Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What a Wonderful World, Sept 17th

Today is the last day of my travels around the country that it’ll be a great way to end it -with great friends. The group decided they would ride with me for a bit in search of what it is I wasn’t meant to find a few days earlier, that I’m bound to find it today…more on that later. Got a great start to the day with Sandy’s Blueberry pancakes and I have really been spoiled with the hospitality of Dale and Sandy as well as the others this weekend, that I very much appreciate it and really feel like part of the group…hopefully I can return the favor someday. They all made me feel special this weekend and I was really glad to hear how they were all tracking my travels around the country and enjoying the stories. Some the pictures more than the writing, but John promised he’d do a little more reading that you’ll find there’s a lot more there than you thought. Finally got signed to kitchen duty and I really should’ve been on it all weekend for not having brought anything but me and my stories, but want to help out anyway I can. Dale captured a few pictures of me packing my bike which is something you never saw on the road, but I got pretty good at it for as often as I had to do it on the road, that a weekend pack is nothing. Not as much weight on the back as my travels that had room for a rider, but hey, that’s where things change pretty quick…I think of where I was last year and where I am now and everyone else has to go to work tomorrow, where me? get to still play…ok, not really since in have to start looking for a job, but at least I can sleep in.

Got the annual group picture missing a few from last year, but me being part of the picture two years in a row, especially having been on the road for as many days as I was is a great way to end my journey this year. Hit the road saying my goodbye’s to the cabin, but with the crew riding with me in search of that geological marker I wasn’t meant to find, felt pretty special having friends like them along for the ride. Saw some beautiful country and you can see the colors are really starting to pop that it won’t be long that all the colors’ll be popping out. That means one thing, a ride north in a few weeks to see the colors of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin popping the way they normally do and like anything else I’ve seen on my journey, no better way to see it than on a motorcycle. Ok, I’m sure you’ve heard enough on that, but for anyone who hasn’t experienced it that way and wants to, just let me know and you might be in…yep, gender has a lot to do with it, but at least now you know what candidates I will look at accepting. More dirt roads to ride, but like any other dirt road I’ve rode on my travels, sometimes you have to get off the main road to see sites that many miss and again, more beautiful country in the north woods.

Made our way to Lovers Lane with means only one thing, we’re really close to that marker I’ve been in search for since Thursday, but I need gas that it’ll just have to wait. Not a problem because although we’ll have to back track, the gas station is only about 7 miles down the road, that I should be able to make that, right? well, right this time cuz I didn’t want to have to ride ‘bitch’ again to get gas…once on this trip and on a crotch rocket of all things was enough for me. Ok, the geologically marker I was in search for and it was right where I couldn’t find it, in the middle of a corn field. Me having rode gravel the other day was way too far, but for some reason I wasn’t meant to find it, maybe because it’s the 45th Parallel of Latitude and as long as I wasn’t 45 yet, not my time? Well, whatever it was, today was my time to find it and with my friends with me that this birthday weekend has been great. Ok, just like my visit to the four corners where I was able to straddle 4 states, remember that, June 1st, day 25 of my travels? Today I got to straddle North, South, East and West - right hand north, that you should be able to figure out what part of me is where from there.

Was going to join the group for lunch at Rib Lake because didn’t want to make a stop on the way home to early that started heading north, but by the time we hit 64, drizzle that time to put on the rain gear that I decided to head west. Home James, cuz I’ve done enough riding in the rain, especially in Alaska, that don’t need to do that much more of it. Well, made my way West and it started clearing up that was going to stop to see about that ride I promised someone earlier this spring, but thought against it that a warning call might be appropriate. Ok, so the call didn’t work, but when someone can’t answer your calls, I think you get the message loud and clear…stay out of my life!

Made it home with the bike packed as light as when I left, that these weekend rides were a lot easier to pack for than the ride around the country and although I complained, well, maybe not complained, but talked about how much I got rained on in Alaska, still an unbelievable journey, that if you ever get the chance, definitely something you should take full advantage of. As for stats, well, tried to put them together tonight, but have too many to list that will come with a final blog listing them. I would like to thank all of the wonderful people I met along the road and a special thanks to all who helped me out in one way or another…well, just meeting you helped me out that thank you. To all that have been keeping up with my travels or checked out my blog because of me meeting you along the road, please send me an email – and if you have a little green card, let me know where and when you got it.

What God has blessed us with in life is unbelievable, that although I’ve only seen this great free country we’re lucky to live in, there is a lot more world, wonderful people and life to live that my journey of life will continue…like Louis Armstrong says;

‘I see trees of green........ red roses tooI see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going byI see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
Theyre really sayin......i love you.

I hear babies cry...... I watch them growTheyll learn much more.....than Ill never knowAnd I think to myself .....what a wonderful world

The colors of a rainbow.....so pretty ..in the sky
Are there on the faces.....of people ..going byI see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you doTheyre really sayin...(I ....love....you).

I hear babies cry...... I watch them grow(you know their gonna learnA whole lot more than Ill never know)And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself .......what a wonderful world’.


Final Journey Pictures.

Happy Birthday to me, Sept. 16th

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME…and if you didn’t figure that out a couple of days ago, shame on you and it already looks like it’s gonna be a great birthday. Ok, maybe a little rainy, but nothing soaking and that means more time to spend down where all the fun is going on and did we have fun. Made our way down to Sara Park where all the action is going on rain free and had a great pancake breakfast put on by the Tomahawk girls hockey which haven’t had their first game yet, but hopefully what they made on this pancake breakfast will give them a great start. We didn’t have to deal with the rain until we got done with breakfast and since there’s a lot happening around here we might as well stay until it clears enough to either ride for the day or head back to the cabin. Well, with waiting and trying to stay dry comes doing a little shopping which is just what we did until I notice Lara setting up a camera looking for a story. Ok, I have a story for you, how about someone who has probably traveled further than any one else at the rally. She asked where I was from where I said St Paul Minnesota, originally from Colby Wisconsin and she said that’s not very far, but like I told her, this is 132 days later and over 37,000 miles that I might have just captured her attention. She works for channel 12 news out of Rhinelander an NBC affiliate that needed to find a couple of stories from the rally and like I told her, ‘I have stories for you’. Got the interview I was looking for and hopefully I’ll be on the 10 o’clock news tonight that if you get Rhinelander, check it out.

One thing I notice and although I got change to get a can of pop was the whole idea behind allowing people to pay on an honor system. Something I had seen throughout the country and maybe didn’t report on, but there were a number of places that practiced it and when I talked to them about it they never had a problem with people not paying that normally people paid more because they might not have change and didn’t want to dip that they sometimes made more than what was sold. Now I think that is something worth noting and something that would be great if you could do that all the time, trust that people will be honest and always pay you that you don’t have to worry about getting screwed. That reminds me of the most generous place for being honest about paying your bill and that was a little breakfast nook in Juneau where they didn’t have a till nor did they give you a bill, but there was just a bucket with money in it that you would throw in what you owed and take out whatever change you needed, I know I left more than what I needed to, but what the hell, if their gonna trust me like that, I’m gonna be trustworthy.

Ok, back to the Tomahawk rally and there’s not much better to do than sit and listen to a good band on a rainy day and do a lot of people watching which is just what we did. Got to meet Tracy, who took care of the beers for us, up from Milwaukee being a good daughter serving beers for her dad’s beer stand – that we’ll see how good a daughter she is. We probably spent more time at Sara Park than we needed, but when Dale and Sandy headed back to the cabin in the rain and came back in the rain although we said it was nice where we were, we knew we better wait until it all blows over that a ride today is probably out of the question and why Dale and Sandy wanted to get wet both ways, we’ll never know now will we? Did a lot of people watching and I remember telling the group at one point that I see a lot of lost souls out there. They enjoy the riding and belonging to a clan like this, but they still haven’t had a ride like I have that really reaches the soul. Ok, so I have a hard time trying to explain it, but it’s like a bunch of sheep following what you think you should be following than becoming your own Sheppard and setting your own direction in life…what an analogy, huh?

Like I told you a couple of days ago with my picture in the Leinenkugel chair, the one bigger than life, I’m gonna get my picture taken on it with a couple of hot chicks with is just what I did with Sabrina and Nicole. So, they were part of the Leinenkugel, 104 blaze and had Miller patches on, but when the guys started lining up to have their pictures taken with them in the chair, they said nope, not unless it’s your birthday like mine that they really made me feel lucky. I said my goodbyes to Sara Park cuz won’t be back until next years rally that time to head back to the cabin and you can see there was a little problem on the highway, opposite of where we were going, but heard later that it was a high speed chase with weapons involved that that’s why they can explain all the squad cars. Hey, check out the thrown in the cabin, the second toilet in the workshop which definitely makes it a great ‘man-thrown’ and check out the view from the 3-season porch while relaxing, what a beautiful view the beginning of fall. Well, Chris and I decided to take a ride to see some of the beauty around us to share who can’t be here before the party gets started that what unbelievable views and this isn’t even mountain country or Alaska, but that’s where you appreciate the beauty God has given us in life no matter where we look for it.

Once again, a great meal, but when I say that, didn’t necessarily share last years experience with you which was my first visit to Tomahawk and my second introduction to steaks cooked over a wood fire…experienced that one other time last summer that as far as I remember, it’s all good that once Larry prayed for fire, John cooked up some great steaks that you can see the crew that enjoyed it all. Ok, didn’t have anyone else to take the picture like last year, that this year it’s me sharing who’s celebrating my birthday with me and thanks to all of them for remembering…and before the night was over, my birthday wish came true – thank you very much for making my birthday, I’ll never forget it. Ok, so I may be old enough to know better, but still too young to care, that hey, as long as I wake up breathing it’s gonna be a great day cuz none of us know where life will lead us, and every day is a new adventure. Birthday Pictures.

To see the news story click the link; Riding Cross Country.

Tomahawk Wisconsin, Sept 15th

Got up earlier than I’ve been use to on most of my journey, but places to go and things to do that ok, I can handle it as long as I get a nap later. Since most of the day was still gonna be boyz day before the women showed up had to get to Sara Park for demo rides and the lines start early. Hit the Junction for some breakfast and that’s something I didn’t have too much of while on the road, breakfast. Normally would hit the road for as late as some of the days started and just stop for a late lunch and some days, neither, just a candy bar and Mountain Dew to get me to my destination for what I hope would be a great dinner. Well, that was the first part of the trip that now that I’m somewhat back to reality, 3 meals a day work. Made our way down to the demo rides and the lines were already long enough that instead of waiting for a touring bike to try out, might be able to ride a few others first. Ok, got in the softtail line, not the kind of bike I’d think about buying after what I already have this year and knowing how riding a Dyna Wide Glide for miles feels like, but it was the shortest line that might as well check it out. Since this is a ride put on by Harley, they require a DOT approved helmet that tried to use the one I had along with for the 17 states that I did have to wear a helmet in, but they wouldn’t buy my story that I was approved by the New York cops…well, that part is true, since I did get pulled over in New York for not having a helmet only to have the cop watch me put it on that that sounds like approval to me…I knew I should’ve had the letters DOT pasted to the back before getting in line. Well, wasn’t impressed with the softtail standard I took out and besides, my neck was hurting with the parachute I had on my head that cut the ride short.

Ok, I’m going straight to the dresser line, you know, the cruisers with all the luggage bags, otherwise known as baggers since the line is longer and the other guys still have a few bikes to ride. Now you know, Dressers, Cruisers and Baggers are pretty much synonymous in the biking world, it just makes a difference on whether it’s a Harley or not. Well, never did get to take the bagger out because everyone seemed to be in line for the same on and since they were only down to one, it was gonna be at least another hour that the rest of the guys were done and remember, we have places to go and things to do be before the ladies show up. Made our way to Minocqua and that brings back memories because it’s a place that me and boyz, another group of boyz use to party every Memorial and Labor day weekend…that was before some got married and had kids, but hey, someone’s gotta go there, right? Well, captured some of the places that we’d normally visit including the field where I showed the boyz some moves while playing a little tag football…and hey, Albie, look what the Minocqua Yacht club is named, Albee’s…same name, different spelling.

The Northern Lights Harley shop had free food, that where ever there is a deal like that, it’s worth showing up to and had some good burgers and brats to fill my already full stomach. Remember since normally didn’t do breakfast on the road, three meals a day might be a little tough. From there had some riding to do and I have to tell you, there’s nothing like riding a road like Cedar Falls Road…better than any roller coaster that I’ve been on since I get to open it up and go as fast as I want – well, at least as fast as Chris who was leading would do, but we hit it hard, that once to the end, someone said, let’s see what John has to say, which is what we were expecting….can you guys ride it any faster – ok, a little sarcasm, but you’d have to have been there before. Made our way to Marilyn’s cabin, John and Sandy’s sister’s place that again, one of those places that I wish were my house with a view like that. John and Sandy get more use out of the place since he has to take care of the lawn, heat and snow blowing since his sister in law only uses it 3 times a year living in Virginia, that what a deal. Ok, maybe John jokes about how he should’ve gone for the richer sister, but hey, he ain’t doing too bad at all.

This year wasn’t a year to ride the parade since we were missing a few passengers, but did make it downtown to see it. It’s the big thing on Friday night in Tomahawk and caught a great picture of Willie G and Nancy…well we assume it’s her, but like Milan said with the dark shield down, couldn’t tell. Ok, did have to explain to Larry who Willie G. is that for the rest of you who might not know, he’s the grandson of one of the founders William A. Davidson and had a lot to do with the family getting the company back from AMF and turning things around. Yep, more to the story because sometime around 1969 the bowling company AMF took over Harley-Davidson and really didn’t do anything about the quality of the bikes or made much in the way of updates that in 1981 thirteen of the senior executives of Harley Davidson purchased Harley-Davidson Motor Company from AMF…now hoes that for knowing my history which most true Harley owners already know – and God bless America cuz now that I’ve seen it all, we are truly blessed to live in this country we do with the beauty it has to offer.

Had to get something to eat that made our way back to Besse’s to see Brenda and Robin and try out their fish fry which Emily and Sam made sure we were happy with. Ok, Sam, all we were looking for was a smile. Well, Chris, Larry and I had a few bars to hit on the way back to the cabin, people to meet which I haven’t talked about yet, but while downtown ran into someone Chris use to date who now lives in Menominee, Sara that she’s trying to set one of us up with her girlfriend from Eau Claire that for me, too close to home…well, another home that I’m better off staying away from that we’ll see tomorrow who she rides. Back to the cabin and tonight I get to show off some of the pictures from Alaska that when Sandy came over to checkout some of the pictures, Dale said, ‘Let her click thru the pictures’. Well, the story is that she’s spent the last week and a late Friday night working on an install of a new computer system, that she just needs to vent…well, venting on my pictures, maybe not so I’ll drive. Tomorrow, let’s see what tomorrow brings, but I suspect another day having to get out of bed early. Tomahawk Rally Pictures.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tomahawk Wisconsin, Sept 14th

The beginning to the end, the Tomahawk fall ride and I have the friends from Wausau to meet up with before heading north that I have to get East pretty quick. Took a road much traveled since living in the city that it’s great that it’s freeway most of the way that I can pump it up a little and doesn’t take as long as it did years ago. Didn’t get a very good picture of me entering Wisconsin, but it’s there and saw some Buffalo as well as the rest of God’s country along the way and being on freeway means, sharing it with the big rigs…close enough to touch, that I’d hate to see a tire blow for being so close. Made a stop at the Chippewa Falls Harley shop where I bought the bike to see if they had some latches for my side bags since the springs have already broke and I think the guy in service was a little surprise. He asked what year the bike was and I told him an ‘06’ that when he checked the miles and saw over 36,000 asked, what year did you say it was? Ok, got it in April and have been on it every sense that I’m getting my use out of it. Well, they weren’t able to help me out with the latches that can just check with something closer to home since they will be covered under warranty…still wish Harley would cover the oil, filters, brake pads and tires, but I’ll have to see whether I can work that.

Made my way further east and that means passing my home town of Colby Wisconsin hat as long as I’m going by, should really stop to see my parents. Got a picture of the football field and track where all of my records were recorded, many of them still standing that now you know where the nickname ‘Star’ came from…some day, maybe I’ll tell you the rest of the story. Made my way to the house I spent much of my childhood in, I think since 6th grade, if not sooner that mom had some great homemade apple pie and ice cream waiting for me. Ok, I really wanted to spend a night so I could relax since I’ve been on the road for so long, but they told me to move on because I still have more riding to do. Great, can’t even move back home, but at my age and in a small town, might not be the wisest thing for me to do…remember, there’s a lot more world out there for me to see. I’ll tell you, it’s great having the kind of support I have from my parents and I have to thank them for beginning this journey of mine which started 45 years ago, this Saturday…you know what that means, someone’s birthday?

Ok, have to get to Wausau before the crew heads north that Chris tells me I should go to the 45 parallel of Latitude, you know the one, remember the sign from Yellowstone? yep, same Latitude that it should be really easy to find. Well, I do know how to follow directions and did find the road that said Geological marker and which way to go that I was really surprised that I couldn’t find the thing. Chris said it was a paved road, but after going a few miles still didn’t see the marker that stopped and asked someone pulled over by the side of the road where the marker was, that they weren’t sure, but thought it was half a mile up the road. Well, after a couple of miles still couldn’t find it that today wasn’t the day for me to find it that have to book to Wausau to make my scheduled appointment to ride with the boyz north, which is just what I did…what a rush hitting 80 miles an hour on the side country roads. Hey, check out the cabin we get to stay in this weekend, Dale and Sandy’s place, that I wish my house was as nice and had such a great view that this is really gonna make this weekends bike rally a fun event. Hey, checkout what’s going on at Sara Park, a bike rally and got a picture of the boyz since tonight is boyz weekend. And you can see my picture in the oversize Leinenkugel’s chair that mark my word, before the weekend is over, I’m gonna have my picture taken in that chair with a few hot babes.

Had to make a stop at Besse’s Clear Water Resort to see Brenda, Sue and Robin and I can see why these guys make a number of trips north from Wausau just to have a few drinks and eat, with that kind of scenery, I’d be making a trip like that myself. More pictures of the cabin that some of us wish were home, but for the weekend, can’t be happier. Hey, check it out, they stuck me in the biggest bed in the place…I guess they think I have the most potential of filling it before the weekends over - I like their kinda thinking. Check out Chris and his nightwear, dressing as a troll that you can see why he’s here by himself this weekend…can you blame her? More rally to come and I already know I don’t want it to end. Minnesota to Tomahawk Pictures.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Eagan MN, Sept 13th

Ok, hadn’t planned on a blog today, but have to keep you up to date and dialed in to my travels since I have a few more days to go before this part of my journey, hopefully around the world is complete. There were a couple of things that happened to me today that felt it needed to be written and shared with those of you who have been keeping up with my travels…and for those who have, thanks much for coming along for the ride.
Well the way things started today was out of my comfort zone, after paying a few bills and getting caught up on things around the house that needed to be taken care of, drove my car for the first time in many days and felt pretty uncomfortable doing so. First thing was, I wasn’t use to not being able to see everything around me that while backing out of the driveway, thought for sure I’d hit something since my vision is impaired…ok, have 20/15 vision, but again, can’t see everything around me in a car as I can on a bike. Made it ok, no one nor anything to hit that escaped the cult sac without incident, but what an experience since I’ve been on a bike as long as I have. Met my friends Jim and Nan for lunch at a place I haven’t been to in years, the Best Steakhouse. Ok, one of those quick lunch places that the best steak today was ground Sirloin, but still a good piece of meat.

Oh and another reason that I thought about writing this blog is because of some of the songs I heard along my ventures today, in the car that is, but one of them was Johnny Cash’s ‘I’ve been every where Man’, cuz after starting to look at pictures from the start of this trip…I have been every where – man. Lunch was great and especially since it was free, thanks Jim for picking up my lunch, but some people know how it is on those of us that don’t work that they’re always willing to help any way they can. More errands to run and since I was looking for a pair of shorts for lunch, thought for sure something happened to my carpenter shorts until I realized I had a package from Sturgis to pick up from Tom that made my way to Madison Supply to get what I left over a month ago. Not a problem finding it either cuz like Tom said, they haven’t done anything in the trailer since getting back that everything was still where I had stashed it that ok, there they are, those carpenter shorts I was looking for and the rest of the warm weather clothing I left behind for Alaska.

The rest of the day was errands and thanking the neighbors for taking such good care of my place while I was gone that have a lot more people to thank for making my travels easier than they otherwise could have been, that you know what I’ll be busy with next week…that is other than looking for a job. Had to get the bike washed for this weekend and I’m happy to report that the bug remover does work…should’ve gotten a picture of what the ‘bug bike’ looked like before the wash, but didn’t, so just trust me, there were enough bugs that the headlight even on high beem was lower than low beam – how’ bout that for a description. Did my packing for the trip to Tomahawk and had to get something to eat the ended up at my favorite bar again, wait, went to El Loro for a little Mexican before ending up at Old Chicago, but haven’t had Mexican for awhile. Ok, that brings me to the other reason for writing this blog, was looking back at pictures from the start of this trip and that Johnny Cash song from earlier definitely sticks, ‘I’ve been every where man’, that now all I have to do is list the cities I’ve been thru like he does in the song. Another reason for the blog is, although this trip started 128 days ago, give or take a few, just looking at the pictures brought back a lot of memories, both good and bad of what was going thru my head some of the days on the road, that it’s unbelievable how some things just stick with you the way they do, because I realized looking at day 10, hell, only 10 days into the trip was the last time I talked to someone who was very important in my life, that 118 days later – just a memory. Oh well, life goes on and I know this trip has been for me to find myself that I’m no longer looking at that door of happiness that closed on me, but looking at the one which has opened…if you don’t remember, check out the blog from June 26th for Helen Keller’s quote. Tomorrow on the road to Wisconsin and hopefully my driving privilege in the state has been renewed; remember the problems I had with that speeding ticket which was reduced to faulty equipment and what happened not paying the bill in time…hell on the road and a whole other story that I’ll have to share sometime. Four more days and can hardly wait to get on the bike to see what Tomahawk has to bring…oh and don’t’ forget someone’s bday – mine. No pics today.

Eagan MN - home, Sept 12th

Eagan Minnesota which is home, but I’ll be here for a day, just long enough to wash the bike and pack for the Tomahawk rally which’ll be the end of this part of the journey and got into town late tonight….more on that later, but my last 3 nights have been late nights getting into town that at least this one I’m familiar with, that is until I hit the construction I didn’t realize they had going on. Got a decent start early this morning and since it’s only a 7 hour trip, should be home in about 6 ½ that plenty of time. Ok, so I didn’t take a picture of how well the bed was made last night before crawling in, but like I mentioned before I do know how to make a bed…maybe not military style, but hell it works for me. Filled her up with gas, the bike that is, before heading to the border cuz incase I run out, don’t want to be in the middle of no where that said my ‘good byes’ to Winnipeg and hit the road for what the gas attendant said should be a 45 minute drive, which he was right, pretty close to 45 minutes if not a little less on a bike…don’t know why they always say I should be able to do it in less time because of being on a bike unless they already know how I drive. Anyway, took a few pictures of more wheat fields, but trust me, had my share and wasn’t really anything else to see on the way to the border.

Made my way to the border and before crossing had to cash in the Canadian currency for American that how convenient that the Canadian currency went down in value…just when I need it to be up. Oh well, still need to get rid of it for something that I can use across the border that have no choice other than a Canadian bank and like they said might be a couple cents more on the dollar that it’s not worth the 5 minute drive and gas. I don’t know what it was today, but once again, got pulled over for secondary inspection, remember Tijuana? but made a big mistake there by trying to go thru the border that I thought for sure I answered the border patrols questions that don’t know why she picked me out to be inspected further and knew at that point I should’ve been in the other line cuz it was moving a lot faster, border patrol in the other line that was either more trusting or just didn’t care. Well, sitting outside the garage door while their inspecting another vehicle that decided to make a phone call, had to remind Jesse to watch for my frozen Halibut which was suppose to be delivered today, which turned out to be the wrong thing to do. The guy in the garage saw me and came out right away and took my phone away, he said no phone calls until I get thru the border, that hey, another one of those rules I didn’t know about. Ok so can’t make a call that when I did get my bike in for it’s inspection, not gonna do any kind of smarting off or asking questions of why some of us are pulled over for inspection instead of others…did notice the car in front of me had one guy that looked like middle eastern that understood that, but me, an innocent looking biker didn’t make any sense. The guy doing the inspection started out as a jerk until he realized I was going to cooperate as much as I needed to, but I’m not happy with the way they pull things apart and then just try to jam them back into where they were…at least the lady checking out one of the bags said she’d let me pack it cuz she didn’t want to hurt my computer, but the other bag, things strewn wherever that ok, just gotta deal with it cuz want to move on.

Ok, so that took an extra half hour than what it should’ve, but hey, today I accomplished what I set out to do, hit all 49 states on this trip and I would say myself that what a hell of an accomplishment and in less than 130 days. Well, maybe a guy can balloon around the world in 120 days, but that’s only 24,901.55 miles, look it up, that my 128 day trip was almost 37,000 miles later…still a few more to put on this weekend that will log the end of the trip then, but what a hell of a ride. Home is still my destination today and checked the mileage on my trip’ Demeter when saw my next gas stop was about 40 miles away, that not a problem since I can get somewhere between 140 and 160 on a tank that should be able to make it without a problem…well, not today and definitely ended up in the middle of no where. Ran out at mile marker 146 and since saw a highway crew, thought for sure they’d have a canister of gas, but guess what, not that lucky today. Out of gas and the closest place is 12 miles away that one of the guys called highway patrol which will normally come out and give me a juicer, but nope, they stopped doing that, but will dispatch a ride for me that I just have to sit it out and wait. Ok, can do that for a bit and really hope that while waiting one of the vehicles passing would pull over and check out my situation, but again, not my lucky day that sat it out Well, after an hour wait and still no help, thought about calling my curling friend Chris and finding out if his dad who lives about 16 miles back might be able to help me out, but decided instead to checkout the HOG roadside assistance which didn’t help either.

Took me about four calls to them because my phone kept losing service, remember in the middle of no where and when I have to answer 101 questions before letting them know to just send gas to mile marker 146, doesn’t help matters. Well, finally my last call they said, and you’ll never guess…’you’re in the middle of no where’ that there isn’t a shop they can send gas from, but can send a police dispatch to help that if I know of anyone in the area that can help me out quicker, that’d be my best bet, that did just that, called Chris and he can have a friend there in 45 minutes with gas. Great, now I’m getting somewhere and probably should’ve been my first call, but in the middle of the afternoon, others are working while I’m still playing that didn’t think I’d get an answer. You can see a picture of the bike 2 hours after running out of gas…yep, in the middle of no where that I really wish I would’ve taken that gas can Joe offered, but than again figured not on the Alaskan highway that I’ll always be able to find gas. Ok, so before the highway patrol comes along or Chris’ friend can get there, a couple of guys on bikes stop and today might not be so bad after all because one of the guys just happens to have a gas can, Bob that ok, so I won’t say anything about having to mechanic a Honda with Harley parts, cuz today it took Honda gas to get me on the road and like Bob said, with the kind of head wind we have today, not going far on a tank…now if I would’ve know that would’ve thought about gas earlier cuz didn’t even get 120 miles on this tank…ok, so now I’m down to just over 100 miles a tank which is really bad gas mileage, but I don’t think the quality of the Canadian or even Alaskan gas is that great that the bike isn’t running as well as it has…hey, this baby needs premium and I haven’t had any for almost a month now.

Back on the road, after calling Chris to tell his friend, ‘thanks, but no thank’s’ and hit my first gas station only to find the lowest grade of unleaded you can get, but hey, I need gas and now that I’ve lost the convoy of John and Bob need it anyway that should be able to make the 94 miles or so to Fargo for some quality gas. Now I’m on my way that should still be able to make home in daylight that hit it hard, even with a head wind and boy how nice it is to have cruise control thru the flatlands of North Dakota, not much to see that had plenty of other on my mind and yep, some was getting gas before getting too far away from Fargo. Well, crossed the Minnesota border and noticed one of the last exits before going 40 some miles to the next stop has gas food, lodging and camping that I’m gonna take it and you know when you don’t know which way to go, go right that did just that looking for gas since there wasn’t a station right there by the exit. Well, once I figured out there wasn’t gas anywhere in site and have to head back a couple of exits did just that, but again, something must be trying to keep me from getting home because a mile from the gas exit…outta gas again that thanks to Andy for stopping and helping me out – no 2 hour wait this time, but then again even if I would’ve hiked it, it was only a mile to go, but still time wasted. Ok, now I’m not happy with the gas mileage and having to worry about gas every hundred miles, but than again, that’s almost what HD stands for…well, almost that instead of a Hundred Dollars, in my case it’s a Hundred Miles and that’s all you get.

Finally after a long day of more sitting and waiting than riding, entering another big city late at night and tonight it’s fortunate that it’s one that I know cuz I know I’ll be able to get fed and a lot of other activities going on late that just want to get the bike home for it’s ‘made it home’ picture and down to my favorite bar that did just that. Ok, about 2 ½ hours later than planned, but still home and thanks to Cliff, Sherry and Jesse for taking such good care of the place and the note greeting me home, that I’m happy to be home. Got unpacked and called my buddy Jim to find out that him Mark and Eric are going to be at Old Chicago for a coming home party for me, that ok, works for me...ok, wasn’t a coming home party, but to celebrate Eric’s bday and since mine is coming up, might as well party it up that you can see where I ended, my favorite hometown bar, Old Chicago with Lori, Jamie and Libbi taking good care of me. Ok, like I said earlier, in town just long enough to wash the bike and pack that we’ll see what else tomorrow has to offer…ok? Border and boring ND and MN Pictures.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Winnipeg Manitoba, Sept 11th

Remember what today is about, 9/11 and how it’s changed the world we live in…

Winnipeg Manitoba that another one of the Canadian provinces and the last one I’ll be visiting on this trip. Didn’t get going as early as I wanted to, but when you have to take a bath instead of a shower, sometimes you just want to soak…ok, not really, but was a late night and Maggie fed me plenty of shots that needed my sleep. Packed and said my goodbyes to Saskatoon, that ready to go and Mike told me last night that the drive to Winnipeg was only about a 7 hour trip, 6 if I push it which is normally the case, that have plenty of time to make it. Also have a bed reserved in the Hostel that won’t have to worry about finding a place to spend what will probably be my last night in a foreign country…on this trip that is. Took the Yellowhead Trail as they call it, highway 16 and that’s because once again, surrounded by nothing but golden wheat fields and when that wind is blowing across the prairies, it really blows. Didn’t get too many pictures because it is really nothing but flat and gold all around that there were few places to capture other than wheat fields and I’ve had my share of them…again, especially when the winds blowing across them the way it does…have been flying across Canada though.

Didn’t get a picture of the truck stop I hit along the way for a little soup and sandwich for lunch, but almost thought about just turning around and booking when I walked into the place and there’s this old guy sitting next to the kitchen door who had apparently just threw up on himself.. My first thought, so that’s how drunk the cook got that he couldn’t handle it, but apparently some trucker passed out, forgot to take his medication for his blood pressure that lost it and the ambulance has 60 kliks before they’ll get there. Oh well, the soup and sandwich were ok and I needed to get something in my stomach this morning after the night I had last night. Not going to make it to my favorite named Canadian town, Regina, but I remember the first time I heard the name and you can imagine what I was thinking and no, I wasn’t Regina, but it’s…ok, if you really need to know than you’re not using your imagination. Well, it is out of the way that had I taken the Trans Canadian highway from Calgary that all the truckers take could’ve ended up there last night, but hey, then I might not have had the kind of fun I found in Saskatoon last night would I?

The trip to Yorkton wasn’t supposed to be that bad, but man it took a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would. Might not help that I have a cross wind today instead of a tail wind, but did eventually find the place and the Harley shop…remember my home away from home that’ll make a stop and find out how much farther to Winnipeg which was disappointing to hear – 4 hours at least. Well, made my way and actually saw some trees and water that have to capture those since I’m seeing something other than wheat fields, but trust me, still a lot more of them to be seen. Made it to Manitoba and today another one of those hours lost, but at least this time it’ll be my last for a while since I’m now back on central time and will probably stay there for a while…we’ll see what the job market has to offer and whether I stay in the cities or not, because there are plenty of other country out there and some other great places that I could see living in…maybe even a foreign city, like Calgary, that only time will tell.

Did see something weird just outside of Winnipeg, some hay houses, and wish I would’ve captured a picture of all of them lined up the way they were…ok, not houses, but just the way their piled and covered with the white tarps, they look like houses. Found my way to the hostel and it’ll be another one of those interesting ones, but my last for a while. Some older guy who was just checking in and is gonna be in the same room was asking where I was from which you know I have to ask the same. Well, his is an interesting story because he’s from British Columbia that asked why so far east that he said he came to see his girlfriend. Ok, also strange that why are you checking into a hostel instead of staying with her when he gave me the story how he spent over a thousand bucks hoping to get laid, well ok, you can tell how that went. For me, time to get something to eat and watch a little Monday night football even though it’s only the Queens playing that had a great Italian meal at Bella Vista and made my way here, the Nook where Caycie is taking good care of me…yea a different spelling, but like she said here, parents were hippie types. Oh well, tomorrow, head south for the states and we’ll see if they’ll let me back in. Haven’t been gone that long and no, don’t have any alcohol, tobacco or fire arms from Canada to bring back with me. More Prairie Pictures.

Saskatoon Saskatchewan, Sept 10th

Saskatoon Saskatchewan and I’ve made another one of the Canadian provinces, that only four more to go, but sorry, not on this trip. Had I known I’d be going thru Canada heading East hitting most of the provinces may have visited those furthest east, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, but that’ll be for another day. Said my goodbye to Calgary which was hard to do because why leave a place that I’m having so much fun at and has some of Canadians hautest, but eventually have to get home for the Tomahawk bike rally and my bday weekend, for those who needed to be reminded. My ‘goodbye’ to Calgary is not a ‘goodbye, forever’, but just a ‘goodbye for now’ that will definitely be back to visit Joe and Braden who have been lifesaver for my travel to and from Alaska. Can’t thank you two enough and you definitely need to make it to the cities so I can show you a good time and return the favor…ok, may not be able to match the women Canada has, but there are many from the states worth checking out.

Started heading east and the further you get away from the Rockies, it becomes nothing but prairie and the difference between here and the states prairies, am surrounded by nothing but gold…gold wheat fields that can see why this is called ‘Wheatland’. Check it out, did find Canada’s version of the Badland’s, you know American’s version, the ones I see every year when visiting Sturgis, but these are much smaller than what South Dakota has to offer. They do have dinosaur bones like South Dakota on display at their museum that I didn’t visit, but one thing they have over South Dakota, the world’s largest dinosaur and this one you can climb up to his mouth and take pictures of the badlands. Well, ok, more pictures of Drumheller, but it was worth the 3$ to see Canada’s badlands. Once out of the badlands more wheat fields to see that once I cross that Province border, Alberta to Saskatchewan, the sceneries definitely going to change, right? well not around here because am finding that most of the midland of Canada is prairie wheat fields, but with the wind behind me not such a bad ride.

Ok, you know I planned on returning that gas can to Joe who told me to take it with, but hey, not on the Alaskan highway anymore that I won’t need it and will have other things I have to worry about packing that left it at their apartment…well, eventually I wished I would’ve had it with me because I’m running on fumes and although saw a lot of signs for towns along the way, not many of them have gas that eventually ran out. Did pass a truck with a pump in the back and pointed to my gas tank asking if they had gas which the lady signaled yes, that I’ll just stay in front of her so if I don’t make it, maybe you can pull over and help me out. Well, that’s almost what happened because 1 klik from the gas station I ran out that I thought for sure when pulling over she’d help me out, but what the hell, she kept going that I have 1 klik to get the bike for food. Did eventually get it started that it put me within half a klik that ok, can push it from here on that only have a couple of blocks to go and although it wasn’t downhill, can push when I have to. Ok, that lasted as long as I could keep the bike upright before it got out of hand and went down. Ok, only have a block to go that a couple of kids stopped to help me pickup the bike that maybe if I hang on, they can drag me the block I have to go…maybe not that ok just get a gas can and walk back the block I had to go to get the bike to the gas station…now why is it they tell you to worry about gas along the Alaskan highway and I’ve had more problems elsewhere that maybe I should start carrying a juicer of gas all over?

Well, got into Saskatoon later than I had hoped, but because of the late start, deal with it. Stopped at an Ale house cuz I’m sure they’ll be able to help me out that pointed me to the cheapest hotel in town…ok., probably more like a motel cuz this place is a dive, but hey, have a bed and shower…I mean bath, so I’m good to go. All of the rooms with showers were taken that I have to settle on a bath, but it won’t be anything like the one I had to work for in Dawson City, remember the one? that hopefully they have hot water in the morning. This put me right next door to the happening place tonight, Pat’s that’ll catch something to eat quick at Joe’s where Trevor, Carla, Min, Krista and Brenden took good care of me…thanks Min for buying me dinner – it was great and hey check it out, remember how Braden’s name is spelled differently with an ‘E’, well Brenden is the same, unique with the ‘E’. Ok, time to enjoy Industry night, one that I missed in Calgary where all the people that work in the service business get to enjoy, but am going to have a blast with Maggie and Mark taking care of me and a Canadian Mounty checking me out…apparently a guy sitting in the corner working on a laptop freaks some people out that this ain’t gonna last much longer. Hey Joe., do you recognize Mike cuz he knows you from the same hometown, Yorkton which I’ll probably be thru tomorrow…what a small world, leave Calgary only to meet someone who knows who I stayed with in Calgary. Tonight is gonna be a hell of a party with these shots Maggie is feeding me…just what a need, more of that 150 proof that I feel like I’m being Hyderized again. Tomorrow, let’s see where I end up and without having an internet connection the last three days might all be loaded the same day that you’ll know where I ended up sooner than later. Canadian Badlands and Prairie Pictures.

Calgary Alberta, Sept 9th

Calgary Albert, yep still Canada and today was about sleeping in and getting some rest I’ve lost along the way as well as getting laundry done for the trek home…almost out of clean underwear that either I wash or go without and without has definitely crossed my mind a few times – I’m sure just what you wanted to hear. Last night was a late night like every night in Calgary has become, but am having a blast that tonight will probably be the same and after finding out it might only take me one day home from Winnipeg, may just spend another night in this fun town. It turned out to be a beautiful day and although I was searching for someone to take riding, forgot about the helmet law that didn’t do any riding for the day, just laundry, repacking the bag, cleaning myself up, which took some time and fixing my chaps which keep loosing snaps along the way. Hell, for the way they are flapping in the wind, I’d bust a snap or two myself.

Joe and I met up with Phil, Braden and Sharl’s at the Catch, a very good seafood place in town and before I forget, most of these places I’ve visited along the way are all in the vicinity of James Joyce, where my fun in Calgary started last time thru. That is except for some of the clubs that we’ve visited which are on 17th ave and you take a taxi there and have nothing but bars to hit along the way…not the kind of place I think someone could do the entire street in a pub crawl, but it’d be worth a try. Because Braden knows all of the general managers of the bars around James Joyce, we get some great perks at all the places and get to whoop it up a little more. Ok, so theirs another one of those big lobsters here, remember the one I saw in Boston? well, this one tips the scales at 15 pounds and although I marked it for dinner, not one that they’ll sell. They only have the guy for display purposes and like Josh said, for as old as this guy is and how big, the meat wouldn’t be as good as a smaller lobster…again, something I remember learning in Maine when I had my first Maine lobster. Well, we ventured around the mall area hitting some of the other bars around James Joyce and although we wanted another one of those Mehito’s no luck because the Congo room was having a private wedding party…oh, well, still caught Sunday and Jen, sorry I missed Carry’s picture in their wedding best that they are still a couple of the hottest bartenders I’ve seen around these parts and trust me, there are a lot of them – haut Canadian women.

Ok, I did the Saltlick in Texas that have to try one of Calgary’s best steakhouses out, the Saltlik…same name, but different spelling and when I looked back at my pictures to see how the one in Texas was spelled, just had to say, holy shit…what a trip this has been and that was way back in May, longer ago than I realized, at this point all I can say is, man what an unbelievable ride. Oh and the other thing is although I didn’t do any riding today, the song in my head was something about ‘life is a highway and I’m gonna ride it all night long’…yep, another one of those country songs since I’ve turned country. Well, had some great company at the Saltlik with Braden, his roommate Joe and their buddy Jody and his girlfriend Zoe that I’m looking for one of those good pieces of Alberta beef that Stacy made a couple of recommendations…ok, the boyz are suggesting the CAB steak, but I love my Rib eye that I’ll try one of them. What a great meal and had even more fun with the company that although a number of us felt like a nap after a meal like that, time to hit the town. Before I forget, not sure if I mentioned it the last time thru Calgary, but all of the places we go, the bathrooms are downstairs. Had to capture what the downstairs of the Saltlik looked like and what a place to have a party and although I captured the urinals in the men’s bathroom, missed a picture of the thrown and probably should’ve thrown in a Queens thrown while I was at it.

Well, how about this, not going to write much about what else happened last night since some of it may be a blur, but tried to capture most of the places we visited and the one thing that holds true with every place we visited, these Canadian women are haut and like Joe put it, they don’t have hang-ups like some but are also pretty intuitive. All they are looking for is a guy that is up front and honest with them and he can already tell that I fit the bill…hey nothing to hide and man it definitely helps having a wingman that tonight is all about having fun. Ok, can see some of the places we visited and one of the last places we were at hooked up with Jennifer…hey, another day that met 2 with the same name, Jen from the Congo room and Jennifer in Whiskey’s. Oh and had to ask the boyz what the Rye’s they’re ordering are….their slang for Canadian Whiskey. Tomorrow a new day that lets see whether I ride east or spend another night partying in Calgary….what a blast it’s been so far. Party Pictures.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Calgary Alberta Canada, Sept 8th

Calgary Alberta sitting in James Joyce with Joe and Braden having a great time…remember them from my first visit, they put me up for the night and we partied on the town that they invited me back for round two – man I can hardly wait. Have already made my round in search of those I met last time I was here and more ladies from James Joyce. Also made a visit to Carry and Sunday for another one of those Mehito and too see which one wanted to go riding with me tomorrow…like I asked Sunday, ‘could I have a little Sundae on Saturday’?…and the answer was sure, but then she told me she’s heard that line before…hey I tried and found out she had just had a falling out with a guy that she wasn’t to happy with men right about now…like I told her, maybe that’s why I’m back thru town…more on a fun night later. Got a late start because of that hour I lost, but packed the campsite up pretty quick and got a quick shower in before hitting the road. Knew it was only going to be about a 5 hour drive, that have plenty of time to make Calgary while the suns still out. Said ‘good bye’ to Jasper and was really looking forward to the ride south to Banff since I had seen the ride heading north last time and you can see that the pictures are some great scenery of the Rockies. Was a little disappointed that it was a bit hazy out so some of the mountains didn’t pop out like they did last time, but again, pictures don’t do this area justice that you really need to visit both the Banff and Jasper National parks to see what they have to offer…some breath taking views.

Didn’t make as many stops as last time since went by and took pictures of everything there was to see than, that today’s pictures are only about the ride. Ok, did stop for a few if I saw something that needed a little more attention, but on this road on a Friday afternoon after you pass the slow vehicles and take the lead, you’d like to keep it...now that’s a lame excuse for not getting better pictures, but remember, a little hazy from the sun and heading south right in to it. Got to see more of the ice field and noticed a number of other glaciers that I had missed last time thru that did try to capture those. After passing the ice fields finally came to a crossing, a place for gas and although I do have that gas can and if pushed it should be able to make Banff without a stop, decided because of some of the construction I hit along the way shouldn’t take any chances that made that turn around for gas…good thing that I did too because there was plenty of construction still to come and ok, I know I can shut off the bike and conserve the gas, but what was suppose to be a quick trip to Banff and Calgary is going to take longer than I thought, but at least not as long as the guy who lost his load. Not sure what happened or when it happened and whether the truck driver was ok or not, but I’m glad I wasn’t around to see it happen, don’t want to be close to something like that on a bike.

Made my way to Banff and figured I have to make a stop at the Rose and Crown Pub to see if Tanya is still working and grab a bite to eat and sure enough she was with a friend, Vivitskaia a beautiful Russian name and you can see Tanya was surprised to see me. Although she had a problem with me taking her picture last time cuz she though I’d put her head on a different body and put it out there…she hadn’t checked it out yet that had to give her another card so she can see my pictures are legit – and like I told her, there’d be no need to put her face on a different body, she already had it together. Oh, and did mention how she is one of those dwindling breed, the true blonde….ok, something I heard from someone not to long ago. Had a great burger and like I’ve mentioned before, Banff is definitely a place I want to come and visit again, actually both that and Jasper because they are both fun and different in their own way.

Back to the highway for that 130 klik drive to Calgary and you can see that most of it when you leave the Rockies are the prairie. Not a bad drive today and the temps keep going up that I finally get to shed some of the leather and enjoy the ride. Did have to make a stop for gas and this one almost turned out to be my last. Made my way on the road around the off ramp and had a little drive to the service road that was going along the speed I should be when a pickup coming off another ramp decided not to yield to me and come into my lane…hit the brakes only to find myself into a slide, but fortunate enough that there was enough room between me and the wall of the median to make my way thru – I can’t tell you how that gets your blood pumping and I don’t think the pickup even saw me until they heard my squeal past them…come on people, watch out for bikes and if you have a yield sign, pay special attention. Anyway was pretty fortunate and a good thing getting gas cuz it let me settle down a bit before getting back on the highway for what is just a short jaunt to Calgary.

Did just that, made the short jaunt on the highway to Calgary and I remember where I’m going around here that brought me to where this blog all started, James Joyce with Joe and Jody to party with and Braden taking good care of us. You can see some of the other crew that was working and hadn’t been in the pictures my last visit, that is except for Chassity and you can see she’s very photogenic and does like her picture taken, just like Braden, pictures of him and his Harem…no, not Desmond. Well, before having too many to drink have to get my bike to Joe and Braden’s that he gave me the keys to the apartment so I could go and get unpacked and cleaned up which is just what I did…ok, still have the hair from Alaska, but we’ll see how long that lasts. Made my way back downtown and got some great pictures of the downtown walking from the apartment just across the river that tonight is gonna be a fun night and you can see from some of the pictures am having a blast and if you remember, with a lot of the same people I met last time in town…it is something when a hot Canadian chick remembers your name when you show up almost a month later – makes me feel special. Oh, yea, Monday is Teanna’s birthday, remember Bre’s sister that a number of people are at Palomino for a few drinks…happy birthday Teanna. Did meet a couple guys from Britain too who are now living in Calgary working as cops and I’m sure glad I did, cuz look what they took care of, my parking ticket from my last visit. From a parking cop that like they said, just tear it up that ok, instead of me doing it, how’bout you to make it legit…so me, no parking ticket and just have to make sure I don’t get another. More people to party with and the group Joe was with, Craig and Johnny, they were celebrating Craig’s return from Afghanistan…sure a lot of different parties going on that I’m just here for the ride…and a pretty cool picture of the full moon next to the Calgary tower. Tomorrow another day and laundry to do, but another weekend night that let’s see what we can scare up then…shall we? Calgary thru the Jasper Banff park pictures.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Jasper Alberta Canada, Sept 7th

Jasper Alberta again, remember I was here 23 days ago and had so much fun that had to find out who from my last visit was still here. Well, the ladies moved on, back to school that the only one still left from last time is Adam and him and Dave are taking good care of me and that’s while I was chatting it up with Tara. She’s from Edmonton and just needed to get away since she recently broke up with her fiancé, finally realizing she deserved better than the way she’s been treated and although he’s promised to change…that ain’t gonna happen – sounds familiar to me, but hey, like I told her, she’ll eventually find her way. Ok, like I said yesterday about the hostel at Smithers, you should definitely consider it instead of a hotel room because one, the cost is cheaper and if you stay in one of the two private rooms you get a private bath to yourself that I do believe it nicer than any hotel in town and a lot that I’ve stayed in. Hans and Tina take great care of the place and are really a couple everyone should meet. I had a great time talking with them yesterday when I got there, and they even pulled their truck out from the overhang so I could park my bike rain free for the night. Tina took a picture of me this morning for their scrap book and once again a great conversation with them this morning…very friendly and personable and welcome anyone who comes their way, even a biker like me.

Said goodbye to Smithers and although it was spitting a little bit earlier, was rain free and dry for my ride. Did start off a little cold, but hey, this is northern Canada and maybe you can notice by some of the pictures that the leaves are already starting to turn color…some great colors that I tried to capture, but might have to work with the pictures a little to get the pictures of the flowers to be as bold as they are in real life… which has me thinking about part of the ride – the ride into Jasper thru the Pine’s, the only way I could think to describe it is put yourself in the middle of the woods with nothing but pine trees around you, close your eyes and enjoy the smell…I got a lot of that along the way and got to experience four of the senses, touch (the way the bugs and wind blow by), sight (just look at what I’m looking at), smell (can you imagine it) and sound (a lot of wind, but you can hear some of the wildlife around you)…don’t think you’d experience any other way than on a bike. Hell, might have covered all 5, because with some of the smells come a certain kind of taste, if you know what I mean, that on a bike get to enjoy all the senses.

Tried to capture the thing I was talking about yesterday with one sign listing the cities and the next the Indian reservations, but not sure I got the jest of the signs, apparently they are both listing different cities, so the first must be the major cities and gas stops while the others are just cities along the way. Not sure, but not going to worry about it either as long as I can get gas when in need and for having carried a gas can with me thru Alaska, only needed it once and used it another time, no it wasn’t needed, but instead of the ferries having to put it in the paint locker, I just emptied it out, the gas can that is... hey, I can return it to Joe and Braden when I visit Calgary again. Well, made my way to the Prince George Harley shop and saw the guys again doing the demo rides who were in Smithers just yesterday when I pulled in. They are from Edmonton and going around to a number of the dealerships doing demo rides and although I’d like to take one of the new Street Glides out, like the one I have, figured I’ll wait for the Tomahawk rally which means I have to start bogeying home soon. Thought too, they might have an open house and free food like Smithers, but only had some left over donuts…hell, that’s better than nothing.
Back on the road and have over half a tank of gas that sure I’ll hit a gas station before too long, but may have thought wrong. Did find something as my warning light was coming on, remember the one that if you don’t notice it, you’ll be out of gas in not time? Well, did notice it and stopped at this little dive only to find regular unleaded instead of the premium so asked how far to the next gas station which one, found out too far that I need gas now and according to another one of those hot Canadian’s one from the backwoods this time, you don’t want to run out of gas along the road because last year they found parts of a dead body scattered around by a grizzly. Apparently some guy ran out of gas and was trying to hitch hike for gas when a grizzly got him and they found his foot close to this station, head a few miles up and body close to the car, that ok, I’m convinced…give me gas.

There’s also something else pretty scary on the roads and it’s those logging trucks, especially the ones with bigger loads than the one I captured and they’re coming around a corner at you….you just pray that they stay in there lane and nothing falls off, cuz if it did, I’d be a goner. Oh well, if that’s how it’ s gonna happen it’ll just happen, but I’ll take the outside lane just to give myself a little bit of a chance. The closer to Jasper I get the better the scenery gets and you can see from the mountains, and some still with snow to the rivers, creeks and lakes that I am going into Canadian Rocky country and coming in on the warmer side of things. Have noticed how the temperature keeps going up the further east I go so one good thing is happening heading east, well, maybe more than one since I am heading toward home, but lost another one of those hours…the only thing wrong with heading east, keep losing time that maybe I should head west just one more time. The time zone change comes when entering Alberta and only have another 30 some kliks before Jasper that will just enjoy the ride and scenery along the way and forgot, since entering the park again, remember last time entered thru Banff, have to pay the toll, like the national parks in the states, but sorry, my year pass doesn’t work here. Oh, well, pay by the day and as long as I’m gonna be in the park only for one day, not too bad a toll.

Made Jasper and look what’s lying by the edge of the road with not a worry at all, one hell of a rack that I know a lot of people who’d like to bag that. Ok, guys, the other racks will come in Calgary, that tonight, it’s an Elk. Made my way down to the Jasper Brewing Company and although the ladies aren’t around to help me, got some help from Adam and Dave. Called the hostel I had stayed at last time and they are already full, that is except for females for the female dorm that asked whether there might be a lady staying in the coed dorm that might be willing to stay in the female dorm so a guy could get in, but no luck…now that’s where I talked about that not being right before, couples can’t sleep together anyway since they have their own beds that does it really make a difference to them all whether their in the same bunk bed or not? Oh well, the guys pointed me to B&Bs in town that can be as cheap as $50 a night and there are a lot of them in town. You can walk up and down a street and in one block see half the block with a sign saying they have approved accommodations, but all that I saw said no vacancy, and when called got the same. What the hell was I thinking…hey reminds me of a country song, but why do I have a sleeping bag and tent for anyway, that you can see, made my way to the local campground and setup there. Didn’t hear what I wanted to, but the ranger said, make sure you don’t have anything out or in the tent that smell because the bear are out and about this time of year and watch out for the Elk since it’s their mating season…great, I myself probably smell sweet and tasty to a bear that tonight, will just have to chance it. Back downtown and before hitting the brew house again, went next door for some pretty tasty prime rib. Have been in the mood for some of that Alberta beef that had to try it and it is pretty good and my timing was perfect because I got one of the last two pieces so they cut’em bigger than the specials were…lucky me. Well, we’ll see about that since made my way to the brew house and bellied up next to Tara for some good talk. Had a nice talk with her, but found out she’s one of those depressed female souls that not even anything I can do for her…hell I tried to cheer her up, but sometimes they need more – medication. Did like here tattoo and told her just meeting her and seeing that, ‘Never Settle’ has me thinking more and more that I have a lot of life still to live and tomorrow is a new day. Oh, and not sure what day this month is the official full moon, but looks awesome thru the trees in the campground that just that alone has me realizing why so many people camp…that’s as long they are looking to the moon baby – like I do every full moon I see. Entering the Canadian Rockies pictures.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Smithers British Columbia, Sept 6th

Smithers British Columbia at the Aldenhorn Pub and Bistro and tonight, the bar service is terrible. Has me wondering whether a waitress like this can make enough money working this job or not, might be time to look for a different job honey. They have all these rules too and you know me when it comes to rules, see what you can get away with. Well, my walk from getting Hyderized to the B&B was without incident…ok, may have labeled the picture with bear in front of me, but I don’t think I’d be taking a picture with flash if I did see one – was trying to get a picture of how bad that potholes were which showed up better in the picture of me leaving Hyder…and that took longer than I wished. Since Jo, Steve and Dave told me I should really checkout the glacier just past Fish Creek and it’s only 10 miles past, figured I might as well see the worlds 5th largest glacier myself so setout left…don’t know where north south east or west are from the B&B, but did know I had to go left toward the glacier that right isn’t always right. I knew the first 5 miles to Fish Creek were going to be bad road, but Jo had assured me that after that, the road was much better….well, they must have taken a different road than me, because it doesn’t get any better and in some spots was even worse.

Ok, enough complaining cuz like we learned yesterday, sometimes you have to take the bad roads to see what others don’t see and today, it was that much more of a challenge taking it by bike, but again, no better way to see the country than on a bike, right? So I’ll take another day getting rattled to the bones and for the sites I saw, they were pretty amazing. Even though I didn’t get to stand on the glacier, it was unbelievable seeing how it is flowing thru the valley and with the lines in it, looks like it gets groomed, you know plowed, like the roads should be, to go in a certain direction, It’s amazing how these glaciers move thru these valleys and what they are leaving behind, that never having seen a glacier before, I love seeing new ones along the way. Well, just the 15 mile trek out to the glacier and past took me well over an hour that at some point, have to turn around. That was only after checking a tunnel out and although I could see light at the other end decided to drive around instead of thru…not that I could have drover thru, but probably could have walked it, but hey, getting late enough that I have to see what’s at the end of the road. Ok, so a road I never did make to the end, but according some guys that were setting to do some blasting in the area, nothing but logging trails further and they don’t take you anywhere that now is as good a time as any to turn back and I was happy to hear that.

Although it took over an hour to get out to the glacier and past, I was not going to take my time getting back that took that much more of a rattle on the way back. By this time I had figured out on my way once which side of the road looks smoother back that tried that and although I didn’t miss all the potholes, sometimes if you go over them fast enough, they don’t feel so bad….and not as bad for me as I lift myself off the seat while the bike takes a beating, but that’s what a warranty is for, right? Was already lunch time, yep, the trip out and back took over 2 hours that since the bus had some awesome Mermaid Chowder, figured that’d be a great lunch to make me thru the day that made one more stop in Hyder. Ok, finally ready to get out of this town and you don’t know how happy I am to finally see pavement and the Canadian border, because I was ready to get back to civilization…not that Hyder is non-civilized, but the roads around here are definitely not biker friendly. Nobody at the check post that could have driven right thru, but remembered what the border patrol in Tijuana told me that I’ll stop and go into the building to find someone. Ok, not much coming in to Hyder that I’m sure the Canadian border patrol isn’t too concerned with what’s coming out, but they do ask whether I have any liquor, tobacco, weapons or bear spray on board, that wouldn’t someone around here need bear spray, that why would that make a difference. Well, that’s something I learned from Chuck running the B&B that he has to have a certain kind of bear spray that Canada accepts because if it’s not, they’ll confiscate it and to make the story even more weird, even if it says bear spray, depending on the ingredients, their concerned with you using it on a human – well, I don’t think I’d be buying bear spray to use on people unless I really hated that person, but than again, that’s not me either.

On the way out of Hyder had to get a picture and the lady running the shop right there came out to take my picture where I was. Like she said it’s an optical illusion taking it from where I am than getting under the sign, but sorry, I don’t see any optical illusion. Made my way east and saw a bear on the side of the road that had to stop and take a picture of. Was actually less than 10 feet from the thing before I realized it so didn’t get a better picture than this, but came upon an RV pulled over on the side of the road and slowed down checking out whether there was someone in the RV before I notice the bear right next to me…now that would’ve been a hell of a shot as I drove by the way he looked at me, but pulled over, stayed on the bike and kept it running for a picture cuz I do think if I had to, could get going faster this way to outrun the thing than any other. Leaving Misty Fjord and remember, going the opposite way on a road that you’ve already ridden is always different that got some more great shots of the glacier and valleys I had rode past yesterday.

Ok, didn’t tell you the story of some Newfoundlanders who showed up late last night at the bar that I was chatting it up with, very heavy accent, but talked to them about their ride west as well as my adventures, that did just happen to see them along the way. Another one of those Indian villages that I noticed how they have 2 different kind of kilometer posts along the way. One board will show the distance to a place like Smithers that I’m looking for, and another the Indian villages along the way. Wasn’t sure at first if they were the same towns with the English and Indian pronunciation or spelling, but think they are different. Oh, well, eventually made it to Smithers and since the Harley shop was on the main drag and there was something going on, had to stop in and check it out. Well, today was customer appreciation and demo ride day that although I missed the grub and demo, got to meet a number of people around the shop. My first order of business is finding out whether this town is fun to hang around for a night, how far the next is and whether it’s worth me staying or not. That’s where Chelsey and her mom Brenda came in, they gave me recommendations on whether to make the 4 hour trek to Prince George or not and when found out that the hostel in town is really nice and there isn’t one in Prince George, I’ve gone far enough…oh and finding out that Prince George is pretty red-neck might have made a difference and no, not like those wantabee redneck women, but true rednecks.

Figured as long as this is the place to stay for the night and am plenty tired from riding the dirt today, should get my 35,000 mile maintenance taken care of now than later…oh, and want them to check the suspension and everything else to make sure I didn’t break something with the roads I’ve been riding. Well, you can see that Stephen, the owner and father of Chelsey which would make Brenda his wife, doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty now and than that him and Mike made sure my bike After 35,000 miles not only did I need the normal oil and filter changes, but my air filter has fallen apart which might account for the oil being darker than normal which Stephen mentioned something about, as well as an answer to why the thing isn’t running the greatest. Well, this isn’t just any kind of air filter, but the Screamin Eagle version that it’ll cost me. Oh, and the other great thing, my bike is gonna get a bath. Although Alana and Tess have been spending most of their time washing the demo bikes so they can be on their way, they found time to fit mine in….thanks and a great job, but we’ll see how long it lasts, might have more dirt to ride. Oh, and before I forget, gave my blog address to Chelsey and she wrote it down, but also asked for my autograph, she said she wanted the first so when I become famous with a book or whatever I decide to do with my journeys, she can get rich…well, I hope to get rich myself, but money isn’t everything, I’m looking for a different kind of rich and think I’m getting closer to finding it. You can also see why stopping at a Harley shop feels like home for me, cuz not only did they take great care of me with accommodations, where to eat and getting my bike maintenanced, but I get to have a brew with the crew…now that’s hospitality.

Found out there are still a few things to see around town and although I thought I was done with dirt roads, had a mile stretch to ride to the twin falls and Gulch glacier. Well, just like the logging trail, the dirt roads are rough and have some pretty big rocks in them that even though the last mile of the trip takes longer than the first two miles of paved road, was definitely worth going to see. Thought about he hike to the glacier, but when saw that was over an hour hike and it’s already after 7:00, just need to find the hostel and a place to eat. This hostel is one of nicest I’ve been to yet and run by Hans and his wife Tina, both from Australia and just happened to settle here. Like I said, this is a very nice hostel with the hardwood floors and a lot of electronic gadgets…the lights automatically come on when you enter a room as well as high tech locks that it’s definitely worth staying at especially at hostel rates that if you ever get thru here, forget about a hotel room and get a hostel room. Ok, have you had enough yet? Well, I’m pretty much done typing that now you know how I ended up in Smithers Canada and what a beautiful full moon out tonight…look to the moon baby – I am every full moon. Tomorrow I hope to make Jasper because have already made contact with my Calgary connections that this weekend is going to be another weekend to spend in Calgary before heading home…should be able to be there just in time. Hyder to Smithers Pictures.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hyder Alaska, Sept 5th

Hyder Alaska and I made that return trip to Alaska a lot earlier than what I planned on…remember how I said in Prince Rupert that Alaska is definitely going to be a return trip? – well, decided on sooner than later, and the other thing is a return trip when it’s not raining that guess what, no precipitation. The thought of making a trip to Hyder started my first night in Anchorage when some guy told me I should really make a trip to see the bears, that when I had a number of other people mention the same thing, as well as getting Hyderized, decided I should check it out. It was great finally getting on the road and doing some riding instead of having to worry about a ferry and riding from one end of town to the other, remember Juneau and Ketchikan? Ok, I can imagine that a lot of people who take the inland ferry during the summer season see a lot more along the way since it’s lighter longer, but for me it was always dark shortly before 10:00, ok, later than back home, but still miss a lot when the ferry leaves at 10:30pm. Said goodbye to Prince Rupert and the Pioneer hostel and on the road on a sunny day…that should mean great riding and scenery to see along the way, right?

According to the British Columbia Lonely Planet the 146 klik, ok that’s slang for Kilometer, trip from Prince Rupert to Terrace is one of the most scenic in BC, and at the bar last night, they were saying that National geographic says the same. Once again, pictures don’t do the ride justice and what a great ride…how’s that song go? ‘What a beautiful ride’ which it was just that. At one point along the way stopped taking pictures to enjoy the moment and since pictures don’t’ do it justice, you’ll just have to do it yourself some day and by bike would be the best, because Chris…remember him and Donna from last night? the smells are amazing. Don’t know what it was, but I was really into the moment for a change just trying to suck in as much of the beauty around me that I possible could, and maybe that’s because I see there is so much more to see and experience in life that I’ve not only seen a lot and experience a lot, but I have a hellova lot more living to do. It had me thinking about what my top 10 things to do before I die would be and because of this trip and all that I’ve already experienced, I’m gonna have to re-evaluate that.

Ok, back to reality, or at least the ride and when I stopped for gas on my way into Terrace asked about the ride past the volcano which the attendant said the Nisaga’a highway and it’s paved all the way to 37, ok, hwy 37 is what I need north to Hyder that that’ll be great. Well, decided to still make a stop at the visitors center and when I got there, the lady was telling some guy who was looking at taking his RV the route I was planning that the last 60 kliks are on a decommissioned logging trail that she’d suggest to him and after I asked, me that it wouldn’t’ be a road that you’d want to ride, especially on a bike. Ok, but like I told her, you haven’t seen some of the roads this bike has been on…more on that later. Ok, the majority of the ride from Terrace to the lava fields are something else and definitely a trip people should make because it was pretty cool being in the middle of a lava flow from hundreds, well, maybe thousands of years ago and seeing just what it’s all about. Didn’t see this much lava in Hawaii years ago or even Mt St Helen, but probably didn’t visit the right places. Check out the visitor’s center at the lava campground and if I would have gotten a picture of me in front of the building, they only allow short people in that wouldn’t that be some kind of prejudice toward tall people? Well, it wasn’t open that I didn’t have to worry about it, but since I took a turn and wasn’t sure which way I needed to go, checked out the local map to get back on track.

A short trip and attendant wrong, visitor center right, I have gravel ahead of me for the next 51 kliks and so far, this road is worse than any I’ve rode so far just because of the potholes. Tried to avoid as may as I could, but you can’t get too close to the edge either unless you want to tip over in the ditch that this bike is gonna take a hell of a beating and I’m gonna be rattled to the bone. Well, it’s not like me to quite and since it might take me an hour to go 51 klik’s, so be it cuz it’d probably take a couple of hours to back track and like the lady at the visitor center said, sometimes you have to take the bad roads to see things that you otherwise wouldn’t see that you can see from a picture of one of the rivers, I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t taken this road. At one point came upon a truck that let me go by, ok, maybe going a little faster on bad gravel than I should, but do have a warranty on the bike. Well, don’t know how far back the pickup I passed fell or whether he turned off and that was because I came to a fork in the road with no sign on which way to go left of right to get to 37, that right is always right that I might as well go that way. I worried whether I made the right turn a number of times because had stopped for pictures or such and the pickup still hadn’t shown up as well as other vehicles coming from the other way, that I may have just taken the wrong logging trail. Well, I had faith that right was right because of the phone lines along the way, that let’s see. Finally about 15 kliks from the end, you know the mile, or in this case kilometer markings along the way saw an RV coming the other way that stopped them and asked if I was on the right road to hwy 37, and yep, right was right once again.

Only 15 kliks to go and I don’t understand why the last 5 would be the worst of the road, but for having been rattled to the bone for 46 kliks already, not about to turn back now. Finally made hwy 37 and what a great ride north toward Stewart….the Canadian version of Hyder that made it just as running out of gas to the pass to either head to Hyder or the Alaskan hwy East. Ok, you know which way I went and according to the lady pumping gas…yep, my kind of attendant, the ride to Stewart is suppose to be one of the top site seeing rides that we’ll just have to see because of some of the other riding I’ve done, and once again, pictures won’t do it justice. I’m sneaking into the Misty Fjord National Park the back way instead of a boat or plane trip from Ketchikan, but it’s much better to see on a bike that I’m doing it the right way…remember, ‘Have Bike, Will Travel’. Gotta see more glaciers along the way and you’d think at some point you’d get sick of seeing glacier after glacier, but since each one is so different, it’s still exciting to me…not that I could handle seeing all of them that I have in a day or two, but as long as it’s spread out a little, it’s a new exciting experience when you see something new.

It didn’t take long to get to Hyder and you can see I almost missed it with only one picture on the way into town before going to see the bear, one of the reasons that so many visitors make the trip to Hyder – the bear. Well, the reason for the lack of pictures riding is the road thru Hyder is even worse than the decommissioned logging trail I took, larger potholes and no smooth path to try to follow that thought for sure the bike is either going to fall apart or at least going down hitting a bigger bump than the last that my body is starting to hurt…remember, rattled to the bone? Ok, so I saw the bear there were to see and if I come back early in the morning might see the Grizzly with cubs, but not an early riser unless I really have to. Back into town to figure out where to stay, eat and get Hyderized that I could tent it which no one is recommending because of the bear or just stay at the SeAlaska or one of the other B&B’s in town…cheap this time of year since everything starts shutting down after Labor day and their glad to see the tourist gone. Well, for something to eat, the only place opened in town is the bus…will get to that later or heading back to Stewart Canada, 5 minutes away where I can get a variety of food that will make that trip back across the border to eat. Forgot to mention, this is one of the few, if there are others, of border crossings into the U.S. where there’s no U.S. border patrol to check whether you can enter the states or not…well, no where else to go from Hyder cuz the road ends there that they wouldn’t get too far without having to hike over the mountains. Still going into Canada though that when I asked the border patrol lady where she’d suggest I eat and stay, she said no need to go to Stewart…hey, my first time being turned down getting into Canada. She said the Bus in Hyder has the best and freshest seafood around and is definitely a placed to try instead of Stewart and rooms are much cheaper in Hyder than Stewart, that no need for me to cross the border now, ok, that works for me. Made my way to the bus and no one else there, but the lady running the place standing watching where a bear went that had just gone thru. Apparently another couple was there eating and when the bear showed up, they skedaddled out of there and the ladies husband brought the shotgun over just in case…ok, not sure I want to eat here, but as long as she has a gun handy, that’ll work for me.

Her Mermaid Chowder was awesome and had half an order of the fish and chips, fresh Halibut today that was also great. Told her I was looking for a place to stay and thought about just pitching a tent, but like I’ve heard before, not necessarily the thing to do this time or year because of the bear, that Chuck has a new B&B that costs only $39, and newer than the SeAlaska, that should stay there. Did ask if it was safe for me to walk downtown the 3 or 4 blocks because of the bear, but like she said, just walk in the middle of the road and don’t run if you see one…remember Denali’s rules, even if they charge just stand there waving your arms and yelling…well, hope not to have to try that out, not tonight. Chuck checked me in and like he said, just opened this year that the beds are new and everything remodeled that it’s definitely the best place to stay and hey, a bed and shower work, for me, and this time of year, I get the entire place to myself…that’s even better. Ok, time to head to the Glacier bar and remember the BC Lonely Planet? have to go to the Glacier Inn to get Hyderized which is just what I did. Ok, it’s a shot of 150 Ever Clear…use to be stronger before they had to follow the law, but you don’t get to smell it, taste it or anything, just the shot and a glass of water chaser and hey, if it comes back up, you buy the bar a round. Well, had my fill of food and can handle the challenge that was Hyderized at the Glacier Inn and got my card to prove it. Did leave my mark, a bill on the wall with my blog address, that look for it when you visit.

Headed to SeAlaska Inn since there was more going on there and spent some time working on my blog before some people from a previous hostel showed up and remembered me. Not someone I talked to, but they remembered me and the bike that got to talk to them for the night. Jo and Steve originally from Australia now living in Vancouver and their Aussie brother over visiting for a trip through a little of Alaska and eventually the Jasper/Banff parks…remember one of my favorite places visited so far. They were trying to decide whether to get Hyderized or not since according to the Lonely Planet you should do it at the Glacier Inn, but hey, you really need to do it and me…well, incase I run into a situation where one bar claims theirs better than the other – remember how I had to visit two bars claiming to be the oldest in New York? Should get Hyderized again to cover my tracks, which you can see I did, and nope not coming up, I can hold my liquor, especially when it comes to buying the bar around. Tomorrow, heading south toward Calgary, but found out I missed something in Hyder worth seeing, a glacier 10 miles out from the bear watch that great, will have to take the road worse than the logging trail, because according to the Lonely Planet, the 5th largest glacier in the world and only one that large that you can drive too…ok, that might be why I don’t have the Lonely Planet, don’t have to do everything that it says...let’s see what tomorrow brings, Ay? Awesome Prince Rupert to Hyder Pictures.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Prince Rupert Canada, Sept 4th

Prince Rupert British Columbia, yep Canada that finally out of Alaska which means no rain, right? Well, not today which would make every day since entering Alaska, except for one, with some form of precipitation? Ok, quit your complaining cuz I’m still seeing some unbelievable country and living a dream…oh, and Chris just informed me that the next couple of beers are on him and Donna since it’s not too often they meet someone doing what every bikers dream is; ‘Living to Ride and Riding to Live’ that it’s like a brotherhood since it’s something that everyone who rides would love to do…ok, maybe not only those that ride, but everyone who wakes up breathing every day – more on them and our talk later. Tried taking a picture of the Prince Rupert port and the lights I saw along the shore, but you can see that it was nothing but fog that the camera picked up. Another one of those foggy ports, but last night the horn wasn’t blasting every couple of minutes that it must have been closer to port that we hit the fog. Oh, well they brought us into Canada without incident that now let’s see whether I can get over the border or not. Once again it took longer than normal, even though I didn’t have to go thru the border building, but I must’ve answered the hot Canadian border patrol’s questions right, and one of them which was a surprise was where is St Stephens which I was at in early July…that’s an easy one, New Brunswick, the chocolate capital of Canada – ay. She must’ve liked that answer cuz that’s all it took to get me over the border.

Ok, in an unknown town in a foreign country early in the morning with nothing but fog around that I really feel lost. Missed Liz getting off the ferry that I’m not sure where to go or what to do, but I think I’m big enough to figure that out myself. Drove thru downtown and it is absolutely dead around here, that maybe it’s one of those episodes from the ‘Twilight Zone’, you know, a lost soul in a strange empty town. Well, did find a Tim Horten’s much like an Embers back home, but this one is only a bakery that they sent me across the street to the hotel for some breakfast. Great, the hotel was really helpful and was going to find the hostel I’m staying at and find out what time I can check in while I have a little breakfast. Didn’t remember the name of the hostel, but once I described it, they knew exactly which one I was talking about, the Pioneer – great their taking great care of me already. Spent a little time on yesterday’s blog and trying to waste as much time as I could since I still have over an hour before checking in, but had a great breakfast. The directions from the hotel to the hostel were easy and it was only a couple of minutes up the road that showed up only to find an empty hostel…another one of those ‘Twilight Zone’ episodes, but apparently everyone was still in bed and Christy had stepped out for a while…she’s the one running the hostel. Spent some time on the couch resting up since I didn’t get much sleep the night before, remember, lost an hour and in to port early that I just need to relax for a little.

Christy showed up to check me in, but I was a little worried with here warning. Apparently there’s been an outbreak of bedbugs in some of the hostels that they aren’t allowing people to use their own sleeping bags and some of their luggage shouldn’t’ be brought in…more from the foreign sources, but I haven’t used my own sleeping bag yet in a hostel that hopefully I’ll be bug free…does get you thinking about it when you feel an itch, did a bedbug get me or not. Asked Christy what there was to see and where there is to ride that although there is a road that will take me east thru Canada, just in the Prince Rupert and Port Edwards area, not going to take long at all to see everything. Got caught up on my blog since they have high speed wireless and this hostel is finally coming to life that it might not be that bad after all…well that was when I saw the hot blonde staying here. Ok, enough and hope to make a connection later that time to ride and see what there is to see around this town and although the sun started coming out while having breakfast, it was already starting to cloud over that I better get going.

Did find a road that had an end in Port Edwards and it was an awfully rough one, but have to see what’s at the other end. A pickup in front of me stopped and turned around because of the bumps, but you know me, until I reach the end haven’t accomplished what I set out to do that will keep going for it and sure enough, the end which wasn’t much…looks like an old fishing community that the theme of the day continues – you know, another episode from the ‘Twilight Zone’. Found my way back and another road with an end was the one to Ridley Island that have to see what that has to offer and it turned out to be just a port…one for grains and coal, but still some pretty wicked pictures of the bay. Finally on the way back to Prince Rupert and passed something that I had to turn around for and found the tree of lost soles. Ok, you know how I started this with being a lost soul in an empty town today, that it has really turned out to be a weird day. Well, I was getting a little hungry since I’ve spent the majority of the day looking for a lost soul that made my way to Breakers Pub, and only after seeing the ‘Sunken Garden’… hey that must be a sign for a lost soul that there is a lot of beauty in life that all you have to do is look for it…ok, where did I get off from track?

Well, since it’s starting to rain and I don’t need to ride every day in rain, stopped in where, Laura, Jennifer and Amanda took good care of me. You know me, need more than one taking care of me that I’ll get to know them all before the days over. Well, not much riding to do after that, that tried to catch up on a little of that sleep that I lost on the ferry. Just a little cat nap, a shower and time for me to head back to Breakers where Liz was going to meet me for dinner. You can see didn’t have dinner at Breakers, but she knew of a place in town worth eating at that got to see a little more of what Prince Rupert is trying to offer to tourist along the way. Made our way to the Waterfront Restaurant where we stuffed ourselves, and although Liz wanted to pick up the bill, thanks but we can go Dutch tonight…but thanks for buying the beers. Ok, the rain still isn’t letting up and the Breaker Pub has been like a home away from home that eventually we made our way back there where we had, Emily, Christine and Kirsten helping me out…remember I said I’d get to know them all before the night was over that did just that…and that brings me to meeting Chris and Donna. They are both new to biking and Chris decided on getting a couple of bikes and make a trip from the Edmonton area here instead of a Hawaii vacation that they are loving what they are doing. They have had great weather, great scenery, love the smells and have had great things happen to them along the way, that like Chris put it, Karma happens to good people…hey wasn’t I saying something about that back on day 69 at the Yankee game when Liz…what’dya know another Liz, and she said something about me having good Karma? Well, now if you go with Chris’ definition, I must be a good person…hell, for those that know me if you haven’t thought that already, you must know a different DaleJ. Oh, and the other thing, incase I haven’t told you, since Sturgis obviously wasn’t the end of my journeys; I thought the Tomahawk rally in Wisconsin the weekend of my birthday would be a great way to end this portion of my journey. I had a great time my first year there last year and had a great bday celebration, that might as well make that rally the end of this segment, that the ironic thing is, guess where Chris and Donna are from…yep, you got it, Tomahawk, no not Wisconsin but Alberta that just hearing that must mean something – ok, sometimes you have to figure out what it means yourself, that if you still need help…sorry, but remember, look within. Prince Rupert Pictures.