Saturday, 30 June 2012

Grande Prairie to Fort Nelson

Day 26

Surprising thing about sleeping in the tent is how well I actually sleep so did not wake till 9.30 and slepped the miles to the shower complex. It had been raining and was still drizzling a bit so thought I would be packing a wet tent but dried pretty quickly. Showers need a dollar to work which I had but only one as I thought one should be more than enough but halfway through the water switched of and I was still covered in Soap normally you are left with cold water but this one stopped completely and it was miles back to the tent so was well pissed of by now. By the time I hit the road it was 11.30 after I had some breakfast my usual first Tim Horton’s that I hit. The roads where straight and long as I had come out of the Rockies and was in the prairies again I guess the clue is the name of the place I was leaving but soon I hit the British Colombia border and Dawson Creek Milestone 0 of the Alaska Highway the scenery vastly improved. Got some maps and info at the visitor center so have a better idea on where I am going and I am all existed and cannot wait to hit the road. Cackling and giggling to myself in my helmet Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and now British Colombia at milestone 0 of the Alaska highway have done about 9,000km already and yet it feels like this is just the beginning of the trip. Somebody at the campsite last night said the run from Grande Prairie to Fort Nelson was dull well if that was dull I can’t wait for the rest as I was well impressed even when it started to rain about could not dampen my spirits. Gained another hour coming into BC so got to Nelson at about 7pm hard day of more than 600km so first port of call to see if there was any affordable (my budget) non camping options, unfortunately not bugger so found a campsite in town and I am swamped with mossies’ yet again I hate the little fecker’s. Brought a little yellow bracelet today, which is supposed to keep them away for 200hrs! Did not work me thinks but what do you expect for 2 bucks. I have just finished a huge Prime Rib dinner with a bake potato that was just what I needed and I charging my computer and updating this. Will go for bit of a walk and see if I can get on the Internet to publish this back at the campsite and see if I can avoid the mosquitos but I think that is doubtful. It is Canada day tomorrow and there is a parade so may hang around for that and then back on the road as the next town is only 600km away!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Edmonton to Grande Prairie

Day 25

Back in the saddle again great day and I have finally reached the Rockies. Got on the road at a reasonable time shame I had not seen more of Edmonton but you cannot do everything and choices need to be made. Had breakfast at Tim Horton’s and hit the road pleasant rolling countryside so looks like I have left the prairies behind and later just coming into Hinton my first sight of the Rockies and I knew I got across the prairies. Hit the road to Grande Cache and it was wonderful winding roads with interesting scenery and finally ended up in Grande Prairie camping again which sounds wonderful except the place is crawling with mosquitoes and the campsite for tents in miles from the loos complex watching the sun going down but not sure how much longer I can stand this as the mossies’ are driving me nuts its only 10 o clock but I may be diving in my tent to escape them!!!
Couldn’t stand in any longer so hiding in my tent doing a Sudoku what an exiting life I am leading

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Edmonton TLC for the bike

Day 24

Very domestic day first thing I did was get the bike to Alberta Cycle Edmonton that opened at 10 bit of queue but the guy had spoken to yesterday said I could be served first. Cool. They where not able to do a full service at such short notice and in such a small timeframe but they where able to do a an oil change fix a the tube from my chain lubricator and put on 2 new tyres and it would be ready by 4pm this afternoon so you cannot get much better than that at reasonable prices as well which was a nice surprise. Got the bus back to the hostel which is always exciting in a strange town as you have no idea of the route and only a vague idea of where your stop is missed my by one so a bit extra walk for me. Did my washing and while I was doing this researching routes to Alaska and yet I still do not have a clue. After all my domestics wonder back into town hot sunny day and a big hills to climb found yet another festival but before I could get into this it was nearly 4 so had to go and pick my bike up. The question I need to double check is there anything vitally important needed doing for the bike at the 12,000km service interval the only thing that needs replacing are the plugs but I think I can live with that for a while but need to a double check on the internet for certain. Picked the bike up and headed back to the hostel for me tea tonight I nuked a lasagne and it 7.30 and I am debating whether or not to drag myself back to the free festival in town or veg in the hostel as I am still very cream crackered. Got itchy feet so will be hitting the road again tomorrow so could be last chance to see Edmonton. Decisions decisions?
Big Thank you today for Mike at Alberta Cycles Edmonton for looking after my bike and me so well at such short notice much appreciated.
Ended up staying and trying to get blogger to work with a dodgy Internet connection, which was a pain. Shame that I did not get to see more of Edmonton but I also need some down time so cannot be out and about all of the time and was good to have a night doing nothing much.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Saskatoon to Edmonton

Day 23

Its official I am a bloody idiot what a day feels like I have done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson. Toughest day since I began this trip and this is why. Got up looked out of the window and it looked like it had been raining and was damp so slowly pulled my kit together glad I had not been in the tent last night and went outside to load the bike chatting to a guy about the wind as it was a bit blustery. Me telling him I come from Holland and I used to riding in strong winds blah blah etc. Finally hit the road and have to cross the river same bridge as I had fun with last night and it not just blustery but the wind is quite strong and difficult to stay in my lane oh well onward and forward stop to fill up with petrol have to be careful bike does not blow over and decide to skip breakfast for a bit and see what the weather is going to do still dry but strong winds. Hit the road out of town and within 5 minutes regretting the fact that I had left the safety of Saskatoon and was being blown all over the highway fortunately a 2 lane highway and very little traffic to contend with but the wind was horrendous decide to keep going struggling to get up to 100km an hour and the limit is 110km so for once on this trip on the right side of the law speed wise sanity wise I should not have been out at all. Kept going just trying to get as many km under my belt as possible fighting the bike and the wind all the way stopped looking at my instruments as it was depressing 530km still to go and not reducing at any speed. Then it started to rain so tried to find shelter from the wind so that I could manage the bike and pulled out all my wet weather gear batten downed the hatches and kept moving forward. After about 140km in North Battle ford decided to stop for some food, as I needed some comfort food as I was not a happy bunny as I had been scared shitless for the last couple of hours. So Tim Horton’s for some nourishment. I took some comfort that maybe I not totally mad as I had seen 2 other motorbikes on the road today. Time to hit the road again it was cold wet and windy and I was already knackered but I think the wind had let up a bit or I had just got used to it or I was getting it from an another angle it seem easier not altogether pleasant but doable. Next incident was the usual never a petrol station around when you wanted and I was busting for a pee and a poo (to much info I know but the next bit you will laugh at as it is relevant) did a 10km detour to a 1 horse village and rushed in and asked for the loos and then had a hilarious struggle trying to get my waterproofs, boots and leathers off while trying not to piss and shit myself it was a close call loo covered in bits of wet motorcycle gear which I had to get back into afters. Walk out god knows how long I had been in there that there was a different girl on the till than when I first went in which was a relieve as I had really dashed in like a mad man. Filled up the bike and hit the road again it was now dry and bit warmer and the wind had dropped or maybe I had come oblivious to it. Got to Edmonton just at rush hour, which was quite difficult as there where still strong gust of wind but this time with traffic to contend with. Went straight to Alberta Cycle to see about a service and new tyres for the bike and they told me to come back at 10 tomorrow and he will see if he can fit me in during the day which is excellent if this works as I was expecting not to be able to get anything done so fast. Next to the hostel, which unlike all the others I have been to remarkably, full all they had was a space in a 2-man dorm still reasonable though. Went to get some food and I am know writing this and reflecting on the day just looked at the internet and it says that it was gusting with winds of 25km/hr. currently but had been as high as 50-75 km/hr. bloody hell and there where allegedly a couple of confirmed tornadoes today in the region should have stayed in bed getting to old for this ;-0
No photos today to busy fighting the weather and for the stats guys amongst you on average I am getting 21km per litre of fuel today it dropped to 15km per litre of fuel so not only me that was suffering but the bike had a tough day fighting into the wind as well so some TLC for her tomorrow.  

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Russell to Saskatoon

Day 22

Good night kip got up and it was a bit overcast but still warm slowly broke down my campsite and packed the bike no one around so quite peaceful. Headed to get some breakfast the usual at Tim’s was a bit hot and sweaty as there was no showers at the free camping so looked a bit worse for wear hit the road was interesting for a short while saw some dear nearly squashed a snake that was crossing the road yuk and the road turned into a straight flat with very little traffic big yawn hard to focus and sticky hot to add to me woes. So instead of looking at the scenery start looking at the sky which is excellent and pretty however it is getting darker and darker and then before I know it I am watching a great electrical storm in the distance and the wind is picking me up blowing me all over the road mmmm should I be out in this chap did mention tornado warnings around Saskatoon this morning mmm so what did I do I nailed it trying to stay ahead of the rain its was at the fine line if I was going fast enough then I would not get wet as the speed will dry the rain if it not raining to hard eventually decided to pull over and get the wet weather kit out and continue at a more reasonable rate to Saskatoon no point in taking any unnecessary risk and it was raining that roads had turned greasy and a lot of debris on the road so doodled into town for the last hour. Least the weather made the dull route a bit livelier. Headed straight to the tourist info to find some cheap digs was debating on pushing through as weather was crap and I was wet already but they told me of place which was reasonable and as I had a free night last night was feeling a bit more generous with the budget. So headed there booked and had a shower as I was a bit pongy and headed into town as there was yet another festival this time it was a Jazz festival Tuesday so a bit quite. Was there 5 minutes when they shut the place down due to lightning threats in the area so head to the mall to see if I could find a food court for some cheap nosh but this shut at 5.30 so found a small Vietnamese restaurant and had the days special fried beef and prawn with noodles which was good as I had not eaten since breakfast. It was now pissing down outside so not ideal for sightseeing so I headed back to the lodge and got soaked to the skin. Had to get across the river on a bridge that had a footpath on it but as the cars went past you got sprayed and there was no escape as the was no shelter and only way home so was well pissed of but not a lot I could do but laugh like an idiot much to the surprise and amusement of a passer by who was also getting soaked by every passing car. Am now dry and the plan is to go to Edmonton check out a couple of Suzuki dealers to see if they can service my bike and put a couple new tyres on for me not sure if they will need some lead time but I want to check them out before letting them do any work and just looking on the internet does not always give confidence. If they need some lead for the booking the plan is to go and play between Jasper, Banff and Calgary until they are ready for me so plenty of nice countryside to rediscover as I have been here before and liked it.