So I conclude that isolation-as-danger is a fallacy. The reality is that the most remote sections of this trip have likely been the least hazardous. Day 3 on the northern section of the Stewart-Cassiar was probably when I was safest -- nobody in front, nobody behind, just enough trickle of traffic that it wouldn't be more than five minutes until discovery if something did go wrong.
The Siesta Motel was actually a great little stop along the highway: The trains didn't stir me, and the place was very clean with a friendly owner. I shared the parking lot with a bike returning home from Alaska to Minnesota, and a torpedo-looking helicopter-dangled treasure hunter being hauled on a pick-up. In the morning, I stepped out at 7:00 to find the owner watering the flowers, which made me realize that the last three places I stayed all had hanging flower baskets, and therefore that the measures of motel selection should be TripAdvisor and flowers.
Flowers and pubic-hairless bathrooms: Both brought to you by diligent daily attention.
The Yellowhead took me into Prince George, where I split south on 97 to a good breakfast stop at Granville Coffee in downtown Quesnel. I'd ridden this stretch of road for breakfast last year too, in the opposite direction on my northbound trip, after a co-worker buddy had come down to meet me in Quesnel for a morning ride into Prince for breakfast at Denny's. From there, it was scenic 97 down through Williams Lake and surrounding ranchlands (you can feel you're in cowboy country with place names like "Likely" and "Horsefly"), to meet my brother at 100 Mile House. It was great getting to ride with T for a couple of hours... if not for an injustice beyond his control, he likely would have been on more of it, and equally as sore as me! He was kind enough to insist I ride lead all the way into Kamloops, not wanting to take anything away from the end of my trip south, and accepting that this would mean dust on his well-kept bike.
We jumped across to Little Fort on the scenic, curvy Hwy. 24, then into the north end of Kamloops on Westsyde Road, which is a gravel mountain road until the little cable ferry at Barriere, then mostly fresh pavement into town -- a fun little stretch to finish the first leg of the journey. It's still summer here... +30 C and sweat under the riding jacket; a far cry from the roadside jumping jacks just two mornings prior.
Day total: 622 km, 8h55m
Trip total: 3696 km
Start: Vanderhoof, BC. End: Kamloops, BC.
Soundtrack: Springsteen's "Working on the Highway," iPhone water-damage silence