August 23rd and 24th, 2011
Mark the Brit had been planning to ride to the Horizon’s Unlimited meeting in Nakusp, which started on the 25th. I had been toying with the idea, but when he told me the weather there was supposed to be sunny and in the 80s (I couldn’t have said the last time I had seen weather in the 80s, sunny or no), I decided I would head there too. The next place I wanted to go was Seattle, and the couple I was going to stay with there was already going to the meeting, so I could meet them there.
I met Brian and Richard at their hotel, and the three of us headed from Prince George. I think, if I hadn’t been offered free lodging in Prince George I would have stayed an extra day in Smithers, since the campground and weather were nice, and they had a “Wash it all,” combination laundry and shower store. I needed to do laundry.
But, lured by the night of free lodging (an curious about how the couchsurfing thing went, since it was something I felt like I should try at some point) I followed the two of them east. We had talked some about my bike’s speed and range, and it didn’t’ seem like it would be an issue, and it wasn’t.
My camera was still acting up, so I don’t have many pictures
Bug with flowers, I think it was a factory option
The lunch stop. The two of them didn’t ride fast, but they also didn’t stop much. Must be nice to have a large fuel tank.
We arrived in Prince George in the rain (of course), and were warmly welcomed by Valerie, our host. She even made up dinner, which was delicious. The brits took a shared couch in a VW camper van in her back yard, while I set up my tent. We sat inside and watched part of Jurassic Park while talking about winters. Apparently their house is occasionally mostly buried in the snow, before sleep.
I woke the next morning before the others and did some work on the bike. It was sunny again, though a bit chilly, and an extremely heavy dew had fallen. I actually thought there had been a frost, but the grass was just heavily coated with water. While riding yesterday with the others I had learned I didn’t have a brake light, and as it turned out both my brake switches were broken. After chatting for awhile I decided to stay in Prince George for the morning and see if I could find a replacement. Richard and Brian were going to head for a free campground Brian had listed in a book of free camping in BC. With two more nights until the HU meeting I was thinking I might need a campground with laundry, but I got the directions anyway.
I had no luck in Prince George finding a brake switch, so I called back to the Shop and arranged for them to ship one to Seattle, along with the speedo gears that had broken back in Minnesota. Then I started south again, it was about 1pm, and I didn’t think I would be going very far. I did want to get out of Prince George though, it is an expensive place.
At my first gas stop who pulled up but Brian and Richard. They had puttered around in Prince George all morning and left after me. The three of us rode together for awhile, but I lost them again in traffic passing through some town.
Saw this thing though, which seemed a bit extreme to just get over some railroad tracks. I saw some kids walking towards it with skateboards as I pulled away.
On my own I decided to find camping with Laundry and internet, so I could make sure the parts I needed were on the way (they were). I found a place near Lake William that even had free showers.
In the morning I packed up and hit the road. I had two days to reach Nakusp, which was just over 300 miles away. This gave me lots of time as I wandered in the general direction. Nakusp is in the Lake District in BC, which is a very pretty, very touristy area.
Around 4pm I started looking for a campground, but I was unusually focused on finding a hammock site and passed up a couple. Some were very tent unfriendly in general. Each one I passed by got me a little later in the day, and a little closer to Nakusp. Finally I reached the ferry, and while I had given up on the hammock (or thought I had) and there was a nice provincial site just before the ferry, I decided to take the ferry across the lake and see what was on the other side.
It was a free ferry, and the ride was just over 20 minutes. Motorcycles, of course, got preferred treatment.
It was while enjoying this sunset I realized I had made something of a mistake. By the time the ferry unloaded it was far into dusk, and within about 10 minutes it was completely night. I pulled over and let the cars, who had off loaded from the ferry after me, past so I could slow down some. Curiosity doesn’t have a great headlight and this was only the second time since leaving home I was caught at night short of my destination (oddly enough the other time was also because I felt like I should just keep going rather than stopping while it was light). There were no campgrounds between the ferry exit and Nakusp, so I rolled into the Horizon’s Unlimited meet Wednesday night around 945, very tired. I met a few people and found a site to share, tried to pitch the hammock but the ridgeline broke and I was took tired to deal with it, so the Nomad went up and I fell asleep right away.s