2012 Nakusp HU Trip – Day 7

21 August 2012 – We got up, ate our oatmeal, packed up and hit the road. We’d gassed up the night before coming in through Jasper so we were able to get rolling right away.

At the entrance to the highway waiting to turn left out of the campground, we witnessed one of the stupidest moves by the rider of a CanAm Spyder (a trike with the 2 wheels up front) that I have seen. Because there were two of us on two bikes I was waiting for a gap for both of us to roll into without going like bats out of hell. I guess I was waiting too long, because the idiot on the Spyder, two-up and wearing shorts, tshirt and flip-flops, went screaming around us on the left and whipped out onto the highway, turning left and narrowly missing getting clipped by a car coming south. Picking his sorry ass up off the highway after getting splattered was not how I wanted to start the day, so I was reluctantly glad he made it without getting smoked, but were both fervently wishing he’d get a brain.

Our goal for the day was to get to Clearwater, BC where there was a KOA Campground that I had made a reservation at. Just before the town of Jasper we took a left onto Highway 16 heading west to Highway 5 in BC where we’d head south.

South on BC Highway 5

Since it was pretty close to lunchtime and we both needed a bit of break, we stopped at Valemount for trail mix, a bio break, and some gas for the bikes.


We cruised on down the highway eventually paralleling the North Thompson River …

I “let” Louise lead for while, and while it looked like it could almost rain any second at times, it didn’t rain at all on us during the day. It did however rain late in the evening while we were at Clearwater.

Would it rain?

BC Transportation was busy fixing the highway at various points along the highway, causing the usual slowdowns …

The flagman cometh …

As is often the case, we had to stop for a few minutes waiting for oncoming traffic to clear past. So we took pictures of each other …


Still stopped – see the speed on the GPS? 0.0 kph

By mid-afternoon, we reached Clearwater. First we stopped at the gas station to fill up with gas, and we had burgers at the A&W for a late lunch/early dinner. Then, after much searching and checking the GPS, we found the KOA right across the alley from the gas station.

Campsite setup

Since we were so early we had time to do some laundry, have a shower and relax reading. Also Louise wore a skirt!

Waiting for tea!

Later on we went for a walk then went to bed early. More highway tomorrow!

2012 Nakusp HU Trip – Day 6

20 August 2012 – We had done most of the packing the night before, so we had breakfast and packed up the bikes and headed out of Grande Prairie in the rush hour. Wasn’t too bad.

We were heading south on Highway 40 – the plan was to get to Jasper for the night where we’d camp in Whistlers Campground across the highway from the Wapiti Campground that we stayed at on the way north a few days ago.

Heading south …


Here’s the highway ahead and Louise behind me …

This is one of my favourite shots – it was an over the shoulder blind photo while I was riding along at like 100kph – it turned out almost like I was aiming it!

Over the shoulder blind shot of Louise behind me

So we rolled down a somewhat familiar highway, seeing as it had only been a few days since we were heading north.

Some curves, but mostly straight …

The scenery was pretty cool, not spectacular like the Icefields Parkway was, but with rolling foothills and forest everywhere it seemed very remote.

We stopped in Grande Cache for gas …

It was still really hot, but getting cloudier …


Because we weren’t too hungry we just decided to eat some trail mix and chug some water. We chatted with some other bikers on older bikes heading north to Alaska. They were just kinda winging it though, neither bike was really the kind of bike you’d think of taking to Alaska and with what they had packed on their bikes, they made our bikes with our loads look like giant enormous pack draft horses instead mules. Oh well, we’d be a hell of lot more comfortable …

After a couple of more hours riding, we stopped for more water and bit of a break for Louise. It was getting more and more cloudy and I started to suspect that we might get some rain before we reached Jasper.

Rain?


Trail mix and water – yum yum

Bit of a “hero” shot …

Eventually Highway 40 crossed Highway 16 – the road between Edmonton and Jasper, so we turned right onto 16 and just past the Jasper National Park gates we ran into our first bit of rain. It wasn’t very hard, not enough to make me stop and put the thumb wiper on my glove, so we just motored on. The rain stopped before we got to Jasper although it continued to sprinkle on and off.

Just past Jasper was the Whistlers Campground where we were going to camp for the night. Heading into the campsite, we found a long line up of motorhomes and fifth-wheel rigs ahead of us. By this time the sun was out again and it was pretty hot just sitting there not moving very fast. Eventually though we were up to the checkin booth, behind some folks from Ireland if I recall correctly. They asked a couple of questions about bears and elk that had me laughing out loud – silly tourists!

Anyway, we checked in and setup camp …

The tent is too big for the site!

… and shortly after, we had some “food in a bag” from MEC. Louise had brought along some spices and thank God she did, otherwise it’d be tough to finish enough of the food because it’s so so bland.

After dinner a fellow riding solo on a Honda ST1300, the Honda equivalent of my bike, came over to ask about the showers and to have a wee chat. A nice guy, he was from Vancouver Island just tooling around for a couple of days. We only chatted with him that one time, we went to bed pretty early and he was on the road earlier than us.

Before bed, though we went on a short walk around the campsite just to walk.

I have no idea what Louise is looking at here …

We had stayed in Wapiti Campground a couple of kilometres south and on the other side of the highway. There was no comparison between the two campsites – Whistlers, where we were tonight, was no where near as nice as Wapiti. Next time we come through Jasper we’ll definitely be staying at Wapiti. The main differences were in the amount of tree cover and access to washrooms – Wapiti was way better.

Anyway, we crawled into sleeping bags early and slept the night away …