Tuesday 30 July 2013

Turok, Last Shadow, Bird of Prey

Day 28, July 30,2013

Funny how thing come and go in your life and I always think that there are more reasons to these events then that meet the eye. After having seen the movie Avatar and a huge fan of the story it made me realize a bit more about how fragile nature is and how much of mankind's involvement is related to it in that respect, plus what is the meaning of life, is it our new world rush to have it all or is it a slower old world (Indigenous) pace of life the way to go, this journey has become more or less my Walkabout or I call it my Rideabout.

During this trip I have encounter many amazing things and have given help without expecting anything back in return and yet I have received countless times more generosity back then what I have given.

Is this also a part of the true meaning of life, maybe.

My thoughts while riding through the desert and trying to make sense of things from the last few days has become: The story of Turok (last shadow).

First a bit of background information to this story.

While I was up North and had stopped for groceries an Indian Elder walks up to me and says "You Are Rider of Blue Beast" and hands me a Tribal Medicine Wheel with expectations of payment of course, after looking at it I felt honored and some how guilty not to accept this token and I paid him for it and so it ended in my backpack for the time. While I was at that Big Cedar and struck with how amazing she would have looked in her younger years of glory and now standing there painfully dying with just a few sprouts of green left, I stood there and while touching her side I felt overwhelmed with emotion and could not help but shed a tear onto her feet, wishing I could tap into her Eywa (spirit) and hear her stories while I could try to give her comfort in that I somehow could understand her sorrow. I then walked back to my bike and was thinking all this being out in the middle of nowhere with not a soul around must be getting to me or I'm getting to sentimental I guess with old age and rode away on my new GPS given route and not following the road back the way I had come. With now having ridden some 10 thousand miles I felt more connected to my bike then I had before and the bike was following the trail as if it knew where to go, funny I thought how come this is happening now and just then down swoops this massive Owl and circles around me and up into the trees, wow I must have frightened him and I did not think another moment about it. The trail had been getting smaller and at times very bumpy so my luggage had starting to shake loose, startled by the big bird I stopped to tighten things up and the Medicine Wheel was showing, glad I caught it on time or I would have lost it, I tucked things in a little tighter and went on. I guess this was why that Owl had come down or was it?

And so now while riding down in the stifling heat of the desert my mind is trying to processing the last couple of days events and trying to find some kind of clarity to it, and once again stopping for gas another rider asks where I'm from and I tell him from Ottawa and that I had ridden up to Inuvik and now on my way to The End of the World Tierra Del Fuego he says to me wow all that on that Beast with that load that is amazing. I thanked him and went back to the desert road with more heat and some steep inclines. At one point I came across another rider puffing his way up on a single cylinder motorcycle laying down full throttle and trying to make the grade up. He was struggling to do so, and I felt like I was swooping down on him, like a bird of pray and so happy that this Beast has so much power it finally dawned on me that it was like I was riding Turok or Last Shadow (from the movie Avatar) if you will and so from now on my bikes spiritual name will be Turok and only spoken of when appropriate. Was it that Indian, that Tree, that Owl, that Medicine Wheel, or all this heat I really don't know, but there you have it, you decide about these events and what they did mean.
I also fond something out about the Medicine Wheel as it is from the Indigenous peoples of America and does not refer to drugs or herbs but to inner spiritual energy and healing.
The circle is an endless creation with connections to the past, present and future, (The great circle of life).
The natural world was created in groups of four. These quadrants represent the four directions and four seasons. Four races of people, four types of creatures and the four elements; wind, fire, water, and air.
Seek to the East for a healthy mind, South for a strong inner spirit, West for inner peace, and North for a strong healthy body, this seeking is like my journey and is all this just coincidence, maybe.
Here is a  picture of the medicine wheel that was given to me as it now hangs on my wall and is now a reminder of this great journey and the meaning of it all.

Monday 29 July 2013

Mountain Home, Idaho

Day 27, July 29, 2013, 555km

Made it to my Sister's place in 8 hrs and in 37c hot weather, very happy to be able to relax for a few days. This will give me some time to explore my route and see if I will continue to the West Coast or go down the Mid West on my way to Mexico. Don't want to ride through the smoke again, that 200km stretch between Whitehorse and Dawson was enough for me.

Will post my route when I know it and I'm also working on a story that I finally did complete while riding through the Desert, or maybe it was because of the heat or dehydration I don't really know but I will give it to you and then you can decide for yourself, so stay tuned for that.


Sunday 28 July 2013

Pasco, Washington

Day 26, July 28, 2013, 530km

We left early that Sunday morning and Mark took the lead. He showed me some of the most beautiful roads that you can ride along Mt St Helens and Mt Adams. It was a long 12 hr day of riding but well worth it. We arrived in Pasco and with a place to sleep, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Thank you Mark for showing this beautiful side of the country and for your generous hospitality you are a true gentleman of the West.

Tomorrow make my way to my Sister in Mountain Home, ID.


Saturday 27 July 2013

Cathlamet, Washington

Day 25, July 27, 2013, 443km

Very scenic Highway 101 takes you through a section of the Olympic Rain Forest and hugs the Pacific Coast while winding it's way down South.

Looking for interesting things to see I came across this sign saying Biggest Duncan Spruce Tree so I had to go back and look. From the Hwy a 4 mile long gravel road takes you to this old tree and it was a beauty at the time but only now to have very little life left in it, it stands as a testament of time and things long past. A story of this moment still to come.

My GPS was showing that it was shorter going the other way and so I ended going back on a 15 mile country road to the 101, thank you GPS.

But also more on this later.

On my way earlier that day I had contacted ADV inmate XB12R for a spot to camp and so while I was at a MacD to confirm I also started talking with Mark Kraft another V-Strom rider that was out for a weekend getaway. Having confirmation of this really cool spot on a island in the Columbia river I offered Mark if he needed place to camp that he was welcome to come along and share if he wanted.

Mark liked that idea and then offered me a place to stay at his place in Pasco, WA because he was heading home anyway and that would be kind of on my way to Boise, Idaho.


Friday 26 July 2013

Victoria, British Columbia

Day 24, July 26, 2013, 274km

Came across the Island over Highway 18 towards Port Renfrew and then West Coast Highway on to Victoria. This road is great, being an old logging route made into Highway it twists and turns the whole way and has lots of beautiful scenery.

Victoria's Butchart gardens are amazing and the town is thriving with tourist looking around and or  going for the Whale watching tours.

I did notice all along the way that the State Park Camping's sings said that they were full and so I would have to look elsewhere.

Asking at the Information booth in town for camping's I also fond out that you can go from Victoria to Port Angeles with the ferry for $38, and as seeing that my feet were soar from all the walking around a nice ferry ride sounded pretty good at this point and I could just make the last one going out for the day, well shiver me timbers mates IMIN.

Made it to Port Angeles, but by now it is dark and with no idea where to go I ask at the gas station for camping places, I ended up at Camping Elwha Dam for $21.

Tomorrow down Highway 101 towards Portland, Oregon and then make my way towards Mountain Home, Idaho for a visit with my sister.

Victoria Harbor


Thursday 25 July 2013

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Day 23, July 25, 2015, 148km

Whistler is a very cool place to visit with lots of things to do and see, but a bit  pricy also and too much for my blood.

After checking out the local camping’s and at $55 decided to head back to town for a look around and then take off further for a better deal. As I was heading down the road I checked out the state camping grounds but finding them full, and that’s when I finally fond camping Paradise some 45 minutes away for $30, still not the greatest but hey it's BC.

In the early morning I headed toward Horseshoe Bay for the ferry ride to Nanaimo. The ferry cost $41 and takes an hour and a half to cross.

Called Steve and Wendy for a stay over that was arranged by my buddy Brian as they are his good friends. This was an absolute nice getaway from the camping’s and when I arrived a warm welcome was had with some great food and some good riding tips on where to go next was discussed. Tomorrow I will head off to Victoria taking a more scenic road along the West Coast.

Thank you so very much Steve and Wendy for your spontaneous hospitality, it was greatly appreciated.


Wednesday 24 July 2013

Whistler, British Columbia

Day 22, July 24, 2013, 449km


Did drive the first part of the Sea to Air Highway 99 to Whistler and that is one beautiful stretch of highway with lots of super scenery, twisties and switchbacks. I would say a must do. Did make some video and will have to see how that turned out.
Tonight I will stay at a camping here I hope and check this funky town out.

Tomorrow head off to the ferry and make it to Vancouver Island.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

100 Mile House, British Columbia

Day 21, July 23, 2013, 398km


Had a great nights rest thanks to ADV inmate GISdood's hospitality.
Thanks once again Kelly, your a fantastic host.

Early this morning I started to look for the oil that I wanted and after several shops I could not find any Amsoil so I had to go with the Kawasaki synthetic instead. Will see how that holds up, and also checked several other things on the bike and all looks good.

Did leave around noon on a route that GISdood had given me the night before, and it goes along the Blackwater Rd/Trail for some change of pace and scenery. It sure has that and a welcome relief from the super highways, but just one word of caution when taking this road it has a 40 km section in the middle that is very narrow so for the logging truck drivers that drive this road at the speed of light and don't a give shit, it's move over or be like a bug on the windshield. I moved over when one of these trucks came strait at me needles to say, but only problem is that you end up off the side of the road for some real fun or heart pounding moments.

Made it to 100 Mile House and stayed at the towns camping for $10.

Monday 22 July 2013

Prince George 3

Day 20, July 22, 2013, 685km

Had perfect riding weather today and this made me enjoy the Stewart Cassiar Hwy even more.

The grandeur of the surroundings and the smell of the Purple Hearts along the Hwy together with sweet Clover is intoxicating and uplifting, giving you a spiritual sense of awareness and content if you will.

Made it back to Prince George and staying with ADV inmate GISdood.

It's always nice when you can come back to someplace where you have been before and see a familiar face.

Tomorrow will see if I should do some maintenance now or wait till I get to Vancouver, my last oil change was some 16 thousand km's ago, luckily I always use Amsoil so that should be no problem.


Sunday 21 July 2013

Stewart, British Columbia

Day 19, July 21, 2013, 553km

Was up early and did go some 150 km down The Telegraph Creek Road, and beyond the scoop of being very scenic at spots it is a very twisty hard packed Gravel and Sand road  with just enough loose stuff to make this a real challenge.

Then throw in some 20% grades on this stuff plus a single lane death portion, and all in all it makes this road a good one to do.

Being up that early and with still lots of daylight left I decided to head towards Stewart and see the Salmon Glacier where I then camped out at the towns Rainey Camping. 


Saturday 20 July 2013

Dease Lake, British Columbia

Day 18, July 20, 2013, 705km

On my way to Dease Lake it did rain most of the day, and so I decide to stop at Watson Lake and see the park of signs and wow this is humungous, spent about half an hour looking but you would need a couple of hours to get through.


Camped at the Lake View Camping with no showers or facilities plus bad Internet made for early to bed.


Friday 19 July 2013

Whithorse, Yukon

Day 17, July 19, 2013, 395km


Made it to Hi Country RV/Camping just outside of Whitehorse and have a good Internet connection, so it’s time for a upload. And then off to Dease Lake and will attempt the Telegraph Creek road again.

One of the things I wanted to share and was not able to do was  upload this video that I made of the old steam Paddle Wheel in Dawson City that still to this day goes down the Yukon River.

The echo's that were coming back from the old steam horn gave me goose bumps as I was walking along the board walks and reminded me of a era long past.

Things like this is what makes this trip so worth doing and I hope you can enjoy this too.

Video of steam Paddle Wheel:

Yukon Morning

Thursday 18 July 2013

Chicken, Alaska

Day 16, July 18, 2013, 284km


Dawson City is a real gem in the rough, 1898 Klondike Gold Rush era with wooden sidewalks and all. There are plenty of things to do and see and makes this a town a place not to pass by. For those that are brave at heart you can do the SourToe cocktail that has some old miners toe in it. I skipped that part, just not my cup of tea.


Did take the Ferry over the Yukon River toward The Top of the World Hwy into Alaska. This road runs along the crown of the mountain range and the views are stunning.


Going to Chicken Alaska you see lots of people along the riverbanks that are still panning for Gold. I stopped at one outfit that was very large that had some equipment for sale and signs saying make an offer. I walked up where two guys were working, brothers by the looks of it. Darrel and Darrel I think and ask if they are making a good living, “just barely” says one and that was it, I try some other small talk but these guys are not the talkative kind.  In Chicken they have lots of old cars and machinery standing around and I just needed to take a shot of this old mean looking  truck

Along the way from Tok to Whitehorse I see this white car stopping in the middle of the road, the doors opening up and lots of white smoke coming out. This did not look good so I pulled over to stop, and an elderly couple (Al and Marlene from Ontario) come dazed and bewildered out of the car, as I look closer oil is spilling out from under the car and all the air bags are deployed, seeing this I call for there attention to get the car off to the side of the road before it's to late, we are just past a curve and standing in the middle of the road with oncoming traffic that won't be able to stop in time.
Al gets back in and moves the car, while I flag some oncoming cars to stop. Al must have dozed off and hit the side of the curve popping his right side tire off the rim and hitting a bolder or something  making a hole in the oil pan. I ask both pulled over cars if they have any phone connection and none have because we are in the middle of nowhere, one guy says he would be able to drop one of them off in Tok so they can get in touch with the rental company (I'm sure they will be happy). Marlene and Al both thanked me and off I went.


All this making my day a little longer then expected I camped at the Discovery Yukon Lodge where I did  meet some very interesting people, but I won't bore you with that, it's time to ride and Whitehorse here I come.


Wednesday 17 July 2013

Eagle Plains, Yukon

Day 15, July 17, 2013

Currently back at the Camping in Dawson soaking wet, muddy and tired. Started drying things out because I did ride the last 370km of the Dempster from Eagle plains in the poring rain, or should I say I slid my way back. Fond out last night from the RCMP that two other riders went down on the Dempster yesterday wrecking there bikes but both riders were luckily not seriously hurt and pulled out in time. He went on to say that the bears hide along the side of the road for cooling and also to wait for a thump that the Caribou make when jumping down from the road so when a biker goes down it makes that same thump and you know what that means yummy meal time, oh, oh, also fond out that John did puncture a tire and he decided only to go to the Arctic Circle and back after putting his spare on, maybe I will see him again.

Video of the ride back in the rain: http://youtu.be/ceeMGHtsJbQ


Tomorrow over the Top of the World Hwy to Whitehorse.


Monday 15 July 2013

Inuvik, Northwest Territories

Day 13/14, July 15/16, 2013, 1564km

Started the Dempster to Inuvik and passed the Arctic Circle. This road throws everything at you from hard to soft to lose gravel, shale, sand, you name it, it has it, dusty as hell when dry, and don't be driving fast when a transport comes by because you won't see anything for 10 seconds or more, then as it gets wetter the dust becomes slip and slide crap and I mean crap, if you can get past all this road can throw at you and start looking at your surroundings it’s absolute stunning to say the least and worth every moment.

While camping in Dawson another motorcycle rider (John Harris on a V-strom) came in late that night and was looking for a spot to camp, I told him that he could share my spot, and so he did. Latter on I fond out that he is also going to Inuvik but taking it much slower than me so we parted our ways in the morning. I made the trip up to Inuvik in 12 hrs and that includes lunch and scenic stops, so it is very doable if you have dry roads. Set-up camp at the Happy Valley town run camping for only $15 and with free showers, not a bad deal. Early this morning I headed to the Arctic information Centre to see if I should stay another day or just take off. This place is great if you want to go hiking into the mosquito invested woods/tundra to scout for wild life, and as much as I like that I didn’t feel much for it. The other day I did hear some other campers had been looking for days with no success so I decide to go back to Dawson. On my way back I stopped for lunch in Eagle Plains, and just as I'm walking out a man (David Jeffrey on a BMW GS) comes at me and starts talking about my Super Tenere and if I like it (well yes). A bit later on he is wondering where I'm heading to and offers the use of his satellite phone to confirm the tent space back in Dawson, needless to say no tent space, so when he hears that he offers to share his room, isn’t karma great.

Here are just a few of the shots taken.


Sunday 14 July 2013

Dawson City, Yukon

Day 12, July 14, 2013, 358km

There was a thick blanket of smoke hanging around for the next 200km on the Klondike Hwy because of all the huge forest fires around.

Luckily it did clear up eventually to make for some perfect  riding in temperatures in the mid 20c.

Made it to Dawson City and setup camp. Will hang around here for the day before I head out to Inuvik tomorrow



Saturday 13 July 2013

Carmacks, Yukon

Day 11, July 13, 2013, 933km


Raining again today and snow on the mountain passes makes for not that great riding conditions. The Telegraph Creek Road will have to wait until I come back on the return trip. It wasn’t until 2pm on the Alaskan Hwy that things really cleared up. While riding in the rain I could not see much of the surroundings but when the rain stopped I had a chance to make a video that was suppose to show you the grandeur of this place, but that turned out all wrong. The camera was pointing to far down, so hope to get it better next time.

When I got to Whitehorse I called ADV inmate Yukon Jon because he had offered a place to stay. On the phone he said I hope you don't mind but I have just moved to Carmacks and that's another 180km past Whitehorse, and by the way everything is still in boxes so we will see what we can do. Yukon Jon is with the RCMP and was reassigned to a new place and true to form even though he had just moved there he turned out to be a real trouper (no pun intended). Thanks a million Jon for your great hospitality, and giving me a warm place to stay. I have no picture because he said he would have to kill me (just kidding).

Stewart-Cassiar Hwy.


Friday 12 July 2013

Stewart-Cassiar Hwy, British Columbia

Day 10, July 12,2013, 859km


The day started with showers on and off again all day, and then finally around 4pm it did stop.
Lots of little towns along the way and I fond it a bit to early to start looking for a camping so I decided to continue down the Stewart Cassiar Hwy. And man is that a beautiful road to take, long sweeping curves and absolutely  beautiful scenery.


Thinking and hoping I could make it to Dease Lake because I was told if you can drive down the Telegraph Creek Road you will not regret it. It's a hard packed gravel road that takes you through some of natures best, and it starts in Deasse Lake so hoping I could be there before night fall proved to be a bit to much, the rain started back and the temps dropped. Shivering cold and wet I pulled over at a hunting camp/camping, and asked if they had any place warm that I could use to crash for the night, of course says this lady at the desk , we have a log cabin on the lake, no power, water or anything but it has a wood stove to get you warm. That sounded very good at that point, show me the way. Made a fire and pulled out my bed roll, very tired I fell immediately to sleep, only to wake up in the middle of the night sweating and I could hardly breath because it was so hot. Of course I overloaded the wood stove, and wow just poke me I'm well done. The good part is that all my stuff was dry.


Thursday 11 July 2013

Prince George 2

Day 9, July 11, 2013,


Decided to stay one more night with GSIdood (Kelly) in Prince George, BC and get some much needed rest.

Have also added an extra Kolpin fuel pack that was on sale here at Canadian Tire, this just in case I come to some spots that may need a little more gas. Most of the time I can get over 400 km on a tank full of fuel but this will depending on wind and speed of course. The worst was 360 km and the best so far was 480 km with speeds of mostly around 110km (GPS) per hour.
Tomorrow I will start on the Stewart Cassiar Hwy 37 towards White Horse that is some1620 km away, and most likely a 3 day trip. Wish me luck that the weather holds.

Don't know how the Internet will continue to work from here on up, but will post when I can.

Had a great stay with GISdood and was invited to a fantastic dinner from another ADVrider (Randy) that I think is known as Alphajory on ADV but not sure about that.
Anyway great times and made some new friends. I can't thank you guys enough.

In the photo: Randy, Me, Kelly

Hwy 16.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Prince George, British Columbia

Day 8, July 10, 2013, 644km

Last night I stayed at the Mosquito lake camping.

Today I headed over the Glacier Icefields Parkway toward Jasper and the Columbia Icefield Glacier, everywhere you look it's one beautiful spot after another, you really need a head on a swivel or so.

Tonight staying at inmate GISdood, in Prince George and tomorrow I well see if I can find some nice route to follow towards Whitehorse.



Tuesday 9 July 2013

Lake Louise, Alberta

Day 7, July 9, 2013, 619km


Had a great stay with Albertabob, super good host, and he made a good breakfast too, you can't ask for better. Thanks Robert.

Had this whole route planned out, starting on the Cowboy Trail 22 and then across towards the Forest Trunk Road 40, for some great back road country riding. This is also a nice back door track into Canmore, BC. The only thing is it turned out to be more of a challenging then I had bargained for, and mostly because of some bridges and roads being washed out. At one point there was a crew fixing the road and signage saying road closed, but I thought not for me though so I crossed around over a field and all the crew guys waving, so I waived back and thought what a friendly bunch, only to find out some 30 km further there is no more bridge to cross, oops. Then of coarse on my way back the same guys again waving and laughing, I waived and laughed back, I finally did make it, just way later and not exactly on the route I had planned.

The scenery has really improved a lot, and some of the places that I wanted to see were Banff and Lake Louise of course and they were not far away anymore.

Banff is one beautiful town with so many little shops and things to do you could stay there for a couple of weeks easy, and Lake Louise is stunning to say the least, if it wasn’t for this weird guy steeling the shot you could have seen more of it, well now you will have to go and see for yourself.