Not having much time for this trip, I started driving from Vancouver in the evening, after a party. I left around 9PM, and drove up past Squamish, where I picked up a hitchhiker, (a river raft guide like my brother), through Whistler, where I dropped him off, to Pemberton. At Pemberton, I left the highway and drove the Hurley Forest Service Road to Goldbridge - a bit of a rough trip in the dark. I got a bit lost near Goldbridge, but eventually found the Slim Creek FSR, and the Jewel Creek trailhead to the Spruce Lake trails. I parked here and got a few hours sleep before sun came up, then had a healthy breakfast of cold pop tarts and water. I found that the gatorade that I purchased the night before was contaminated with goo, so I threw it out.
I met 2 hikers at the trailhead who had camped there the night before. They were looking for a ride out of there. I rode my bike along the trail beside the creek. The trail was a lot more up and down than I expected, with some rocky and loose sections where I had to get off and push the bike. With my gatorade supply missing, I started to worry about my total available liquid as the day heated up. I also realized that I had failed to bring spare GPS batteries and my GPS bike mount. As I got closer, I had to keep stopping to take the GPS out of my pack, turn it on, wait for it to warm up, get a distance and bearing before I kept going.
I rode over plenty of road apples from the horses that people ride on these trails, including some treacherous fresh ones. I finally rode past the turnoff to Spruce Lake, which I knew from the map was close to the confluence. I followed an unmarked trail to within 200m of the confluence, then wandered through a meadow to the final location, a few meters into the trees past the edge of the subalpine meadow. I made a little marker for future confluence hunters to spot, and kept on my way.
I rode/walked the rest of the way uphill to Spruce Lake, which is in a beautiful location nestled in the mountains. I saw a few fishermen and hikers, and settled in and had lunch. I was tempted to drink the water, but I was more worried about Giardia than dehydration at this point. As soon as I got underway, my chain broke - fortunately I had a toolkit with me. The ride down was amazing! Miles and miles of flowing singletrack, with a bit of uphill, but mostly downhill cruising. I was plenty tired and thirsty when I got back, so I headed into Goldbridge for a drink and a tour - I saw the BC Hydro dam and reservoir and the local golf course, plus the spectacular mountains all around. I had to be back in Vancouver for work the next day, so I hit the road sooner than I would have liked.
The Hurley FSR is quite spectacular in the daylight! About 1/4 of the way back to Pemberton, I saw some hitchhikers on this rather lonely stretch of road, and I was surprised to recognize them as the hikers from the morning! I gave them a lift to Whistler - otherwise, I don't know when the next car might have come along. They were from the Czech republic, and were touring around Canada.
I got back to Vancouver late in the evening, and slept very well, with dreams of going back to the area for a longer trip someday.