Monday, 29 August 2011

Nathan's YXY - YVR (Whitehorse to Vancouver)

August 22 - 28

A great run from Whitehorse to Vancouver was a great testing ground for me, the bike, and gear. Because Sam and I are heading out in late October and I didn't envy the idea of riding from Whitehorse that time of year, I spent the last week bringing the bike to Vancouver, from where I'll leave in October. I guess that makes this Part I.

Here's me just before getting on the bike in Whitehorse.

The trip was great. ~3500km in 7 riding days - a non-direct route with some amazing riding days. Roads all over the SE of BC were a dream like this one:

I stopped in Nakusp to see uncle Harry and take in a couple of events at the Horizon's Unlimited annual meet-up ( The best part was the 'how to change a flat' demo.

One of my favourite roads was this one between the Thompson River and Adams Lake (Agate Bay). It was hay season and the sights and smells were intense, the road was good, traffic was light, and it was hot, but not too hot. Just perfect.

Some of my favourite things:
1. feeling the cold of the creeks as I ride by.
2. smells. you can smell everything.
3. finding my wallet after losing it for a whole night (see below)
4. the heat of SE BC in summer
5. My Adams Lake campsite (photo -->)

The wallet story.
I arrived in Quesnel late at night after having to back track from Barkerville (I had planned to ride south from Barkerville via Forest Service Roads, but a bridge was out so I returned to Quesnel). I gassed up and a very friendly but odd attendant at the gas station distracted me as I was gassing up (e.g., she explained to me how I needed to select the grade of gasoline by pressing one of the flashing buttons; thank god she told me; i might still be there otherwise trying to figure it out). Normally I keep my wallet in a zip pocket that faces me on my tank bag - very secure. I inferred later that, perhaps not thinking very clearly being distracted and fatigued, I did not look at what I was doing did not actually put the wallet the pocket but zipped it up and drove away with the wallet sitting on the seat between my legs.
45 min later after being unsatisfied with several potential free camping spots I returned to near the gas station to spend the night at a motel... at which point I realized the wallet was gone, gone, gone.
Digression: Before I realized my misfortune, I went into the motel to inquire on rates and was told it was $49 for the night. I then asked about having a kitchenette so I could cook my dinner. I was told that the only available rooms with cooking facilities had full kitchens, not kitchenettes, and were therefore more expensive.

'Well, all I need is a kitchenette... so really, nothing?'
"No, just full kitchens" Pregnant pause
'Well, how much are they?'
I contain my laughter.
End Digression. So I then go out to find my wallet and realize it is gone. Swear word. I check the gas station, check all my bags, nothing. No sign. Despair. Very generous Quesnelians - place to stay, $ to tide me over. But I have to look. I ride off retracing my path, scanning, scanning, getting off when I slowed down or got off before. Nothing. I arrive at the parking lot of the day use provincial park where I had looked for a campsite earlier. No sign. Swear word. I'm too tired to go on. Eat and sleep.
Wake up. Swear word. Okay, I'm calm; I have to retrace my route and keep looking; if that doesn't work I'll move on to next steps. I arrive at one of the small riverside parks where I had turned the bike in a u-turn last night. Looking... nothing. Next park. I can see the tire tracks from last night. I get off and follow them. Scanning. Swear word of joy. There it is. Lying in the grass just untouched an unmoved from where it must have fallen from the bike when I had put my leg out to steady the bike in a tight turn.
Such relief and joy.

Looking forward to the next phase!!



1 comment:

  1. Hey Nathan, I didn't know you have such a great trip plan! As I used to be a biker and I have been to Ushuaia in 2008, your trip is really interesting and exiting for me. I will follow your trip at this blog!