Sunday, July 10, 2011

Update July 8 - Sea to Sky Highway and back to the US

I got up and pulled out of the Nairn Falls Campground about 6:45 am and continuing down the highway. It was a balmy 50 degrees which was nice after the last week or more of 45 degree mornings.  

Here is a view of a falling creek beside the road that was quite common.

After 30 miles or so I got down to the upper village of Whistler, which was the site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. As you can imagine it was a very opulent looking area. 

I ate breakfast in a homey little diner ("Southside Diner") and then headed down the highway. 

It continued to descent and it got larger and faster. Alternating passing lanes and later a full time 4 lane highway. 

Interesting thing. The Canadian speed limits seem to be very conservative - and almost universally ignored. The speed limit on the lower 4 lane highway was 80 kph (48 mph) and all the cars and most of the trucks were going 60 to 65 mph! 

It was a beautiful ride down to the coast and views of inlet. Then it started getting busy. Traffic was heavier and people were in a hurry and there were lots of trucks. Then I got down into Vancouver, BC and in a totally urban corridor. Traffic was terrible!

That continued for an hour or so until I got down to the border crossing on I-5. Had to sit for about 30 minutes to get through there. It's funny, the guy asked me about where I went and if had any weapons. Then he seemed quite interested in hearing about my trip so we chatted for a few minutes. I think that's what they do now, instead of asking specific questions I think they are more training in behavioral analysis and are looking for certain signs of nervousness or whatever. 

After that I went through the Hell of Seattle and stop and go traffic for 100 miles or more. A huge long urban chaos that I couldn't get out of quick enough. I should have gone around the city to the east.

My goal for the day was to get down to Tumwater, WA to the Gerbing factory before they closed at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon. I arrived at 3:30. I explained to the friendly receptionist about my gloves not working. She inspected the plugs and pins and plugged my jacket, controller, and gloves into a little testing station. The gloves worked independently but not when plugged into my jacket, so some connection is bad in my jacket. 

She looked me up in their computer system and saw that I had purchased them over 2 years ago so was out of warranty. But, she explained, they have a lifetime warranty. She said I could leave the jacket and they would repair it and send it back to me at no cost. I told her I couldn't leave it now as I might still get into some cool mornings or mountain passes. So she gave me a return authorization number to sent it in after I got home. Great people, great company, great gear!

So after that it was about a 2 hour ride down to my sister's place in Vancouver, WA (actually Camas, a little town east of Vancouver). It was great to see her and her husband, Steve, and relax and enjoy his cooking (fantastic!). 

I spent the next day, Saturday, cleaning the bike, air drying the tent, airing out the sleeping back, mink oiling my leaky boots, cleaning, organizing and repacking all my gear and storage places. It was a warm day (80's) and a clear blue sky and I haven't seen anything over 70 degrees since I crossed the border going north about 2 weeks ago!

So tomorrow I will head east to go across Oregon and Idaho to go see my brother, Tom, and his family in Jackson Hole, WY. We may go camping for a day there in the Tetons, then I will head for home. I am feeling the end coming nearer and I want to get home to my wife and a warm comfortable bed and my dogs. 

Nuff for now, gotta go to bed!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the great visit and it was fun swapping stories and hearing about your adventures first-hand! You are always welcome and someday you need to bring Susan! Sis Dixie