8-06-04 Quesnel, British Columbia to Summerland, British Columbia
I departed Quesnel at 8:30 AM. The skies were gray and the air was cool. My regular gloves, a pair of Harley Davidson leathers, were still wet, so I dug out my winter gloves. I didn't like them: they were too tight and diminished my
feel of the throttle. I put the wet gloves back on and rode through Williams Lake and the 100 Mile House area, which became more populated with
farms the further I drove south. Services became spaced closer together,
and the traffic was getting heavier.
Cache Creek, the terrain abruptly changed to desert sage and brown hills. I stopped for lunch, gas and money. For my last time in Canada, I stopped at a bank and pulled $60 Canadian to last ‘til the U.S.border.
off from the 97 at Cache Creek, towards Merritt. Once I transferred onto 97C, the traffic
instantly dropped to a sole vehicle, which I passed on a 2-lane, hilly road.
also changed as I climbed, back to forested mountains. I climbed
quite high, into the first splatters of rain. The road crested
near a large copper mine complex and began a descent to Merrill.
The rain was still sporadic.
the 97C turned into a limited access highway, with a posted speed limit of 110 kph. I began climbing steadily, and rain increased to a hard
downpour. It was foggy in places, and signs
warned of snow and ice. I crested. On the downhill, the rain increased and water piled
up on the roadway. The bike began to
buck and sputter. I backed off the
throttle and pulled in the clutch. As the rain began to lessen, the engine
steadied. I assumed the carb breather tube, which sat low on the bike's frame, had
sucked in some water.
The roadway rejoined the 97, and traffic increased. I reached the outskirts of the town of Peachland and looked for a hotel. I passed a gas station at the north end of town going
south, which turned out to be my only opportunity for buying gas in Peachland. There was a long wait for construction at the south end of town. Also, some kind of festival was going on near the lake
bordering the town, which added to the heavy traffic. It was a slow ride through town. On the 97 at the end of town, I hit more construction.
I started worrying about gas. I had
not checked the map and had no idea where the next town was.
The next town turned out to be Summerland and not that far away.
I took the first gas station and the first hotel.
The owner of the hotel used to ride a BMW. He had lots
of questions about the KLR and the trip.
He asked me how I had put together the time for my trip ( a common question, to which the answer is, "Get laid off or fired!").
He was an
artist. and was starting to get requests for his work for
magazine covers. His artwork was displayed on the wall behind
him. He said he was lucky; his hobby also
He gave me his
Will gave me a
good deal on a good room. I parked the bike out of the rain,
under the awning in front of my door.
The pizza was
reasonably good at the restaurant across the street. There was a football
game on – maybe I'd get some TV time tonight.
The owner of restaurant followed me out the door and across the parking lot, stopped me, and asked if I had enjoyed his
What could I say? Anyone showing enough of a concern for
the quality of his product to chase me down deserves a positive
The after dinner drink of limited choice was "enhanced" (8%
alcohol) cheap cans of Carling Black Label beer, highway chilled.
a few of the Carlings, (The first tastes the worst. The
following get progressively better.) I was ready to telephone the
government of British Columbia to demand a commission for my
assistance in dousing the many fires in the region. I am the rainmaker, baby!
The weather was supposed to
I was about
an hour from the border.