November 21, 2015
Day 3 was a day I’d been looking forward to – heading North into Whistler then descending down into Vancouver through Stanley Park via the Sea to Sun highway. Not everything always works to plan though – especially on two wheels. It turns out that Environment Canada released a rainfall warning for that particular route and were expecting 25-30mm of rain that afternoon. I was bummed, but a cliff-side rip in heavy rain and with limited visibility wasn’t going to make for a fun day. So instead we decided to head the direct route to Vancouver and a homemade dinner with our pals Danielle and Conroy.
Within minutes of leaving Kamloops and ascending into the first pass we were hidden in low-lying clouds. Cars disappeared into the white just 50 yards in front of us. It was a glorious way to start the day. We were expecting rain for the entire day but at that moment it was warm dream-like. We rolled along the long sweeping corners and time seemed to fly by. As we closed in on Hope, BC our stomachs began to growl and we decided to pull in the town that was terrorized by John Rambo only 28 years earlier. It’s funny to pull in and see the Chevron sign against the skyline much like the movie. We pulled into the Hope Drive-in and Dine and were greeted by some great staff who told us that the weather by Abbottsford was terrible and that we shouldn’t rush west. We nestled in with some coffee and grub and watched the rain move in. And boy did it move in. Heavy and sideways, the thought occurred to me that it could blow the bikes over though for all of it’s ferocity the bikes didn’t move – even with trees bowed and flowers flying.
As the weather began to die-down, we made a break for Vancouver heading back down the road we entered Hope on. Unfortunately, the road didn’t allow for us to enter the highway westbound, so instead we were stuck heading the wrong way and back into the storm with 11km to go before a u-turn was possible. We passed a car that had rolled heading west – a clear result of hitting a huge puddle with too much speed. People were driving like maniacs in a rush for some imagined deadline and the cost was high for a few. As we turned west we passed another rolled car and with the damage it seemed impossible to imagine someone surviving.
The rain continued and the traffic was snarled with carnage and construction. Our hands were cramping with gas-clutch-brake, repeat. Finally, a full hour of jams released us into clear road until the edge of the city. As we pulled into Vancouver we road through the notorious East Hastings area with it’s drug-addled populous and then it’s polar opposite along Burrard. In a matter of 3 blocks we had a crazy guy dressed like a homeless pirate offering us dodgy pizza to being flanked by a Maserati and a Lambo. The disparity was amazing to witness. We pulled into the Hyatt glad to be out of the rain and to be settled for the next few days. After cleaning up we headed to Danielle and Conroys flat for a delicious homemade meal, some wine and great conversation.
We were in Vancouver and it was perfect.