August 2nd: Teslin, YT to Katiskan Lake, BC – 640km
I spent the morning writing my last post as it was the first internet hotspot in a long time. I left just before lunch time and it was beautiful out. I met another traveller at the start of highway 37. He had been working on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska for 6 weeks and was riding his 1200 around the States for a few weeks. We stopped at Boya Lake as he was getting drowsy. I am glad we did as it was probably the clearest water I have seen. I couldn’t help my desire to hop in for a swim, so I did. Other than water temperature, I felt like I was snorkeling in Mexico. I swam for a half hour before trying my camera underwater. I took a few shots before I tried filming myself swimming. When training, I used to watch videos of the best swimmers underwater but never got to see what I looked like. You will see it in the video, but the best part is what happens next. Road was narrow, twisty and fun all the way down to a provincial park campground about midway to Kitimat.
August 3rd: Katiskan Lake to Kitimat – 510km
Another sunny day with lots of white lines. Ride was nice as I saw 3 black bears chilling by the side of the road within 10 minutes. I did not stop to disturb them. I arrived in Kitimat around 2h30pm and Olivier was waiting in front of an apartment he found so I could sleep in a bed for a couple nights. I was happy to see him and the apartment was great. We went to school together and I only saw him a few times since we graduated. He took me around town before we grabbed a few beers and headed towards a beach by the river. There we talked for a few hours while enjoying the sun and watching people fishing in the river. We had diner in town before hitting balls at the driving range and going to sleep.
August 4th: Kitimat
Olivier had made arrangements so I could visit the project he is working on. Rio Tinto Alcan are building a new aluminum plant for 3B$ in Kitimat next to the old one. We left early and he dropped me off at the training center to get basic training for visitors. After completing my computer tutorial, he took me to the factory where he works. Unfortunately I will have to stop writing about it right now to keep him from getting in trouble. What I can say though is that I was really impressed with everything I saw. It was way cool everywhere I looked. At many points during the visit, I kept thinking that things were over designed and too expensive for nothing. I guess that is the way you build a 3B$ factory… All the best stuff I used to use at my job back home were there, except they were 3 to 5 times bigger. He took me back to the apartment after lunch so he could work on his stuff while I worked on some of mine. I went out for a run and we went golfing when he came back. It was a very fun evening as we lost way too many balls. Good news was that they were practice balls that came with the rental/green fee package. Back at the apartment, one of Olivier’s co-worker caught 5 really nice fishes in the nearby river and we took them up in his freezer. Then we had a few beers and went to sleep.
August 5th: Kitimat to Quesnel – 700km
Olivier had to leave early for work and I left at the same time as him. He signed the map and I thanked him for all he did before he took off. When starting the bike, I realized my main switch for all accessories and lights was gone. I was getting upset with those low quality switches. I shorted the contact to get the lights back (they are somewhat important) and left Kitimat around 8am. It was getting cloudy out and I wanted to get going before it rained on me. I did 200km before stopping for a nap. Then I would take another map every other 100km… I did not sleep much the past 2 days as I was not used to get up early. I arrived in Prince George around 5pm and had dinner. I rode for another 100km before setting camp in a Provincial Park close to Quesnel. There, I swam in the lake to wash some of the sweat from the hot day. I then met a really cool couple that were from Vancouver Island. They were both on adventure bikes as well and were coming back from doing the Dempster highway up to Inuvik. They offered me a beer and we chatted for most of the evening. They advised me to respect speed limits in US federal parks as they had a very bad experience. They also told me to go to Tofino and how to get back to Victoria on the back roads. I had had a big day and went to sleep around 11pm.
August 6th: Quesnel to Whistler – 550km
There was a lot of smoke in the air in the morning. There must have been a big wildfire nearby. After stopping for lunch, temperature reached 30C. As I entered the valley, it went up to 35C and I was getting quite hot. I will need to buy one of those cooling vests… That valley reminded me of California. The last 100km to Whistler were very twisty, scenic and fun. I arrived in Whistler around 5pm and stopped to get dinner. I always thought it would be a nice, peaceful and natural place. Instead, it was one of the most expensive and flashy place I have been to. I had a good time watching bikes coming down the park as I had a wrap at a pub at the bottom of the slope. I then rode down another 50km before pitching my tent in a campground. There, I met another really cool couple that just had their first baby. They told me a few things about Asia as they had been touring on bikes there. I showered and went to bed.
August 7th: Whistler to Vancouver – 200km
Road down to Vancouver was beautiful. It was all downhill coming along bays. I went directly to Holeshot motorcycle store in Langley where I had ordered two tires. It was the biggest store I had seen so far and I had wonderful service there. I was able to get my tires, oil, brake pads and a front tube in no time. I then went out to find a cooling vest but had no success. I then rode downtown to pick up a letter my mom sent me at the post office. Unfortunately, they sent it back for some unknown reason. I took the opportunity to send back my heated vest and a few other things. Then, I met up with Melody close to where she lives. I was happy to see her again and chat. We spent the rest of the day together. I tipped my bike over in the campground parking lot as my bottle opener got stuck in my steering column…
August 8th: Vancouver to Sproat Lake – 225km
I left Vancouver around 10am and wanted to catch the 1pm ferry to Nanaimo. I tried to find marine toggle switches to replace mine but again had no luck. I boarded the ferry and arrived in Nanaimo at 2.30pm. There I found some 25$/u marine switches that were made out of brass, copper, and silver coated contacts. They should last longer… I then left for Tofino and got stuck in traffic as there was a big accident on highway. We got stuck for more than an hour not moving at all. I was right by a dead end street and decided to explore it after 15 minutes. I found a lot that was for sale that had the most blackberries I had ever seen. I spent about an hour eating berries before I heard some movement on the highway. It took another 15 minutes and I was going at normal speed again. I grabbed some fruits and vegetables before stopping at the end of Sproat Lake for the night. I found a nice quiet spot and pitched my tent for the night.
August 9th: Sproat Lake to Whiskey Creek – 250km
I had many things to do on the bike and decided to do them as I woke up around 7.30am. I started by changing oil, then replaced my switches. I then cleaned my disk brakes, replace my front tire and rear tire. I finished with cleaning and lubricating my chain before I left at 2pm. I rode to Tofino on a very twisty road. I stopped in a landfill to drop my tires and garbage. There, it was 2$/tire but CJ gave me a break: he was a cool guy. That town was something else. It had surf shops, surfers and a few other small stores that made it look like it was a southern west coast village. I am glad I made it all the way up there to see it. I had a delicious linecod burger before riding back to Port Alberni . I kept going to a yellow sign I saw the day before that said free WiFi campground. It was the Whiskey Creek campground owned by a lovely lady named Joy. I showered, did some research on the internet and went to bed.
August 10th: Whiskey Creek to Victoria – 250km
I wanted to take the back roads to Victoria as I had been told. I entered port Renfrew in my GPS and it found all the roads automatically. They were old logging roads that had been built for cars now. They were running in the middle of rain forests and were very twisty. I felt like I was in a scene of Lord of The Rings. I swam in a lake about halfway to cool down and overall had a blast riding the 170km of dirt roads to port Renfrew. There, I had a great sandwich and was told to go to Avatar Tree. I did and I ended up in a forest of ancient western red cedars. It was quite a sight as I had been hearing about them since I am a kid. Avatar tree was very gnarly and huge. I then rode along the coast to a campground by a beach 60km out of Victoria. There, I had dinner, went for a run and then called it a day.