Back to the Lower 48

July 8

The morning arrived with clear skies and I knew it would be warm so I packed up and hit the road with no warm layers.  THe twenty miles into Lillooet were very pleasant at 60 degrees and the winding road had few cars going my direction.  I turned on my GoPro at one point before the town and captured a really cool twisty section that was one of the best stretches of the trip, stay tuned for the full length feature film.

Back at the campground four dual sport riders were encouraging me to a side road through Moha high up in the mountains.  It is paved and gravel and I considered it but ended up staying on 99 for the sixty miles to Pemberton; I am glad I did.  This is one of the most incredible stretches of mountain road I have been on.  It winds through the forest and along rivers with great corners and good pavement.  The speed is posted at 80kph; sorry Canada, I did not comply.  The entire stretch I had no cars in front of me and rode as hard as I dared.  The temperature dropped into the low 50s and was a bit cold but I did not want to stop and chance a car overtaking me that I would have to deal with later.  When I got to Pemberton it warmed up a bit and I was fine the rest of the day.  There were no places for breakfast here s I pressed on to Whistler.  From Pemberton on I was really back in the world and had cars and traffic lights to deal with.  The twenty miles to Whistler were nice but I could not ride at my pace.  Oh, well, I have to behave now.

Whistler is a beautiful resort, filled with beautiful people.  I finally found a place to eat and attracted attention because I was out of place in my bug splattered riding gear and grungy motorcycle.  Sorry, I will sully your world for only a brief time and be gone.  The breakfast was good, it has been awhile since I had a good omelet.  I was able to check the ferries at breakfast and figured out that I wanted to take the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend which would put me on the Olympic Peninsula.

On the way out of Whistler I saw two convoys of Ferraris and Lamborghinis.  Whistler attracts the well heeled.  The ride was very scenic and many cars were going the same way to Vancouver.  I stayed north of the big city and headed for Abbotsford to cross the border.  I ended up crossing at Aldergrove inadvertently but it was a shorter wait so that was good.  The border agents were very friendly and they were impressed with my road warrior appearance and wanted to know a bit about my trip.  The one remarked that most of the bikes like mine they see are pristine and shiny and look unused for their intended purpose.  He must have been referring to the dozen, or more, GS Adventures heading toward Whistler that were all shiny and their riders were in shirt sleeves.  There must be a nice Starbucks there.

From the border I took back roads to get to highway 20 that runs to the ferry terminal.  Interstate 5 would have been faster but I did not want to ride freeways.  I made it to the terminal in time to get the 4:15 ferry and it cost a whole $6.05.  The ride was a bit more than half an hour.  I looked at the map and decided to ride to Shelton where I have an invitation to stay in a bed at old friends Dirk and Kelly.  Kelly is the sister of my cousin’s husband.

The ride to Shelton is very scenic on the 101 down the east side of the peninsula.  It was a bit slow because of small towns but really enjoyable.  I passed many nice campgrounds and was regretting my decision to stay in a bed for the night.  I got to Shelton about 7PM and we had a nice dinner and caught up on life.  Dirk and Kelly’s is outside of town and they have realised their desire to ‘get away’ after decades in Los Angeles.

I passed 9000 miles and will just relax for the next day and then make my way to Mount Rainier and back to my tent. I hope to explore the Cascades on my way back home and I have plenty of time before I have to return to reality.

2 thoughts on “Back to the Lower 48”

  1. You are a road warrior. I look forward to a meal & a chat w/you upon yer safe return. Enjoy. Relax. Take time. Be safe. See you in a few weeks. J


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