Sunday, August 5, 2012
The guys found out that I was back from Oregon so Mark phoned me and asked if I would like to join them on the "LOOP", and have lunch in Merritt, BC
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The weekend was forecast to be the hottest weekend of the year, so instead of walking around in my summer clothes, I geared up and met them early at the gas station in Surrey, BC
Mark is riding his Kymco X500ri, Doug is on is Suzuki Burgmann and I am on my V-strom. The day starts out cool enough and I have my panels on and an extra T-shirt. I am not in the lead but they are doing construction on the on/exit freeway ramps so we end up going the wrong way heading West back towards Vancouver, instead of East towards Mission, due to closed ramps. Soon enough we get sorted out and we find our way to the Lougheed highway just past Hatzic lake to our breakfast stop
We do make allowances for rest and beverage breaks but these are usually just convenient pullouts that are not photo worthy, so not many photos today. To compensate I relied more on video from my GoProHD hero1
We had a great waitress
she was friendly and efficient, not like that Waitress from Hell in Baker City which read my mind and counteracted everything I said. Today I was friendly, didn't say much and generally kept my mouth shut
Keep in mind that I left home around 7am and it took an hour for me to get to our meetup location, and then another hour to get to our breakfast spot which was the Firehouse Grill just past Hatzic Lake, so I was famished and forgot to snap a photo until my most excellent breakfast was half eaten
Not quite Vegan. It has a trio of vegan meats; bacon, ham and sausage with 2 eggs, Russian rye toast with a cup of vegan coffee.
We have time to relax, discuss our route and our riding pace. We decide to take it easy and ride a scenic speed, not more than 5 kmph over the limit and let the cars pass. And this is what we did all day. There was very heavy police presence all day and we noticed lots of cars pulled over to receive their tickets.
It was my suggestion to change the route to anti-clockwise to have an easier time returning home after we are hot and tired. Once over the mountains heading into Princeton the temperatures are much higher, sort of like Eastern Oregon with a very dry, arrid desert like appearance
stopping for a washroom break in Hope, BC
The gas station was very busy with long line ups for the washroom so we found another one at a local park
Most often we were lucky to find one of these . . .
and sometimes when we were in the middle of nowhere, we had to find a tree
It was so warm in Hope, that all of us stripped down to mesh and tank tops. The air was very warm and when we reached Princeton it was time to top up our fuel and go to Dairy Queen for a treat
When we reached Merritt around 2:30pm it was like a furnace. Mark and myself stripped out of our riding gear as it was time for our lunch break. It was great to be able to enjoy a good home-made meal in air conditioned comfort
I didn't know what to order, but the hamburger was most excellent with carmelized onions and home-made soup. The thing about these local diners is that they make their own beef patties rather than use those frozen things
As we were getting geared up to leave another couple arrived on their Ninja. They said they had ridden there (to Merritt) from Whistler, BC that morning and after a quick lunch were returning home back to Chilliwack
For some reason my eyes were fixated on the Pillion Candy and I was unable to move, so I did the only thing I know and pulled out my camera
It was my turn to lead so when we arrived back in Hope I decided to head for a place with WiFi so we could all get caught up, email home and have an iced beverage. It was now 5pm and I was still 3 hours from home
We decided on one more gas stop somewhere in Chilliwack as gas is cheaper out there as compared to Vancouver prices. We fueled up for 120.9, in Vancouver it was 136.9 per litre. We decided where we would part and both Mark and Doug were going to exit at 200th. As they were on the Exit at 200th Street, I continued on the main highway and we gave our last farewall waves. We had a great, relaxing day at scenic speeds. From that point I still had another hour of riding to get home
418 miles today on the hottest weekend of the year. Just over 8 hours of actual riding time. Just riding the twisties, not many photos but here is a summary video of our day . . .