When I started packing for this trip, I came across several items that I had previously used from my first trip north in 2010 that would not make the cut this time around.
There were however a few select items that did, and of those are three of my Nalgene bottles that not only have traveled most of my trips, but have been with me through a lot of changes in my life.
One, my neon green one, I had lost on a backpack trip, only to recover it a month later while hiking on the same trail.
As odd as it sounds, these bottles hold sentimental value, and as the miles of my day ticked by, one by one, it was these that I would stop and drink from, and the memories of hundreds of places rushed back into my head, as the road slowly stripped away the worries I left back home.
Other items that came along with me are my trusty Spot satellite tracking device, my heated gloves, my perforated summer gloves, and the TCX boots I am wearing.
Each one of these has a story of its own. Each item acts as a reminder of a different time, and the time in between.
As odd as it sounds, they bring a smile to my face as I think back through their use.
I was fortunate to get off at 9am from work, which happens to still be a half day for me.
On the road at 9:15, my night packing before paid off and it didn’t take long to get to the border with no wait, and I couldn’t believe how dead everything seemed.
But that is where the ease ended.
At the border I was asked to see immigration.
Funny thing, I always have more issues using my passport going into Canada, then I do with my Enhanced ID.
After the gentleman behind the screen took my Passport, he asked me to sit and wait and 5 minutes later, he called me back up, gave me my passport, told me to enjoy my stay and out I set.
On the Canadian side, heading to Canada 1, there was little traffic heading towards Canada 1, and I was already celebrating the day ahead, the wind, the sounds, the Km’s as they ticked by, and as I merged on to C1, my hopes for an effortless day ahead came to a crashing halt!
It was like 405 at rush hour through Downtown Bellevue, stop and stop traffic, barely any go!
Eventually it would pick up, only to slow and pick up multiple times. It did this all the
way to Hope.
I was dreading heading North through the Fraiser River Valley imagining crawling traffic along the two lane road as all these people were trying to head to their Canada Day destinations, which in my head was to 10 Mile Lake to take the last camping spot!
But it didn’t turn out that way at all.
It was blissful.
Barely enough cars to fill a Starbucks on Sunday morning. The miles ticked on by, and eventually I would reach my destination some 10 hours and 500 miles later.
I fueled up at Safeway in Lynden before I set across the border. My hope was to limit stops as much as possible, and if the little CB500x performed as well as I was expecting it to from my last month of riding it, it would, and it did.
I made 2 stops on my way up.
The first in Cache Creek. A quick stop at the gas station to get some gas, stretch the legs, and eat a snack of Jerky and a Clif Bar. A quick swig of water, and I’d be on my way.
The second stop at 150 mile house was unnecessary, but decided I should probably stretch my legs, snack, and while at it, get fuel.
My thought was depending on when I rolled into 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park, I would maybe not make it back into town to top off, as a camp spot really was my priority once I got to Quesnel.
I chose 10 Mile Lake outside Quesnel, not just because it is halfway between home and Bell II, but also because I stayed there in 2010, and it was familiar.
I set off again, and without making any more stops, I pushed on to 13km past Quesnel to the park.
To my own, as well as the camp hosts surprise, the park wasn’t full, and beyond that, the same tenting site I occupied in 2010, was open, which I of course took, as it is right next to the fresh water faucet.
I quickly set up camp, and prepared a meal that I am calling Tuna Alfredo Casserole.
A delicious concoction of Pasta-Roni fettuccine alfredo, and packaged tuna with some freeze dried cheddar to top it with.
Speaking of freeze dried, I came across several unopened cans from my 2010 trip of items like freeze dried cheddar as mentioned above, hamburger crumbles, whole milk, as well as scrambled egg powder.
I tested them out a few days prior, and each seemed still good, so along some of it came in zip lock bags. The freeze dried whole milk is especially nice to have for anything that does require milk when making.
A stop at Tim Horton’s for a Maple Donut and coffee, as well as use of their wifi was a great way to relax after a long day.
I then hit the ATM to withdraw some Canadian funds for the oncoming days (cash is just so much easier when fueling up in the north at the non-card accepting pumps), and a stop at Safeway for fresh fruit before topping off the tank and heading back to the camp site.
Now I sit here at my camp site, tired as hell, and about ready to check out for the night looking forward to whats to come.