2010 Yukon Solo Motorcycle Trip

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Day 1 — Spokane Valley, WA to Radium Hot Springs, BC

Wanda bought me breakfast and I departed Veradale for Points North (tbd) at about 9am on Sunday, July 18th. I started out in 70F temps, hit 83F at one point, which dropped to 55F in a thunderstorm.

My bike is a 2009 BMW F800GS, which I bought used with 432 miles on the odometer. I prepared it for this ride (and others) by putting a Continental TCK80 on the front, a Shinko 705 on the rear, and added: front fender extender, a Mud Sling for the rear wheel, Pivot Pegz, a bash plate, engine guard, Barkbuster handguards, Touratech luggage rack, a large Cargo tailbag, a Giant Loop soft luggage system, a HeatTroller, a Garmin 276C GPS, an an SWMotoTech center-stand.

One of the best add-ons I took was a Spot2 Satellite Messenger which I set to send my GPS coordinates to their server every 10 minutes when I was moving. They put a push-pin for each track on a Web page that Wanda (and my family and friends) could view in realtime. So Wanda would know where I was at all times every day of the trip.

I took my MacBook Pro with me (double wrapped in garbage bags) and I used Skype to call Wanda every day when I stopped for the night. I didn't even take my Verizon Droid as they charge $0.69 per minute to use it in Canada! Apparently I could have bought special coverage for a month, but most places it wouldn't have worked anyway. As it was, I spent only about $6 on Skype calls (at $0.02 per minute).

Interesting cliffs at the north end of Columbia Lake (from which the Columbia river drains). Wanda and I saw these a few weeks ago when we drove to Calgary, and planned to get this photo but we returned on the east side of the Rockies instead.

It started to rain as I entered Cranbrook, BC. Just as the storm hit, I stopped at a restaurant to have a bite and drink coffee for an hour. When I decided I had to hit the road, the rain mostly stopped, and I had a beautiful ride through Kimberly, BC. Lots of deer, and a few elk. My Giant Loop soft luggage system leaked, so in Radium Hot Springs I bought some extra duct tape to seal the zipper. It worked great on day 2, when it rained frequently.

I lucked out in that it was Sunday, but the local Harley shop was open, and I was able to buy a 15" cargo net to hold the rain cover on my tail bag and prevent the wind from pulling it off.

Copyright © 2010, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.