WeSTOC2013 Day 8

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I’d wanted to ride through Lilloet for quite some time and I was pretty excited to finally be able to do it. Our plan for today was to ride north from Squamish, through Pemberton and Lilloet, then south through Merritt and on to Princeton, where we’d stop for the night.

WeSTOC 13 Day 8 Map

We managed to get up relatively early, tried out the free breakfast (which was typical free hotel breakfast quality) and got the bike loaded up and ready to go by just after 9am. The new Sandman Inn in Squamish is pretty nice …

Sandman Inn, Squamish

After filling the gas tank …

Filling up with Gas


… we hit the road and headed north, passing scenery like this:

Mountains near Pemberton, BC

A little while after cruising through Whistler Village, which seems like more a town than a village, we stopped at Pemberton for a bio- and snack- break at the Pemberton Tourist Info building.

Pemberton Info Centre


Pemberton

From Pemberton to Lilloet, we’d be riding the Duffy Lake Road, a fairly famous motorcycling road in BC and after riding it, I can see why. From terrific scenery …


… to twisty pavement …



… – Duffy Lake Road was a blast to ride.

What also made it fun was that somehow I got ahead of a long line of bikes directly behind a truck/camper. I managed to get by the truck just before the really fun hairpins and such and had pretty much wide open road ahead, so I cranked it up a bit. Louise must trust my riding because we were setting quite a spirited pace and she didn’t hit me or yell even once! It was pretty fun, riding two-up and often pulling away from the bikes behind me.

Finally after about 40 minutes of riding hard into hairpins and tight turns, I backed off and let the long line of bikes behind me get by. The great thing was almost all the bikes give us a “thumbs-up” on the way by!

We saw more spectacular scenery and interesting roads the closer we got to Lilloet, which we reached around lunch time.

There’s a curious amount of waterways around Lilloet, crossed by a bridge into the town itself.

Instead of looking for a restaurant to eat at, we just stopped at the gas station and had a very forgettable kitchen trailer lunch that was merely edible. They did have lots of ice cream though.

By this time it was starting to get pretty hot and we knew that in heading south to Cache Creek/Lytton, it would be getting even hotter and boy were we right! It was 38 deg C. when we stopped at the Lytton Tourist Information Centre for a break – thankfully they had cheap ice-cold water and air-conditioned bathrooms.

It looks like I was about to start marching around in this picture.

The caboose at Lytton is right across the street from the Information Centre.

After our bio break, we were back on the road, this time heading north-east for a little while on the original TransCanada Highway until it reached the intersection of the TransCanada and Highway 8 aka Nicola Highway at Spences Bridge. We turned right heading to Merritt, BC.

The highway ran along the Nicola River for a ways …

but the scenery also included some more unusual sights …

Derelict fire truck on Hwy 8/Nicola Highway, BC

Like most of the rivers in BC and western Alberta, the Nicola seemed to be running pretty high, even now in late June. The old fire truck prompted Louise and I to wonder if we could interest one of our best friends, Alvin, in a gently, well heavily actually, used fire truck. It was certainly more pink than red after sitting in the sun for probably decades.

The scenery had changed dramatically from the heavily forested coastal mountain area we left behind in Squamish only this morning to the far more arid and freaking hot climate we were in now.

Because it was hot and we we both getting tired, we stopped for a bio and water break at a 7-11 in Merritt.

At the time, we probably could have used the giant-size of Gatorade, but we settled for a couple of bottles of cold water each instead …

On the way into Princeton, we saw signs along the side of the highway promoting the Princeton Rodeo, (we think), which suggested that hotel rooms would be at a premium. Once we got to Princeton, we tanked up …
before locating the Sandman Hotel, which is really just a jumped up motel with Sandman Hotel bed covers!

The picture is better than the reality. There was probably better hotels in Princeton, but I figured the Sandman would be alright and once we got there, we were too tired to go chasing around looking around for another hotel.

We ate a forgettable meal at the Heartland Restaurant next door, where the most of the menu was made up of Greek dishes. I think we watched TV for a bit and we both fell asleep. Sweet dreams …

Cranbrook, BC tomorrow.

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