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British Columbia (Canada to Alaska)

Yes that is right Missy has just graduated from High School. She will now be moving off to go to college now.  So what does that mean at our house????   Time for a ride!

So I asked Missy what  she would like to do to celebrate graduation???? "Maybe I asked what ride did she want to do?"


Anyway she said Dad lets ride to Alaska, and all I want to do is see Grizzly Bears in the wild and Kayak with the Whales.  


Of course I know that means bears on bikes and don't get the girl hurt, mauled, drowned..... OK, Mom

So with some planning, we would try to do it.  We will Truck the bikes from San Diego to Washington State, then ride Canada to Alaska!


About our adventure: Some of you like me love this stuff:

2 weeks, 2500miles, not the paved routes, mostly back dirt roads, some abandon railroad beds, should be really cool

It's a "Big Bike Ride", 200 to 300 miles per day, maybe more if I blew it. Missy is riding a Kawasaki Versys 650, KLE650 Kevin is riding a BMW HP2 Enduro.

Ride starts on the Trans Canada route of the Kettle Vally Railway Trail, 3 days of abandon Railroad Beds

Lost of water crossings, mostly very remote ferry's, but who knows? (a little bit of the Roulette attitude here)

Ride finishes with a ferry down the "Inland passage" to Vancouver Island.  WOW

It's Just Missy and I, no more Parent-Kid attitude, she may have to save me..... (were not messing around here, Remember Grizzly's?)



Our plan is to carry all our gear for the 2 weeks, but each evening to stay in Cabins, Yurts, Hostels, and Motels.  Many evening we will have internet access, so we will try to send out an email update about our daily adventure including pictures.  (So you are now on our email list and for the next couple weeks will get email)


So I thought Missy should be prepared to achieve her goals of meeting a Grizzly Bear in the wild. See the training we did.



Mom don't worry, the Bears probably won't get us, it's the Moose we have to worry about.

Can you see us doing this on bikes?  Chase the Moose

BTW, this may be my last opportunity to lecture her, so each day we will be discussion life....  Theme each day and by the time the 13 days of lectures are up, she won't ever let me lecture her again!

Saturday 7/2 Day 1: Ride Destination: Tulameen


Today started with a nice warm breakfast consisting of oatmeal and cinnamon rolls from Rod's home. We left Anacortes at about 8 am and headed towards the Canadian border. We made it to the border after a back track to the house where Missy yet again forgot her wallet. At the border Daddy got in trouble for taking pictures of me cross the line and I guess my answers to the questions weren’t as expected because we had to go park and have a background check to make sure we were carrying fruit or weapons. As we went inside the guy at the counter had the meanest look on his face. Once we gave him our information he came with us outside as if he was going to check the bikes but instead he made small talk with my dad about his HP2 and adventure riding in Canada. So as we first went in thinking he would never let us into Canada because of the dirty look on his face but he surprised us and was friendly and said we were totally fine and sorry for the inconvience. We finally entered Canada and our first order of business was to find gas and get some Canadian money. After those two things were taken care of we started on the heart of the ride. We went through some gorgeous back roads surrounded by trees. And I swear about every five miles you come across another lake or river of some sort. It is so beautiful. We came to the lunch stop in a town known as Hope. We ate at the Blue Moose which was kind of a small town espresso bar and sandwich place. Again back on the trail and onto the abandoned railroad track that daddy had promised. This is where the day got tough. Several times the trail had problems and we could not take the route that we needed to. It was either washed out or there was no bridge any longer or some of the route had even been converted into a hiking trail (I mean come on…who hikes???).


The day ended with some great sections of railway, and Missy putting the Versys through some water.  Key was under the mat at a small town motel just as Mom had promised.  The small town was nothing more then one small store with food and gas.   A bit of a party town, complete with girls riding on the trunks of cars.


Slideshow from the day



Sunday 7/3 Day 2:  Ride Destination: Midway BC

Great Day, no one hurt!


Starting happy.....?


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This morning we started a little late. We hopped on our bikes and rode down the abandoned railway. The trail followed a nice rolling river and the entire morning we were watching the beautiful river as we sped down the road. After about an hour of riding we stopped for a hearty breakfast at Billy’s Family Restaurant. 


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We had a large breakfast there where my dad yet again got asked by a fellow biker about his HP2. Again we were on our way down the trail and throughout the entire day we came across many huge tunnels and bridges that the trains used to pass over in the old days. 



We stopped at a river crossing to have a snack and figure out how we were going to get across.


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Missy Explains Tree Down From a Beaver


Missy Plans River Crossing


At that point in the day it was quite hot and I wished I could take a swim in the river. (You should be careful what you wish for.) 


Missy Crosses the River,  Bike Down!


After the river crossing my dad came across a baby bear. Unlucky for me it ran away before I could see it and we thought it a better idea to leave rather then let the mother bear come after us. Then we came to a town and got a refill on gas. We passed over a gorgeous mountain and down the valley.


Then there was a swamp in the middle of the railway bed:


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Missy crosses the swamp


When we discovered it was 3 pm and we still had 73 miles to go we made a decision to take the road instead of the dirt trail. We arrived at the Mile Zero Motel which is a lot nicer then the previous place at around 6pm. We ate dinner at the only restaurant in town (in the motel). And now off to bed because it was a long day and we are both very sore. I am not sure if I will be able to make the entire trip. This is long and hard and my body is already fatigued. 


Slideshow of Pics from the day



Monday 7/4 Day 3: Ride Destination: Rock Island

Today we got up and rode a little until we hit the Anaconda Café. There we ate nice big Spanish style omelets. (But they weren’t very Spanish tasting coming from So Cal.)


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 We left the Café to head out on our last say of the abandoned railroad trail. Apparently the trail is mostly for hiking. But as my father forgot to point that out we had to do a bunch of backtracking and finding alternate routes. (And might I add, those of you that know my father, know that he is not one for following the law. But let me tell you this is the most I have ever seen him follow the law in my entire life. He goes the speed limit and if not under. He won’t go on any trail that is not specified for motorcycles. It’s crazy. It’s a new Kevin.) 


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So we finished up the railroad track with many more cool bridges and tunnels just the same as the pervious days. In the afternoon we took the highway and followed along the Columbia River. It is absolutely breathtaking and the river is so large.


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And we went to dinner in a small town at a German pizza place that was quite good. Now we are staying in a yurt which is basically a glorified tent with and composting toilet. I think I might want one in my back yard!


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Missy Running the Railway Tracks






Tuesday 7/5 Day 4: Ride Destination: Merritt (Tire Change Day)

This morning’s ride started bright and early. 

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We jumped onto the local ferry to cross the Columbia River. That was pretty cool considering I have never been on a ferry before. 


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We rode some logging roads and saw many mountain sides that had been cleared of the beautiful trees. As we headed on we were driving on the road when all of a sudden a mother moose ran right in front of my dad. She was gorgeous and ran right across, afraid of us, not like the other moose in the video. We then tried to search and find the mother reunite with the baby but that was a failed attempt.
Today we came into the last big town that we will probably see on the entire ride, so we stopped at the local Beamer store and got a new tire for the HP2. After the clerk telling us that it would cost $110 per hour for labor my dad decided that he would take matters into his own hands. And so, he changed the tire right in front of the store in the middle of the parking lot. (Not that surprising for Kevin…but still funny.) We stopped for lunch at a food chain called Tim Hortons. Then we finished off the ride with some nice street riding and traveled along the highway. And might I add as you drive along the highway you see some of the most beautiful natural swamps. I will take pictures and send them along another day. 

Pics from the day



Wednesday 7/6 Day 5: Ride Destination: Lillooet, Ferry Down

Today was supposed to be our shortest day of riding but we didn’t get started until about 10. (Those of you that were following us on the spot were probably wondering why…?) Well we left the motel at 8 like normal. Because we were in a city we decided to do breakfast at a local restaurant called the Coldwater Hotel. (And across the street was an abandoned store that literally contained like 15 cats. They were all just sitting in the window looking at the people passing by.)


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 After breakfast, we stopped at the local outdoor store to purchase another bottle of bear spray. (So that each of us would have one and not rely on the other when a bear is actually present.) At the store we had to wait for his wife to show up and bring in the new shipment of spray. After a long wait we finally were on our way, bear spray in hand. We rode awhile and pulled over at a gas station for a refill and some much needed ice cream on a hot day. After our snack we rode on and we came to a section where we were supposed to cross the river. But in fact the ferry that was located on the opposite side of the river was closed. After we sat on the bank for about 15min the driver decided that he should yell across the river. But because of the roar of the rapids we could not hear him. So we waited another 5 min and I think he realized that we were still waiting so he got on the load speaker and told us that the ferry was closed. 


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We then had to find our way on dirt paths to the city that we were trying to get to. So our day that was supposed to be shorter turned out just as long. And I will say my glove tan is beginning to be quite bad. More tomorrow. Keep following us!



Missy does a Canadian Fart 


Thursday 7/7 Day 6: Ride Destination: Quesnel, 250 miles, BEARS, RAIN, and MUD

 

Today was the best and worst day of the trip so far. This morning started out bright and early. It was a longer mileage day and so we had to leave an hour earlier. Our ride started off a little sketchy when we came upon a sign that said road closed due to wash outs. 


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This was an inconvenience considering we were supposed to travel 160 miles on these roads and now our plans had changed. On the sign someone had hand written “We can go anywhere” (Steve this is for you. Under was signed Bigdog and Dingweed. Kevin says you know who they are.) So I proceeded to take charge of the situation and said “Bigdog….If he can do it, we can do it.” So we went for the trail anyways. And as a matter of fact, it was easy for us. We went right through everything. I just can’t understand why Bigdog had a problem with the trail. Well anyways we were on our way and going down our original track when we came upon some cows that were just sitting, lounging around. So I went up to the group and all but one mother walked away as soon as I approached. So I went over to her with some food and pet her. 


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She was quite nice until she gave a grunt and then I freaked out and ran off. So back on the trail we were driving along and this is the best part of all, a baby bear and mother bear ran across the street right in front of us. 


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The baby climbed a tree and the mother ran off into the forest. This was the opportunity for us to play with the bear. We tried to coax him down out of the tree but he would have nothing to do with us. We tried out favorite cat calls. We tried the name Midnight. We then noticed the mother was sitting near on the other side of the trees and then we decided that it was probably no longer a good idea to play with the baby. So we packed up and left on our way. But the bears were very cute. Check out the pictures! So now you’re probably wondering what the worst part of the day was. Well a little while after the bear the sky started to get dark and the air was frigid. Well it started to pour rain. And just our luck we still had about 200 miles left in the day. So we rode and rode sopping wet and cold and tired all day long. It was absolutely miserable. So that was our day long and miserable yet great. WE had to recall our words of wisdom from Keith Bennett, it wasn’t very fun now, but maybe someday we would think it was lots of fun. (paraphrased)

I thought it would be fun to keep an animal count. So this is a list of the animals that each of us has seen.

 

Seal: Kevin 2 Missy 2

Moose: Kevin 2 Missy 2

Bear: Kevin 4 Missy 2

Marmet: Kevin 20 Missy 20

Bald Eagle: Kevin 0 Missy 1

Antelope: Kevin 8 Missy 8

Deer: Countless

Snake: Kevin 2 Missy 0


Pic from the Day




Friday 7/8 Day 7: Ride Destination: Noralee Resort and Saturday 7/9 Day 8: Ride Destination:  Stewart

Day 7 was quite miserable as we woke up and it was still raining. So we put all our rain clothes on and went for the cold long day that was ahead of us. We encountered yet another moose and stopped to take some pictures. As the day wore on we were not going to make the entire route because it was just way too cold. So my dad told me a special secret about living in cold weather. We took a stop in the next town that we arrived in and found the nearest laundromat.


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We took our wet selves and bags into the store and sat everything down on the table. We talked to the owner for some time while we put stuff in the washers and took off our wet clothes to be dried. Now, the secret was that we didn’t really go to do our laundry but as we washed our fake clothes that didn’t really need washing we were actually getting warm. It gave us a reason to stay inside a warm place and regain body warmth. Once nice and warm again we went on our way and as the afternoon wore on we came to our cabin for the night. 


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Day 7 started out much better. The rain had stopped but we woke up to a 1.8 degrees C temperature. That’s almost freezing. It was so cold so we got dressed in all our rain attire yet again to ensure warmth and be safe in case any rain came along during the day. We saw another bear and it was walking around eating while we were taking pictures. We rode all the way to Stewart BC and tons of people along the way have asked if we were going to get Hyderized. (This as we heard from people, is where you go to a local bar and you get a shot of grain alcohol. If you can keep it down you get a certificate and you have officially been hyderized. If not you must buy an entire round of drinks for the bar. You sign the bill and put it up on the wall of shame.) A fun little tid bit, but no I did not partake in such activities. As we drove the last 30 miles into Stewart the mountains were absolutely gorgeous. The mountain tops are snow covered with waterfalls flowing down the mountain side. Some are even covered in beautiful glaciers. 


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We went shopping for souvenirs in the afternoon and had dinner at a small pizza place in town. My dad found some local BMW guys to help as they worked on fixing their bike and I just watched the majic. Anyways today we are off to see grizzlies and more glaciers. And hopefully if I’m to get bit today its in the boot. I’d like to be able to say I gave the bear the boot!



Slideshow of pics



Sunday 7/10 Day 9: Ride Destination:  Steward, we are in Alaska now!

We made it to Alaska!

Today was by far the most beautiful day of the entire trip. We went into Alaska and saw some spectacular glaciers. In the morning we woke up and got ready for the day. The days plan was to go into Hyder, Alaska and see grizzly bears at an outlook spot and also view the three huge glaciers that covered the mountainsides. We headed from Steward BC into the small ghost town that was Hyder. 


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We rode to the grizzly outlook but to our disappointment we saw no grizzlies.


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We traveled on up the 30 mile trail to the glaciers. They were absolutely amazing. I can’t even describe how beautiful they were. If you have never been to see one, I highly recommend it. By far the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my life! 


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We rode down some little side trails that the miners used. Apparently they have been mining gold and so there were quite a few tractors and mining tunnels. 


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We went back down the trail and crossed the border back into Canada and stopped for lunch at a small restaurant in town. Our day was officially done but we made to go on and take some miles off tomorrows ride. So we rode about another 150 miles and are spending the night at a cute little motel in Terrence. Take a look at the stunning pictures that we took today. Really pretty stuff we saw today!



Slideshow of pics from the day



Monday 7/11 Day 10: Ride Destination: Prince Rupert, Tuesday 7/12 Day11: Ferry to Port Hardy, Wednesday 7/13 Day12: Ride to Victoria, BC

There has been little to share. But I will put it all into one and it will be really exciting. These past days the weather continues to be muggy and rainy. Our rides must be done in full rain gear as we are somewhat afraid that it will start to rain yet again. So last time we talked we were arriving in Prince Rupert. The next day we hung out around the city of Prince Rupert. There was little to do so we kind of putz around and took pictures of some random things. I found a Moby Dick Inn (for my English teacher) and thought that was a really funny place.


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We also saw a giant whale wall and some salmon sculptures. Those pictures were for my Marine Science teacher. We were being silly and having fun, dad and me. 


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The next day was our ferry adventure. We left on the ferry at 5:30 in the morning and arrived in Port Hardy at 11:30 at night. So the ferry ride was in fact 18 hours long. This ferry traveled through the beautiful Inland Passage. There were many gorgeous waterfalls and we got to see all the little islands right along the Canadian West Coast. The ferry ride was amazing. 


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There were two really nice restaurants in the ferry. We had also rented an extra room that was really nice. It had cable TV, 2 beds and a shower so it fit us perfectly. When we weren’t watching the scenery we were taking naps and such in our little room. If you ever get the chance to take a ride through the Inland Passage I highly recommend it. It was an amazing experience. We arrived and that night we stayed in a hostel. The next day we rode across the entire Vancouver Island. IT was a long day considering it was pouring rain most of the time and it was all on the highway. This provided extra traffic and made our trip longer because of the need to drive slower and be safer. It was the longest day of mileage as well at 330 miles. Well we made it and stayed in another hostel in Victoria. This place was so disgusting and I was afraid to walk the hallways by myself. It cost 10 dollars to get the room key and you had to pay 8 dollars for a towel. That was ridiculous so we dried off with our clothes. And everybody that walked the hallways were either hippies or homeless. It was an experience. And when my father doesn’t understand why his retirement home is so bad I will bring this experience up and remind him that he did it to me so it’s all payback.


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So thank goodness we were out of that place we went to a museum in Victoria and then rode like 15 miles to the small town of Sidney and went to a little aquarium that they had there. It was small compared to the Birch aquarium in San Diego but it was cool to see all of the local fish that they had. We took a small ferry across the water to another island called Friday Harbor. So that brings us to now. You are all caught up. Today we are going kayaking with killer whales so I will keep you posted on our adventures. Thanks for watching us.


Pic from the Day




Thursday 7/14 Day13: Ride Destination: Friday Harbor, Friday 7/15 Day14: Ride Destination: Finish

Thank you all for watching us on our trip and following along. It is great to know that we have such wonderful family and friends that support us. We both really appreciate it. Well anyways, we did go kayaking with the killer whales but the whales forgot to show up.

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The tour was kind of lame so my dad and I were just making fun of everything the whole time. But we had a good time and we did get to see lots of birds, kelp and even three seals!

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So it was a good day and that night we went and took the final ferry back to Anacordis Washington! We finally packed up the bikes. And started the drive home. The only exciting part of the drive home was the fact that Washington has a billion cops and my father and I were joking about that. So of course a few hours later I got pulled over by the cops for the first time in my driving career. It was great. My dad chugged his brandy and threw this bottle under the seat. And the really good thing was that I did not receive a ticket because of the cute girl factor! Go girl! So we eventually made it home at 12 am on Sunday morning. And that was that. The end of our trip!

P7170020.JPG Missy had a welcome home 

It was a great ride but it is definitely good to be home. Again thank you to everyone! 

Missy


Ride over, everyone safe
Kawasaki has two blown fork seals

Reflections from gpsKevin:  Wow this has to be on of the great moments in life, Spending two weeks alone with your daughter riding bikes, just Wow
British Columbia is an awesome place to ride, the Kettle Valley Rail Trail is spectacular.





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