A new Harley® rider puts on serious mileage in his first month
Photos submitted by Justin White
He didn’t waste any time getting it out for a big ride. In a little over a month, Justin logged more than 7,000 kilometres, all with his wife, Kelsey, and most of it in one trip around B.C. with a few close friends.
With their friends Ross and Colby, who ride a 2005 Electra Glide® Ultra Classic®, Justin and Kelsey set out from their hometown of Quesnel, heading north to McBride in the Robson Valley, a couple of hundred kilometres from Prince George.
With the impressive Mount Robson as a backdrop, the small crew headed towards Jasper, where they met up with Ross’s dad, Andy, who joined them for the rest of the ride astride his 2003 100th Anniversary Heritage Classic. The group, now five, set out south through the Icefields Parkway, one of Canada’s most scenic stretches of road, passing glacier waterfalls and through deep valleys and seemingly endless scenic moments.
Reaching Golden, where a few ice-cold “pops” awaited, the crew hunkered down for the night. They were back out on the road early in the morning, heading toward Radium and Fairmont Hot Springs, where they enjoyed a soak in the small resort community known for its natural mineral baths.
The next stop was the historic Fort Steele Heritage Town in the East Kootenays, where the sweet smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns filled the air while blacksmiths worked to finish a metal project and towering Clydesdale horses pulled wagons. It was a picture of times gone by.
In Sparwood, where they spent the night, Justin and the team awoke to “a blue sliver of sky,” good enough to get back on their bikes and head for the next scheduled stay over at Kaslo. But first – as a new ritual for a new ride – they stopped in at Harley-Davidson of the Kootenays in Cranbrook for a visit and a new Harley® T-shirt.
Fuelled up and with souvenirs stowed, the group hit the road to the Kootenay Lake Ferry to Balfour. The crossing provided much-needed time to stretch, relax, regroup and revisit the maps. They were about to hit an impressive and winding stretch of roads in B.C.’s interior, and reviewing the plans was helpful.
From Kaslo, they journeyed past Kootenay Lake towards New Denver, Castlegar and eventually Osoyoos, B.C.’s hotspot in the Okanagan, known for its dry and arid deserts, warm water and great wineries (though there was no time for that on this trip). But the crew did sneak in enough time to have dinner with friends, with a to-die-for peach pie as dessert.
Riding out of the Okanagan at first light, they headed for Powell River on a long stretch of road, logging nearly 11 hours of riding. After a ferry hop to Comox, they rode towards the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the popular destination of Tofino. Nestled on a peninsula in Clayoquot Sound, Tofino is a place to behold, with ancient rainforests and sandy beaches that stretch forever. They watched people surf and dipped their toes in the water, followed by the “best tacos ever!” at the Tacofino food truck.
The next day brought nice weather, clear skies and a plan to get back to the mainland and take the Sea to Sky Highway towards Whistler and Pemberton. Dinner at Town Square Restaurant in Pemberton was “beyond words,” with many dishes consumed.
The journey home from the coast was smooth. Travelling on Duffey Lake Road (windy and slow, but scenic) towards Highway 3, the gateway to the North, the small group was nearing the end of their journey. Soon they were home, with smiles on their faces and a plan to take on a new road challenge in the spring.