A road scare doesn’t dampen the spirits of a Prince Rupert rider on a one-day trip to Kitwanga
By Scott Duffus
My 622-kilometre adventure started in my hometown, the coastal British Columbia community of Prince Rupert, and took me east on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 16) to the junction with Highway 37 at Kitwanga, B.C. I then headed north to a point called Cranberry Junction before making the return trip in the opposite direction.
It would be a perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day, a good ride, a poker run and a barbecue with my fellow chapter members – or so I thought.
The journey was to start with riders meeting at the local Chevron gas station around 8:30 a.m. and heading east shortly after. Unfortunately only four showed up to start the ride, including me, and then mechanical issues forced a husband-and-wife pair to drop out at the gas station, leaving me and one other who was only going part way on the trip.
Off we went to our first stop at Telegraph Point Rest Area (halfway between Prince Rupert and Terrace), where we parted ways and I carried on solo to Terrace for a quick fuel stop before carrying on to the Kitwanga Junction.
A few hours after departing, I arrived at Kitwanga just in time to see a group of 53 bikes pulling out of the parking lot, so I missed out on the poker hand buy-in but spun my bike around and joined the pack heading north up Highway 37 to places unknown.
Then, 45 minutes later, things went in the toilet at the first card stop. Two riders were down – one ran into the rear of another, sending them into the deep ditch along the highway. Amazingly, one managed to walk away, but the other was in unknown condition with potentially serious injuries. Fortunately for the group, we had first responders and medical professionals with us who quickly accessed the scene and went into emergency management mode, sending for an ambulance, establishing traffic controls and pulling the bikes out of the ditch.
I had a brief chat with a first responder and decided I couldn’t aid in any way other than to make my way back to the planned barbecue location to inform the organizers and wait for news.
At about 3 p.m. I got word that the ambulance had arrived to transport the rider to hospital an hour and a half away for treatment. Relieved by the news that he was conscious and in good spirits, and with my belly full, I put on my gear, fired up the Road King® and started the journey home to the coast. After a quick stop at the gas station in Kitwanga, I was off down the Trans-Canada Highway west making stops at the Seven Sisters Mountain Range and the community of Usk for a fast visit to the Pioneer Chapel (always open) before getting to Terrace for a fast gas stop and quick trip through the A&W.
I rolled into the driveway at home before suppertime after riding 622 kilometres, with $74.17 spent on fuel and $38.97 for grub. With all the road drama, I’d call that one heck of a day.
I’d like to say thank you to the Northwest B.C. HOG® Chapter and the people at the accident scene, and to let readers know that the fellow in the accident was released from hospital the next day and was quickly home repairing his motorcycle and preparing for his next ride.