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Discussion Starter #1
In a few weeks I'm going to ride from Ontario out to Richmond BC to visit my sis and will have 28 days to do this. I thought I would ride up through Banff, Jasper, stop in to visit a childhood friend in Fort St James, then also check out Prince Rupert and then Bella Coola before heading south to Richmond.

Once in Richmond, I was going to stay with my sis for about 10 days, but would also like to ride out to the island and over to Port Hardy, Tofino and Victoria to visit my cousin. I figured I would get an oil change done while in Richmond as well, and might need another one in Alberta.

On my way home I would ride southern BC and then visit some relatives in either Calgary or Edmonton.

I may bring my tent and gear with me, but am debating on staying in motels/cabins the whole trip to save time, space and weight.

I have read that Bella Coola is currently off limits to non-locals, but there may be a campground in nearby Hagensborg which may be open and they have cabins. I will contact them to confirm.

Are there are any other areas where I should be concerned with finding suitable motels, cabins or paces to stay?

I work with our local Public Health and am quite mindful of the things going on at this current time, both real and perceived.

Any suggestions and insights are appreciated from our western Canucks!
Cheers.

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Looks like an incredible trip. Wife and I have only seen a bit of Vancouver and Victoria. too much to see, not enough time.
 

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I‘ve done about 10 nights in BC so far this summer on the Strom, some of it in the southern BC highway 3/Creston/Nakusp area you are going to. About half of that camping, half hotels. Hotels have been no problem to find and stay in, and the prices have also been good. So you should be good to go. I haven’t camped in an actual campground.

Here is a tip. You are going through Creston and over to Nelson. Don’t take Highway 3 west of Creston. Instead go north of Creston along Kootenay Lake on Highway 3A. Highway 3A from Creston to Kootenay Bay (about 85km) is one of the absolute top motorbike roads in Canada. I have ridden it up and back twice so far this year. The bonus has been no traffic this year!

At Kootenay Bay you take a free ferry across the lake to Balfour and from there go on to Nelson.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I‘ve done about 10 nights in BC so far this summer on the Strom, some of it in the southern BC highway 3/Creston/Nakusp area you are going to. About half of that camping, half hotels. Hotels have been no problem to find and stay in, and the prices have also been good. So you should be good to go. I haven’t camped in an actual campground.

Here is a tip. You are going through Creston and over to Nelson. Don’t take Highway 3 west of Creston. Instead go north of Creston along Kootenay Lake on Highway 3A. Highway 3A from Creston to Kootenay Bay (about 85km) is one of the absolute top motorbike roads in Canada. I have ridden it up and back twice so far this year. The bonus has been no traffic this year!

At Kootenay Bay you take a free ferry across the lake to Balfour and from there go on to Nelson.
Excellent thanks for the info and the tip! The more technical and twisty the better for me.
 

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All provincial travel in the west is not illegal but all provincial governments in the west are discouraging interprovincial travel. You can not stay in any provincial campground. They will only let residents of that province. So you need to find privately owned campgrounds. National parks will also let you in. No problems with hotels anywhere, they are happy to see money come in. There has been a few incidents of out of province vehicles getting vandalized. I would want to keep an eye on my bike.
 

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I see the Canadians are putting time stamps on Americans vehicles that want to go to Alaska through Canada. Gotta go most direct route, do not pass go do not collect $200. Fines up to a million dollars if you infect anyone. We're number one...pariah fo sho!
 

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Watch out in Manitoba. I just came back to Eastern Canada from there. Many restaurants and bars are checking IDs. If you are not from the “Western Bubble” you ain’t gettin service.


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Discussion Starter #8
All provincial travel in the west is not illegal but all provincial governments in the west are discouraging interprovincial travel. You can not stay in any provincial campground. They will only let residents of that province. So you need to find privately owned campgrounds. National parks will also let you in. No problems with hotels anywhere, they are happy to see money come in. There has been a few incidents of out of province vehicles getting vandalized. I would want to keep an eye on my bike.
Thank you - I hope my bike does not get vandalized! I will try to get ground floor rooms in line of sight for my bike.

I'm leaning more towards no camping to save the weight, space and time.
 

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Watch out in Manitoba. I just came back to Eastern Canada from there. Many restaurants and bars are checking IDs. If you are not from the “Western Bubble” you ain’t gettin service.


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Thanks. My intention is to pass right through with only a stop for gas. Will plan to stay in Kenora on the eastern border and either Swift Current or Saskatooon on the western side of Manitoba.
 

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Thanks. My intention is to pass right through with only a stop for gas. Will plan to stay in Kenora on the eastern border and either Swift Current or Saskatooon on the western side of Manitoba.
As of yesterday Saskatchewan has the highest infection rate per capita in the country. Most of this is due to communal living situations on Hutterite farms. There are over 20 different Hutterite farms infected right now. One of them is just outside swift current. Just a few days ago there was a health advisor, notifying people of known Covid 19 positive people in a long list of businesses in swift current.
 

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Last summer I rode up to Bella Coola and hopped the ~9 hour ferry out to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and back down island to home. Stunning! That ferry would let you connect all the same dots with a fair bit less backtracking. Reservation strongly advised.

Regarding camping: given everything that's going on, and especially how busy a lot of places seem to be, I wouldn't hit the road without at least the bare necessities to sleep out somewhere if the need arises. These days a tiny tent, down quilt and minimal pad can weigh just 4 pounds and take up very little space. Always good to have options.
 

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Camping spots are hard to come by in Southern bc. Both provincial campgrounds and rec sites are full even during weekdays. I'd plan on hotels... or wait till next year?

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the continued info - very helpful and appreciated.
I figure this is the one year to do a sweet Canada only trip and have 4 weeks if vacation to use up or I lose them so no postponement!
 

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Don’t only be concerned with the bike being vandalized, be aware of sabotage. Make sure nobody has compromised the safety of your motorcycle. There have been multiple reports of #covidiots loosening lug nuts.

I’d probably bring a very light bike cover. This will cover your plate, people will be less inclined to touch your bike and if you position it in a certain way you'll have an idea if somebody did touch the bike.

Not to go overboard, but you could also get an alarm. Some are even designed to slip into the pocket of a bike cover.

 

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Great idea for the cover bandit bill. I did that and parked it backside in first out front of hotels under lights and hopefully cameras.


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Last summer I rode up to Bella Coola and hopped the ~9 hour ferry out to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and back down island to home. Stunning! That ferry would let you connect all the same dots with a fair bit less backtracking. Reservation strongly advised.

Regarding camping: given everything that's going on, and especially how busy a lot of places seem to be, I wouldn't hit the road without at least the bare necessities to sleep out somewhere if the need arises. These days a tiny tent, down quilt and minimal pad can weigh just 4 pounds and take up very little space. Always good to have options.
I was going to suggest you consider the ferry from Rupert to Bella Coola as an option. Saves 1,500km of backtracking on your route, similar amount of travel time, and the interior of BC from PG to Williams Lake is pretty flat and unremarkable anyway. Cheap Alaska style cruise. lol
 

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This past Thursday I did a ride around the lower part of Vancouver Island; Swartz Bay ferry then up to Duncan/ Cowichan Lake, across to Port Renfrew and then to the in laws for a visit and an over night stay. Lots of tourists here, and every campground I saw was full. All the recreation sites in forests, by lakes and rivers were full up. No anger and no vandalism that I've seen or heard of (reliably reported). We're going to go up through central BC into Alberta next week, by car, and accommodation is really hard to find; many places are booked through August, though the hotel chains seem to have more availability. The destination spots are packed. So, some advance planning may be wise. I believe it is true about the campgrounds being limited to BC residents.

Vancouver is much more mask-friendly than a lot of other places, but our virus threat is pretty low overall. You are required to have a mask available on the ferries, and to wear it if you're not able to maintain separation, so basically if you are moving around the boat. They have started limited food service and the gift shops are open on the ferries, so things are being slowly and carefully relaxed.

If you are in or around Vancouver and interested in a visit, I'd be happy to meet and buy you a beer to help you get over the misery of a long, terrible journey through the worst scenery in the country. You know, just to ease the pain of it all. :D🍺
 

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Although Juan mentioned he probably won’t be camping, I just wanted to clarify something on the camping. Provincial parks are not restricted to B.C. residents only. Reservations are restricted to BC residents only. Basically what they did this year due to covid was cancel all reservations for out of province visitors. That being said BCs Premier John Horgan extended an invitation to out of province residents for non essential travel as part of the Phase 3 reopening of the province. You can still camp in a B.C. provincial park if you can find a site. Good luck with that though.
You can reserve at private campgrounds if they have space. One again, good luck. This is a horrible year to reserve. You may get lucky Mon-Thurs.

Umbrianissimo, did you notice out of province plates or were the tourists from B.C.?

 
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