The Waters Edge
2nd August 2016
It was a later start than we’d planned by the time we’d hauled ourselves out of the bed that seemed to have its own gravity. It took 3 rounds of the alarm before we were finally able to prize our way free of its pull.
Most of the bikes that had parked up next to ours had already left and all that remained were a couple of spotless Harley’s.
In the main room, we paid over the odds for a cooked breakfast but it didn’t matter, we were still buzzing from the bear sighting and the ride up to the glacier from yesterday. A full breakfast and coffee is a great way to start the day.
Outside we loaded the bikes quickly and rode the short 400 metres down the main street to the only gas station and filled both bikes.
The ride out of Stewart was as breath-taking as the ride in. Tumbling waterfalls cascading over steep rock faces each capped with ice-blue glaciers.
By later afternoon we were ready to call it a day. The riding hadn’t been tough but scanning the roadside continuously for bear, caribou and elk had taken its toll on our eyes and our concentration.
We finally pulled into a small campsite by Dease Lake.
With the ten up and the gear inside, we picked a careful route down the steep pathway and through the trees to the lakeside. On the empty pebble beach, we put up our Thermarest chairs, leant back triumphantly and pushed our legs forward. We sipped on the wine we’d bought at the store in town. Cutting thick slices of meat from the stick of salami we’d been carrying for the last week seemed perfect. The low setting sun peaked out from between the low clouds and turned the clear waters golden. “Does it get any better?” I ask Lisa rhetorically. The smile on her face said it all.
Back at camp and our evening was just getting started.
We arrived at the same time as Rene from Chile on his KLR and Sandra and Jordan on their F650GS’s.
As Lisa began to cook Jason turned up on his laden 450 and with too much food for us both to eat we’d invited him to join us for Lisa bolognese. We Liked Jason instantly, he’d joked sarcastically when he’d sat down about running through the barrage of presumed questions when you meet other bikers. “Where are you from, where are you going, how long have you been on the road, what tires do you use, how many miles do you get, why are you riding that bike, how long are you travelling for and so on and so on.
The swath of questions that pre-empts any real conversation.
We cut straight to the chase and within seconds knew intimate details of Jason’s life including the fact that this was his last hora’ before heading home to “make a baby” to quote him directly.
“Have you got specific women picked out?” I’d asked. “For what?” Jason asked.
“To help you make the baby? I think it’s a two person job. Or are you going to just choose a women at random and hope for the best?” When the laughter subsided Jason admitted to having a long-term girlfriend who was more or less up for the job.
With the last of the wine guzzled 3 more riders did a loop, looking for the perfect pitch. The three were an interesting mix of GS and 700cc 1970 Honda, café racer style ridden by a young lady. “Good for her” I’d remarked later as we said our hello’s, all the while thinking shit that looks so uncomfortable. The handlebars were those super dropped style bars that have the rider, basically doing a press-up whilst riding.
With our good nights said we finally crawled into our home sweet home, just a little more excited than normal. We’d dropped by to see Tim as Cascade Designs in Seattle before pushing north and picked up some new cold weather super-duper, cuddly and luxurious sleeping bags and new pillows. God, I love that feeling of crawling into a new sleeping bag for the first time. It seems to envelop you.
Oh, by the way, today was a two bear day.