USA Washington State: Seattle

So I’m back in the USA and read to explore Seattle.

Travelling by bike is awesome I just love it, it’s a real adventure and quite different to other forms of travelling. In Seattle I settled in to being a tourist on foot and had loads of fun exploring the city and shopping (which I never do when I’m on a bike as there is just no space, but as long as I have a bit of space in my big duffle bags, I can take advantage of the cheap prices in the USA).  With the use of my maps app I worked out that I walked 5-6kms a day every day I way in Seattle 😊I feel like I walked the city flat.

I’m not a big city persona and try avoid them if I can but must say Seattle surprised me. It was very different to what I expected. Very clean and with lots to do and see. Yes, there is a darker side to the city, a fair few homeless people and many walk past muttering and shouting out. I saw one relatively clean, young-looking lady wearing a sheet wrapped around her head like in a loose turban, wearing clean socks with no shoes and clearly drugged up. I didn’t take pictures of this side of Seattle as I honestly just find it sad and think the system is really broken.

I did chose not to go out alone at night so after an early dinner I spent my nights watching Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, fantastic gothic fantasy series.

14th August Sight seeing

Today was sigh seeing day and boy did my feet hurt at the end of it. I walked the 2.2kms to Pike place Market and back, but first heading to the Space Needle. I did walk past the Bill and Melinda gates foundation, as I am a big fan of what they do, but sadly it is only open from Thursday to Saturday.

Initially I wasn’t going to go up the Space Needle but lets face it, it had to be done as this is the Eiffel tower of the US, and the 60th anniversary. The view was spectacular and I ended up spending ages up there. After exploring Seattle from up high I went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition, the vision of Dale Chihuly the artist.  Walking past the Army Navy store on the way to the waterfront I stopped by and bought a massive duffle bag in order to get my bike gear back home. So first chore complete on I go to get lunch.

I spent a lot of time at Pike Place Market a very fun, interesting lively and PACKED place. I should have chosen another day but hey I was there already so I made the most of it. After eating a beef and onion pie (and buying a rhubarb pie for dinner) from Piroshky Piroshky the best Russian bakery I visited the original Starbucks ( Seattle coffee) Had to be done as I’m a serious Starbucks fan, I think they put drugs in their coffee because I can’t stop drinking it. I also stopped in at the Purple stores, imagine walking past a store where everything, yes everything, they sell is in your favourite colour whoopwhoop shopping time 😊I’m surprised I didn’t buy more.

Leaving Pike Market I did, as I was told to do, and walked past the gum wall… eeeeewwwww no words, I mean really Seattle

15th August Shopping Day

A couple of months ago I did a short sight seeing tour to Walmart’s and today I decided to go visit a few other big stores. We just don’t get these massive store sin Switzerland so it’s quite an outing. I started at Bed Bath & Beyond, then Target, a massive sports store and finally starbucks and then the bookstore. So much far too little space to buy everything that I wanted.

In the afternoon I went to the Spa for a facial, Manicure and deep tissue massage to wash the road out and do something nice for my poor abused body and skin after 3 months on the road. It was  a little slice of heaven and I felt like a new woman after. Minorka beautician who gave me the facial was the super nice young lady from Mexico and we had such a good chat it was a good reminder that there is hope for the world in the next generation.

16th August Walking and Coffee and Coffee and Walking

My last day in Seattle, what to do what to do. I had a list of museums to visit and after walking to the wooden boat museum which was closed, I decided to just walk the neighborhoods, drink coffee take pictures of some street art and walk some more. I had random chat to a couple of people and just felt good. A great last day.

17th August So long and thanks for all the fish

I had sushi for dinner again last night. I’ve eaten so much fish in Vancouver and Seattle but as Switzerland is land locked I wanted to make the most of being able to get really fresh sushi, yum

I can’t believe it’s all over and on one hand really want to just go fetch my bike and start all over again, and on the other go see my dog, Joern and sleep in my own bed. I’ve said it before but this trip far exceeded my expectations. It was fantastic and the primary reason beside the spectacular countryside were the people. I got to catch up with friends and family and make so many new friends who all touched my heart.

Over 86 days I travelled 19583 kms (12168 miles) through; USA = Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Main, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington State. Canada – New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta.

There are so many places within the different states that I didn’t get to see so I will certainly need to come back 😊

THANKS to everyone for making this trip so memorable xxx

Canada British Columbia: Full Circle

9th August Gibsons

Ferry trip from Earls cove

We left Powel River and headed down the Sunshine coast to Gibsons to meet Mike and Gail again. The day was great, perfect weather and seaside views. We found a little treasure all because we patted a dog. Joern and I love dogs so pat every dog we see, if we can. This also means we get to chat to the owners. While getting on the ferry to Earls cove we met a cute little friendly dog and the owner started asking us about our trip as he was also a biker. He then suggested a nice little side route which we took and found this lovely idyllic little harbour … it certainly pays to be friendly and listen to the locals.

I was looking forward to seeing Mike and Gail again however it really hit me that now the trip is over, we have done full circle from Vancouver to Gibson to meet Mike and Gail and we are now back in Gibsons and tomorrow in Vancouver. I’m really sad, as always, when such an awesome trip comes to an end and this was has been truly amazing. I am however also looking forward to seeing my little Ozzie (now aka Ozzie Pawsborn the Prince of Barkness) as I am missing him terribly. It will also be nice to sleep in my own bed and not have to live out of a suitcase 😊

HOWEVER, it is not quite over, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet. We still have a great evening with Mike and Gail to enjoy and Vancouver and Seattle to look forward to.

Sitting on the patio chatting to Mike and Gail, and their neighbor texted Gail that there is a bear in her garden, 2 houses up. Soooo close and yet so far, needless to say it didn’t come through Gail’s garden and Never did get to see a bear or moose in Canada – because they don’t exist it’s all a hoax like the lock ness monster 😊 We had a fantastic evening on the patio, great company, great view, great food and a birthday cake 😊 Truly a night to remember. We really do miss Mike and Gails company in Switzerland but we are 100% sure we’ll be back to visit them in Canada. Simply straight forward great people.

10th August Vancouver

Sadly, leaving Gibsons and Mike and Gail we headed to Vancouver for our last couple of days in Canada. Damn I really am not fond of city traffic and Vancouver has some of the worst traffic so I did not enjoy that part of the ride. We dropped Joerns rental bike off and headed to Richmond where we stayed with Evy and Rich again. I was so happy that I could spend a three days in Vancouver and thus more time with Evy. Joern flew out the day before I did but we still had a day to do some sightseeing. However before that we got to spend the evening with the Mashing Chan gang, aka evys family. Of all the parents I new as a child the only two I was never afraid of were Evys Mom and Dad, Rose and Jack and it was just wonderful to see them again. The stories they tell of their life as a Chinese family in Apartheid South Africa are both hear breaking and shocking. Yet the story of Jack and Rose is also inspiring.

Rose recounted the time she was on a bus to work in Johannesburg and stood up to let an older, white, lady sit down as he had always been told to respect her elders. The lady then took out a tissue and proceeded to wipe the seat before shitting where a Chinese person had sat…no words

Jack told us many more stories and I really do think he could write a book. What I love about Jack and Rose is that they recount their stories of Apartheid South Africa with no malice, just facts as part of their history and experiences and which they follow with positive family stories and questions of other people’s lives. We had a truly wonderful evening with the whole family who are all so close, I just love it. So, yet another great night with good company and great food and once again a birthday cake. So, all in all I got to celebrate my birthday three time … I truly felt loved and blessed.

The Masing and Chan gang. Wayne and Lourie, Louise and L, Rose and Jack, Evelyn and Rich, and us

We spent the next morning on Granville Island which isn’t an island but a peninsula. It was an industrial manufacturing area but is now a really nice shopping area with a great market, artisan shops and restaurants. We then went to Steveston harbor for another fantastic Sushi lunch. We love Sushi and when it’s at the ocean, and thus fresh, you really can taste the difference. Food being a pervasive theme over the last few days Joern and I decided to cook for Rich, Evy and Kirsten. However, truth being told Evy and I did the cooking 😊 we made maple syrup salmon which went down very well and is one of about 4 melas I can cool Well you can’t go wrong with it. It is a recipe from Gail and I use it whenever I want to impress people.

12th August Seeing some more of Vancouver

Joern left early, like 5:30am early and poor Rich was volunteered to take him to the airport… Evy and I slept in 😊Girl Power

I then got a great tour of Vancouver by Evy, Kirsten and Evy’s niece Kayla. We went to the Waterfront and Gastown and I got to have my first Poke Bowl, YUM. Poke Bowl is a Hawaiian dish of raw marinated fish, rice and salad. I must look for a Poke restaurant in Zurich. Another good day.

Poke bowl with Evy, Taryn and Kirsten

Wayne (Evelyn’s brother), Laurie (his wife) and their daughter Taryn, came over after dinner for desert so I got to say goodbye to them again, and their crazy gorgeous dog.

13th August Farewell

Why do I cry during my last ride of big trips! This time it was not only because the trip has come to an end but because of having to say goodbye to Evy.

We worked out that we have seen each other 7 times over the last 45 years (since Evy left SA in 1977) The last time was in 2003 but every time we meet it’s like we haven’t missed a beat, we just have a special connection and she is a very special lady. I loved meeting her children and catching up with Rich, her husband, and family who I haven’t seen since 1991. They are an amazing close family and it was really special to see them again, especially her parents Jack and Rose.

I also said a very sad farewell to Vince the V-strom. 3 months, 19583kms (12168 miles) what am amazing trip. What an amazing little bike. He really looked after me and we had so much fun. I hope his next owner is good to him. I know he is just a machine but when you are a solo rider your bike gets to be your companion and I get so attached to them. I just can’t believe my trip is already over, it has gone by so fast and I could easily just start again. However I do miss my dog and can’t wait to see the little Oz man again, and also sleep in my own bed. I will however immediately start saving and planning for the next one 😊

The ride to Seattle was really quick and easy. The border crossing was a breeze and about 60 or so kms after that I stopped for a coffee break. I looked at taking a more scenic route than the interstate direct to Seattle. However I really wasn’t in the mood to look at beautiful scenery or stop to take pictures. I just wanted to have some dedicated bike time just me and Vince speeding along the motorway and not giving a damn about enjoying the view or sticking to the speed limit. It was a really fun last ride with very little traffic.

Tomorrow time to explore Seattle…on foot 🙂

Canada British Columbia: Vancouver Island

We were not planning on going to Vancouver Island this trip however we made such good time doing the planned trip through British Columbia from Vancouver to Fort st James, around to Jasper and then the Kootenays we had a week left to go across to Vancouver Island and do a loop from Victoria up to Comox and then across to the mainland and down back to Vancouver. I am so glad we decided to do the Island in the end as it is stunning and well worth seeing.

What struck me is that even though it is 3/4s the size of Switzerland it is still so wild and remote with the bulk of the population in Victoria and across a few coastal towns.

Canadian Geese enjoying the seaside on Vancouver Island

6th & 7th August Nanaimo

Leaving Victoria we headed to Nanaimo taking the long route west along the coast to Port Renfrew and then cutting across to Nanaimo. The coastline is stunning and I also enjoyed the cute costal cottages tucked between the mansions and of course the coffee places 😊

We stayed in another stunning Airbnb which is now my preferred accommodation to any hotels especially if staying for two nights as the ones we had reserved have all been self-catering. As we had a full day in Nanaimo we got to explore the town and meet up with Susan and John, Tammy sister and the cousin of Lars Joern school friends. What a great couple we all got on so well ended up not only having lunch with them but being invited over for dinner as well. The harbour in Nanaimo is great offering super fresh seafood and good views. I love the Canadian towns that paint their electrical boxes and fire hydrants, such a little thing but it makes such a difference.

We also stopped in at Chemainus to look at their murals, another thing found in all Canadian towns but Chemainus is renowned for theirs, it’s also just a very charming little town to see.

8th August Powel River

It’s my Birthday 🙂 Happy Birthday to me.  I turned 55 today and feel no different to when I was 18, okay okay my joints do creak a little and I certainly hope I’m wiser. I am however not the kind of person who has ever lied about my age or had any kind of crisis regarding getting older. It is what it is, a fact on your birth certificate and that is all. I still live by the principle that we only have one life and should therefore make the most of it and age with grace.

We headed up the cost today to Comox and caught the ferry to Powel river where we spent the night. We did get to see another porpoise from the deck of the ferry and believe this one is a Dalls porpoise.

On the way we randomly stopped at a little beach for a milkshake and saw that they were having a sand sculpture completion I’ve always wanted to see one and was not disappointed Wow some really talented artist. What a great unexpected coincidence.

We finished my birthday off with a great dinner in Powel River (ribs and the best cheesecake)  and a lovely sunset walk on the pier. I can honestly say I am truly happy … what a trip, what a birthday 🙂

Canada British Columbia: Kamloops to Vancouver Island

Three easy days through very pretty countryside, good roads and good weather.

3nd August Kamloops

On the way to Kamloops we happened across a little motorcycle museum, just in the middle of nowhere and what a great little museum with a very interesting proprietor.

We stayed in Kamloops with Tammy and Ted. Tammy is the coursing of Joern best friend from school. What a great couple and boy can Tammy cook, we rolled out of there.

4th August Hope

On the way to hope in one of the small towns we passed we saw one of those massive haul trucks and excavator, made into monuments. I’ve seen them on TV but never in real life so it was really interesting to see them in real life. OMGAWD they are HUGE, and this is the old generation I believe they now get bigger. We happened to also meet the son in law of the last driver of the haul vehicle. He told us that his dad in law, now passed away, was very proud that his old truck was now a newly painted monument. He also told us that his dad in laws, perhaps not so proud moment was the day he reversed the thing over a pickup truck that had stupidly parked behind it on the excavation site…squish like a bug

Hope is an interesting town for different reasons to what we thought, or to any other town we have seen in BC. It is the town where the movie Rambo was shot but is now a bit run down. It also has more homeless people / beggars than we have seen in any BC town other than Vancouver. In fact we have only seen homeless people in Vancouver and Hope. It is always interesting to me to see the other side of pretty when you visit a country, it makes it real and less of a fantasy.

What I did like about Hope were the number of wood carvings, you see them all over Canada and these ones are particularly nice. One of the reasons we came to hope, other than it being the perfect mid-point to stop between Kamloops and Tsawwassen (where we catch the ferry to Vancouver Island) was to see the gorge from the Rambo movie, but unfortunately it is closed to all traffic and hikers due to some massive pipeline being built through it. In the movie it is the Chapmans gorge, but it’ actually the Othello tunnels of Canada.

Saw this poster in one of the cafes we stopped in and it reminded me of the best quote ever, from Olav the Lutheran paster we met, he said ‘’There are really only 2 not 10 commandments. Love god and don’t be an asshole’’  Classic.

The 2nd picture one relates to the tragedy of the first Nations children forced to go to boarding schools and the atrocities and deaths that took place. This not only happened in Canada but in the USA as well and if just shocking.

5th August Victoria

The drive from Hope to Vancouver was really uneventful and a bit boring on the motorway especially compared to everything we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. The ferry to Victoria though was lovely, the islands are beautiful and reminded me very much of Norway.

Once we arrived in Victoria on our way to the Airbnb we had booked we decided to ride into Victoria centre to see what it was like. As we got closer the sky scrapers loomed and the traffic got thicker. Stopping at the, what felt like, hundredth red light Joern turned to me and asked ‘’are we really doing this’’ to which I replied a firm ‘’No’’.. bit cities uuuugghhhh you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Needless to say we turned tail and headed straight to the Airbnb. We then went for a walk along the coast, spotted a rabbit and porpoise and some lovely coastline and huge mansions.

Canada British Columbia: Glacier National Park

Went for a great hike in Glacier National Park today. It was, according to the Canadian Park ranger, a gentle hike. Only 5.6kms round trip, but DAMN it was steeeeep, but so worth it. The views just magnificent and the lake, ever so pretty. No bears though.

As usual words cannot do the scenery justice and neither do the photos but here are the best ones of the day.

Canada British Columbia: On the road again

30th July Road to Grand forks

Sadly leaving Toad Rock we hit one of those hot hot days I’m not really getting used to. We rode past Christina Lake and it was the first time a lake gave us no reprieve from the heat which was a whopping 41degrees. Although the scenery was beautiful, I hardly looked at it. Unfortunately, this time I really struggled clearly either not drinking enough water or too much water and not enough electrolytes, but boy by the time we got to the hotel I was just out of it and felt completely drained. All I could do was sit in the air-conditioned room, watch TV and recover.

In the morning however we had a nice ride through some lovely scenery and quaint little towns where we stopped for coffee and met more friendly people. In Salmo we stopped at the Dragonfly Café for coffee and the walls was covered with the most beautiful photos and paintings from local artists. Art is something there is no short supply of in Canada. There are murals in every town and artwork from local artists displayed in even the smallest one moose town. I just love it

Christina Lake just before Grand folks

31st July Vernon

Heading to Vernon and another scorcher of a day. On days like this I end up missing a lot as I find it hard to stop to take pictures or visit small museums etc, just wanting to be on the road and get to our destination. Once we arrived at the airBnB though we were in for a great surprise.

Spotted s couple of beautiful deer on the road

Although most airBnBs seem to be as expensive than hotels many are good value for money and just fantastic and this one in Vernon, hosted by Rick, was one of those gems. What a stunning, large, spotlessly clean, gorgeous place. Rick was also a super host and we had some great chat sitting out on the terrace once it cooled down. His wife also makes great banana muffins. The place had a giant TV and while escaping the extreme heat we watched the Grey Man on Netflix. I haven’t watched a movie in ages and it was so much fun just curling up on the couch drink coffee and indulge in a Netflix.

We ate breakfast on the terrace and were entertained by a myriad of birds. Beautiful blue headed mountain birds, some small little sparrows and doves including a ring neck dove. My best was the very brief visit by a hummingbird one of my favourite birds. The funniest was the red breasted bird who found some worms in the garden. He had quite a job getting the worms out and I could only imagine the poor worm gripping the roots of the grass and holding on for dear life, but worms are no match for hungry birds. We were then visited by a mommy quail and her six little babies- The all came to shower in the sprinkler system and then have feast on the bugs they scratched out of the flower beds. Mommy quail then flew up to the bird feeder where she sat proudly and alertly watching her little brood, but with no fear of us. I could have watched them all day, but we needed to head out.

1st Revelstoke

Driving to Revelstoke was a lot better as the weather had started to get cooler. We did however have to wait 2.5hrs for a ferry as it was the last day of a public holiday and the queue was so long we had to wait for the 3rd ferry to get on. It was however not a total waste as we got to meet some nice people and got a great tip for Vancouver Island where we’ll be in a few days. Everyone was really friendly and jovial with no one complaining about the wait just all taking it in their stride and making a fuss of all the friendly dogs.

Another great wall mural, this time in the tiny town of Nakusp

Finally Revelstoke

Old bridge to Revelstoke

Canada British Columbia: Toad Rock campsite in Kootenay bay

The Glass House, The Kootenays

The road from Kimberley to Kootenay Bay is amazing with gentle twisties and very little traffic, perfect for me. We stopped to see the glass house which was built with 600000 embalming fluid bottles.  Well worth the short stop, very interesting and with a great view of the lake.

The Glass House

Toad Rock, The Kootenays

On the ferry to Kootany Bay we met Olav and Reg two biking Lutheran pastors and great guys. They are also staying at Toad Rock so we met up for dinner a couple of times and they were great company. Such nice, friendly guys with some great stories. Definitely not the stereotype pastors which were a joy to find, just real, down to earth people. I may not be religious but when you meet people like this who live their faith it’s certainly restores your trust in humanity and in this case the clergy. Sometimes when I travel, I meet people who I wish lived in the same country as me and Olav and Reg are those people, I hope our paths cross again in the future. Reg is also a member (and past president) of the Guardians of the children group, one of the biker groups that help abused children including supporting them in court. Such an amazing calling.

I’m not 100% sure how to describe Toad Rock Motorcycle campsite. It is the most unique place I have ever stayed. Every campsite I’ve been in has been friendly, and when you see bikers in a campsite you always chat and most people are really nice. As Toad rock is all bikers you take these friendly camping encounters and amplify them 10x, that is toad rock. It is also a little crazy and fun. You don’t walk past a single person without getting a ‘’Hi, how’s it going, where you off to, where are you from, what you riding etc’’ and it does not matter where you are from, how old you are or what you ride. Throw in a few funny characters and friendly dogs and you can’t help but fall in love with this place.  I can understand why so many people come back year after year.

28th Sandon, The Kootenays

Initially Joern and I decided to take a day off the bikes, do our laundry, catch up on downloading photos and just chilling. However after being told about Sandon we decided to take a ride out. At which time I discovered that when a Canadian says ‘’it’s just up the road’’ they mean its 70kms up the road not the 20 I’d estimated. However the road was just perfect, beautiful twisites with NO traffic and I just got into the zone and loved it, that feeling where you are just flowing.

Sandon is an old silver mining town which got washed away in a big flood in the fifties and is now just a ghost town with a couple of museums. It houses the oldest power generator still in use in Canada. It is driven by hydro power from the river flowing right under the building and generates 150KW. It looks and sounds like something you would expect to find on the Nautilus and was designed by Nikola Tesla himself. It was installed in 1902. The old power and voltage meters are still there and it is not housed meaning all the mechanics with bearings and all are exposed. It is like a living thing and an absolute joy to see if you are just a little interested in mechanics, as Joern is.

Not much left of the town today.

The road too and from Sandon

29th Kaslo, The Kootenays

Another relaxing day. Today we went to the Ainsworth hot springs which were great. The hot springs are in a small cave in the shape of a horse shoe which you walk through. It’s dimly lit but light enough. Now I really mean a small cave and yet going in is so out of my comfort zone, as I do not like small dark places, but I did it. I also did the freezing ice-cold plunge pool afterwards and like the cave once you’ve done it two or three times it gets a lot easier.

Cave at Ainsworth hot springs. Very much lighter looking in the picture which is not mine but taken off the internet.

After that we went to Kato for lunch and a really super nice hike along the river. We got caught in the rain and soaked through, but after the hot weather we’ve had for the last couple of days it was very refreshing. The hike was great though and we got to see the Koots a series of fun sculptures hidden in the woods, but still no bears.

Joern making contact with the Koots

Kaslo is home of the S.S. Moyie the oldest intact passenger steam ship launched in 1898, but sadly under renovation so we were unable to go aboard. We did however take an interesting stroll around the cute town and met a few friendly people and dogs. We also came across the most unique car ornaments I have or probably will ever see. Kudos to the owner, clearly a star wars fan.

I’m really loving this place and it’s friendly people. I just don’t want to leave but there is so much more of BC to see that once again it’s time to move on. Kaslo is now the 2nd town in BC that I could move too in a heartbeat, Kimberley being the first.

Canada British Columbia: McBride to Kimberley

Heading to McBride we stopped along the way to visit the Ancient forest. What magnificent majestic trees. I love forests they are my favorite places in nature so this walk was very special to me

Met Loren, from Thunder-N-Chrome in McBride. He does custom bike designs and has a coffin shape trailer on his bike. The artwork was spectacular and he was super friendly guy, as we’ve discovered Canadians are, especially the bikers.

25th July Jasper and Saskatchewan crossing

WOOOW DAMN this place is beautiful in fact the only good word to describe Jasper national park is magnificent. My jaw dropped every time I turned a corner. The pictures just don’t do it justice and yet as they say ‘’A picture paints a thousand words’’ so all I can really do is post a few of the many many pictures I took.

Met two Brazilian bikers who live in San Francisco and are travelling through BC for a few weeks. What great guys so friendly, but then again I’ve never met a Brazilian that I haven’t liked. We also met the happiest dog in the world. 13 week old German Shepard mix, with a great owner who was more than happy to share puppy time with us.

Joern always said that if he append a restaurant he’d call it Something else, so guess where we had lunch in Jasper once we saw the sign. Lunch was a huge plate of very yummy spare ribs.

26th July Kimberly

Stopped in a nice AirBnB for the night in Kimberley, what a cute little town. We’d been craving Burritos for a few days now and imagine our joy when we stumbled on a Burritos this way sign and boy where they good 😊

Canada British Columbia: Fort st James

I have a cousin in Fort st James that I have not seen since 1991 when I visited Vancouver during my gap year.  Jerome is my mom’s sister’s son and immigrated to Canada in 1990. When Jerome saw on facebook that I was travelling through the USA and Canada he invited Joern and I to come visit and boy does he live in an absolutely idyllic place. A small friendly very outdoor oriented town right on the lake.

The history the settlers in Fort st James is shocking and has certainly left it’s mark on the local first nation tribes, a lot however is being done to rectify the situation and the new elementary school is a great step.

Jerome is a 100% outdoors person regardless of season he does it all, he used to kayak for the British national team and took Joern and I out on the lake.

 I was a bit nervous as I had images of myself tipping over in the middle of the lake and I’m not a strong swimmer. It was FANTASTIC so much fun, great exercise and good food stopping on a small beach to cook some smokies (sausages) and marshmallows, such fun. The highlight and reason we went out on the boats was to see the ancient pictographs painted on the rocks, so interesting and a fun way to see such an attraction.

Pictographs (rock paintings) can be seen in twenty-one locations on the north shore of Stuart Lake, between Fort St. James and Pinchi Bay. Accessible only by boat, these rock paintings depict animals, fish, birds, guardian spirits and images received in dreams. The paint used for drawing was a vegetable based vermilion which weathers quickly; archaeologists believe the paints date back to early in the 19th century.

Saying hi to some of the locals Jerome knows

Lunch on the beach 🙂

We ended our weekend in Fort st James with a great dinner cooked by Emily, one of Jerome’s friends. Emily had invited us to dinner with Chrissy, Charlotte and Sandy. What a great evening with great company the people in this town are really special. It was hard to leave as I could easily have stayed a few more days but the road calls…

Canada British Columbia: Barkerville and more

20th July Williams Lake

Lovely ride to Williams Lake what great scenery and cute little coffee places along the way. We stopped at a gas station and I saw a sign saying scenic route which made us wonder exactly what route we were on as it was already pretty scenic, but we decided to take it which was a good decision as it was so pretty. Canada, like so much of the US is mind bogglingly beautiful but once again different around each corner. We stayed in Williams lake with Cindy from bunk a biker and her friend Fritz. What a cool lady so nice, fun and interesting.

21st July – Barkerville and Prince George

Stopped in on the cute little town on Wells

Cindy recommended that we head to Barkerville, an old historic western gold mining town, on the way to Prince George. WOW this is by far the best old frontier town I have seen and an absolute must, certainly one of the highlights of my journey…but I guess I say that about everything as it seems to get better and better.

Once again we stayed with hosts from bunk a biker and really nice couple Bobbie and Gus and their gorgeous dog Gloria.