August 5th 2011
Cheryl’s brake pads. (click for larger pics)
UPDATE: When I look back at the brake pads it is rather clear to me now that when we first started out on this trip both bikes rear tires were installed out of alignment. We did not know this until we got to Dawson City. The uneven wear and tear of the pads is obviously due to the fact that we were initially riding with our rear tires not straight. Good idea to check your tires if you have someone else install them for alignment. We learned a valuable and important lesson. never take work done on your bikes for granted and assume that the shop does “perfect” work.
At Kickstart and then we all found out that the 525 chain Kickstart had received from Ontario over night was only a 120 link not the 122 we needed. The Tiger XC uses an unusual chain that many do not have in stock. 525/122. So, out the door went the idea of new chains. Also, since these are not our bikes we did not feel comfortable piecing together 2 chains either. Neither did James, the head tech at Kickstart. So, no new chains, new rear pads only and after hours of trying to figure out how to get new chains, we decided to continue on the old one’s and hope for the best. What we found interesting though is somehow we were responsible for paying for the shipping charges for a chain that was incorrectly ordered by Kickstart. We paid it but still are wondering why.
Thanks to Rebecca at Western Powersports and Mark at Pacific Powersports in Richmond BC for trying to get chains to us! We appreciate all the efforts involved.
Not a lot of pictures today because not too much riding. Also, my mind was a bit preoccupied with the chain thing and also just reflecting on the last 35 days. We are both feeling really sad that this is coming to an end and for me sometimes I dwell on the end versus still living in the moment. Cheryl kept saying to me to enjoy ourselves not worry about the bikes or anything. It sort of worked. I began to enjoy the ride but forgot to take pictures of the cute towns we went through like Kitwanga, New Hazelton, Moricetown, Smithers, Telkwa, Houston and our final destination for the day Burns Lake.
Big time change in scenery. We have gone from Mountains to a few mountains and farmland. The landscape is lush green, wheat fields all over the place, green houses and starting to feel like we are getting closer to home.
Nice Harley guys in Smithers took our bikes in right away and reassured us our chains are not in great condition but have some life left in them. Mine chain was adjusted I think for the last time and let’s hope the boys are correct and that we get home without incident. We were actually charged 1/2 hr labour for this 10 min job. $50.
Stopped off for a brief visit to see some of Cheryl’s extended family. Great ice tea, muffins and nice to have met everyone. Cheryl was very happy to see those she has not seen for a very long time. Wish it could have been longer but we needed to get to Burns Lake and it was all ready about 1730 hrs and we were only in Smithers.
Saw my first sunset tonight in a very long time. The further South we are getting the darker it is getting too. The sunset was beautiful but all my pics have power lines in them and I deleted them all. Civilization gets in the way of beauty sometimes.
August 5th today and we are due home no later than August 15th.
August 6th 2011
Burns Lake to Wells (429 KM)
We are combining 2 days into one post due to the lack of pictures. Not that the scenery is underwhelming or anything, it’s just my camera is not working great and I am getting a bit burnt out taking pictures. I feel like I just want to ride and really absorb it all since the end of the trip is getting closer.
We got to Prince George in no time. But in Vanderhoof after we got gas my bike decided to stall once again. Cheryl’s has been good for 2 days. The funny thing is while we were working on my bike a couple in a truck heading to Smithers stopped and said that they have been following us on our Blog and ride report and were hoping to cross paths. Well we did but I never got their names. In any case small world as they say and it was nice to meet the Quesnel folks.
Got to Quesnel and headed to a lumber store in town to meet Brian, aka Cariboo_kid from the ADV forum. Brian graciously offered a bed for the night but because we didn’t really ride that far and still had riding in us we decided to decline and head up to Barkerville. We said hello to Brian at his work place, met some of his co-workers and of course took a picture of his Tiger Street version but not Brian for some reason! Ooops, sorry Brian and nice to meet you.
The we went to meet Danielle. Another ADV ride who love her V Strom and travels a lot on her own. Here she is on her baby and after spending about an hour chatting having ice tea we left for Barkerville.
Not too far after the turn off heading to Barkerview is this little historic “town” called Cottonwood. It was closed when we got there so we just walked around a bit and took a look. Very well restored and all over the place are gophers. they are too cute popping their heads up from their burrows. Reminds me of the gophers who live in Manning Park, BC.
We saw what we think is a Hawk of some kind fly under this building. not sure if he or she had a rodent or some food but I have never watched a Hawk go under something like this ever. I went over to it and it went deeper under this building. Never saw it fly out. Weird.
Another fine day in the Cariboo for riding. We are hoping the weather will just be kind like today for the rest of the trip. Rt. 26 takes you up to Barkerville and it is a very nice scenic road. It’s about 86 KM’s off the main road one way.
Made it Wells which s the town right before Barkerville. About 6 KM away. Decided we were going to camp here but decided not to after the temperature is supposed to get down close to 2 or 3 Celsius tonight. Cheryl is really tired of not being warm on these really cold nights. First thing we buy for any next trip are warmer sleeping bags.
The we decided to go to this motel. We were greeted by a very strange and almost nasty old man. We got the keys and the room? Well, we have seen worse but this is not good. it is shelter and that is what we will call this. The owner/manager needs to retire and go into running a cemetery because he looked and sounded dead.
The Bear’s Paw is a very busy food place. We were going to eat there but were warned it would be a long time before we would get our food. They have Wi-Fi but not at dinner time so we left and went to the other local restaurant.
Our beautiful flea bag motel. Yeah we are somewhat spoiled but this is pretty bad. Sure made both of us long to be back on the Denali Highway at the Maclaren River Lodge. If any of you at the lodge are reading this, we miss your place really badly right about now!
We ate finally and now are back at the motel. No Wi-Fi so this update will have to wait another day until we get back to Quesnel and maybe set up shop at a McDonald’s or something. We are going to Barkerville tomorrow and take a boo around. I think it costs like $12 each to get into the town. After that we are not too sure where we are going next. By the time we upload this I am sure we will know but for now, still planning.