Day 8 – Hyder, AK to Prince George

Travel Time: 7:00am-8:00pm
Low Temp: 8 celcius (Hyder,AK)
High Temp: Stella First Nations Reserve (Gas Stop 30 celcius)
Distance: 703 kilometres

I awoke to rap tap tapping on my door. Who goes there at this ungodly hour? It’s only a few minutes after 6:00am. Turns out that David had indeed not set his watch back another hour and was still on BC time. He thought we were late getting out on the road. Haha.

The bonus of David’s timezone blunder was that he witnessed a black bear cruising the parking lot right outside of my door at the inn. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence. It’s their land, man! We are all just passing through their territory. David said he wasn’t the least bit concerned about his presence at that the bear continued to mill around, sniff and then headed off back from when he/she came. Glad he was up early to capture this with a few photos.

We were indeed off by 7:00am and well rested for a long slog of a ride back to Prince George.

We made a stop at the Bear Glacier again to capture some photos in much better morning light. Another incredible sight that is just a short distance from the side of the highway. The weather was absolutely perfect. Cool, crisp and not a cloud in the sky – perfect!

We chatted about how the ‘way back’ always seems shorter than the ‘way there’. Familiarity maybe? But it really did go by much quicker right through to Kitwanga for gas and an early lunch. David was struggling more with the monotony of the ride, as from this point on there’s not a lot to look at but tree-lined highway. We stopped frequently.

I put in some fuel injector cleaner which seems to have helped somewhat. Still not entirely sure if this is a fuel issue or something not connected properly. At least now I have a bit more ‘zip’ and can cruise along at a much better clip than the previous days. Fuel economy seems to still be doing well so I am confounded as to what the issue may be.

Quick stops in Smithers, Fraser Lake, Stella First Nations reserve for gas, pee and rests. We have been doing 700-800 kilometre days the whole way so it’s starting to take a bit of a toll on our bodies.

The pump girl in Stella was reluctant to fill my gas on the bike. I asked her jokingly why she’s standing there then and that she better earn her keep. She finally did start filling but was worried about ‘wrecking’ my bike. Again, I retorted that any spilled gas on my gear would be tantamount to death! It took about five minutes to fill since she was being so ‘careful’ – obviously paid by the hour. Haha. She did a great job and her boss even came out to congratulate her.

We narrowly skirted some nastiness with the weather and some hideous thunderstorms. One or two short sections were wet and one under construction was particularly hair-raising. They had removed the highway and base layer to dirt and it had obviously been very rainy. Mucky, thick and snotty mud and street bikes don’t mix well. A few buttpuckering moments for each of us but we made it successfully through and completed the last few kilometres back to Prince George.

We thought that Friday’s in PG were quiet. Well, Mondays are something else. I joked about not even having to look before crossing the street as there wasn’t a soul around. The only place open again was Shooters and there were four other people inside. Ouch! That’s a tough way to make money. Good conversation with David and some grub before we wandered back to the hotel (Economy Inn again – very nice owner). We said our goodbyes as David was going to be heading back to Bowen Island and I back towards Calgary – our paths diverge from this point after several days of being glued together.

The plan was to break up the ride home and stop part way through. Jasper is ridiculously expensive and I really can’t justify $200/night for a room as a stopover. So… I think I’ll plow through in one day and just get home.