While the mad dash to go shopping amongst thousands of nut cases has never drawn me in, I do find it fascinating. Wake up at the crack of dawn, stand in line shoulder to shoulder with tons of people to save what you spend on Starbucks in a week? I digress. Set out to brew a darker style amber with the hops we had on hand. Brew day went as planned with the exception of over oxygenating the wort and over flowing the conical. Excited to see what some of the lesser known to me hops taste like. I scored about 20oz of free hops at the Homebrew shop a few weeks ago, mostly European but some common ones as well.
First casualty of the brew stand also occurred, the HLT prob cord got a little toasty and started malfunctioning. At $75 for a new probe I decided to cut off the melted section and perform a bit of surgery. It appears to be a standard USB with temp shielding. The plan is to place a female USB end up high and use a USB extension to make the run past the burner in the event it happens again. The cord is shielded, has a red and black and three sub shielded pairs carrying data. Utilizing a USB extension will also give the ability to make this cord run around the heat source and minimize the chance of future issues. I will perform the cord surgery this week and post a short video of the repair.
Other Brewery tasks completed:
Juice Box NEIPA was Kegged and placed on tap.
All Kegs cleaned, sanitized and purged
Ordered a second Tilt Hydrometer. These are great and a good way to monitor fermentation from afar.
Anchor Christmas in large format was consumed, it was OK this year. Definitely was not my favorite year for it or my tastes are going away from spiced beers. Nonetheless it has become a tradition at this point so I will endure on.
Brew Stats for the Pale Ale (Euphoria Pale) brewed
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.
Bella Coola to Watch Lake
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
Have gotten a little behind on the ol’ blog, been busy. Looking back its been a little motorcycle heavy so here are some hikes that have been had lately. Epic views rain or shine. Its hard to beat what the northwest has to offer as far as scenery.
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.
Since we didn’t have a winter this year early mt. riding came sooner than normal. We took the 2-stroke out and explored all the trails we could get to out Mt. Loop Highway. Up green mountain road, down all the side shoots and across the closed bridge. We found everything from sun to hail but any day on the bike is a good day for me.
We also attended the Tanks and Helmets show at Nuemos in Seattle, great art and cool bikes. The burnout was great this year. Stay tuned, more posts and riding to come.
While the northeast has been getting slammed we have had an extremely warm and dry winter, I guess you could say its payback for the Super Bowl. Saturday I headed out early to catch the 8am ferry out of Edmonds to do some riding on the Olympic Peninsula. Trails were fast and empty for the most part, despite the nice day, most people hiking/biking close to town. It was a short day due to some time constraints but it was fun. Sunday Ashley and I slept in way to late with Ham, he is quite the Sunday snoozer. Coffee and Breakfast were made and the afternoon was spent scrubbing the mud from previous weeks off the noble steeds. Next weekend looks wet for now but, Ham is crossing his toes for sun since we are headed to his Frenchie Frolic with his smush face crew at Magnuson Park.
With a sunny day in early March and the bikes out of commission for a few days we set off to check out Goat Lake. Located about 31mi east of Granite Falls out Mt. Loop highway, nestled between Foggy peak and Sloan peak. Approach is fairly level with a slight gain as the wide trail winds into the valley before forking giving you an option on what trail you want to take. We took the upper approach headed in and the lower river walk on the way back. There wasn’t much hiker traffic but more than I expected due to how far out it is. As you approach the lake the trail meets up with Elliot Creek, the outlet to the lake, for some pretty waterfalls.
The lake is very picturesque, as are most of the alpine lake in the region, partially frozen it was very calm. The mass of logs near the outlet makes a great picnic spot to take a load off before you start your decent.
Make sure to keep a lookout for the fork in the trail as it is easy to miss on the way down, I would suggest taking the opposite fork on the way back to get more bang for your buck. While not the hardest hike in the area its very doable with spring unconditioned legs. 1400′ feet in total ascent and 10.5mi in length. Put it out your spring list.