  The isolated puffy clouds turned into one giant black one that started dumping on us.  While engrossed in the silver lining that at least it was warmer now (albeit very wet), the temperature again plummeted and Mother Nature decided some hail was in order.  Check another one off the list… riding in hail.  Done.  This also started almost exactly we crossed a bridge over Honeymoon Creek.  Really?  Hail and a motorcycle converge at honeymoon creek?  At this point, I had to laugh and decided silver linings were overrated and that maybe Mother Nature was going to win this one.

The hail subsided back into (pouring) rain for another 20 miles or so and it too eventually gave into sunshine (although still sub 50 degrees- we were at a ski resort at this point) and the ride again became pleasurable versus an adventure.
We are clearly getting further north though… way further.  There are a lot less people here and with every hundred miles fewer and fewer cars on the road.  Gas stations are further apart (like 60 miles or more currently) and it all feels more and more desolate on the roads.

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