Thursday, 17 June 2010

Out of the mountains (for a while)

17th June: Lillooet to Clinton

Odometer: 109 km, Start: 9am, Finish: 5.00pm, Avg: 17.5 km/h,
Weather: Sunny intervals, Temp: 14-22°C
Bear count: 3, Mosquito Bites: 1, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #99 – Surface a bit bumpy until Pavilion (30km). After that good surface and 1.5m shoulder. Light traffic. #97, also good surface and 2m shoulder, but traffic moderate and fast. Some Semis doing 100km/h. Gas station at 16km from Lillooet, then nothing until Hat Creek Restaurant at #99/#97 junction at 77km. Ascent: 1500m up/850m down.

I left Lillooet a bit later than planned after sleeping through my alarm. That left me a bit grumpy, but nice pancakes and some cereal at the Lillooet Restaurant Inn got me in gear again.

Today, I left the steep mountains I’ve been riding through, but ironically I still climbed 1500m and I’m nearly 700m higher tonight than I was in Lillooet! I spent most of the morning (as is usual it seems) climbing away from town, this time up the arid looking valley to Pavilion.

Climbing to Pavilion

I was delayed for a while by some tree felling at the roadside. I spoke to the lady manning the manual traffic signal. She said they were felling pines killed by the Mountain Pine Beetle which is causing a lot of problems in BC due to several consecutive mild winters failing to control the beetle population.

Arid river valley

I took early lunch overlooking Pavilion Lake. it had turquoise coloured patches in its shallows. From the lake I had a reasonable 20km gentle downhill run, losing quite a lot of my hard fought height gain, through increasingly greener and more rounded hills.

Turquoise colour in Pavilion Lake
The grass is greener on the other side...

Eventually, I arrived at the intersection of the #99 and #97. This marked the end of my time on the Sea to Sky Highway (all the way from the Horseshoe Bay ferry, Vancouver, about 300km in total). I’ve now got 450km on the Caribou Highway! At the intersection, I had been told about a tourist attraction called the Hat Creek Ranch. They had an excellent cafe/restaurant and I had a big lunch sitting on a sun terrace.

Going north to Prince George

Now I was “out of the mountains” I was expecting a relatively easy run in to Clinton and then maybe on to 70 Mile House. Unfortunately, the wind had got up and was against me and I also had to climb for over 10km, so I called it a day at Clinton. I’ve taken another motel room tonight. I’m not quite in to my camping just yet and today was another quite hard day.

Excuses? Yes, but at least you lot are getting my blog posts promptly!

Today's wildlife


R & A said...

Yes, and much appreciated they are too. Wondered how camping would suit when you had a choice.

Martina said...

LOL - we should take bets on how many days you actually sleep in the tent! Keep the pics coming in too, love those (still waiting for my bear picture???). Mx