Whistler to Prince George – British Columbia

I wasn’t sure I’d make the full nearly 500 mile journey from Whistler to Prince George. Not sure of the road, the scenery and photo opportunities that would unfold in front of me, all I could do is get on the road. And leaving Whistler on the last section of the Sea to Sky Highway I was taken through scenery even more dramatic than between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler.

Flying around lakes and through smooth twisty turns, up and over slight changes in elevation the rhythm of my ride was smooth, clean and mesmerizing. As I continued to climb I looked over a valley and literally at my eye level were clouds casting shadows on the gentle scene below. It was at this time I really understood why the road was so aptly named. But before catching my next road North to Prince George, I’m treated to a quick view of the World’s Largest Chain Saw — right here in the heart of British Columbia’s logging country.

From 70 mile house I call the Apple Store while paging through a AAA lodging guide. I choose a Days Inn figuring it’d be safe shipping a computer to a more well known chain.
Pushing on I’ve decided to go for Prince George. Today will be my longest day riding yet, but I’m committed to finding a motel where I can safely receive a package from Apple.
Feeling a bit drowsy after more than 7 hours of riding I pull into a Tim Horton’s coffee shop for a quick shot of caffeine and to bundle up as the lower temperatures send chills through my bones.
His jeans were so damn tight fitting and his belt buckle proudly commanding attention, but for a guy in his 60’s he didn’t have an ounce of fat showing. He shuffled toward me in his pointed cowboy boots.
“You look like you’re dressed for a journey,” he says scanning my riding suit and Camelback valve dangling in front of my chest.
“Where you headed?”
Alaska and Prudhoe Bay, I tell him.
“You better have good foul weather gear,” he asserts while adjusting the brow of his hat upward revealing steely blue eyes. “You’re going to have snow, you know. Probably mixed with a little rain. The weather up there is changing. Watch it.”
He flips the brow downward and walks out to the parking lot with me.
“Be careful.”
I pass lakes, rivers, streams and extremely wooded landscapes and through small towns and settlements. I pull off in Hixon for fuel at a tiny general store. Older children on bicycles wave to me as I idle into the gravelly parking lot. Like many of the small fueling stop settlements along the way, these gas pumps are pages out of history. Black cylinders with white digits fly by at high speeds. There’s no glass protecting the gauges on the pumps, like a kid I tempt myself and want to rest my finger on the dial as the numbers fly and gas is pumped into my steed. But I refrain.
I pay for my fuel and power down a bottle of water. Straddling the bike a 7 year old boy rounds the corner and says, “Wait! My little brother is coming.” I pull the helmet over my head and watch as a native boy about 3 or 4 years old rounds the corner frantically peddling a mountain bike with training wheels. He flashes me a huge grin and waves.
“You guys have fun now. And be careful!” I extend my gloved hand flipping my thumb upward and then wave as I pull out of the parking lot leaving a small trail of dust until I hit the tarmac.

The beauty of driving the Northwest is the extended hours of daylight. While I know later in August the late night daylight will rapidly diminish, I’m taking advantage of it while I can. I roll into Prince George around 8pm making my way to the Days Inn.
Tired, weather beaten and anxious to wait out till the next morning for my computer I enquire as to room availability at the Days Inn in downtown Prince George. The skinny twenty-something clerk flips through some pages and peers through his thick glasses at me and says, “Yea, I got a room. Since I’m feeling nice tonight, it’s eighty-four bucks.” I swallow slowly, hesitate and suggest that maybe a triple-A rate might work more in my favor. He says that it’s normally $89 and he’s doing me a favor. Before commiting to this rate and knowing that I could find a motel much cheaper up on the access road, I call Apple and learn that the store cannot ship my computer internationally. I’d need to arrange for something in Alaska. And since I was at least three days from Fairbanks, I knew I’d fall behind in my journals and I’d have to think fast about how to find a location in Fairbanks to receive my shipment.
I blew off the “nice guy” and headed up the road to a motel that would ideally offer me a better rate. Riding through town a couple pull up next to me at a light, wave and we exchange a pair of thumbs up and on green move on.
I come out of the motel office and the couple is parked next to my motorcycle.
“We had to follow you and talk to you,” the woman confesses, “what are you doing?”
I arm to the kindness of strangers and the curiosity inspired by my loaded motorcycle and WorldRider decals. Traveling alone as I am I find that more people approach me than other smaller or larger groups traveling in packs. People offer to let me stay with them, buy me coffee or simply want to pepper me with questions stemming from their wonder and curiosity. When I share my dream and story their eyes open wide, mouths gasp and usually they’ll retort with their own dream or simply share their lament that they’d like to do what I’m doing but can’t for whatever reason. I urge these new friends to travel with me — literally or virtually through this web site.
This couple urges me to choose a hotel on a different part of town that would be safer for my motorcycle. Minutes later before the sky opens up with a twilight shower I’m checking in at the Camelot Motel thanks to the recommendation of my new acquaintances.

18 replies
  1. Jim
    Jim says:

    Hey Allan!
    Remember me? I was with a group travling to Prudhoe Bay a couple of weeks ago.
    It was great to meet you in Alaska at the Arctic Circle. I have your photo taken there if you’d like a copy.
    Happy travels
    Jim

    Reply
  2. Steve
    Steve says:

    Allan,
    Hope all is well.
    I gave you a hand with your Bike in Beaver creek, YT. Hope you fixed that faulty kick stand! 🙂
    Ride on

    Reply
  3. Jim
    Jim says:

    AK-
    Can’t wait to see the pics of Alaska. Have you had a caribou steak yet? Very lean like moose and not as gamey as venison. I’d suggest it with a nice merlot or syrah. What is your timeline for the Southern Utah area?
    Jim

    Reply
  4. HarleyDave
    HarleyDave says:

    I have to echo the “jealous” comment. Man this must be some trip! A feast for the senses. Keep the rubber side down and enjoy it to the max. Dave P

    Reply
  5. MOOSEK
    MOOSEK says:

    Can’t believe you’re in Alaska already.
    The pictures are truely awesome. I am glad you are sharing this wonderful view of places we will never see. Ride with care. Don’t run over any big game.
    Bruce & Judy send their Love

    Reply
  6. Dick Hutchinson
    Dick Hutchinson says:

    I had the pleasure of meeting Allan today here in Circle, AK. It took about 10 seconds for me to realize he was lost. He saw a sign outside of Fairbanks that said Circle >. The road to the Arctic Circle & Prudhoe was straight ahead. He took his detour of 150 miles and wound up in my yard. I told him he wasn’t the first one to do it so don’t feel bad. He has a good sense of humor and I wished him the best. He started back after an hour, he’ll be one tired guy tonight. I made him feel better saying the road he wanted was better than the one he was on 😉 I’m looking forward to hearing some of his adventures!

    Reply
  7. MP
    MP says:

    I’m completely addicted to this site and reading the comments. The comments from people you meet along the way are most interesting to me. Can’t wait till that laptop is back in your hands so I can continue my vicarious journey! The site is looking great, by the way. I’m noticing litte changes here and there and it’s taking shape. Let me kow if you need anything.

    Reply
  8. Jurgen Limbourg
    Jurgen Limbourg says:

    Hey Allan,
    I sincerely hope your computer-troubles will be soon a thing of the past.
    Great reviews so far…keep up the good work and keep it safe.
    Greetings from Belgium, Europe.

    Reply
  9. Mayr
    Mayr says:

    Allen,
    So cool to hear about your adventure. Sorry to miss you at Sawdust but I know you are having a fantastic time. I’ll keep checking in.
    Hugs,
    Mary 🙂

    Reply
  10. Gene
    Gene says:

    Nice to meet you in the lower BC Allen. Got Dave a tire in Anchorage, and he was home bound. Thanks for the tip. (thumbing a ride for rider and bike, from trucker)
    I have a couple pics at my yahoo photo album, for anyone interested.
    http://photos.yahoo.com/gb575
    For your members Allen, we had meet at a gas stop in the lower BC,and again, just after sunset, in Watson Lake, Yukon, where we loaded the TDM, with the bald tire.

    Reply
  11. Bryan Roe
    Bryan Roe says:

    Hello from the Roe clan!
    Allie misses ‘Uncle Allan’ but tells everyone that you are travelling around the world.
    We just saw ‘March of the Penguins’ the other day — make sure that you visit a few penquins when you are down south dipping your toes in the Antarctic.

    Reply
  12. Sean
    Sean says:

    Had the pleasure of meeting Allan briefly at the Waddling Duck Pub in Prince George last night. Looks like he was getting a bit wet from all the nasty rain we’ve been having up here in northen BC.
    Keep riding.

    Reply
  13. Lisa and Scott Morlan
    Lisa and Scott Morlan says:

    Hi Allen…We love reading about your travels, and sure do miss having you as our neighbor. Please email us…we need to chat.
    Our best,
    Scott and Lisa

    Reply
  14. Sean Barry
    Sean Barry says:

    Allan-
    Yo homey! We met on ferry from Mainland Mexico to Baja….when you were travelling with a German on a triumph setting a world record for pannier width! Sounds like you are living large! We had plenty of adventure of our own after leaving you that day. I rolled into Cabo with 11 of my original 44 teeth left on the sprocket of my KTM. They broke off on the overland of the Baja penisula. Thank god for vacationing friends in Baja willing to carry parts from the US of A. Thanks for posting your exploits as it stokes the fires of us reading and planning more adventures. Suerte chico! Sean

    Reply

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