Labor Day Canada Loop, September 2012
As the other bookend ride for the summer, Bill Motsenbocker met with his friend John Beard to head to Canada for a short loop over and back for the weekend. Bill and I took off Saturday morning, September 1st out from Spokane on Highway 2 to meet John in Wilbur for breakfast. I had the time wrong and ended up meeting Bill 30 minutes late in Airways Heights, but we made up the time heading out of town. We got to Wilbur about 8:30am and ate a nice breakfast at The Rendezvous. John had a friend of his, Dave Yancey, who is a computer network engineer at his school district. He could only ride with us up to the Canadian border because he had a commitment over the weekend. It's too bad because it'd been fun to have him along. He seems like a pretty good guy and rides a beautiful BMW LT.
After breakfast, we headed due north on 21 toward the Keller Ferry where we crossed the Columbia - the first of four ferries we took on this trip. This area of Washington is pretty arid, but has some beautiful roads to ride. From 21 we turned east on Bridge Creek Road that takes us to Inchelium and another ferry ride. This road to Inchelium I've been on before. It's in great condition with lots of twists as it makes its way past Twin Lakes and then drops down to Lake Roosevelt and the ferry. The weather was great and the company was too. Crossing the lake, we took 25 north until we got to the little town of Rice, then headed east on on the Orin-Rice road eventually arriving in Colville.
After a short break, we continued east on 20 which takes us over Tiger pass and another great road. We encountered a little more traffic, but not enough to slow us down too much. From there we headed north on 31 into Metaline Falls. It was here that Dave had to turn back for a birthday party. We'll catch up with him again some other time!
From there it's a short hop up to Nelway and into the land of loonies, toonies, and bright-colored money. I switch my GPS over to metric so I can see how fast I'm going in relation to the speed limits and we're on our way to Salmo and then Nelson. It's an uneventful ride and we make our way through Nelson along Kootenay Lake arriving at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park where we pick up the last available camping spot. One thing we neglected to remember is that Canada celebrates Labor Day too, so there was lots of holiday traffic. With our spot reserved, we headed off to find something to eat. We head a bit further down the road to Balfour and find a nice spot where the Balfour Ferry docks at the Dock 'n' Duck Pub. They made us one of the best pizza's we'd ever eaten. If you're going through here, it's a great place to eat. After dinner, it's back to set up camp and sit around the campfire for a bit, and then time to hit the sack. It was about a 300 mile day. It's funny because that sounds like a lot of miles, but it really isn't that hard when you have such beauty to ride through.
I'm a Senior Software Engineer at Intellitect, living in Spokane, Washington. I also do a little development work on the side. And I love riding motorcycles all over the country with my friends.