Day 9 – Destination: Quesnel, BC

Elliott’s Update

Geoff and I had something to eat and sat around and b.s.’d at a bar in Whistler last night until after 11 pm which meant a very late arrival at the campsite. There were supposedly tent spots, but we couldn’t find them so we just squatted in an RV space. It rained a little last night (as it did the night before). I put the rain cover on my bike but not on my tent so I was quietly cursing myself as I had to get out of the sleeping bag and put that on. We were up at the crack of dawn and outta there before they even knew what happened. Thanks for the great (free) night, Lakeside Campground.

We stopped for a tasty breakfast in Pemberton and then we were on the road. It was a cold morning but a phenomenal ride through the mountains before it leveled off a bit. Once it did level off, it got a lot warmer and we just motored north on 97 all the way to Quesnel (where I’m writing this from). When you see those pictures from the road, those are on the safe “boring” parts, neither me or Geoff are too willing pull out the camera on the twisty mountain roads.

We saw our first bear today (when I saw we, I mean Geoff).

Tomorrow is a big decision day as we will ride into Prince George and then we either go East up the Cassiar highway or break West and go up the Alaskan highway. Whichever one we don’t do now, we’ll do on the way back. We’re leaning towards the Alaskan even though it’s about 120 miles longer, it doesn’t have some gravel stretches and it may better to save the gravel for when we have knobby tires (which we will on the way back).

I guess that’s it for now.

Geoff’s Update

Bear with me…

Today was an awesome ride from Whistler to Quesnel. Started VERY early though…
for some reason we felt the call of the road at 7:50 (amazingly just before rent was due…
hmmmm…) and it was by far our earliest start. Also our COLDEST! Was 41 when we
left camp.

Elliott had a long night fighting with a rainfly… but eventually the swearing stopped and
we all got some much needed rest.

The 99 highway from whistler was awesome… road was in great shape and the scenery
was amazing- high steep green mountains with the road winding in and out of raging
river valleys. It did get progressively worse as they have clearly spent a lot of money
cleaning it up for the Olympics but as you get away from Whistler it got pretty chucky…
no… REALLY chucky. Add to that the fact it was once a logging road and it has 13%
grades. A steep grade on a highway normally is like 6%. The logging trucks and RV’s
struggle and we all wait for a chance to pass. There are no shoulders- just a ledge cut into
a mountain exactly two lanes wide except where there is a bridge- then it’s one lane wide
and made of wood. I kept thinking how slick they would be when it is raining. And it’s
rained two nights in a row. Then, we come across some poor fool nearing the top of one
of the tallest of the grades on a BICLYCLE pulling a tiny trailer! He was not moving
very fast to be sure, and I am not sure he was aware but after he got to the top, the road
degraded to dirt and gravel at about a 10% grade and a hairpin turn. Hope there were no
trucks coming up when he hit that! Crazy.

It was all very worth it and the rest of the ride was pretty fast and uneventful.
The rest of the highlights were seeing my first BEAR cross the road…. Yes- he got to the
other side. Very cool. And we got to race a pick up truck on the railroad tracks… he was
inspecting the railroad or something but it was still good times- bet it corners like it’s on

Ok- we are in a bar in Quesnel and have to set up camp before the scheduled rain de jour
shows up and then hunt down dinner… much to do and more to follow…


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