It's been a long slog down from the cold north. We've pounded out two thousand kms of pavement since crossing the border - the forests of northern BC all blurring into a hypnotic mess of trees and deer, strings of closed gas stations and ceaseless sandwiches by the roadside. As we hit the southern interior of the province, we're welcomed by the warmth of the drylands. At a campsite in Cache Creek, we break out the maps in search of some off-road fun.
Basking in the heat of the sun, Fraser River in the background
There's a great-looking dual sport road that runs from Ashcroft, on the other side of the Fraser River from the main TransCanada Highway heading south. This is the first day we've ridden without layering up like Michelin Men. The temperature soars to 31C and we're thankful for our mesh riding gear.
Looking for adventure!
Headless horseman on the hills of the Fraser
The Fraser Canyon slowly becomes the Fraser Valley around here
Beautiful day, beautiful roads and awesome scenery!
Bikes and gravel roads reflected off Neda's visor
It hasn't rained for days and there's a fairly deep water crossing. Wonder what it looks like after a rainfall?
Curious mountain sheep wondering why we are taking heavy street machinery onto a dirtbike road...
Out of nowhere, an old dilapidated church! How random!
Uphill climb through some rubble. I can do it.... I can do it...
... I can't do it....
I get done in by a conspiracy of really large rocks, ambushing me near the top. Bad line selection and the big GS suddenly becomes sleepy and decides to take a nap right then and there. Neda comes in over the intercom, "What's taking you so long...?", "I'm... uh, just enjoying the scenery..." There was no way I was going to lift this bad boy by myself, so I sheepishly radio her for help.
Standing up on pegs on the way down - same rocky mess as uphill
Across the Fraser we see TransCanada 1 and a colourful CP Rail train underneath it, snaking in and out of tunnels. It looks like a toy!
The gravel road hugs the hills as it the Fraser River twists and turns below us
Wake up! It's time to go!
Over the intercom, I hear a series of F-bombs and around the bend, I see Neda standing over her sleeping GS. The road switches back on itself as it steeply ascends one of the mountains and the inside line that Neda's taken is full of sand. Her slumbering motorcycle becomes a cautionary tale and I take the outside line, past the clutches of the Sandman, ride past her up the mountain, park and the walk down to help her right her bike... Still pissed off when I got back... :)
Okay, we're happy again!
Right at the end of the trail, a closed gate stops us from reaching the highway. I spy a padlock on the chain and now it's my turn to be pissed. It was late in the afternoon and there was no way we were going to turn around and do this trail again, cross the Fraser and then ride the TransCanada just to get back to this very spot! I was seriously thinking about how to break the lock, but when I walk up to the gate, I see that the padlock was just holding the loop of the chain around the top of the fencepost. An easy matter to slip the loop off and open the gate. *phew*
Just kidding about smashing the lock.
This is the PG-rated version
We notice a sign as we are leaving. Um... at least we didn't do any hunting...?
Starving, and a bit tired from all the playing in the dirt, we go in search of food. There's a nice Chinese restaurant just down the road, and we splurge a bit, ordering the chicken chow mein and beef fried rice. Almost as soon as the dishes hit the table, it was all gone, the final victim of a fun-filled day on the Cache Creek back roads.
Neda's fortune cookie - how true!