Day 12 - 7/13/07: Dawson Creek, BC to Toad River, BC

Day 12 - Dawson Creek to Toad River
Mile Post 0 Alaska Hwy Arch
     
Peace River Valley Peace River Charlie Lake
     
Black Bear and Me Black Bear Black Bear
     
Moose Crossing Road to Toad River Open Field in BC
     
Mountain Pass Rain Mountian Pass Rain with Bike After the Rain
     
Caribou Crossing View from Toad River Campsite View from Toad River Campsite
     

Last night was weird. I woke up when it started getting light outside. I looked at my phone to see what time it was, it was 2:40 am. I rolled back over to sleep and woke up at 4:00, then 5:00, then at 7:00 when the Harley rode through camp, I gave up.

 This morning the weather was great. It was nice and cool outside. Dave and I rode over to the mile 0 signpost, parked the bikes right in front of it, in the middle of the street and took pics. I got called an idiot by some local yocal for being in the middle of the street. We then rode over to the other mile 0 sign, parked our bikes and had a frenchman (or french canadian) take our pics.

 We got gas and headed out of town. Dave wanted me to lead, but I had no idea where to go. I pulled over at a scenic stop to take a pic of the Peace River. It turns out that when Dave was in the Canadian airborne, he parachuted onto a frozen Charlie Lake, then took control of the bridge in a military exercise. So guess what, our next stop was Charlie Lake. I got to make a connection to Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman.

 Later at Ft. St. John, Dave got some sunscreen and tent pegs at Wal-Mart, and we had breakfast at Tom Hortonís. It was ok. We left town and rode for a while. At the summit of one mountain pass I asked Dave how he was on gas. He said he was fine and that he wanted to ride to Tookanee. I said fine. So we ride, and ride, and we come down this beautiful mountain. At the bottom I see Dave stop and pull into a gas station (it was Sikiani, not Tookanee). I was already a third of the way back out of the valley, but decided to turn around. There was no traffic at all. Most times you could go 5 - 10 minutes without seeing another car. So I go to turn around and I drop the bike, right in the middle of the Alaska hwy, on a 9 degree slope. When the bike went down I whacked my right knee real good. I tried to pick up the bike, but couldn't. I walked over to the shoulder to take off my helmet and jacket so I could start unloading the bike. Just then, a car stopped and two older guys came to help. They asked if I was alright, they thought I crashed coming down the hill. I told them I dropped it turning around. We got it up and over to the side of the road, and picked up a piece that fell off the bile, a round plastic cover. My knees had really started to hurt at this point. I got on the bike, and I can't get on nomal style because of the U-Pac. I have to slide my shin over the seat. When I did this my knee really hurt. So I start the bike, and the brake warning light is flashing, as well as the engine warning light. I rode to the gas station and Dave asked how things were. I told him the bike might be messed up and my knee hurt real bad. I filled up and Dave bought me a water. I pulled the bike into the shade. I looked it over real good. I couldn't find out where the plastic part went. I did find the fuse box screw that attaches it to the bike was loose. I also found I needed more oil. So I tightened and filled. I was so pissed off over my injury and dropping the bike. If I had stayed solo, this would never have happened.

 However a few miles later, Dave told me he saw a bear. We back tracked and took some pics. Later we saw another bear, then a deer, then 3 moose (a mom and 2 kids), and then 4 separate caribou. Later that evening in camp, I saw 2 more moose across the river. On the road the caribou were the worst. They would just jump down a hill and into the road, this did only happen once, but I kept waiting, like Russian roulette, for it to happen again.

 So, after we saw the bears we start climbing the mountains. The scenery was awesome. All I wanted to do was take pictures, and each vista was better than the one before. Then it started to rain. And of course, the rain had to start on our way down the mountain, in the construction zones, with loose gravel and metal bridges. Right after the rain stopped is when we saw the rest of the wildlife, after the bear. I did not get any pics of the deer, moose, or caribou. By the time I saw them I was past them. The ground was wet, and all the animals were on downhill slopes. As you could imagine, I'd had enough of turning around on hills, so no pics for me. But Dave got pics and he will hopefully share them with me.

 The scenery was just unimaginable. But you couldn't pull over to take a pic as there were no shoulders on the road. And when you got to a pull off, there would be a grove of 45 foot tall trees blocking your view. Oh well, there will be more.

 This was a long day. We were going for Muncho Lake, but stopped in Toad River around 7:30 and threw in the towel (we left this morning at 8:30). We got a campsite, 1/2 price as we shared 1 site, parked the bikes, and then went back up to the office / gift shop / diner for dinner. After dinner we set up our tents at the riverside site. I changed into camp clothes, and then did laundry. There was a sign warning about the iron in the water staining your clothes, whatever. I then took a shower. They weren't kidding about the iron. I think I can go 5 years without red meat now thanks to that shower (as I write this, I can still smell the iron on me). I went to dry my clothes, but all of the dryers were taken. So Dave and I chatted for a while. I finally got a dryer and switched my clothes over. We then spotted 2 moose on the other side of the river.  I tried to take some pics, but they probably look like blurry fake sasquatch pics. Eventually my clothes dried and I came back to the tent to finish this repot.

 Today was hard for me. I lost the confidence I had built up during the trip when I dropped the bike. All day long I thought about giving up and coming home. After all, who could blame me? When I setup the air mattress I had to squat down to move it. I just about fell over because my knee hurt so bad. I took a short sit on the floor to let the pain go away. Even though the scenery was awesome, it was just one of those give up and come home days for me.

 Oh yeah, even though the sun set, it was still light outside at 11:43. Even now, at 12:13 it's still twilight.

Tomorrow, depending on my knee, I head for Whitehorse, Yukon.

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