Route 99

Route 99

Last weekend Ivanka and I went on arguably one of the best rides in the world for motorcycling

The route from Vancouver to Whistler is amazing and it is great to do it in summer and during the day as it is a road that I have only passed before during the winter months.

Consisting of 130km of winding tarmac, climbs, views, islands, glaciers, waterfalls, eagles, sunshine – all leading to one of the best outdoor playgrounds out there. Have a look at our Flickr account or gallery page for the latest images.

I salute you route 99 and the ‘Furry Creek.’

Next stop Vancouver Island and we have kayaking with Orcas on the radar..

A day in the life and saying YES

A day in the life and saying YES

We have just arrived in Vancouver and had a day yesterday where Ivanka and I did absolutely nothing.

This travelling business is amazing, we have seen great things and met wonderful people – but at the same time it is also a bit tiring.

A typical day is getting out of bed/ the tent around 7.30am. It may be raining (it usually is) and then we always prepare a coffee on our stove, followed by a bowl of porridge. After this we tend to pack up the bike and we get on the road for about 09.30am. Each start to the day is different, we always have the same things to pack away but it is often a big jigsaw to fit everything on the bike.  Plus, we may or may not have to take our food from up a tree – so it is out of reach from the lovely wildlife characters around us. We tend to have our washing line up most days too – depending on whether there is anywhere to swim – or whether we’ve washed our clothes in a stream/ campsite showers.

So each day on the road is totally different. We have a type of route in our head most of the time but we speak to other bikers/ friends we meet and then we go from there. We went to Haida Gwaii because we met Janet in Fairbanks. Then the Cassiar Stewart Highway was recommended by a bloke in Dawson City, then more recently we visited the Columbian Icefield in Jasper because Melissa said it was sometheing we couldn’t possibly miss. So we do like to say yes to most things – this way you have more to experience.

Three days ago we traveled 250 miles from Nelson to a place called Osooyos. Nelson is a rich, wet mountainous area with incredible volcanic rock features. It is home to some of the freshest powder for skiing on the one hand, then a picturesque mountainscape in the summer.  The way of life in Nelson was also something very remarkable. In the community where we were hanging out there were infact no locks on peoples doors because their homes were so remote and crime didn’t exist. Nelson was personified by hippyness.

We set off from Nelson in quite a downpour and headed for the Manning Pass and the rain just did not stop for 2-3 hours.  The rain was so hard on occasion that we were so in need of shelter but there was just nothing for us to find. So we kept on going and going in an effort to get to the neighbouring mountain range and hopefully seek some kinder weather. We both got a little wet, but considering the conditions – we got off lightly.

So eventually it did stop raining and eventually we found a great stop for coffee and a sandwich – normally we might have a lunch stop at the side of the road (tuna & tortilla, coffee). We had managed about 100 miles so far on this particular day so we had a good 150 miles in the afternoon, so we could make great headway in arriving in Vancouver the following day.  So while indoors and out of the bad weather outside we made sure our clothes did dry off, we warmed up and then we were ready to go once again.

The afternoon was equally as spectacular as the morning but in the afternoon we headed towards a totally unique type of landscape and something very special for Canada. The landscape became drier and drier so eventually we arrived in the city of Osooyos and it greeted us with the best sunshine of our trip so far! This place was almost desert like as we entered into this colossal valley with a series of mountain road switchbacks. I think Ivanka would have had better views than me on the way down the mountain side as I concentrated on every inch of tarmac on these sweeping mountain bends.. Great riding!!!

As it was approaching 5pm it was decided that this was where we were going to stay for the eve. We camped in a lakeside campsite among a busy tourist centre, we set up camp, had a run and a swim, then it was curry and Quinoa for supper – one of our favourite dishes on our camping stove. That night we made phone calls to Natalie in Vancouver – Ivanka and Natalie used to work together a few years ago in London. Now Natalie has moved to Vancouver.

It was great to be sleeping in the tent once again as this is what we are now used to. The other day I commented to Ivanka that it looked like a bit of a pit as we sleep among our helmets, motorcycle clothes and other stuff. But in fact, the tent is treating us very well and on most occasions I prefer the firmness of the campsite floor rather than a soft bed.

It gets dark about 10 and that is when we head indoors.

Tonight there was no need to protect ourselves from the wildlife as we were in busy site with no wildlife nearby.. The only predator tonight was a kid wondering round the campsite who tried to walk off with our camping lamp – naughty!

It’s now time for lights out.

 

The image on this post is courtesy of our friend Janet. It is a fox on her bird table in Fairbanks, Alaska which is quite unusual – normally it is the squirrels that’s on there. I don’t think the fox will out fox Janet.

Goodbye to Smithers in BC, Canada

Goodbye to Smithers in BC, Canada

Ivanka and I have just had a great week after we met Shari, Brent and the kids on Haida Gwaii – then we followed them home to Smithers…

Glacial Waterfall soak

Glacial Waterfall soak

Nick sometimes has some very daft ideas about what fun is.

Dancing Queen Moves on the Dalton Highway

Dancing Queen Moves on the Dalton Highway

Video Diaries Part 1 – Footage on the way to Deadhorse/ Arctic Circle

Video Diaries Part 1

Haida Gwaii – Remote Adventure Motorcycling on Canada’s most Westerly point.

Haida Gwaii

White sandy beaches, nature at it’s best and great people – Discovering a place we never knew existed!


Recently Ivanka and I returned from the Island of Haida Gwaii, the most northerly island off the coast of British Columbia – located just a Ferry ride away from rainy Prince Rupert. To be honest, not the best of times to visit the island as it rained and rained and rained – but we met some fantastic people along the way which made the trip a great mini adventure.

We met a couple of groups of people. First there were the gents from Lancaster/ Yorkshire who were on a fleeting visit to the island.. They’d hired a couple of bikes further south and were on a whistle stop tour of all the BC sites so they were only on the island for 1 night. We met them on a slippery muddy road at the north of the island near Old Massets and on the way to the Blow Hole off the Tow Road.. The lads could have been a double act with the witty banter and innuendo. The highlight of their trip so far was when a woman asked if they would like her stuffed beaver!! How lucky were they – ha ha! Guys – I hope you have an amazing time kayaking with the Orcas…

After this we met a group of families who all met at Smithers in BC.. It started with freshly baked Cinamon buns in the remotest of bakeries and then from this point on they invited us to their Canada day, we enjoyed crabbing with them the following day and it made our stay on Haida Gwaii a superb one.  Ivanka and I consequently visited Smithers in BC, enjoyed helicopter rides, went to ‘locals’ bbq’s and got a real taste for what living in this part of BC was all about.. Hopefully see you all again in August??!!

Awesome beauty

Awesome beauty

Seeing something truly awesome provokes an immediate and emotional response in me that is welcome and at the same time completely overwhelming.

We have already traveled so far and yet comepleted such a small fraction of our journey and of what it is possible to see.

Yesterday we rode from Hyder towards the Salmon Glacier. The ride is mile after mile of that feeling. Nature presents itself at its most awesome. Enormous sweeping glacier meets sheer rock face, deep ravines and beautiful giant trees.

My heart beats faster, my eyes fill with tears and I laugh.

I can’t photograph this. I can’t show you the feeling that you will get when you rought the corner that gives you the first glimpse of the glacier.

This is awesome beauty. Stunning and scary.

The Midnight Sun and moving South

The Midnight Sun and moving South

Yukon River, Whitehorse – Far Northern Canada

Now we are in the capital of the Yukon Terrirory, a town called Whitehorse and its a large outdoor playground. Arriving here after two days of continuous rain.. it is a pleasure to see the sun shinning today as we take a day off the bike, eat some tastey food and have a good lie in.. Life is hard on the road.

What we did in Fairbanks..
We saw the midnight sun with our friend Rob from Fairbanks, I cut down a few trees with him and had a go on his ATV (All terrain vehicle).. now we are planning to head into British Columbia and hit some serious mountain roads.

F#ck Me – There’s a Moose in the middle of the road!

Hairiest moment over the last few days was seeing a 8 foot moose in the middle of the road as I turned a wet corner on the Klondike Highway. Plus I had to pick up the 350 kg bike one morning as it sank into the wet earth and toppled over.

Loads of happy people on the road with loads of stories to tell.. Whether its which route to take, how to deal with bears or just general chit chat – all is good.

Heading down the Cassiar-Stewart Highway in the morning – Should take 4 days or so.. Apparently lots of wildlife and lots of trees.. funny that!

Mosquitos in the far north

Number 1
The Alaska mosquitos are great
In stature and also in weight
When spring comes around
They come out of the ground
And to be bit through your clothes is your fate!

Number 2
When Alaska’s mosquitos come round
From their slumber beneath frozen ground
To be covered in deet
from your head to your feet
Is your mission lest you should be found!

Number 3
Alaska’s mosquitos do suck
And they suck and they suck and they suck
You’ll be covered in welts
As big as grizzly bear pelts
And the mozzies? They won’t give a fuck!

I am going to stop now. I think I have got my message across.

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