Tenth day of the holiday and about 390 km to do today. Awake at 6 again, up packed and ready to roll by 7, left at 8.
We'd decided to leave early and grab breakfast on the road. Missed the turning out of town by the Reynolds Hotel and had to do a u-turn. Strange set up getting out of Lillooet. Down the hill and switchback to the left over the bridge. Another wooden deck.
At the end of the bridge we headed north on the 99 towards Cache Creek. Almost immediately it started raining and so we quickly pulled over to allow Wifey to pull on her waterproof trousers. Not really raining heavily enough for jackets and the fairing of the RT was keeping us dry. Road was quite slippy following the river valley, that's the Fraser, the one that runs out in Vancouver. Was a nice windy road but while the rain fell I took it easy. At one point there had been a mud slide and the road was just dirt for a couple of hundred yards. Interesting. Speed limits particularly slow 60-80 kph the whole way. Pulled over a couple of times for photos, once at Pavilion Lake. Loved the 99. Just got better and better the further we rode with lovely, long sweeping turns. Most enjoyable road of the day. Did not want it to end, but end it was and I was happy with the ending. Oh yes...
At the end of the 99, as it joins the 97, there is a ranch. The Hat Creek Ranch. Roadhouse, ranch, campsite. Beautiful place. Roadhouse. Hour on the road. Breakfast. Happy to stop. And they even had a souvenir shop. And it's still very early and so the car park is empty. Wifey had Canadian breakfast of two eggs sunnyside, hash browns, bacon and toast. I had the biggest bowl of porridge I think that I have ever seen. Huge amounts of food, again, and only $22 for us both. I couldn't finish.
Absolutely idyllic spot to have breakfast this morning. Blue sky. Mountains surrounding. On a deck, in the open air. One of the employees was mowing the grass on a sit on and one of the young campers, must have been 6 or 7, had obviously been badgering him as he stopped and gave him a ride. His parents taking lots of photos. Nice for him. Looked to be having a great time.
After breakfast up the stairs to the souvenir shop. If we hadn't been strapped for space we would've spent a fortune.
Immediately turn onto the 97 heading south towards Cache Creek. The 97 is much busier, wider and faster than the 99 and becomes the 1, the Trans-Canada Highway at Cache Creek. The speed limit now up to 100 kph and, although busier, not exactly heaving. And it has very long straights as well. Very much cattle and cowboy country. Wide valleys with low hills. Nice sweeping corners. Made very good time and before you knew it we hit the 6 lane freeway at Kamloops. We'd already done Cache Creek to Kamloops in reverse on The Canadian last Friday/Saturday night, only this time it's in the daylight. Only thing to note was that the RT really hates hills. Does struggle up them fully loaded with passenger, top box and panniers.
We stopped at an Esso in Kamloops for a comfort break and decided to fill up as well. We'd put $15 worth of fuel in at Lillooet but by Kamloops it was more than half gone. We have ridden something like 175 km already this morning and the bike is using more in the hills. Another $15 goes in.
Road became six lanes, then four lanes, then down to one lane roadworks, but all faster roads. 100 kph most of the way so ticking it off briskly. Too quickly for my liking but then we don't have much choice as there is really only one way that we can get to Revelstoke. Although quick and windy I did have to keep my eyes out as the state of the road in places was almost as bad as in England.
Pulled off the road at Chase to try to find some lunch. Ended up in the bakery/cafe of a local supermarket buying sausage rolls and pastries. Sat in the car park eating them. Not ideal, but hey, hadn't found the main street shops onlky a quarter of a mile to the north. Doh.
After a few false turns, one into a Greyhound Bust Stop, we found the Salmon Arm information centre for another comfort break. As we were checking the sign-age in the car park we were approached by a bloke in a suit asking about the bike and what we are doing and where we are going. Turns out that he's a local lawyer and owns a Burgman scooter which he uses to travel all over British Columbia. Nice chap and he directed us to the info centre.
Had to ask for the keys to the restrooms from the girl in the info centre and then asked the girl if she had an hour in Salmon Arm what would be the 'must see' thing. She suggested that we shouldn't miss the waterfront and gave detailed directions. And so to the Salmon Arm waterfront we went, and so glad we did. Almost dropped the bike turning out of the info centre, just about managed to remain upright and eventually pulled up in the loop at the end of the jetty.
Simply stunning views over the mirror-like lake. Two grebes in the reeds beautiful. Left Wifey having a snooze in the sun while I walked to the end of the pier and bought her a maple walnut and French vanilla double scoop ice-cream in a waffle cone. Almost ran back to her as it was hot and the ice cream was quickly melting, one bloke commenting that I should eat it before it melts. I said it'd be my death if Wifey caught me. Another woman said that I shouldn't have. I said she was welcome but hurried past her. Wifey appreciated it.
A monster truck tried to park next to the RT as we were packing to leave. Passenger leaned out of the window and shouted not to worry, they wouldn't hit us. Don't think they'd notice if they did, but damned straight.
Wound our way along the 1 along the side of Shushwap Lakes and through Sicamous, more stunning scenes. Rode through a very brief but intense thunder shower. Did consider pulling over and donning the wet weather kit, but as soon as I'd thought about it it was clear and dry.
Stopped next at Craigellachie, the place were the last spike was driven in on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Keeps the rail theme of the day and the holiday going. Beautiful spot, or would have been if the 1 hadn't been thundering next to it. Busload of Chinese tourists pulled in as we were going. Bloke from Telus or some other telco stopped me and said that the visitor centre would have wifi soon. I asked in the next 5 minutes. He said the wheels of local government don't turn that quickly. Weird that he should just stop me and tell me.
Have to say that although we were thundering along at 100 kph traffic was very light. And again, although we were riding at 10 kph everything was still overtaking us.
We arrived at the turning off the 1 for the Glacier House Resort and my spider senses started to prick. The turning was about 5 km before Revelstoke and the sign to the resort said it was 8 km away. That's 13 km from Revelstoke. Begin to see visions of Jack Nicholson - "Here's Johnny!" It got stronger the further we went along the road which seemed to go on forever. We finally saw the dam and lots and lots of power cables and finally we saw the turning into the 'resort'. Hmm, the RT was the only vehicle in the car park. Surely we can't be the only guests, can we?
On entering reception it took a good ten minutes of wandering around shouting before I managed to locate the office with some staff in it. The girl who came out to reception, a Kiwi I think, didn't seem too happy. And I certainly wasn't.
Apparently the reception area is inaccessible form 11 pm to 7 am and you can only get to the rooms using the side stairs. Dinner was between 6 and 8 pm, and because they were busy (maybe they were expecting the Chinese tour bus we saw back at Graigellachie), we would have to make a reservation. She had availability at 6:30 or 6:45. We said we'd take 6:45. It had been an awfully long day and I didn't feel like riding another 26 km on top of the 389 km we've ridden today to get to Revelstoke and back.
My mood was worsened when we couldn't get the key to work in the lock to the room. I had to go back downstairs and a different girl, this time English, showed us how to wiggle the the key ion the lock just the right way to get it open. I was now ready to walk straight out to the bike and find a hotel actually in Revelstoke. Wifey talked me out of it.
Down into an empty dining room for 6:45. Is this what they called busy, just us? A group of two Dutch couples appeared at 7 but they were the only other guests we saw. Heaving tonight then.
Stroppy Kiwi girl took our order. Chicken burger and chips for Wifey and beef red Thai curry for me. I also bought a bottle of Merlot that should last tonight and tomorrow night as we are here for both. Wifey ordered banoffee pie for dessert. Felt like the whole meal was frozen and re-heated.
After dinner sat on the patio getting mellow with the Merlot being eaten by mozzies and watching hummingbirds chasing each other. Planned tomorrow's rest day in and around Revelstoke.
Then bed time with the picture window and curtains open. It would be a pretty impressive view if they were to get rid of the trees.
The whole place is so obviously aimed at the ski crowd and not really a summer place at all. Lots of ancient skidoos for hire. They do have a souvenir shop, but no bar. They do have wifi, which is via satellite and very slow. Almost got a job with Telus once delivering satellite comms through the Arctic north of Canada. Sigh. Things that might have been.
They also have an imensely complicated TV control through the satellite. If you mess it up they threaten to charge you $75 to fix it. Well, Wifey screwed it up within 10 minutes. They didn't charge though. Think they could tell I was close to popping.
Better sleep well.