Sunday, September 15, 2013

Short Get-a-way to Lillooet, BC

It all started last week when I decided to "seal" the threads on my Marmot tent.

There were torrential rains and flash flood warnings last July when we were in Bar Harbor, Maine and my tent had some minor leakage on the lower seams.   It turns out that the seams are not sealed on any tent from the factory so I bought some stuff to make them a bit more water resistant

I have methyl hydrate so I soaked a paper rag and cleaned up the threads before applying this seam stuff.  I let it cure for about half a day before I packed up my tent again

It looks shiney but it is dry and no longer tacking.  It's not the neatest job but as long as it works then I will be satisfied

Now that my tent was ready I was anxious to try it out and go camping one more time this year.  I never had much of a chance to relax on my cross country trip as I was riding long days and usually arrived at my destination for the night at sunset.   My original plan was to stop during the early afternoon and just relax for a few hours before sunset, but this was mostly not possible.   This time I wanted to pick a place a few short hours away and set up camp early and just enjoy the sun and relax

Early last week the long range forecast was for excellent weather.   Sunny and hot for this time of year with no rain in sight for a few days.   I still had a few vacation days left and I have to use them up by a certain time so I was able to book two days  on very short notice.

Last Thursday I left home around 8am and headed over the Lions Gate Bridge

and took the Upper Levels highway (hwy 401) and headed up the Sea-to-Sky highway.  No photos during this stretch but I stopped in Squamish for a quick breakfast sandwich and then headed past Whistler up to Pemberton and arrived in the native community of Mount Currie

I wanted to show you the Lil'Wat Gas Station & General Store

I wanted to show you the Stop Sign.   T'allec must mean stop.

I arrive at the junction and before long I was headed towards the famous Duffey Lake Road

There is nothing besided trees and bears until you get to Lillooet.  I did see a bear on the side of the road but I was going too fast to snap a photo.  He looked at me and smiled as I whizzed by on my Beemer.  Since I am riding alone I don't like to ride too fast

It is hard to see but the Lake is on the left side.  There is not much traffic along this stretch this morning

I eventually ride to the North end of Duffey Lake and stop to admire the blue water.   I continue on my way and as I approach Lillooet the terrain changes from flat and forest to arrid and mountainous.   I am riding to enjoy the scenery and I let all the aggressive drivers pass but soon I come upon another rider who was also riding at scenic pace so I just kept behind and followed

Eventually this rider pulled over at a scenic viewpoint so I pulled over too

Meet Alex riding his new Honda CBF1000 who is from North Vancouver.  We chat for a while and soon I am on my way again and stop at Seton Lake

From this point there are a series of switchbacks leading to water level

Soon I am walking the main street of Lillooet, BC.  I forgot my sunhat and I have to be careful to keep the sun off my head but I find one at one of the local stores

Hard to believe that I left home around 8am and after only 300 kms I only arrived here just after 2pm.  I mean it only took me 6 hours to do a 3 hour ride.   I still had lots of time to set up camp and relax but now the decision is to determine where to stay.

I think I am getting better at finding a home for the night.  There is hardly anyone else here and this campground is self registration

I think I am getting better at finding a home for the night.  There is hardly anyone here and this campground is on the honour system.  I set up my inflatable sleeping pad and sleeping bag and settle in for the rest of the day

So there is nothing more to do except to wait for the sun to go down . . .  there is no one to talk to.   I decided to just sit on the picnic table and ponder what to do and it was not long before I heard the sounds of another Motorcyclist heading my way . . .


  1. Lucky you sneaking off again. We've got a leave ban on at the moment and I've heaps of leave to use...hoping to escape on the bike soon...

    1. Andrew:

      You're coming into summer so you have time on your side. We are loosing our summer so I had to move fast to use up my days. Lucky thing too since it has been raining all week and it is now chilly at night. It's a big difference from last week.

      Hope they remove your leave ban soon so you can get out too

  2. Good for you for setting off on your own Bob. See the trip across the country taught you that you can be self sufficient and ride out of town by yourself.

    Nice you had some sunshine too.

    I enjoy all the BC photos. It has been so long since we've been up there and I've never been to those areas.

    1. Trobairitz:

      I was actually going to do a blog post about riding solo when I am not really a solo rider. I did have some low points which I never mentioned but I have also learned how to handle myself, sort of.

      I thought that I would deviate away from my trip for a while and try to post current stuff and gather my thoughts later. I have much more to say but I also wanted to edit more video and show more unseen photos.

      I really wanted to camp one more time down in Waldport but I didn't want to ride that road in the morning. I think the speed limit is over-rated and higher than it should be. I tried going the speed limit but it was too fast for me.

      I could have taken all 4 days and ridden to Nelson and ride Hwy 6, which is the best motorcycle road in the area but being away most of the summer it wasn't fair to Mrs Skoot, so I came home in time to have a normal weekend together and it was great to be away, but not too far away.

      One day you should plan a week and we can go to Keremeos and the Okanagan and do the Nakusp-Nelson-Creston Loop

      This may be the best motorcycle only campground in British Columbia

      come on up and we can check it out

      I was lucky with the weather. Hot summer-like. This week it is much cooler with rain

    2. I think we should plan this and sort out a nice long weekend and ride.

    3. A blog post about riding alone would be a good one to have. If for nothing else but to gather your thoughts and put them on (virtual) paper. I was thinking about that while watching a video on your YouTube channel of the middle of nowhere.

  3. Nice video. What a beautiful area to ride in. I've also never been on the road between Vancouver and Whistler and I;ve heard it's fabulous. One of these years....

    1. Richard:

      The Sea-to-Sky highway is very scenic but heavily patrolled. I spotted one speed trap on my way North. You have to slow down on all straight stretches and speed up in the corners.

      You would like the Duffey Lake Road. I only spotted one bear this trip and there are signs everywhere to watch out for them. Lillooet is in an arid desert area. Sagebrush and few trees but not really far from the City. I usually skip Whistler and stop either in Pemberton or Squamish

  4. Bob, you wet coasters are truly blessed with spectacular scenery. It's amazing to see the shift from lush rain forest to arid canyon, all in a 300km jaunt.

    1. David:

      My plan was to snap a few photos north of Lillooet where the Canyon is more spectacular but I got into relaxation mode and made a right turn to return home, instead of heading left for a few miles. The road winds along the side of the mountain and then the Canyon rises above you on the left. It is truly spectacular if you haven't been there before.

      (hint, hint) your GTS super can do it . . .

  5. Great mini adventure .
    I see in you the Nike slogan JUST DO IT

    1. Len:

      I just wanted to camp another day before it got cold and I wanted to snap photos of the Fraser Canyon north of Lillooet, but I never went there. Instead I was relaxing at the campsite . . .

      thanks visiting

  6. Great photos! What a beautiful area to ride and camp in. I haven't camped in ages, I'm a little jealous. ;)

    1. Lucky:

      I only got into camping last year to try it out in an attempt to save money on accommodations when I retire and go on a small fixed income. I would continue to tour but I would not be able to hotel it every night.

      There are many benefits to camping and being more self reliant and I have found that I prefer it over a hotel, most of the time, unless it is raining or too hot

  7. Actually you can go from mountains, lakes and forest to arid semi desert in the 100 km of the Duffey lake road. It gives the rider a great slice of the Interior of BC, just watch out for the gravel and dirt on the road when you hit the really good bits.

    1. David

      well said. Lillooet can be a day trip from Vancouver as it is not far away from the City. That's why I decided to camp there. It's easier to relax when you are not far from home. The Duffey is not in good shape, lots of tar snakes and broken pavement.

  8. Good idea to ensure your tent maintenance didn't cause other issues. Any excuse for a road trip eh?


  9. There's nothing better than a little time to yourself. Glad you had one last summer like weekend to camp.