Beautiful British Columbia is proudly proclaimed on the license plates of B.C.
drivers, and with good reason it would seem. British Columbia
is one scenic place to visit. Our first stop was Stanley Park,
just a short ride from our motel. You circle counter clockwise
around the park and then each turn is filled with one great
view after another.
There is something about cities built right on the water
that make them special. The combination of mountains, water,
boats, architecture and people, draw you to their doors. Vancouver
is such a city. And as you drive or walk around the city,
you see that Vancouver has attracted many young people to
its bright lights. Much more so than any other big city I've
been in lately. Vancouver seems to be filled with those between
the ages of 20 and 35, and their youthful energy seems to
radiate from the city streets. It's a fun place to visit.
One of the things we noticed about Stanley Park was the amount
of people using it. There were runners, bicyclist (who have
the right away over cars), roller blader's, cars, tour buses,
motorcyclists, and rowers, all enjoying the sunny summer skies
over Vancouver. What a great place to spend a Sunday and I
will include a photo sampling of the views from the park (photos
We were parked for a couple of pictures when we were approached
by a fellow motorcyclist named "Wolf" who wondered
where we had come from and where we were headed. He has a
Harley but has ridden a lot of different bikes. He is headed
down to California sometime soon and I tried to give him some
suggestions about where to visit, Yosemite, Avenue of the
Giant's Redwoods, etc. Wolf once owned a GL1200 Goldwing and
put over 200,000 miles on it without any problems, but like
everybody else, he wanted a Harley. He and his friends and
family were very nice people and reinforced what I have come
to believe is a truism; you meet the nicest people on motorcycles.
We continued on around the park stopping for more pictures
(photos 9,10,11, & 12) before heading out on Canadian
Hwy 1 East towards Hope, B.C. our next gas stop. Oh yeah,
that's me in front of Lion's Gate Bridge (photo 13).
Can you say "Helmet Head" boys and girls?
After leaving Stanley Park, I went through one of those exercises
that visitors to big cities must go through to get out of
the city. First you go down one road and then another while
trying not to get run over by those who seem to actually know
where they're going. I felt like a mouse that smelled cheese
down this corridor and then down another. After thirty minutes
or so, we finally made it out of town. Canadian Rockies here
I was somewhat surprised when we finally headed east; the
scenery quickly became rather ordinary. Lots of nice trees
but the surrounding countryside was mainly small farms and
fields, usually flat but never more than small rolling meadows.
Then about 50 miles out of Vancouver, you start to see mountains
ahead and to the south. Grand mountains that whisper, "Good
things are coming to those who wait." In another twenty
miles or so, just after the town of Hope, the scenery starts
to become genuinely dramatic.
You find yourself down in a deep valley; so deep at times
that the sun does not shine directly down onto the roadway,
but is instead in shadows while sunny skies, filled with cotton
ball clouds, rest overhead. The road wanders back and forth
and allows you to make good time while enjoying those leaning
turns we all wait for. This is turning out to be a very good
ride (photos 14,15,16).
Up ahead, the mountains are covered with a thick rich growth
of trees with small falls making their presence known from
time to time. As with most of the roads that are in valleys,
there was a small river or stream running along side the road.
Whenever I see the mountains getting close together, I start
to look for a river or stream to be close by. This pretty
much lasted until we reached Princeton, where we pulled in
for the night.
We grabbed a local Best Western, tried to figure out the
difference in money, gave up and went on faith. After cleaning
up a little we went "downtown" to see the sights
(photos 17,18, & 19), and get something to eat.
We found a great little restaurant called the Belaire Family
Restaurant located in a former private residence, where the
cook should be forbidden to ever leave town. I had a salmon
dish and Linda had an excellent chicken dish and the place
was packed. This in a town with fewer people than can be found
in most California shopping malls. They are obviously doing
something right. The waitress was a peach and was efficiently
keeping everyone served and taken care of.
On the walk back to the motel, we passed by the local Veterans
Memorial, which listed all of those in town who had died in
WW1, WWII, and Korea (photo 20). We tend to forget
that Canada had a presence in Korea also since it was a United
Great day, great ride, great dinner, I want to live here.