Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day - July 4th - Day one on the road

Although Independence Day is an American Holiday - somehow it felt fitting to be heading out on this 43 day adventure on this day. I would have liked to have left Grande Prairie at 7:30 AM - however computers and their programs don't always cooperate and so I finally got out of my office at 11 AM - destination...Fort Nelson BC

It was a cool and blustery morning, the wind gusts had my glide wandering over a good part of it's lane but the sun was shining - yah, I know - amazing huh!

I stopped for fuel in Hythe a small town 35-40 kilometres from Grande Prairie and headed for Dawson Creek. I had intended to a get a shot of the Alaska Highway sign but - my camera decided it had worked hard enough so after a futile attempt at that, I headed for Fort St John. I stopped, got fuel and went to Wal Mart and picked up a new camera.

I have never driven or ridden farther north in BC on this highway than Charlie Lake so from here on in was to be an adventure!

The wind was just howling which seem to keep much of the game of the roads and out of the ditches.

I got to Pink Mountain and fuelled up and had the best bowl of chili soup I think I have ever eaten. I put on my turtle neck - yes it was that chilly and off I went again.  For as far as the eye can see - trees - the forest here is lovely if you overlook the damage done by the pine beetle - that little beggar has sure burned through a lot of white pine!

There was a fair amount of construction which slowed the pace a bit but other than that the travelling was pretty decent - just enough traffic on the highway so you didn't feel isolated and yet light enough that you felt really free.

The heaviest traffic was from semis and then bikes - very few motor homes and fewer cars.
This is dual sport country - they represent the largest segment of riders, then come the touring bikes. Licence plates from Pennsylvania, New York, Utah and Texas were in the Blue Bells parking lot!
At the Super 8 there was a rider on a BMW from Ontario - it is wonderful to see so many from across North America coming to see this amazing country.

When I pulled in to Fort Nelson I was amazed at the number of bikes in front of the various motels and hotels - never having been here before I wasn't sure what to expect from the town. It's small and yet big enough to have a Boston Pizza.

I stopped and fuelled up the bike at the Petro Can and went in hunt of a car wash - which turned out to be closed at 5pm - this was 6:30 pm...hmm - who does that? Oh well - Blackie will have to stay dirty until tonight in Watson Lake.

Super 8 HotelMy hotel - the Super 8 is located right in behind the Boston Pizza.  What a well appointed hotel - again, I wasn't sure what to expect...

The young man on the counter - I hope he forgives me that I can't spell his name so I am not going to try - he was sweet and efficient. He was SOOO busy too. Who would have thought that in this small community a hotel could be that busy!  He answered my questions and let me know when breakfast was, when the hot tubs and water slide closed - made sure I knew where the business centre was - yes he was efficient - he even knew to put me in a room where I could watch out for my bike.
My Bedroom at Hotel Super 8

Although there was no wash station there were wipe down rags provided in the room and what a room! king sized bed, a kitchenette with a fridge, microwave, dished and a sink and a nice desk to work at.
If you are travelling North to the Yukon or Alaska - consider the Super 8...

Super 8 Fort Nelson
4503-50th Avenue South
Fort Nelson BC V0C 1R0
Latitude: 58.8031207
Longitude: -122.6868314
PH: (250) 233-5025
Toll Free: 1-866-867-6070
Fax: (250) 233-5030


I had a great sleep - a great breakfast and am now on to day two of my great adventure!

Until I get to Whitehorse.... please ride safe everyone!