I had literally not slept that deeply in months. I was dead to the world for a solid 10 hours and awoke warm, dry, and comfortable. After a quick breakfast and coffee I started my new found morning ritual of packing and strapping my haggard gear to my noble steed.
I couldn’t be more grateful Josef and Janna who before I left made sure to fill my pack with snacks, hot packs, and an extra vest to keep me warm. Without them I am honestly not sure I would have finished the trip. I no longer wanted to go home but yearned for the dusty trail.
I left my hosts around 9:30 with the goal to be in Horsefly to meet my uncle at 5:30. I planned on a short stint on the highway from 70 mile House to Lac la Hache, but other than that my journey would be off road. I turned off the main highway and entered what seemed to be a place lacking any sinister foreboding, Deadman’s Valley.
It turns out Deadman’s Valley was a truly gorgeous place. It is a rather unexpected gem amidst the arid Kamloops region and had lush, green cattle pastures along a lazy little river. (Deadman’s River, who would have thought?) The coolest part of the valley were the hoodoo’s that littered the area. (See the featured image)
I exited the valley via the deactivated Brigade FSR and was headed towards Loon Lake. This was when everything decided to start getting damp. I can sum up the entire Brigade FSR with two words; puddles and mud. I eventually got to Loon Lake road and ended up meeting an older fellow, Mike, and his golden retriever riding a side-by-side. It looked like they had been in about 2-3 feet of mud. The poor pooch was so muddy I could barely confirm that he was indeed golden. It turns out Mike was also from Langley. He lives about 5 km away from me.
Carrying on, I run into my first mechanical. The one bolt I didn’t put a nylock or loctite on for mounting my LED’s loosened off. Kyle would have read me the riot act for letting this happen. Almost every trip him and I go on, something of mine falls apart. I suppose I will never learn. Since my tool bag is in the bottom of my saddle bags, and everything needed to be emptied out, I stopped for lunch. I ate a dehydrated Santa Fe style Chicken I got from a good friend Eric that I went to BCIT with. It’s two years expired.
I fix the light, pack up and head on my merry way. About 10 km later I miss my turn off. Turn around, miss it again. 3rd times the bloody charm. The FSR I turn onto is the Old Caribou Highway and it’s in rough shape. It’s super wet,muddy and slippery. Riding along, I see some crap on the side of the road and 3 HUGE ravens take off. I figure it’s garbage until I get a bit closer. Smellovision, my god this this reeeeeks. I thought at first was bovine but it’s actually a moose cow. Too bad old girl.
I pass the moose and eventually get to 70 mile house around 12:30. So far I’ve done about 120 km off road. I jump on the highway and burn up to Lac la Hache. Bit of rain and wind but manageable, I’ve been through worse. I fuel up, touch base with my uncle via text and head up towards Spout Lake. I’m off road within 10 km. I was farting along, taking in the sights and came across a lady in an explorer towing a tree off the road. She has Alberta plates and claims that her parents had a cabin around here. I helped out getting the tree off the road and wrapping up the tow strap. I’m glad I didn’t have to try to pull it out of the way with my bike.
My next stop was at a lake, I don’t know the name anymore but I think it was Macintosh or Macintyre. I had stopped to repair my mirrors which needed tightening desperately. The paint in ball joint wore out causing them to flap around all over the place. I took the chance to grab some lake water to rinse off the lights which were completely covered in mud. It was surprisingly warm! I took my wet boots and socks off and put my feet in the water for a bit.
I got to Horsefly with time to spare, rolled in at 4:00. I parked outside the town’s general store and got a Pep n’ Ched, an orange tea (KTM of course), and chapstick. My lips are getting haggard. While I was waiting outside, a crazy old lady with a lassie dog came along. She asked if I had a band aide so I hooked her up. She tried to give me her dog but I convinced her that lassie would not enjoy riding on a bike. She told me that she only had lassie for 3 months and saved her from her previous owners who cut vocal chords, had her chained up outside without shelter, and regularly beat her. There is a special place in hell for people like that. Even though lassie wasn’t leashed or tied up, and the crazy lady kept saying “Run away lassie!”, I can tell she really loved that dog.
My uncle eventually rolls up and we head out to his cabin. 40 km up to Quesnel lake and we get to Plato Island Resort. He has a nice little 25 ft trailer with a surrounding building that boasts a covered deck and patio. It’s right on the beach. We chatted about life and freedom and happiness. Get to sleep, warm and dry on a pull out couch in a heated trailer. Life is good.