Carry on my wayward son..

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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