Saturday, April 26, 2008

2007 Tour - Hinton, Albera to Muncho Lake

We left Hinton the next morning and rode into a late winter/early spring storm. Not long after we left Hinton we started gaining elevation. Soon we were in heavy fog, then very cold rain, then sleet, then snow... Before long we were reduced to following in the tracks of an 18 wheeler. It made for slow going, but when the road is building up with snow, what are your choices? We finally made it down to Fort Saint John where we stopped for gas. A guy came over to us and said there was worse weather to come, and said if we could make it, we should try to hole up in Grand Prairie for a few days until the weather improved. We buckled down and kept on going through more of the same, pouring rain at lower elevations and accumulating snow higher up.

By the time we got to Grand Prairie about lunch time, I was soaked through and frozen to the core. I had blown a hole in my raingear, and my waterproof boots weren't. My feet were totally wet and I had a moderate case of hypthermia going. We found a Best Western and asked if they had any rooms. They did, but we really wanted to get home on the 21st, and stopping that early in the day, there would be no way to do it. In fact, at that point we didn't think we could get home before the 23rd. So, we agreed to have lunch, ( this was a FANCY Best Western with a scrumptous lunch buffet) and watch the weather channel. Though I'm sure with our weather worn appearance they would rather have sent us packing, the hotel let us use the lounge tv to check the weather and bring our food in there. Maybe they were just trying to keep us away from their other guests...:lol Anyway, we decided holing up wouldn't really do us any good, since another front was on the heels of the current one. Our goal was to suffer through the storm and get North of it if possible.

After making our decision to continue on, we asked for directions to a sporting goods store (for water proof socks since my feet were still wet) and a motorcycle shop for new raingear. Turns out there was a motorcycle shop on the same street as the motel, and a kayak shop nearby. We went to the motorcycle shop first. Yamaha dealership if I remember right. Anyway, the people in that shop acted like we were INSANE to be out riding. They were the least encouraging people we met on the entire trip, but at least I got a new rainsuit. And I'm sure I look real cute wearing a Victory Motorcycle rainsuit riding down the road on my BMW...:lol :lol :lol

When we pulled into the kayak shop, surprise, there was a BMW 1200 parked out front. Turns out the guy works at the shop, but also teaches motorcycle safety! The folks here were unbelievably helpful and soon had me rigged up in neoprene kayak socks. So long cold feet!

We got back on the road and not far out of town the weather began to break. At least the snow and sleet stopped, and at that point even icy cold rain was an improvement! We made it to Muncho Lake about 5:00. Bobby kind of wanted to go further, but my endurance was at an end. All I wanted was a hot shower and bed. Unfortunately the new part of the lodge was full, so we had to stay in the old part that only had a bathtub, a not so great bed, and BARKING DOGS in the next room. After a hot bath and a good dinner I really wanted to sleep, but the folks next to us let their dogs bark until sometime around midnight.:mad

The only photos today were taken around Muncho Lake Lodge.

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