New Hazelton, BC to Ferndale, WA (Aug. 25-26, 2015)

This travelogue report covers my journey on Tuesday, August 25th, from New Hazelton to Quesnel for the night and continuing on Wednesday, August 26th to Ferndale, Washington. I decided to combine these two days into a single travelogue report since I took almost no photos between New Hazelton and Quesnel.

The following map shows my route from New Hazelton to Quesnel, covering a distance of 344 miles / 553 km.

My route from New Hazelton to Quesnel, BC

My route from New Hazelton to Quesnel, BC

Since the Bulkley Valley Motel in New Hazelton unfortunately does not provide any breakfast, I departed there shortly before 9 AM PDT and headed east along BC-16, a.k.a Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia. I planned to stop for breakfast at a nice diner or café in a larger town not too far away. The weather was quite nice most of the day and I rode along under mostly blue skies with thin high cirrus and scattered low cumulus clouds overhead.

Shortly after arriving in the town of Smithers (41 miles / 66 km), I stopped to refuel and to ask the attendant for a recommendation. Although there was a problem with the fuel pumps and I could not refuel there, he suggested a place called Louise’s Kitchen at the corner of 4th Ave and Main St in the downtown area. Although it was quite busy, I was seated immediately at a vacant table. It was a very nice café and I enjoyed my breakfast there. They even gave me the access code for their Wifi. 40 minutes later I resumed my trip, only to stop again for fuel nearby, where the pump worked fine.

Nearly 61 miles / 98 km after leaving Smithers, I took this first photo of the day showing the view towards the south and the highway snaking up the distant hillside.


A few miles later, I noticed a small general aviation airfield alongside the highway and took this photo.


Around 2 PM I reached the city of Prince George on the west bank of the Fraser River and rode straight through without stopping except for traffic and signals. Prince George is situated at the crossroads of BC-16 and BC-97, My route continued south along BC-97, which is also called the Cariboo Highway from there to Cache Creek.

It’s only 73 miles / 117 km from Prince George to Quesnel. Since I made good time due to the reasonably high speed limits and light traffic, I arrived in Quesnel quite early at 3:30 PM. I doubtless could have continued on for another two hours, but would not have enjoyed a second free night at the nice Quality Inn in Quesnel thanks to the many accumulated loyalty points earned from numerous nights at various Choice Hotels properties.

Since I had enjoyed my previous dinner at Mr. Mikes Steakhouse, I returned for a second time. Although the staff was different, the food was just as good, as was the beer.

That concludes the travelogue report for August 25th.

August 26th

On Wednesday, August 26th, I continued south to Ferndale, Washington. This next map shows my route from Quesnel to Ferndale, 396 miles / 637 km.

My route from Quesnel, BC to Ferndale, WA

My route from Quesnel, BC to Ferndale, WA

After a good night’s rest and a nice breakfast in the Quality Inn, I departed around 8:30 AM PDT and continued south along BC-97 to Cache Creek, BC, at the junction with BC-1, the Trans-Canada Highway. Again, the weather was quite nice most of the day.

Since much of this day’s route followed alongside the Fraser River, several photos show the different terrain and scenery near the river at various locations during my trip. This first photo, taken nearly an hour after starting out, shows the view southward with the Fraser River visible in the distance.


This next photo shows a view into the Fraser Canyon, taken only a short time after that previous photo.


North of the town of Williams Lake, the highway diverts from the Fraser River for a while. These next two photos show views across the body of water called Williams Lake towards the southwest and south, respectively.


This next photo shows a farm south of Williams Lake.


The landscape is dotted with numerous small lakes and ponds.


Near the town of Ashcroft, located just south of Cache Creek, the highway begins  following the course of the Thompson River. This next photo shows the view as the road nears the river.


Railroad tracks for the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Canadian National Railway run alongside each bank of the Thompson River through the canyon.

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Near the community of Spences Bridge, the highway crosses over the Thompson River and merges with BC-8, also called the Nicola Highway.

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Nearly 3.5 miles / 5.6 km south of Spences Bridge, I spotted three short railroad tunnels on the opposite side of the river including one with an avalanche gallery to protect the rail line from rock slides or avalanches. This telescopic photo shows all three tunnels.


There are also rapids in the Thompson River. At the bend nearly 12 miles / 19 km from Spences Bridge, I came upon rapids with several large boulders in the river.


South of Lytton, I took this next photo of the view as the sky became increasingly overcast.


At 5 PM I came to the city of Hope, where BC-1, BC-3 and BC-5 merge, and took this final photo of the day towards the south as I crossed the bridge over the Thompson River for the last time during this trip.


The remaining journey to the border crossing at Sumas, BC went without incident, although the traffic was certainly heavier. On the US side in Sumas, WA, the US customs agent questioned me about the sizable amount of luggage I carried, but thankfully was satisfied when I assured him it contained just my camping equipment.

At 3:30 PM PDT, I arrived at the Super-8 motel in Ferndale, where I had stayed previously. After unloading my luggage into the room, I rode first to a nearby Walgreen’s Pharmacy to pick up a prescription and then to the BMW motorcycle dealership. A few days earlier, I had scheduled a second appointment there for routine service and for my regular road tires to be remounted in place of the Heidenau off-road tires that were mounted prior to my trip to Alaska. The service manager then gave me a ride in his car back to the motel.

That evening I once again walked to the Denny’s restaurant adjacent to the motel and had a nice dinner along with a beer or two.

That concludes this travelogue report for August 25th. The next morning, the service manager gave me a ride together with my luggage back to the dealership. It took several hours for the service to be completed. More about that day-long wait in my next report.


About Don

I'm a retired computer programmer who enjoys touring the country by motorcycle.
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