Sunday, August 03, 2014

The BC - Washington Loop - Phase One: Horseshoe Bay to Vernon

Click for a larger view...photographs are referenced by numbers on the map
1 The Brittania Mine - well worth the stop if you've never been into a mine before.  We were barely off the ferry, and we stopped to check out the mine.  I found it somewhat disappointing as compared to Andy and my previous visit to the Myra Falls Mine, but it was a worthwhile stop if only to adjust our gear!
The train ride is short, but the gold panning lucrative if you persist.  Of course, time is of the essence, so 3 flakes had to do.

 2 Shannon Falls: Another stop, another gear change.  Beautiful falls, and the road to Whistler is great to ride, but the weather seemed to change every few minutes.

3 Whistler: We actually stayed at the Fairmont for the night.  What an over-hyped, overpriced joint. They wanted to charge me $35 for parking.  Forget it.  Your bike won't trigger the automatic sensor, so ride around the gate (you should be used to riding around gates if you're a regular reader of this blog!), find a stall and enjoy a free stay. You won't be asked about parking in the reception/foyer, as you settle up with a machine on the way out, unless you ride around the exit barrier...Use the saved money for some liquid refreshment at the end of the day, or to tip the snooty Valet parkers...  So instead of free advertising for Whistler, I'll show you how you get a week's worth of clothes, iPads, iPhones, Kindles, passports, documents, spare keys, sunglasses, glasses, some minor medical paraphernalia and shoes into a Suzuki (Rebranded Trax) 38L Aluminium top box and Suzuki (Rebranded Bags-Connection) Tank Bag...Use a straw, an iron, and some ziplocks!

4 Mount Curry, Lillooet Lake to Duffy Lake:  Ok the serious stuff.  The roads.  The surface strangely degrades substantially after Whistler.  Christy is all about image.  The weather got wet too, but the much maligned Bridgestone trail wings were amazing, especially considering this was the first rain in a couple of weeks.  The road winds after Lillooet lake, up some tasty switchbacks with great elevation changes and views...a feature of much of this route. 
That's all the luggage...the tank bag and the top box...

Typical wet coast weather greeted as the elevation climbed, but what a difference in Lillooet.
5 Lillooet: Cross the coastal range and the climate and vegetation changes abruptly.  But the road continues to dish up exciting curves and elevation changes at will.  There is no end to them. The traffic is very light and the only speed tax collector we saw after Whistler was on a Harley ripping up the blacktop with abandon.  Great guy, who pulled over when he saw me adjusting my camera and had a chat.  

The Thompson starts to meander its way through this cowboy do the roads :)
It was hot, and another gear change was required.  If you're a dirt rider, and you have a ballistic mesh vest, then this is the country for you.  Unfortunately we only had one...and you can guess who got that.

6 Cache Creek: Here you have a choice - head south along the 97C through Merritt and along 5 and 97C again to Kelowna and north to Vernon. OR, shorter,  head east on 1 through Kamloops, and turn southeast on the very scenic 97 through Falkland to Vernon. This is the route we took.  The 97 through Falkland is another great motorcycle road with good surface, great curves and scenery.
 Triple digit speed limits, something we don't see much of on Vancouver Island

7 The Falkland Road: Again, light traffic, scenic and flowing curves made for a nice end to the day before Vernon.  Vernon was not a place I would choose to stay again...It was a long a ride, and stopping in one of the smaller communities after Kamloops and before Vernon may have been a wiser choice.  Nothing against Vernon, but after the scenery we had seen that day, it was...grubby.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome... Loved the parking gate get-around! Great shots.


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