This weekend was forecast to be the hottest weekend of the summer. So far we have had mostly rain and below average temperatures. I had been on the fence all week wondering whether I should join the gang for a ride, or just take a leisurely, relaxing day to relax at the beach and enjoy the ocean breeze, devoid of ATGATT. If I have a chance to either wear riding gear in hot weather instead of my usual summer attire of Muscle Shirt and sandals then it will always be the latter.
At the last minute I decided to join the group, sort of. I find that with group rides you have no chance to stop and smell the roses, and I wanted to stop for photos along the way. I thought the meet up time of 10am was too late to cover the distance in a reasonable time, so I started at 7am
The Lion`s Gate Bridge is empty at this time of day, there is hardly any traffic as I wound my way through town on my way Northward . I had my GoProHD mounted but I didn`t take any video. I decided to take only still pictures using a technique perfected by Bluekat on our last trip to Montana. No manufacturer makes a left handed camera which can be operated with gloves, by motorcyclists. I have two Point & Shoot cameras and I had been practicing all week holding them with my left hand, with gloves on trying to perfect my routine
You basically have to make sure your camera is tethered to yourself and you have a long stretch of fairly straight road before you have to use your clutch. I tried using my Canon G10 but the ON button is too hard to hit quickly but it does turn on significantly faster than my Panasonic Lumix ZS3 . I found the ZS3 was easy to turn ON quickly and the shutter button is easy to trigger.
Soon I was on the Upper Levels Highway, HWY 1 and heading Westbound towards Horseshoe Bay and while fiddling around, managed to capture my self portrait while cruising at the speed limit . Temperatures were still cool around 17°C and was to drop a few degrees as I ventured Northward towards Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway
While sunrise occured nearly an hour ago the sun had not yet make its appearance over the mountain and I was still in shadow as the temps dipped down to 14°C, and coupled with the wind factor, I was getting a bit chilly. I only had a T-shirt under my riding jacket as I was prepared for the hot weather coming in the afternoon .
As I made my way past Britannia Beach up the long hill, I managed another self portrait with the Britannia mine blown out in the background
Before I left home, I only had a small bowl of my favourite cereal, Frosted Flakes with milk which I knew would not be enough nourishment to tide myself over until lunch so I had to make a quick food stop for bacon & eggs
I parked beside this mobility scooter and thought that perhaps not too far in the future I may be needing a machine similar to this to get around . After a hardy meal I continued my journey North and soon I was heading down the hill into Cheakamus Canyon
I should have stopped at the viewpoint to snap photos of the raging river, but didn`t. I don`t like to make left turns into parking lots on curvy sections because of oncoming traffic. This morning there were lots of bikers heading the opposite direction towards Vancouver. I often wonder where they are from and where they are going.
Today my goal is to meet the guys for lunch at a little cafe in Pemberton, BC. Yes I realize that we are all coming from Vancouver and there is only one road to take but I know there is no time for photos on group rides. Today is a compromise, I wanted to ride solo and do my own thing, then head back to town with the group. Since I started 3 hours early I was travelling anywhere from 5-10 KM per hour slower than the speed limit. This highway is heavily patrolled, and with helicopter enforcement later in the day when traffic builds, this is no place to speed.
I managed to stop in Whistler for nearly an hour looking at this and that before I mounted my mighty V-strom again and continued my trek north . Since I was travelling at, or under the speed limit I had quite the caravan behind so I pulled over into this viewpoint just north of Whistler to let them pass
This is Emerald (Green) Lake with Blackcomb Mountain in the background. The Whistler ski area is comprised of both Blackcomb and Whistler with a Gondola joining them called `Peak to Peak`
Here`s a closer view of some of the ski runs
I don`t know where the time has gone. I left just after 7am and as I approach Pemberton it is now after 11 and I had planned to meet the rest of the group at 12:30pm for lunch and I still had ground to cover and photos to take
Now I am fighting the clock trying to squeeze my photos in. I quickly pass Pemberton and head farther North to the small native community of Mount Currie, part of the Lil`Wat Nation (click for more info)
There are many Indian Reserves scattered about British Columbia and these communities are situated on Indian Land. These are referred to as First Nations People
(Lil`Wat Nation Band Government building)
There are less than a handful of roads in this `village`
The major and only business I saw was the gas station
I stopped because I was feeling dehydrated created by the increasing heat, but since lunch was within grasp I held back. I also forgot to bring my water and emergency granola bar rations
I didn`t wish to bring too much attention with myself taking photos while residents were watching but managed a few on the main street
This is `Main Street` (below)
This village has two intersections, and here is a street sign from one of them, with Stop in their native tongue
Presumably, IR10 road means Indian Reservation no 10 road and Main Street . Here is the signage at the intersection where you are able to go straight into Mount Currie, or turn right and continue along Hwy 99, aka: Duffey Lake Road which takes you to Lillooet
Originally when I arrived at this corner I wanted to turn right and head to the north end of Lillooet Lake to snap a few photos, but part of this road is currently gravel due to road construction with single lane alternating traffic. Even though I have a bike capable of gravel travel I don`t really have enough gravel experience and I didn`t know how bad the pea gravel was, but I was really thinking about trying it . . .
I might have caved in, or did I ? WWDD: What Would Dom Do, sort of a variation on "What would Ivan do ?"
Stay tuned . . .