Alaska Adventure 2005 – Smelling the Barn!

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Day 15

  • Wednesday, July 6
  • Williams Lake, BC to Seattle, WA
  • 429 miles

We pack the bikes, eat breakfast and come back out to the parking lot to find it raining. Off we go and we finally get to do some twisty, mountain riding as we head down the Frasier River valley. We stop in a lovely little BC town called Hope and Hell’s Gate is very scenic. We ride into another storm and the rainfall is so heavy that visibility is seriously impaired. We get stuck behind a couple of logging trucks and the spray from their rigs creates the equivalent of riding through a car wash. It takes some very intense riding to pass them. Of course, it never occurs to us to pull over and let it all pass. Nope. Gotta pass.

I’m bringing up the rear and as I watch each in turn pass these trucks in such harrowing, adverse conditions, I can feel the apprehension and dread building up in me. Pork Chop takes his turn and pulls around the last logging truck into the opposing lane on this narrow two lane road and disappears into the mist. I grit my teeth and wait to see him pop out in front of the leading truck but all I see is a car in the opposing lane headed his way. Oh shit….the car emerges past the last truck and Jeff is nowhere to be seen. It turns out he saw the car coming as he was passing in the “car wash” and he darted back in between the two trucks which had nothing more than a car length between them. I can just imagine the truckers shaking their heads at the crazy fuckers on the motorcycles. It makes me realize how blessed we’ve been on all these trips we’ve done over the years and how none of us have been hurt. Thank you, angels!

As we head toward Vancouver on Highway 1, an Interstate-style road at this point, we spot reader boards advising drivers stuck in rush hour traffic to “Breathe” and “Chill”. Another sign says, “All those who hate speeding tickets, raise your right foot.” We turn off and cross into Washington at Sumas.

We have a very uneventful border crossing back into the US and as we ride past signs indicating nearby Bellingham, Washington, the site of the ferry terminal we departed 12 days ago, it dawns on me that we’ve just completed a massive loop. The vast enormity of this ride becomes clear and it is truly mind boggling. Scratch this one off the bucket list.

We pass through one more rain storm for good measure as we head toward Seattle and our Arizonan brothers get to experience some rush hour traffic on I-5, Seattle-style, clearly a shock to the system after all the empty roads in the middle of nowhere that we’ve ridden on. We roll into my driveway, dirty and a bit tired, and we Seattle riders are happy to be home. Paul and Jeff still have to ride to LA to reach their truck and trailer at Eric’s house.

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