Day’s distance: 196 miles
Total trip distance: 1,294 miles
It was in the low 40s at 9am when I started to pack up the bike. It stayed in the 40s for a couple hours before climbing into the 50s. It was cloudy but dry today. Winds started to pick up as I approached Grande Prairie.
North of Grande Cache, Hwy 40 is well-surfaced and in good shape. It winds over and around the hills. Much of the traffic is associated with the gathering and transport of natural gas and other commodities. Much of the land is actively forested, mined, or drilled.
Riding a motorcycle, one is exposed to the smells of any area you are riding through. While the coal plant didn’t smell, some of the gas fields did. 🙁
I was still close to an hour from Grande Prairie and considering stopping to make some instant coffee when I came across this food/coffee trailer.
I grabbed a coffee and had some of the snacks I had in my pack. The owners are a local husband and wife team. Kevin, the husband in that team, was talking to me about the motorcycle and our conversation turned to airplanes (he’s a pilot) and travel.
In 2014, I traveled to Tanzania. Kevin, it turns out, helped start the Kilombero-Valley Farm in Tanzania. Kilombero Farms is a private cooperative producing staple food southwest of Dar Es Salaam. That conversation and looking at the photos on the website linked above brought back memories of my trip, though the time I spent was in a different part of the country.
People live such interesting lives. I am continually surprised at the connections between each of us, no matter how far apart we live.
Hwy 43 was two lanes in each direction just west of Grande Prairie, narrowing to one lane each way later. Most of the landscape between Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek reminded me of the midwest. Low rolling hills dotted with farms and ranches and lots of wind. The wind was kicking up a bit during this part of the ride, as mentioned. Nice road but not interesting.
I arrived in Dawson Creek about 1pm. For me, it seemed like 2pm, but I’m now back in the Pacific time zone, so I gained an hour back. My room was ready so I have the afternoon off today – yay! This was the plan and the reason today’s hotel has a pool and spa. 🙂
Tomorrow, I start along the Alaskan Highway, which begins here in Dawson Creek at the Mile 0 marker downtown.
The ride between here and Fort Nelson, almost 300 miles away, will consist of a lot of straight sections. No rain is predicted, but it may get windy in places.
A look ahead at next weekend, the Dalton Highway is currently in good shape and no significant rain is predicted before my opportunity to ride part of it on Saturday.
I ate dinner at the Fixx Urban Grill right here at the Stonebridge Hotel. The Cajun Blackened Chicken and Prawns were excellent. I sat at the bar with others and the folks on both sides of me ordered it, and it was recommended by a former staff member I met earlier in the day at the casino next door (where I stopped to have a beer).
The best is yet to come!