June Jamboree Chronicles
In the challenging days of the Covid era in early 2021, a prevailing sense of despair and isolation permeated society as people anxiously awaited the lifting of restrictions. The collective longing for the outdoors, fresh air, exploration, and a positive outlook on life was palpable.
Amid these dark times, I unearthed a source of freedom—my Adventure Motorcycle. Months earlier, I had fostered connections by creating a Facebook Group in Vancouver, bringing together individuals in the region interested in weekend rides on our bikes.
Fast forward to the spring of 2021, the pharmaceutical industry's release of the first set of vaccines brought a glimmer of hope. Proof of vaccination granted access to restaurants and hotels, signaling a return to normalcy.
The Genesis of the June Jamboree
Inspired by this positive turn, I decided to orchestrate a multi-day Adventure Motorcycle ride in the BC Interior over the Father's Day weekend in Merritt, British Columbia. Planning the routes required careful consideration, and I was fortunate to tap into the tribal knowledge of friends Derrick Westad and Terrance Bodnar, both Adventure Bike enthusiasts with intimate knowledge of the area. In addition, we were so lucky to have Rob Tonnessen help us create the GPX files that we all used to navigate the routes.
The three-day ride kicked off in Hope, British Columbia, heading east on Highway 3 to Princeton. At this juncture, the group ascended a local mountain, enjoying a panoramic view from the abandoned Fire Tower.
Continuing due north through a network of logging roads, the riders passed provincial campgrounds, ranches, resorts, and scenic viewpoints. An unexpected find was an old horse trail leading through a grassy bog, demanding skill and luck to navigate without mishaps.
Emerging unscathed from the bog, some mischievous riders splattered mud on others, a lesson in keeping a safe distance in muddy terrain.
Over the next few days, we explored the Thompson-Nicola Valley, relishing the natural beauty it offered. A highlight was the ascent to Cornwall Summit, boasting a breathtaking view.
The adventure culminated in Merritt, with the return journey crossing Forest Service Roads, navigating the Nahatlatch River, conquering the Kookipi Pass, and descending East Harrison to the lower mainland.
The trip earned a perfect score—10 out of 10, five stars. A legend was born, forever etched in the memories of those who partook in the inaugural June Jamboree.