8-04-04 Orbiting Hudson's Hope, British Columbia
Hudson's Hope is one of those small towns where you stop, look around, and say, "Yeah. I could live here." I decided to give myself a day off and just screw around. The town has been in existence in some form or another since 1793, established about the time Alexander MacKenzie floated by on the Peace River on his way to the Pacific.
I booked an appointment for the bike in a shop in Ft. St. John (Fast Trax
Motor Sports, LTD) for scheduled maintenance. After throwing on my riding gear (except for the soaked boots), I backtracked on the 29 without baggage on a light bike. A deer jumped into my path, and then I encountered a herd of 10 by the side of the road. A short distance later, another deer bolted across.
They were ready for the bike. I asked for an oil change, cleaned air filter, and a checked and tightened chain. I watched over the shoulder of the technician, asking questions and trading stories. The bike was wrapped up in 1.5 hours.
I bought a can of recommended spray chain lube. I was using WD-40 exclusively, which seemed to work, but I thought I'd add a little chain wax to the mix.
The owner noted my full gear with tennis shoes, and told me that one stone would ruin my day.
I was finished with Fort St. John, so I headed back on the 29 south/southwest. A grizzly bear ran in front of me, head down and butt up. There was no hesitation like the black bear of the previous afternoon – it was in a hurry. Up out of ditch on one side, across the road, and into the ditch on other side at full speed.
Again, I was stopped at construction. Again, there was one van that insisted on traveling slowly after the construction zone, holding everyone up. At an open section, I tested high speed performance of bike. It was about as good as a KLR can get. I slowed back down and stayed with the other vehicles to mitigate the deer problem. There were two herds of deer, each containing about 50 animals, along each side of the road at the outskirts of Hudson's Hope.
I ate lunch in the sunshine on the outdoor deck of a sandwich shop, then wandered through the local park. After an hour or so, I went back to my room and put my riding gear on. The boots were still sodden, but I felt too exposed without them. I would let them air dry.