2010 Yukon Solo Motorcycle Trip

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Day 16 — Williams Lake, BC to Kelowna, BC

Biggest surprise to me on Monday was that Kelowna has a population of 110,000. Bigger than Spokane Valley, and almost half the size of Spokane itself. The highway from Merritt climbs to 5,600' and got pretty chilly -- I had to plug my heated gear back in. It was only 71F when I got to Kelowna, and you couldn't see the sun in the sky. Later (5pm?) it made a brief albeit weak appearance. Monday was like riding through Sepia World. Weird.

Smoke near 100 Mile House, I measured it, you could see 0.7 miles. You can just barely make out the headlights of the oncoming traffic 3/4ths of a mile away. There is actually a huge hill you can't see in the smoke, and the road makes a right turn just before it...

Old building near Nicola, BC, on Hwy 8 between Spences Bridge and Merritt. This is a serious sportbike road, and I saw maybe 20 sportbikes hauling ass over the 68km stretch. Very little traffic given that it is "BC Day" (the 1st of August). It's also a "Provincial holiday" in Yukon and Alberta and many (but not all) other Provinces and Territories.

Another abandoned building near Nicola, BC.

I swear I have never stayed in a motel than had a rubber ducky on the shower mat! This is the Accent Inn, in Kelowna, BC.

The Delta Inn complex, which has its own waterway (plus a lock to raise/lower boats to the level of Okanagan Lake). I should have priced a room here. No, wait, I think I made the right decision. The Accent Inn gave me an 'old guy' discount, and upgraded me to a ground floor suite where I could park the bike 15' from the door.

Kelowna — the biggest cooler I ever saw. Figures it would be Canadians, eh? And full of 5% beer, not that 3.2% watery swill they have down in the States.

I had a bit of luck at dinner. I walked about a mile to a really good Sushi place, where I ordered cold sake but had to get a whole bottle (honest, that was the smallest size they offered). I grabbed one of the ubiquitous tourist booklets (this one for Kelowna) that BC puts everywhere so I'd have something to read while I waited for my sushi.

I started talking to the sushi chefs, and we had quite a nice conversation. Then my food arrived, and I ate it, and drank all the sake. Then the bill came, and I paid with my credit card, and walked out. A block later, for some strange reason, I checked my pocket to see if I had my credit card, and I didn't!

So I walked back and the waitresses helped me look for it. They insisted they gave it to me (and not to some other guest) but we searched everywhere, including the parking lot, and no joy. I was pretty hammered, so I couldn't remember actually getting it back. I was almost ready to resign myself to calling Wanda and having her cancel it, when one of the sushi chefs walked around the sushi bar to the rack with the Kelowna tourist books and pulled out the top one. On top of it was my credit card!

He'd noticed that I had been reading it, saw me put it back after paying my bill, and figured that was the only likely place we hadn't looked. I didn't even think of it. So I gave him all the change I had in my pocket, which was probably $10Cdn and told him not to share it — he'd earned it...

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