You can only plan for so much, and when it comes to the weather, you are at the mercy of whatever nature throws at you.
It doesn’t matter what a forecast predicts, you just deal with the blows you are given.
These, along with other words were given to me while sitting there in a McDonalds in Smithers while warming up with a large coffee and medium french fry.
The weather had turned, not really what the forecast had predicted, and there I sat next to Ed, a resident of Smithers for over 40 years.
Ed, a 74 year old American transplant during the Nixon administration, came to Smithers much the same way Rosie O’Donald has threatened to should Trump make it into the White House.
Ed reminded me a lot like the older gentleman from day 2 of my Arctic Adventure in 2010. Full of wisdom to anyone willing to listen.
And with the current torrential rainstorm outside going on, I had plenty of time to listen.
Ed said this is the worst rain he’s seen in the over 40 years he has lived here.
Ed asked the normal questions, there where you coming from, where you going.
I gave him the details, then he commented about my bike, and how it’s the first CB500X he’d seen roam through there.
Come to find out, Ed used to be a rather adventurous rider in his day. He actually knew the bike I was on, still gets the magazines to keep up on what’s new and exciting in biking.
Ed continued on, telling me about what to keep an eye out for, where to go eat once in Hyder, what to expect at Cassiar, and what’s been going on up this direction since the last time I rolled through.
The rain eventually slow down, and I took the opporunity to say my goodbyes and thank you’s, and off I wondered back out on to the open road.
But the entire day wasn’t rain, so maybe I should go back a little.
With day one now behind me, I was pretty confident on the road ahead for the next 5 days.
I wasn’t concerned about camp spots from here on out, and my fuel stops were planned.
The day before I got great fuel mileage on the way up. Clocking in at 60.4 miles per gallon, I knew I could easily make all my planned stops without any hassle with plenty in the tank left.
Before I headed out I took a quick look at the forecast, and while “light spotty showers” were in the forecast starting around Smithers, it looked like Kitwanga, and Bell II were not too bad.
I finished off my breakfast, packed the rest of my items, and off I was out, just before 8am.
I meant to get a bit better start, but I also figured that since today was pretty much another day of slab fest, with not many planned stops, it would be fine to get a bit later start with no rush.
Everything was pretty uneventful to Prince George, I then off West on 16, with a quick stop at Walmart to get some mosquito spray.
With the sun shining, and the temperature warming up, I pulled off my liner and other layers, and hit the open road.
Again an uneventful ride all the way into Burns Lake. Here, I noticed the western sky was getting a bit darker than I was comfortable with, so while stopped for a quick snack and fuel stop, I went ahead and put on a layer, got my wet gloves out, and prepared for a bit of wetness.
It was a bit of wetness that I prepared for, it was a lot of wetness that I received.
I first hit rain about 10 minutes out.
Steady but light at first, then increasing as I rode deeper into the storm.
The wind picked up, the sky got darker, and before long the rain was coming down so hard I was having troubles at some points keeping myself orientated on the road.
I had to get out of it, I also realized that the liner to my new jacket was not nearly as warm as my old jacket, so I pulled off at a rest stop, and huddled in covered entrance to a pit toilet putting on a rain jacket under my motorcycle jacket.
I wasn’t putting it on to keep dry, the jacket performed great for that, I put it on because I was hoping that by blocking some of the air, it would keep me warmer.
The rain eventually let up a little after about 30 minutes, and I set back out until I hit Smithers and took the opportunity to stop at the McDonald’s where I met Ed.
Now after McDonald’s, the rain continued lightly off and on all the way up to Kitwanga.
Ed told me I should probably only try and make it to Meziadin Jct for the night, and stay at the Lake campground there. I probably should have taken his advice, cause by the time I hit the Junction, there was a bit of a lull in the storm, and I could have easily got settled in for the night, but I continued on.
Now it’s only 100k to Bell II from here (roughly 62 miles), so not entirely too bad. Only 1 hour to go.
But then the rain started back up, the temperature dropped, and I was began to regret not listening to the wise words of Ed.
I did pull into Bell II, some 13 hours after I started out for it that morning, and extremely tired and cold.
I fueled up, walked in to ask about a room, and found out the cheapest room was much more than I thought I was willing to spend for all of about the 15 seconds it took me to ask how much for a camp spot instead, then the thought of a warm shower, dry bed, and just being able to “sit down” and not deal with a wet tent.
I took the room, and no regrets were had.
A quick dinner, a hot shower, and then a purchase of a 6 pack of some Canadian beer that wasn’t too bad, I sat out on my little front balcony of my room, watched it rain, drank some beers while sharing the others with the staff, farted around on the 10 dollar per 30 minute wifi, and relaxed myself away, realizing that even with all the rain, I was right where I needed to be at that exact moment.
Eventually the bed would call, and I would surrender to it, looking forward to the day ahead.