I woke up to a mostly cloudy sky over Dease Lake. It suited my mood. I learned something last night about motel selection, and more importantly room selection. Make sure you do not face a pub. I didn’t realize this could be an issue until about the time I wanted to goto sleep. That’s when the bar really got going and people were spilling out the back to smoke. They were quite loud until after 1am. I should have gotten up and tried to join them or do something productive, but I was exhausted from a long day of riding.
I left Dease Lake late. I spent a good hour trying to get service for my bike straightened out. I thought I had something lined up, but that didn’t work out as planned. The new plan now is to get to Seattle a day earlier and get tires/oil there instead of in Vancouver. I also realized today how spoiled I am with good mechanics like Lloyd and Kevin. I have been doing most of my own work for a while now, and I had no idea full synthetic oil changes are nearly $100! Tires too, wow. In Fairbanks, I way over-paid, but had I had no choice. They charged me $375 to for one tire installed. Seattle is going to charge $450 for a set installed. In Minnesota, I paid $450 for two sets, and I did the install myself. The pain of travelling I guess.
The scenery south of Dease Lake on the Cassiar was incredible. If I was the ranking type, I’d say Road to Seward, Cassiar, and then Icefields Parkway. The mountains and scenic vistas on both sides of the road were spectacular. The road surface got buttery smooth about 75 miles of Dease Lake too. It felt like I was riding on glass. So nice! I had a nice surprise in the middle of the day today as well. I started to see green grass, flowers, and leaves on trees! yay! Spring is starting to replace snow as I head south. I only used my heated coat and grips for about 45 mins this morning. double yay!
The smell today was intoxicating. One of the great things about riding a motorcycle is you can smell things you wouldn’t normally smell in a car. You are much more in the environment. I kept cracking my face shield open, to enjoy the aroma. The air smelled sweet like flowers with a touch of pine and spruce. Clean mountain air. I took many deep breaths. Delicious.
Gas was not a problem. I didn’t even stop at every gas station open; the longest between so far was about 100 miles. Gravel? There was one tiny stretch so far about 1/2km long, and it was because of construction. I still have about 75 miles of the Cassiar left, but I’m starting to have a high confidence that it is all paved. I passed many signs about road works projects, and they all had a complete date in 2010. At this point, I highly recommend the Cassiar.
BC-37A to Stewart was even more beautiful than the Cassiar. The road winds in valley between sets of tall mountains. My neck was sore from bending my head back to look up at them. Lots of glaciers and waterfalls too. I think I passed at least a dozen. For a while I was humming along “lions, tigers, and bears oh my.” then realized it was silly as I just saw “bears, bears, and more bears oh my” I lost count, but I’m gonna say over 30 in 50 miles. A LOT of black bears. I saw more in the 50 miles around Stewart today than I have the entire trip combined times two. They were all just hanging out by the road, and would run away when I approached. I can’t imagine how many are actually in the woods. Did I mention there were a lot of bears?
Stewart, BC is a mini version of Seward, AK, maybe a tenth of the size, but still lots of charm. I spent about thirty minutes in Hyder, Alaska today as well. It is a tiny little town with maybe 80 people all bunched together on a couple of rough gravel streets. No border guard on the US side, but there is a small shack with a friendly border guard on the Canadian side. We had a nice little chat in the sunshine, and I was back into Canada.
I got a quiet room with a view of the mountains which is every view out of every window. lol. I had a short riding day today, so I could spend some time relaxing. I had a nice walk around town, down the boardwalk to look at the pier to enjoy the fresh sea air, and several cups of tea sitting staring at the mountains in a comfy chair. It’s about 60F here with blue skies. Perfect weather for lounging.
Tomorrow, I head south and east towards Prince George. We’ll see how far I get. I hope the weather tomorrow is as nice as it is this afternoon.
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