Summer 2012 Mega Wrap Up


All pics can be clicked on for much larger higher resolution versions.  Also, there are over 100 pics in this post.  Hope you make it to the end! ;-)

Summer 2012 although not completely over has been an interesting one.  We did not get away as much as we did last summer (Triumph Alaska Adventure 2011 – 44 days)

We accomplished riding to TWO arctic circles!

we did manage to sneak in 21 days of trips.  Me, Leslie started my new job in January 2012 as an Organ Donation Specialist/Hospital Donation Coordinator and the learning curve has been beyond steep.  I spent 13 years as an Intensive Care Social Worker and to move into a position that actually practices medicine and has to organize everything to do with an organ donor has been humbling. 

Both our jobs have been hectic this year.  Lot’s of OT hours put in and not a whole lot of free time.  This is temporary as I settle into my new roles with BC Transplant.  I hope in time that the learning curve gets less steep and over the next year get better with balancing my on call schedule with “life” and will work out longer trips away on our bikes.  I have made it through probation, the medical knowledge is coming and so is my confidence.  This job can take up to a year to actually feel competent.  Longer than I am used to but like I said humbling and challenging in a good way.

LOVE this picture of the Triumph Tigers XC at Eagle Plains in the Yukon off the Dempster Highway!

Last summer we had to contend with cold rainy weather, this summer it was mainly all HEAT and sun.  Heat is a whole new game for us to travel 1000’s of KM’s in and we managed to stay healthy and safe.  We learned that a cool little cooling vest was a good investment although we did not use them. 

We used the same concept by soaking our under gear with cold water, keeping the vents open only on the arms of our gear and we would stay cool.  We had to stop every hour or so to hydrate, rest and eat.  Last year we used heated gear, waterproof KLIM gear to keep us dry and we actual could ride a lot longer faster.

August 11 2011

If you count May as almost summer we even got away one long weekend to scout out our wedding venue on the Sunshine Coast of BC.   You have to take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Sechelt, BC to get to the lodge we are going to get hitched at next August 2013. 

My family from NY and North Carolina are making the trek out west and of course Cheryl’s family who mainly live locally will be attending too.  So, another interesting twist to Cheryl & Leslie.  After 15 years living together Cheryl proposes at of no where and I guess this will me us an “honest” couple.  Not sure what that means but I have heard it once or twice.

We rode up to the lodge one weekend just to see it but when we walked in we fell in love and out came the deposit.  You know, you just know that something feels right at first glance.  I guess sort of how we felt about one another….OK….I know how corny! ;-)

Inside view of the dining room at the West coast Wilderness Lodge

We live in a beautiful Province we must say and this is a great view from the lodge of our rugged west coast.

View from one of the many decks at the lodge

May sunset

That was a great little ride and very successful trip.  Looking forward to next summer having our families gather for our day and then….maybe a honeymoon motorcycle trip.  We plan on riding up for the 3 days we will be up on the sunshine coast and while my family will turn their trips into holidays, Cheryl and I may just have to take off on the bikes as well. 

Stay tuned to find out where we might go Summer 2013 as our honeymoon!  We may just register at our local motorcycle dealer too…I mean really, what more do we need other than new bikes?  ;-)

Relaxing before Winthrop, WA and temps are going up. About high 90’s, 34 C  by the time I took this pic. Heading to the KLIM ADV rally in Rigby, ID

In July we rode to Rigby, ID to attend the KLIM ADV Summit rally.  We had no idea really that for almost the entire trip we would be riding in triple digits.  We live in an area that it may heat up for a few days like this but for the most part it stay warm but not hot in the summer. 

Riding in triple digits was a shock to our systems but we were up to this new challenge.  We learned to stay cool by just keeping our under gear wet and taking is slower than normal.  Lot’s of breaks and food!  Turned out to be less uncomfortable than we both thought and in the end tolerable.  

Heading into Winthrop, WA behind some slow Harley riders ;-)

We left the mountains for desert in a matter of hours.

This is where we hit temps in the triple digits.  The Spokane Valley.  Holy it was hot and seemed to last forever.  This was only day 1 heading to Couer D’Alene.  This trip was only 11 days long but we took advantage of the days and light it seemed like a lot longer of a trip. 

Fun twisty roads

This was mainly a pavement run due to time.  We did some dirt rides once we got to KLIM but Rigby is quite far from where we live so not a lot of time to deviate.  Will have to come back to this area when it’s cooler out to explore their back roads.

Next is a familiar picture, me in front, Cheryl taking up the rear.  This is how we ride.  Cheryl with the GPS and I set the pace.  Seems to work out that way every trip and if it isn’t broken why fix it?  I take the pics and try not to stop too much.  Cheryl likes to keep rolling.

There were times we felt like the road to Rigby would just never end…the heat, the boring pavement but in the end worth it and in any case at least we are on bikes.  Just being able to take on the elements no matter what they are seems enjoyable in a masochistic kind of way. :-)

Having fun cooling down

We even got to see a brush fire that no one seemed to concerned about but us…

We arrived at KLIM headquarters, got a tour of our favorite gear maker and then headed out to the ranch where everyone would eventually gather for the weekend of camping, food, meeting new ADV riders and great rides.

Heaven!  ;-)

Camping with KLIM

Eating with KLIM

Riding with KLIM and other ADV riders who share our passion

We had one issue where both our bikes seemed to want to nap down a very silty hill.  Like riding in baby powder.

1st Cheryl

Then me…no damage except maybe a little embarrassed.

This is how it’s supposed to look like when all riders keep the rubber side down…very cool!

With every nap we learn how to be better riders.  After this trip we got some good riding tips which helped us on our trip up to Dawson Creek in August.  Every time we veer off the pavement we do get to be better DS riders. 

We met many really interesting and nice folks at KLIM.  This was our first rally and to be honest we are not used to riding with groups.  I liked it more than Cheryl but it’s all good.  We would do it again.

Group pic after about 100 miles of back road riding from Idaho to Wyoming and back to the ranch via road. 

We rode right into a HUGE lightning and Thunder storm that was packed with a torrential down pour.

Like I said part of riding is being part of the elements no matter what they deal you.  All in the name of Adventure we say!

So, we ended out 3 day stint at KLIM, headed back across Idaho to get to Northern California to head up the Oregon Coast.  A ride we have done before but never seem to get sick of while on a bike.  We hit a lot of rain on the coast but the temps dropped from upper 90’s/100’s, or high 30’s C/40’s C, to 12 C or high 50’s.  What a trade-off but since we are used to riding in rain I welcomed the change.  We just hate camping in the wet stuff so we took it easy and hung out in some nice hotels.

Huge Redwoods in Northern California.  Just a brief stop int he forest and then north.

Oregon Coast is beautiful when you can see it.  Draw back which makes this ride a crap shoot is the rain and sea fog.  We had both but every once in a while we got to see the ocean.

Some of our favorite photos from this trip home

I think our bikes look great when dirty.  Probably the only class of bikes that look better dirty than clean…LOL

Nature cleans out bikes out on the road

Awwwww…how cute eh?

Just a short ride away and this is what Sea Fog does to your view…oh well…no biggie

Did you know that Oregon is not only famous for their coast but for their Dunes.  Many outdoor enthusiasts head to the Florence area to ride the Dunes on ATV’s.  Very weird how these are just there and for miles and miles.  Don’t try to walk on the dunes like we did, just way too much exercise. ;-)

The final leg home was a wet one and by this time we just wanted to get home to relax.  A great 11 day trip with temperatures all over the place and another check in our ADV riding book.  Just awesome to get out and away from work.

We stayed dry on a short ferry ride

Only 35 mins to dry off and then back in the rain all the way home

It was not all that bad for riding at least we were not HOT

Successful trip # 2 of the season.

Beginning of August we were off again this time for 6 days heading north to Dawson Creek for a wedding reception.  This was a bonus, last-minute trip and I got to meet many of Cheryl’s extended family that I have never met before.  Nice gang up there. 

Also, we are learning that pre-packing is old school.  Seriously, because we are now working up until the day we leave we tend to pack in the morning of our departure.  I guess you can say we know what we need to bring and really have the same set up for any trip.  So, no need to sweat the small stuff anymore, we got it down to a science. ;-)

The above picture is the Fraser River heading out towards Harrison Hot Springs

Not sure why but freight trains while on the road fascinate me. Maybe it’s because I know we are going away or just free from responsibilities which make the norm seem cool.

Which also makes riding in tunnels fun.  Have to say though for some reason I get a bit claustrophobic in tunnels while on a bike.  Weird!

Riding in our Province is never really boring.  We have been up the Fraser Canyon way many times but we take different routes.  This trip was all about back country exploring.  Trying to stay on the dirt as much as we could and veer away from big ass RV’s, cars and people.  We managed to do a great job partly the way up to Dawson Creek but really on the way back home.

We only had 3 days to ride home and take dirt roads.  Not a lot of time when we had no idea really what to expect.  But we did it anyway knowing we would arrive really tired with work knocking on our door the next day.  I loved this trip because we took time for ourselves in a different way.  We strayed a lot of the main way and explored not worrying about time lines.  Great way to travel.

If you have not been to BC we really suggest you come here.  If you are planning a trip to Alaska we highly recommend you give BC some time on your route.  We might be biased but it is really great riding here with mountains, desert, twisty roads and of course 1000’s of KM’s off-road riding too.

We have tons of wildlife in BC too.  On this trip we saw many Osprey’s, some Eagles, bears, deer, mountain goats, wild horses, the crazy roaming bovine, fox and many other birds and raptors.

When we got to Lillooet, BC we made a turn towards Kelly Lake and road all the way via back roads to Williams Lake.  We only popped out to camp, get gas and hit the pavement to make up some time.  We needed to get to Dawson Creek the next day.

Most of these roads are pretty well maintained as people actually live very far from civilization back here.  Some roads are more like rugged 4X4 and others more like ATV trails.  But all doable on a bigger ADV bike.

I promise I do ride, it’s just me always taking pictures of Cheryl riding…. ;-)

Taking in the view of the Fraser Canyon.  No matter what direction you look it truly is beautiful and worth a stop.

Cheryl having a look

Sunny and hot.  We are not used to traveling in this weather.  Seems rain loves to follow us and this was what we had for all 6 days.

We could ride on roads like this all the time.  While you can at times do over a 100 KM/HR, we rather not just in case you come up on a soft area, gravel and other hazards.  Which by the way are always lurking around a bend.  So, we cruise but don’t over do it back here.  Better be safe than sorry.

Dirt and more dirt, dust and more dust.  That’s one drawback if you can call it that, when it’s dry so are the roads and they are really dusty. 

A picture on the fly of my bike.  Relabeled F798 ;-)

While honking my horn we tried to get this little group of cows off the road.  They ended up running down the road in front of us and eventually they made a left hand turn right down a pathway to their farm.

So many views so little time :-)

Very peaceful out here.  No cars, no people just us.  We like it that way.  Even with a farm that pops up you never really see people.

Love the street signs in the middle of what feels like no where….

Love this picture of Cheryl.  She was getting frustrated with me because I was changing the batteries in our SPOT and from the looks of it perhaps I was taking too long taking her picture!  LOL

We went right here but heard about Alberto and Naomi going left and they got lost! 

Got to Williams Lake, BC first night and got ourselves a nice camping area.

Many people wish to get to Mile 0 once in their lifetime…we got their twice.  However, this time we did not head to Alaska, we had to head home. :-(

August 2012 our Beemers

Here is out Triumph Tiger Pic…from Summer 2011.  Remember we gave the bikes back to Triumph Canada. 

We went to the wedding reception as planned while staying at the brand new Holiday Inn.  Interesting to point out, rooms rates are really HIGH in Dawson Creek because the oil companies like many little towns book the rooms for their employees.  That jacks up the rates.  Not very good for the traveler. Just FYI.  We could have camped but we needed to look somewhat respectable for the reception ;-)

On Sunday we started out heading back home.  WE had until Tuesday to get there.  Back on the pavement through Prince George and then off at Quesnel.

Camped out at the Cottonwood House off the Barkerville Road for the night

It was really hot in the sun but when it went down cooled off nicely.  The only issue we had here was the morning dew.  Everything got so wet over night as if it was raining, rather pouring out.

I am pretending like I know what I am doing when picking our route.  I did notice the dotted lines on the map and did say I want to go there…Cheryl is the one who has the final say, besides she has the GPS on her bike.  LOL

We should put together the BCBCR (BC Backcountry Route) for Butler Maps because you could ride all over BC on back roads with plenty of options to pop out for gas and food.

I just LOVE this picture of the Cottonwood House grounds outside Quesnel

Morning Dew

Our trusty Wolfman dry bag….it’s been to NY and back and been through hell.  Still no holes and keeps everything dry!  Easy to pack with its wide mouth!

No one really wakes up in Wells, BC before 0900.  There was a festival in town over this weekend and I think everyone was still stoned from the night before.  Cheryl and I got gas and then headed into the woods for as long as we could.  Went from Barkerville to Likely to Horsefly and out at Lac Le Hache. 

Off we go for a great 2 days of riding and exploring

The road to Likely was closed last year when we passed by it coming back from Alaska.  A bridge was washed out.  This year no issues.  The road is really well maintained, maybe to well but there are views that you could only see back here and really peaceful.  Some trucks and trailer traffic to watch out for but mainly just us.  Very dusty though.

Weird purple spot on the picture, must be something with my lens and dust

The ride is not technical and once in a while you get a vista view.

Of course rivers, streams and rolling hills

Not bad eh?  It was warm out but because we were in some shade the temperature was just right

This will give you a good idea of this road…Cheryl cruising along

We could not figure out which bridge was washed out the year before…but there are some cool ones back there.

I was hanging back not to choke on Cheryl’s dust.  She usually rides in back but I thought she needed a break from my dust. Cheryl also usually says no to switching up the riding positions but this time she said yes.  Cheryl also rides way faster than me.. ;-)

We even got a little water crossing in.  Not deep just rolling rocks on the bottom but very easy to get through.  No problems and I even went through three times so Cheryl could take a pic of moi but didn’t happen.  :-(  Next time.

This was on the way to Horsefly, BC

Cheryl

This is really what we saw all the way down to Lac Le Hache.  You are primarily in the bush but it’s a good thing in many ways.  Way cooler and just so good to get away from the RV traffic.  So, this is not so scenic but the best way to travel from Barkerville to Lac Le Hache.  You could even stay off the main way further but we again needed to catch some pavement to pick up some time. 

I don’t know why I take so many pictures of our bikes…I guess it’s because we just like the way they look…

I have to wear a buff under my helmet all the time now.  Last summer I did that when we were up north and my pads have compressed.  So, I am forever a buff rider to make sure my helmet fits.  I look like a dork in this self-portrait.  Come to think about it Cheryl says I always look like a dork…LOL

Love the squished bugs on my vent

We had to ride from Lac Le Hache to Clinton via the road and also at this time my bike was stalling.  I think in the heat and with the tank not full there must be air getting trapped in my tank.  Once you pop the lid to the tank the bike seemed to calm down. WE hit the pavement and just hoped the bike would behave for the next days ride off-road.  Right now the bike is in the shop getting looked at and to hopefully fix the issue.

In a town called 100 Mile House at the visitors station there are these huge skies.  BC love their BIG things!

Made it to the Caribou Lodge in Clinton for the night, had dinner, some beer and just hung out in the A/C.

Last leg of our Summer trips….we had a very long day ahead of us to make it home.  I was hoping to get home by noon but since we refused to leave the back country we made it home by 1800.  Tired, hot but we felt good about this trip and seriously taking advantage of what we have literally in our “back yard”.  We really know why our license plates say Beautiful BC!

We heard about this ferry from a guy named Redick in Rigby, ID.  Redick is from Vancouver and said he stumbled upon this ferry while exploring the Fraser Canyon.  The ferry works with the current of the Fraser River.  A Native man runs it all year-long from 0700-1900 hrs.  Funny little thing to make our goal.  You will see in the pictures coming up.  Awesome way to cross the river.

Road was a little slippery in sections as it threatened to rain in Clinton it must have back here

Cows were the worst traffic we hit ;-)

There is a whole other world when you leave the black top.  I am not sure we can ride like this forever but for now it seems like the only way to go.

The goal, the ferry.  We did not Google it so we could be surprised.

Rooming wild horse?  Not sure about wild but horses and cows seemed to have 1000’s of acres to explore themselves.  This one looked really healthy.

I kept thinking to myself when are we going to start descending into the valley? We seem as though we were pretty high up and to take a ferry you would need to get to the river….we soon found out where we had to ride…

We kept riding and came around a corner and I knew then that we would be descending soon and it would be steep.

Here comes Cheryl…

So cool how there are plateaus that are completely green used for agriculture.  The contrast between the desert and the greenery is amazing in real life.

Next few picture is our descent down to the Big Bar Ferry.

The cute ferry that hold 2 cars or 12 people…and I guess at least a few bikes

The quiet but nice man who runs the ferry back forth up to 40 times a day…HOLY!

Very sandy to get on the deck, not completely easy on two wheels, just needed to be careful

Decent work out for this guy!

Only took about 7 mins to get to the other side

Right before we got off the ferry the man said, “be careful it’s a little soft after you get off and the first switchback, after that you are good to go.”  Well, more than one switchback was soft and the incline was steep.  Fun steep but we never ridden on a road which climbed in elevation so fast.  The hair pin turns were very loose gravel and sand for quite sometime.  It wasn’t until we got up there that the road mellowed out.  Made us better riders to just ride on through.

Great view looking back where we came from

So worth going that extra mile…look at this view

We came around a bend and I needed to stop for a drink and a pee.  Probably not the best place to stop but I did.  We both starting to skid backwards on the loose gravel but did manage to stop.  It was that steep.  I always pick the worst places to stop. 

Taking our water break…it’s about 100 degrees out here

Just more views and then I shall move on…

We got up top and smooth sailing…just HOT.  The road turned out to be pretty good and they were working on parts as we road by.

Onward to Lillooet!

There is dust on the lens and that reminds me to remember to clean the lens every once in while.

Well, the end is near and I have to tell you…we did a lot of traveling in 21 days.  Something 8000 KM.  So, for not really being able to go on a long ride we sure made the best of the free time we got.  Here’s to next year and planning.  We usually go away for a few days in October as well.  Not sure where we are going yet but we both have some time off.

Some more pics and then that’s a wrap for Summer 2012.  Not as exciting as last summer but in way just as adventurous.

Heading down to Lillooet and then we took the pavement home.  By this time we were a little tired and it was really hot out.  At this point we had about 250 KM’s more to ride so we took it easy and did not head down towards Harrison Hot Springs via back roads.  We will leave that for another day.

If you made it down to this point of this post, while working on this we hit 500,000 views!

;-)  THANKS!

15 thoughts on “Summer 2012 Mega Wrap Up

  1. Great photos and summary, especially the B.C. backroads. I must admit that I usually just pass through B.C. on my way to points south. 19 trips so far but only one on the bike…

  2. Great shots. You both do a wonderful job of recording your trips in both pictures and words. Inspiring.

  3. Awsome ride diary, you girls do some great riding. I ride more offroad, trails, backroads, here in ALBERTA. Sharp looking bikes…

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