Today’s ride from Fort St. John to Whitecourt can be characterized by one word – rain.

After leaving southern British Columbia, rain has been my constant companion. I can only remember 2 days where it didn’t rain. Fortunately, those were the two days it took to go from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Prudhoe Bay. Those were two great days!

I left Fort St. John and it was just cloudy. It didn’t take long before the rain came. With the exception of two short periods, it rained all day. To put it bluntly, it was miserable.


I had planned on tenting in Whitecourt to save some money. I suppose I still could have, but setting up in the rain and having it rain all night after a day of riding in the rain was not something I wanted to do. This time comfort won out over saving money.

I looked around Whitecourt and picked the Ritz. No, not that chain of Ritzs. This was the Ritz Motor Inn. It looked like it would be the cheapest of the bunch of hotels I saw. Again cheap is relative. It cost $91 for the night. The bonus part was that this included a full breakfast. The room was actually quite nice.

I set out unloading all my stuff. Both my panniers leak water 🙁 I need to pack things in waterproof dry bags so they don’t get wet at the bottom. After I unpacked I soaked up the water in the panniers. There was about a cup in one and a half cup in the other. I am not sure what the problem is exactly. I inspected the one pannier and there is a bend in it that may collect water. And the silicone lining is wearing and broken in parts. When I stop for an extended period of time I will see if I can fix it. The other potential reason is that I am packing the panniers to full thereby leaving a small gap at the lid that the water leaks through. I need to see if there are other things to get rid of.

Anyways …. after a day of rain I deserved some warm comfort food. That meant lasagna in the Ritz lounge. Felt good. And it felt good to crawl into a warm bed.

Route for July 31, 2016


Fort St. John Family

From Fort Nelson I headed to Fort St. John to stay with family.

The trip itself was rather uneventful. The mountains from the previous weeks had disappeared and I was now traveling in more hilly country. My constant companion – rain – continued to follow me. It didn’t rain a lot, but he just sent down a few drops to remind me he was still with me. Once safely arriving in Fort St. John, he decided to throw a bit of a party with thunder and lightening.


The Pomeroy Sport Centre

I hadn’t been to Fort St. John in more than a decade. In some ways it hasn’t changed. In other ways there are many new building such an impressive sports centre that rivals anything seen in a major centre – The Pomeroy Sport Centre. The first floor of this three floor facility features 2 NHL sized ice rinks, a concession, skate sharpening vendor, 12 dressing rooms, and a public meeting room.

The second floor is home to a Booster Juice outlet, a meeting room, and has one of only four indoor Olympic-sized long track speed skating ovals in North America (others being in Utah, Wisconsin and Calgary). Made with a concrete base, this level can also be used for other events with 60,000 square feet of usable space during non-ice seasons.

The third floor of this facility is home to the Northern Vac Track. The walking track is 340 meters around with heated tubing throughout. There are lockers located along the side of the walking track to allow for client storage for its patrons to use free of charge as long as they bring their own lock. Council made a decision in the fall of 2009 to always have the track free for the public to enjoy.

The facility also has the ability to have all ice surfaces removed during non-ice seasons to accommodate major indoor sport and cultural events, tradeshows, and more. The total event space available is in excess of 140,000 square feet.

Site C Dam Project

I was also very interested in seeing the Site C dam project. There was a lot of opposition to the project. The link I provided is to BC Hydro that obviously supports the project. Regardless it provides interesting information about it. By BC Hydro’s estimates, the Site C reservoir would expand the Peace River up to three times its width and flood 5,340 hectares of land, seven per cent of which is privately owned.Construction started in 2015 and won’t be completed until 2024.

It was an impressive sight to see.

Thanks Connie and Randy for the tour and letting me stay at your home.


Route for July 30, 2016


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