Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lil'wat Nation, Mount Currie, BC

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`

mt currie

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 . . .


  1. Hey Bob those are pretty great lefthanded hang on to the camera for dear life pictures. I tried it once on my great adventure and ended up using my gorilla tripod strapped to the handlebar of the scoot and hitting the button every so often.

    I love your self portrait pictures. Were you nervous snapping the pics? It looks like you had some great riding weather and a good time. I assume the ride home was pretty great in the afternoon. I have been revelling in the heat the last few days because it has 'sucked wind' most of the summer in Victoria as well. Tonight it is very balmy and I think there is some rain rolling in.

    The scenery is pretty through that neck of the woods. I look forward to seeing the rest of your trip.

    Snicklefritz (aka Dar)

  2. Good way to leave us hanging. It is nice that you were able to get out of the house early so that you could stop for pictures along the way.

    The pictures of the Indian Reservation town make me think of the one in Penticton. I don't know why the houses were all a little run down. A big difference compared to the houses surrounding the Indian Casinos down here.

    Looking forward to the next post.

  3. You used to berate me for taking pictures as I ride. I knew you were ful of shit. Now leave the comfort bubble and ride gravel beofore you buy a monster tourer and can't roll it out into the street.
    You make the perfect argument againstATGATT here. ATGATT is a contract with the Devil ifmit is another excuse not to ride.
    If you are seriously thinking about ending up in a mobile scooter lifestyle changes would be in order. You keep talking about getting old as though you are helpless. Mind you, you socialists get free health care so I expect health care is less of a worry. We shou
    D all be Canadian.

  4. Mr. Conchscooter - Just so you know the facts medical coveraage IS NOT FREE in Canada. We pay monthly premiums in the Province of BC and a very large chunk of our taxes goes to our medical system nationally and provincially.

  5. Those roads looks oh so familiar to me. I like the shots while riding. Excellent action!
    As for the gravel... my sportster didn't complain, and you have a mighty V-strom, so GO FOR IT!

  6. The last couple of times I've been through BC, I've thought about heading west from Cache Creek on that road. Next summer may be the time to finally go through that route. Nice shots including the left handed ones.


  7. Bob - love all the photos but your blog header photo is in a class by itself - absolutely outstanding. somehow, it perfectly symbolises what motorcycling is about.

  8. Tut,tut,tut.....How many times Bob have you told me off for taking photos whilst riding along :) Well done though, a bit more practice and you'll soon relax into it!!



  9. Richard M: The ride from Lytton is much the better ride if you want to do the Duffey Lake road.

  10. @Phipsd Thank you! I'm looking that up now.

  11. I feel like a bad influence now! Welcome to the world of uncomposed, blurry photos...and lots of shots of the sky...the tank bag...

    I haven't had a chance to check your link yet, so a peak to peak gondola? Sounds very intriguing. I have been on Blackcomb. We had ambitions of hiking to the top - yeah right! We just hung out and took pics. The mountain bikers there are insane!

    Looking forward to the next installment. The advantage of being late to the reading...looks like the installment may already be available! :)

  12. Dar: I have shot from the hip for years, but using my right hand back in the film days. So left hand isn't that bad except you have to plan in advance due to clutch and having to change gears, and also watch the road ahead and beside you for traffic, and throttle hand to maintain speed or slow down. whew, this now sounds so dangerous.

    Trobairitz: Casino's make the tribe rich, up here they have no income so they are without much resources. We learned a few things when we went to Haida Gwai'i a few years ago. Things are built and totem poles are carved, but then they are left to go back to nature, without being maintained or repaired. It is the native way. Most entrances to Haida homes are built with short doorways where you have to bend over to get in. This is so your enemies are more vulnerable if they attack and have to enter your home you just have to hit them on their head. A lot of homes have totem poles in front of their homes. If a totem pole falls and blocks the doorway, then you need another doorway to get in. The fallen totem pole cannot be moved out of the way, it is the Haida way. you will notice these things if you take a Zodiac tour and visit those protected villages within the Haida Gwai'i preserve

    Mr Conchscooter: do as I say, not what I do is what you are asking. I have noticed how competent you are and I thought that if you could do it then so could I

    Dar: that's telling him. He's more afraid of you than me. We have met before and he knows that I am a wimp. He doesn't know that you have a Black Belt in karate

    SonjaM: In years past I have been on the Duffey many times. The section through the indian reservation was not paved before as the government is not responsible for roads on indian land, but it seems that times have changed. I remember a time over 10 years ago when the whole downhill section was dirt and gravel for over 40 kms

    Richard: For scenery, I like the section West from Lillooet through the Canyon section, then perhaps turn around and go to Lytton. If you have a 4x4 you could go to Kelly Lake, then over Pavillion Mountain. We used to travel on these gravel roads when we had the truck. there is also Big bar road and Little Bar road which brings you to a reaction ferry and the view is stunning on top of Cougar Mountain. The Big Bar road will eventually get to the Gang Ranch, about 4 hours on gravel road

    Geoff: thank you for noticing. All of my previous header photos have been mostly my bike or scenery. This was the first time I have featured bikes of others. You may recognize the Green Ninja which is ridden by Bluekat, and Ron's Nighthawk on the right. The photo is not altered. The light was sort of like a painting that day

  13. Uncle Dave: tut tut yourself too. When are you going to buy your new to you, Pink Scooter ? with your new cement mixer you must have saved enough by now. or how about your Ciggie fund ? It gets easier with every snap

    Bluekat: I did a blog post on the Peak to Peak a year ago. We were up at the top when there was lots of snow. This was before the Olympics. When did you come up here and not let us know ?? As for the rolling photos I used my Lumix ZS3 and changed scene mode to Sports for faster shutter speeds, only problem when you turn it on is it stays zoomed out at 24mm when I really want around 50mm perspective. I may try the G10 again as it is only 28mm but then I have to try Shutter priority and perhaps see if I can get focus to stay at infinity, manually set as I find that the focus point is the problem. If you can force manual focus to infinity then your photos should be sharp. I am thinking of a different tether line so I can shorten the camera strap, sort of think of a Dog Run line, but on a smaller scale.

  14. Hi Bob
    Our visit to Whistler was in 2001. Quite some time ago now. I can't remember if I saw the earlier post or not...age, memory, sucks how the memory (and everything else) goes!

    I think the G has a sports setting. I tend to forget and leave it on auto or aperture priority, which is where it usually is. I hadn't thought of trying manual focus.

    Dan did a post at one time about a retractable cord. It attached to the bike, rather than around the neck, but looked interesting. I never did find one in stores.

  15. Ack!! Where did my comment go? It seems to have gotten lost. I have a precedence for forgetting the word verification... :(

    Now that I no longer remember what I wrote: Great Ride!

    Isn't it amazing how even when we ride on our own that we still seem to always be pushing for time and deadlines?

    The roads are simply gorgeous. Thanks for stopping for some pictures to showcase the beauty in your area.

    And I personally thank you for the local craftsman imagery. Some of those earrings in the first image look more like fishing lures. And the earrings in the last image, are they metal or wood?

    Steel Cupcake