For the long weekend I decided to check out the Chilcotin area and Cariboo region that I have heard so much about. With no real plan other than to see the Gang Ranch and end up in Bella Coola, BC I headed north.
Seattle to Hurley Pass BC
Pulled out of Seattle around 3pm and headed North on I5 to Sumas to drop off a jacket that I sold. After the exchange and stop at Tim Horton’s I headed north on 99 with a burger in Pemberton in my sights. Stopped at the favorite eatery in Pemberton, The Wood, for a delicious burger before grabbing some beverages for the evening. I Headed out Pemberton Meadows to attack the Hurley before it got too dark, with the long days there was plenty of time to get over the pass. After summiting and starting the descent I pulled off and camped just over the summit along the river. Great remote spot with amazing views. After a few BC brews to dull the thought of becoming a bear snack, I passed out to the sound of the glacier fed river near the tent.
Hurley Pass to Gang Ranch
Got up at a decent hour, made some coffee and Spam breakfast burritos before heading out of camp on the first real morning. The road down to Gold Bridge is pretty tame, allowing you to take in the ample views on the way down. After crossing the river in Gold Bridge there is a section of surprisingly good pavement almost all the way to the dam at Carpenter Lake. I watched the crew at the dam picking up driftwood for a while then headed in to Lillooet to refuel and grab some snacks for lunch. Headed north out of town to W Pavilion Rd and set the GPS to the Big Bar Ferry. By this time it was 1pm and the last ferry run was at 6PM if I recall, so I had plenty of time. As the canyon started to open up to some amazing views so did the sky making for some baby shit like conditions on the road. The baby shit definitely slowed progress on the 1200 but nonetheless made it to the ferry in plenty of time. The canyon heading in is quite the sight to see, so much wildlife and many views along that stretch. Boarded the cable ferry and spoke with the captain during the crossing, what a guy. He has seen some shit. Took the road out of the canyon, once across the ferry and headed toward the ranch. The road traverses some farm land and huge grazing ranches across an abundance of cattle guards. The slick conditions continued, dry and fast in some and slick as hell in others. After almost going down while hauling ass around a super slick corner I decided to take it slow since I hadn’t seen anyone pass in a while. Might be sitting in agony for a while if I kept up my shenanigans. Crossed the Gang Ranch bridge and setup camp on one the bluffs looking over the river. It was an epic place to camp. While it’s not an “Approved” campsite I was way out of sight and took care to leave it untouched when I left. Didn’t see anyone the whole night other than cattle which made sleeping a bit easier. The mindset was that cows would be an easier and tastier target for the bears than a stinky dude on a bike.
Gang Ranch to Bella Coola
Waking up on the ranch was epic! After coffee and breakfast I headed out of the ranch and set the sights on Farewell Canyon. The rain held off for most of the morning so it was a quick trip out. Sent the drone up and got some epic aerials of the canyon surround area. This area is worth the trip alone! Took in all the cool scenery I could as it rained and headed north to find some fuel. Fuel is a little short in these parts but the little reservations usually have it if you have CAD cash. After fueling up I headed west to Bella Coola. The highway there is pretty uneventful till you get to Tweedsmuir park which is gorgeous and fairly untouched. After leaving the park you start to head over “The Hill” which is the pass that leads down to town. Bella Coola being much smaller than I expected the food selection was not great but I found a spot to grab a burger and a shower was in order so got a hotel for the night. Headed down to the marina after dinner and grabbed some shots around dusk of the old cannery. BC has a ton of interesting maritime history. Got some Kokanee’s from the hotel, showered and hit the sack.
Packed up and headed out after a quick continental breakfast at the hotel. Today was mostly back tracking the previous day so not much to report other than a bear sighting in the park. Stopped in Williams Lake to get some provisions for the night and enjoyed the great sunset with a campfire at Watch Lake.
Watch Lake to Home
Loaded up the bike one last time and headed south with home in sight. The weather was great and the roads were nice. Boston Bar, Hell’s gate and riding along the river were fantastic. Sent the drone up one last time at one of the overlooks and got some good river footage. From Hope BC to home is pretty uneventful but provides a good transition back to the day to day routine.
All in all was a great trip that is worth going back to see. I would cut out the long trip out to the coast since other than the park it is pretty uneventful. The ranch and canyon is amazing and I will be back to explore further. END OF REPORT
Super Bowl didn’t include the Seahawks so I took a trip to Cape Flattery. Way better scenery than the bowl this year.
With the summer riding season in the northwest wrapping up, I threw together some fun times that were had in the woods this year. Make sure to watch the video in 4K. Cheers!
Day 1 Everett, WA to Williams Lake, BC
When some plans fell though on another trip the gang and I settled on plans to head north and see as much as we could in 9-10 days, and boy did we. We headed out from western Washington mid-day on a Friday, blasted the interstate to the US-Canada border after a quick lunch stop in Bellingham for cash and Port of Subs. Soon after crossing the boarder the weather turned to stifling as we sweated our way through the city core of Vancouver before heading up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler. After the fast S turns of the Sea to Sky we stopped for a quick water break in Whistler before setting out sights on Lillooet for the next fuel stop. Since this was all familiar territory we wanted to make it as far north as possible to keep the future days more manageable. Continue reading
Took the two strokes out for a little Sunday ride in Cle Elum. Epic. This could be one the the best areas that I have found in WA thus far for single track riding. Of course no video, too lazy to deal with the GoPro but today would have been a ride to record.
We headed out Friday afternoon with a destination of Harrison Hot Springs to camp where ever we could find. We stopped at Bob Burgers and grabbed a burger before hitting short line at the border. Right after crossing the boarder we hit a fresh market that had a great selection of snacks for the night. After loading it all in the Zega’s we pressed on to Harrison to look for a camp spot. Sasquatch was the intended target but luck was not playing in our favor and it was packed. We did find a provincial campground on the way up the forest service roads before the last gas stop. While it was a decent camp spot they have a screwy way of charging. We had 1 spot with 2 tent and 4 bikes, which all fit inside the same site… They charged us for 4 cars so lucky for us we just set up in a $70 campsite. Naturally the host was a rule czar so we payed and bitched and moaned while we cooked dinner.
We left camp mid morning and headed up the West side of Harrison Lake, destination was Pemberton for dinner and camp just north of town.
We made it up the lake and river without any issue except for a flat on the Sertao about 15km from Hwy 99.
About 15-20 min and a gallon of sweat later we were on the way with a cold beer in Pemberton waiting. We fueled up, filled the water bags and headed toward The Wood for a great meal. The food never disappoints and is a must stop when we are in Pembe. After dinner we headed up Portage Rd looking for a camp spot near Gates Lake. About 10 min outside of Birkin lake I lost Morgan in the mirror and pulled over to wait, thinking god he is slow today I turned around. Turns out he blew the front shock on his water boxer and it was making some cool noises on the rebound. We limped it to a great spot Whispering Falls Resort good views and hot shower that we were not expecting. After a late night with Lagavulin we got around made Bacon and left over french fry breakfast burritos and headed toward D’Arcy for the Highline Rd to Lillooet.
We assessed the shock situation in D’Arcy and decided to split up and meet in Lillooet we take the dirt and Morgan and Tamara will take the scenic section of 99 and we will take the dirt. The dirt was good and the scenery was amazing, the views are stunning. The road winds up and gives some great overlooks and then drops down into Seton Portage.
From there it winds up and over the mountain and comes down on to Carpenter lake. By this time the storm was almost in full effect and we were pretty deep in the woods.
We crossed the dam, took some pictures and saw a bear. After a few distant pictures of the bear we pressed on though the rain.
The road from here is pretty much a gravel road that over looks the river on the east side. All was good and Lillooet was in sight on the GPS and out of nowhere there was a hooded figure on the side of the road. We slowed to get a better look since it was quite a way from town, glad we did. When I lifted my helmet she happened to look up and was all bloody, her truck went over a pretty steep ledge about 500m down. She was ejected from the truck and somehow climbed back up. We rendered first aid and debated how we were going to get her into town. She was in what appeared to be shock and was bleeding from a few spots on her head. Considering the conditions and remoteness we thought about moving bags and letting her hitch a ride on the back. After more thought we decided not since she could pass out and fall off, making things worse. Luckily a interior road crew truck was coming up the road to clear a mudslide and he happened to have a radio to call and aid car. We left her in his hands to wait for the aid car and we continued into town. We made it to town and stopped for some hot coffee and to dry off a bit. About 20min later we saw the RCMP and an ambulance head up the road, hopefully she recovered well. We waited for the rain to let up a bit before heading to Kamloops for the last evening. Given the relentless rain we decided to grab a hotel in town and have a warm shower. They let us park under the front overhang which was nice and even better when we saw a few Hardly Ablesons roll in and have to park outside, the poor chrome.
Next morning after some Tim Hortons we headed back down 5 toward the border. We made it back without issue and headed to Aslan Brewing in Bellingham for some fish tacos and beer before riding Chucukanut home. It was a fun trip and can’t wait to do more BC riding.