Through the Canadian Rockies

Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
Trip End Jun 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Round up Motel

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, May 8, 2010


Des was up at 6am and ready to leave Vancouver! What was he thinking, it was nice and warm in bed and we were going to head up towards the Rocky Mountains, couldn't we just lie in a little longer?

The sun was shining and we wondered if we would really need all the rain gear and heated jackets we had put on. The bike temperature showed a beautiful 16 degrees Celsius, as they were parked in the sun. The snow glistened on the mountains, and it was really was nice to be on our way again. Lou had programmed our next destination into his Zumo and lead us out of the city. Whistler was about 100 kilometers from Vancouver, so we made that our first coffee stop. Part of the winter Olympics was held around here, a very pretty city and popular with tourists.

There were many small town names beginning with a the number of miles, for example 70 mile house, 100 mile house 150 mile house. It’s odd really, because, as I mentioned, Canada works in metric. I guess it’s the remnants of the gold rush. We were travelling along the Gold Rush Route all day on highway 97 in British Columbia. We stopped at a fuel station for drinks and petrol, which was at 105 mile house. The service station was called Husky.

Slowly, we started to gain altitude as we rode towards the Rockies, and the scenery was variant and beautiful. The sun shone between the Douglas Firs and the road conditions were excellent. We took turns at taking the lead and seemed to be making good time. The higher we rode, the darker the clouds became. It was getting fresh and I was glad I’d put my heated jacket on, I turned it up high. Ah, the warmth across my shoulders was delicious. My hands were nice and warm too on the heated handle grips. There were many wooden bridges to cross, the boards were broad, like railway sleepers, slippery when wet. We were now riding amongst the snow, patches lay on the side of the road, and every so now and then there were huge banks of compacted, brown snow, which the snow plough had cleared.  The weather was closing in as we rode through the snow flurries. Eventually, we got a downpour of hail which rattled and ticked at our visors but didn’t linger long on the ground. I was a bit tentative riding on the hail, but fortunately, it didn’t last long and we were in a clearing again. We were once again riding downhill and the weather was fine again.

Everytime we rode into a clearing, another beautiful mountain loomed in front of us, unbelievably picturesque with blue sky in the back ground. We were travelling fairly slowly, near some road works, when we saw a fantastic turquoise lake, between two huge mountains. We just had to stop. Wow, the scene was like a painting. Brown mountains with snow on top which was blue in the thicker, icier areas and the bluer than blue lake, it was unbelievable. We had lunch there, so we could linger a little longer.

A young Dutch couple, Joris and Lotte were having lunch at the lake too and Des struck up a conversation. They were on a 7 week holiday in a huge campervan. They had seen so much, they’ll be the envy of all their friends back in Holland. Lotte let me photograph the rental camper which had fantastic holiday scenes on it. Joris was kind enough to take some photos of us all with our bikes at the lake

By the time we reached Clinton, I was quite tired from all we had seen and done during the day. Des must have been too, because he pulled in at the first motel he saw in the tiny town of Clinton. We parked our bikes so Lou and Lynn could see them as they came up over the rise. They had fallen behind a little as the countryside was so pretty, it warranted a few extra photographs.

Jim O’Rielly, from the Roundup motel, was a real card. He gave me a price and a key to one of the rooms. I told him, I’d have little look and come back to negotiate the price. He laughed good naturedly and was able to accommodate my price when I returned.  The room was warm as toast, which was another reason I was glad to stay the night. Jim told me I could turn the heating up if I wished, but I said I needed to stay tough in order to continue riding the motorbike during the cold weather. Jim was most helpful and talkative and an affable bloke. He told us there was no mobile reception here, but he did have internet, so we were able to Skype our parents and daughter.
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Ann on

Beautiful country, lovely roads

Kay Davies on

I'm so glad you enjoyed British Columbia. I was born there and lived there most of my life and I still think it's beautiful, but I often wonder about the explorers who crossed the prairies, climbed up the Rockies, the looked out at BC -- range upon endless range of mountains all the way to Vancouver Island. I think I might have turned around and gone back if I'd been an explorer.

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