Day 15 Dawson Creek, BC to Tetsa River, BC

Day 15 Dawson Creek, BC to Tetsa River, BC     09/04/10     Mileage: 353 

It was a bit warmer sleeping last night but not by much. It rained on an off all night but thankfully had stopped in time for me to pack up and get on the road. The KLR seems to thrive on the cool dense morning air which is good because I was on the throttle hard trying to make time. I don’t have any deadlines on this trip save for one…and that is the goal of getting to Deadhorse before winter comes to the north slope of Alaska. Ever present in the back of my mind now is the ticking of the clock. It is definitely a calculated risk to push so far north this late in the season, and I will need some luck and good weather to make it. So far the temperatures have been unseasonable cold, and I’m hoping that is just a cold snap and not the early arrival of winter. After 40 minutes of riding, the rain started so I had to back off the pace a bit. I topped off the tank in Buckinghorse, the last gas (or anything else for that matter!) for  100+ miles until the town of Fort Nelson. This area is dominated by logging and it seems some gas and oil drilling also. As such, the services are rather industrial in this area and cater more towards field workers than overland travelers. 

The "restaurant" in Buckinghorse


The "motel"


The "gas station"


 The “motel” is a series of self contained rooms on skids that they slid of the back of trucks and presto..instant motel! In Fort Nelson I topped up the tank and had a quick bite to eat. It was still raining and the forecast was bleak until tomorrow late morning. Camping was out so I called up the road and tracked down a reasonable “rustic” cabin at Tetsa River Lodge…about 80 miles farther. Just outside of town, the road turned toward some ominous looking weather. The smart thing to do would have been to turn around and head back to Fort Nelson, but apparently I’m not that bright. So with gritted teeth, I steered the KLR into the dark clouds and met the full force of the cold driving rain. It’s at this point that I began to wonder what the f-ck is wrong with me to want to do trips like this. Why can’t I be like most people and just bugger off to the Caribbean, lay on the warm sand and drink fruity rum drinks or take a cruise? At the moment that seems infinitely more appealing than the abject misery of the moment….cold, wet and riding on an out of balance washing machine. Then, up ahead from behind my fogged up face shield, I could see the sign for Tetra River and it could not have come soon enough. 

Tetra River Lodge


Inside Tetra River


In through the front door I stumble sopping wet but spirits lifted. I’m greeted by the owner Ben who immediately offers up some hot coffee and one of his fresh out of the oven “best cinnamon buns on the highway”. It lived up to the billing, all 3000 calories of it. 

"Best buns on the highway."


Just then the door swung open and in walks another biker dripping wet and looking as miserable as I did 20 minutes ago. He looked at me and said something to the effect of being a beautiful day for riding, to which I responded that at least we’re entertaining our masochistic side. We both laughed, because if we weren’t laughing we’d be crying. He grabbed a coffee as well and we got to talking. John is from Vancouver and owns 1% of 10% of an energy company that makes fuel cells, and is out riding his Harley Fat Boy up to the Arctic Circle for “something to do”. I know what he means; I’m flogging my KLR clear up to Deadhorse just to take a picture. Both are meaningless ends, the goal is the journey itself. John found a room a bit farther up the road, so he continued on while I retired to my rustic cabin. 

Me and John


 And rustic it was, a wood stove for heat, plywood bunk beds, no electric after 10pm and no running water. Oh well, even at $60 it still beats a tent in this weather. 

My cabin for the night...


Inside my cabin...


Inside my cabin...


"Chopping" wood for the stove...with my Leatherman...

4 Responses to Day 15 Dawson Creek, BC to Tetsa River, BC

  1. Arlene says:

    Lenny, everyone warned me that it gets really bad up there and it sure looks like they are right.. I hope that you met up with that guy John so that you had someone to ride with. Do you see any other bikers on the roads?? The weather is great here and I wish I could send you some of this warm weather.

    The scenery is beautiful and I am sure you are hearing how wonderful you picture taking is. Please be smart about what is ahead and how long you have to go and get back down. I know you do but I just had to say it.

    Love ya, Mom

  2. Nicole says:

    There is a bandaid on your toe. What happened?

    • Lenny says:

      I can handle mountain bikes and motorcycles…but a 7 year olds bmx bike is apparently beyond my skill set. I wiped out in my friend Paul’s driveway…cut my toe, knee and ankle!

  3. Adam Macer says:

    I’m just getting into this blog and want to read it thru but I have to say that it is INCREDIBLY annoying to read in chronological order as you have to scroll down to the bottom to the first post, back up to the beginning of it, read down then scroll up to the start of the next entry – fine if you’re reading as posts came in with the latest post at the top, but now it’s done is there a way you can edit the blog so it is in chronological order?.. I may have to give up otherwise..

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