Canada 2013

Day 10

June 24

  I'm up early this morning as usual and the streets of Stewart are deserted.  
  I figure since I have no ferries to catch, I'll just get Frost loaded and ready to go and get breakfast here since they open a 7 AM. I usually don't get away before 6 anyway, so this will work out fine. Especially given my past history on this trip of not being able to find a decent breakfast once I get on the road.  
  I'm a breakfast sort of feller and if I can get a good one, I can run on it all day til supper. The restaurant opens a little before seven, so I wander in and get me another great breakfast. Viri is waiting tables this morning also, so she gets stuck with me again.  
  Pretty soon there are very few fragments that remain - not enough to feed a hungry bird.  
  I settle up, go upstairs to clear out my room, then hit the road. It's with much sadness that I realize I will probably never be back here again. There are just so many other places to see that I haven't seen yet and so little time.  
  It's a beautiful run out of Stewart and once again I have it all to myself.  
  When I pass back over the temporary bridge, it is not hard to understand why the original one washed away in the first place.  
  The shadows are long as the sun has not quite cleared the mountain tops.  
  I pass by Bear Glacier and get a parting shot.  
  Soon I'm at the junction of 37A and 37 and on my way to finish up the Cassiar Highway one more time.  
  It just stretches on and on through the heavy forested land and mountain ridges.  
  Occasionally I catch a glimpse of the snow capped mountains above the trees.  
  This part of the Cassiar is actually in pretty good shape, so it doesn't take me long to reach the end at Kitwanga. I stop for fuel and to take the last of three STs at this sign - the southern terminus of the Cassiar.  
  I hang a left and I am on Trans Canada 16 which will take me all the way to Prince George. This is a pretty major highway, so fuel should not be much of an issue today.  
  I admire an old church building as I head back to 'normal' civilization.  
  After riding for days out amongst the trees and the bears, I ride through these cities with mixed emotions.  
  Progress is fine, but now I am assaulted frequently by billboards, something I have not missed over the past few days.  
  There's some lovely horses grazing off to my right and I wonder how they fare through the rough winter winds that come off the mountains.  
  Too soon, I am back unfortunately to civilization where I have to deal with things much more dangerous than an occasional grizzly bear.  

Soon, Frost is thirsty and so am I so I pull into a 7 Eleven to meet both our needs. The lady behind the counter asks me -

"Where are you from?"

When I tell her I've ridden up from Nashville, Tennessee to Alaska and now am headed to Sooke, BC, she looks at me like a calf staring at a new gate. And when I tell her this is only my tenth day on the road, she is really amazed. But I'm used to such reactions by now and thank her for asking. I wish her a pleasant day and get back after it.

  TC 16 is pretty much long and straight, but it's mighty fine for covering the distance that I need to cover today.  
  And every now and then you come upon a lovely lake like this one that provides a perfect reflection.  
  And you never know what's going to be just over the next hill.  
  Sometimes it's a beautiful lake that makes you want to park the bike and go swimming for a while.  
  I'm making great time so I am burning through a tank of fuel pretty quickly. If I have my head right, I've got one more gas stop after this one to fill up for the evening.  
  I tend to the fuel and get quickly back on the road.  
  Further down, I see a massive lumber yard. Now that stack of wood would last me for a winter or two if I had it back at the Holler.  
  But too soon, one of those construction zones appears. It seems to my mind that I am sitting here for hours, but I know it is only minutes.  
  And just when I think I am in the clear, here comes another one.  
  It looks like for all the world I am fixin to get wet, ready or not.  
  But I just keep heading for the blue and finally come out from under the gathering storm clouds.  
  It's only a little over seventy miles down highway 97 from Prince George to Quesnel.  

I figure I'll fill up at the first place I find and it is an interesting place. Not only is it a gas station but it is also a Yamaha motorcycle shop. The owner is there and we chat a bit about bikes. I tell him -

"I used to have a 78 XS1100 Special years ago before I got my first ST1100."

He nods his head as he's been at the business for a while and remembers that particular bike. But I'm close to the motel and ready to get out of my monkey suit, so I wish him well and head on down the hill.

  The motel is pretty much just as I remembered it from back in 2004. But the area has really grown up around it since then.  
  The lady behind the counter gets me a nice room where I can park Frost right outside the window. She also gives me a great tip for a place to get some super.  
  It requires a bit of a walk, but I need to do that anyway. So it's a great combination for me.  
  The food is excellent and so is the service - just what I like after a long day in the saddle.  
  And so I don't ruin my record, I hold forth until the field of battle is cleared.  
  I'm hoping to get out early enough to catch an earlier ferry than the one I reserved. So I hit the sack soon and wander off to the place that most wise folks seek after a long day.