Well, I’ve once again failed you all, but I promise I had a really good reason! I didn’t intentionally give you “Day 1” with the promise of more and then just leave you hanging, but some things have happened since then, I’ll get to that later though, for now I’ll tell you about day 2 of the trip to BC…
On Day 2, we got up and had coffee and a snack to tide us over until our official breakfast in Lillooet before suiting up and hitting the road.
We started the day off right with a ride down Carpenter Lake road, which is carved along the banks of the beautiful aqua colored lake it is named for. The road itself is so much fun as it is constant curves and the surface alternates between pavement and dirt, but the views of the lake and the surrounding mountains are the icing on the cake.
Erika (in front) and Kris
It was cloudy and cool, but not cold, as we enjoyed the ride to Lillooet, occasionally stopping for pictures or for the film crew to get a shot of us passing. We were also delighted to see numerous bald eagles fishing in the Bridge river, which the road follows after the dam of Carpenter Lake.
Matt (our guide)
Once we got to Lillooet we stopped at the Abundance Artisan Bakery for breakfast. We were all a little mesmerized by the vast offering of baked goods they had to offer, but we all eventually made our selections, and the caffeine fiends amongst us (that’d be me) doubled down on a second coffee for the morning. I would definitely recommend this bakery for breakfast or lunch if you’re ever passing through Lillooet, it’s worth a visit.
When we were all pleasanty full and caffeinated, we hopped on hwy 99 up to Pavilion where we left the pavement behind. We rode at a good pace through some farmlands, and eventually ended up on Jesmond Rd. This was one of my favorite roads of the trip, and not just because of the scenery, but because it was such a nice dirt/gravel road, that you could just open up the throttle and let the bike rip, which is exactly what we did!
Kris took off first, clearly chomping at the bit to see what the 790 she had traded her 690 to Erika for could do. I waited a minute or two for Amelia before she told me to go on without her that she was going to wait for Erika and Katelyn, and then I took off down the road after Kris.
***WARNING*** If you’re my mother, or really anyone who might not want to know the full extent of the crazy things I do STOP READING and skip the next two paragraphs and start reading again after the next set of pictures…
I figured I could possibly catch up to Kris, so I opened up the throttle and giggled out loud in my helmet as the back tire slid around while it worked to find traction. At each corner I would slow down, and then accelerate hard out of the curve, giggling each time as the wheel slid and then propelled me forward. I wasn’t pushing super hard at first, unsure if there were any sharp curves ahead of me, but then Matt caught and passed me and I was able to judge my corner speeds off of him as long as he was in my line of sight. I became more and more comfortable adding speed until eventually I was actually catching up to him, and then I was right behind him. I knew he didn’t have mirrors on his bike and he surely didn’t expect me to be keeping up with him, so I pulled up on his left side to let him know I was there, which in retrospect might not have been the best idea, because when he caught me out of the corner of his eye, it scared the crap out of him and he doubled over his tank and grabbed his stomach to let me know it, which made me laugh really hard in my helmet.
At this point we had caught up to Kris who was absolutely ripping on the 790, and we followed her until we came up on a ranch with horses and a shade tree by the road where we stopped to wait for the others to catch up. I excitedly exclaimed that at one point I looked down and was doing 130kph (80mph) and Matt said, “Uh, no, you were doing 140 (87mph).” I would never consider riding my Tiger that fast off-road, heck, I rarely ride it that fast ON road, but the 1090R just feels so planted and capable, it’s very confidence inspiring.
We took a short break and let everyone catch up, and then we continued on towards the Big Bar Ferry where we would cross the Fraser River. We stopped at the beginning of one of the roads to strap Julia and one of the film crew guys to the tailgate of the Raptor so they could get some shots of all 5 of us riding together. I’m dying to show you some of the shots from that, but I can’t yet, so you’ll just have to wait, but I assure you, they are pretty epic!
After the epic group shots, we stopped to allow the film crew and Julia to regroup, before continuing on our way.
Just before we made it to the ferry, there was an accident. I was in front of it and did not see it, and I’m not going to write about something I didn’t witness and that didn’t happen to me, but it meant the end of riding for Katelyn and her GS for the weekend. We decided to stop and have lunch and load her and her bike up in the Raptor before taking the ferry. She was okay, but she couldn’t walk on one of her feet, and her bike was pretty banged up. I was impressed with her sense of humor and her positivity afterwards.
After we ate our bag lunches, made for us by the Tyax Lodge, we loaded up onto the Big Bar Ferry one by one. Matt had warned us that the ferry boat captain was a bit of a grump, so we all snickered as he barked orders at Matt about how to load the bikes, and at me about where to stand. Matt was right, this guy was not going to tolerate any fun being had on his boat! Once we were all aboard and Aaron had driven the support truck onto the deck behind us, we started the float across the Fraser River. I had never been on a ferry of any type before, so I was excited to check another box off on my list of things to do on a motorcycle.
When we got to the other side and we were all successfully off the ferry and up the ramp, I took the lead as we started the climb up the mountainside. The road was covered in silt, so I proceeded up the switchbacks with caution until we were onto a more solid surface.
Once we were on top of the mountain, the views we were rewarded with were breathtaking. Amelia was following closely behind me, so the two of us stopped at a particularly stellar viewpoint to take a couple of quick photos before continuing on. To be honest, if we had done this every time we saw something worth photographing, we would still be riding now!
I let Amelia hop in front of me to take the lead and we continued on for quite a ways, stopping every so often at intersections to regroup with the rest of the team. At one point we came upon some cattle in the road, much to Amelia’s mixture of delight and terror. I told her through our Sena intercoms to proceed with caution and pass slowly, but not to stop, and so she did, spooking a yearling in the process, and scaring them both! I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I saw it happen from behind her. Luckily the calf just did a few front hoof hops and scurried away from the road, allowing Amelia and I to continue on our way without incident.
Along the way at one of our stops, we had allowed the support truck to go on ahead of us; when Amelia and I caught up to them, we saw Aaron pushing a boulder off the road, over the side of the mountain. We thought that he was being nice and clearing the road from a rock slide for us, but we quickly learned that he was just being a big kid and watching the boulder plummet down the side of the mountain, gaining speed the entire way. Once the rest of the team and Matt caught up, he and Aaron rolled another boulder across the road so that everyone could watch. It was a fun little addition to our tour, and we were all delighted in watching the boulder go flying down the mountain, split into two pieces, and then explode at the bottom.
We took a short break and regrouped before continuing on our way. We were all starting to feel the effects of a long and exciting day of riding, but we still had quite a way to go to get back to the Tyax, so we resolved to stop less, and concentrate on getting back before dark. Eventually my Sena battery died and I lost contact with Amelia, so it was a surprise even to her when I suddenly hit the brakes and came to a sudden stop on the side of the road. Something had stung me on the right side of my neck, and I was immediately in hot, burning pain. Amelia saw the culprit, still stuck in my collar, and she pulled it out to reveal a dead wasp. I would have given it a good stomp had it not required getting off my bike to do so, but I was satisfied with the fact that it had died during its attack.
Eventually we made it back to Lillooet to take the Lillooet Pioneer road back to Carpenter Lake road. Other than a quick stop on some switchbacks for photographs, we all rode hard to get back to the Tyax before complete darkness could set in. I was leading ahead of Amelia, and there were 3 or 4 instances where I had to hit the brakes to allow deer to cross the road ahead of us.
Once we made it back, a couple of us went upstairs to get showered, but the rest of us along with Matt and Aaron opted to go straight to the bar for some much deserved beer and appetizers. We hadn’t intended to be out so late, but sometimes that happens, and we were all tired and hungry! Once everyone had joined us, we moved the party to the dining room and shared a meal and swapped stories until we all decided it was time to call it a night.
That wraps up day 2, I’ll do my best not to take 2 weeks to post Day 3 and all of the other exciting stuff that happened after that.