Day 12: The Cassiar Highway

2008-07-20

06h30 Campground (Twin Lakes, 120 km west of Whitehorse)
18h30 Stewart (BC)
1160 km

Another long and difficult motorcycle day.

Morning is cool (6 degrees Celsius). No rain but British Columbia is famous for its beautiful surprise showers with cold breezes.After several hours of monotonous road, I get to the start of the Cassiar Highway. Despite fatigue, I can appreciate this superb road lost in the forest, west of the province. It’s winding and the emergence of high mountains adorns everything. But the first 600 km I feel like a lot because I have to do 600 more! Here, distances are so great and there isn’t much to see other than the small village, normally 200km apart!

There are 2 gravel stretches (20 or 30 km each), and despite the intense practice of the last days, they seem really difficult. I have a mental block, a mere apprehension of gravel now! The road has very little traffic except for large trucks and RVs ….

Ah, the RVs. I still have lots of trouble understanding what motivates people to travel with their houses (and their car attached behind it). What kind of insecurity is suffered by these people to have to bring everything they own with them to travel? Especially here, the recreational vehicles are almost buses … For 2 people! And often, they even pull that big SUV… Only in America! What a waste.

Fortunately, riding a bike allows me to overtake them rapidly despite the many curves and slopes. I finally arrived on the road to Stewart. I crossed the magnificent Bear Glacier. Tourist clicks and I continued towards the city.
Village is more right to describe Stewart. In fact, ghost town would be more fair! Everything seems to have stopped 100 years ago here. I searching for the Tourist Office when I found a car wash! What a joy. I can wash the machine, and my clothes! The owner is very friendly and explains that there are only 2 hotels in the village and I strongly recommend the Ripley’s.
What a nice surprise. I am welcomed with open arms in a beautiful little oasis, typically decorated with antiques. A charming place and very economical as well! While grabbing the keys to my room, I meet 3 Belgians We start talking for a few minutes and we end up at the restaurant (Ripley’s Café, just opposite of the Hotel) and with a few bottles of wine and a great meal, we exchange about life and the world. Again, the place is charming and well decorated with antiques.
What a nice surprise! The conversations are interesting and even exciting. I note once again that as a francophone Quebecers, I have a lot more in common and affinities with Europeans that the English-speaking Canadians. Bizarre…
Wonderful evening that will gave me some energy to go south tomorrow. I realize that the company and the conversations have done much good, because obviously I have accumulated much in solitude these days.
2008-07-20 Stewart (BC) 112008-07-20-Stewart-(BC)-052008-07-20-Stewart-(BC)-15

Day 13 – A few minutes in Alaska

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