It really was silly of me to think that simply because I had left home the bike was going to stay together........
Ever since I put handlebar risers on in Sudbury (which BTW was a brilliant idea) the clutch and choke cables have tightened up, and whenever I made a real sharp left turn the bike would choke out and the clutch would pull in, destroying all hope of me going anywhere (NO turning left in parking lots!!! lol). So I tore the bike apart in order to re-route the cables. Because of this and other things I had to do such as set up my tent because it was raining when I had left Wawa the morning before, I decided to stay a day in Thunder Bay. I also needed to find a bolt for my windshield which had rattled out (I anticipate there will be a lot of this along the way).
While at the terry Fox Monument near the location which he was forced to stop his marathon due to recurring cancer, I met a lovely Swiss couple travelling across the country in their Wicked-Awesome-Crazy-Badass 4x4 RV. They were really interesting and nice people and even offered me some espresso and a Swiss biscuit (which were both delicious).
Prior to this trip they had spent 2 years touring South America and even made news in 3 South American newspapers!!! I believe you can read about their adventures somewhere here
Being on the road now for only 4 days, I am rapidly learning things about what I would do differently next time, things I did right this time, or simply things to consider:
1) Going with a buddy. I don't have any friends with enough time, money or the passion to want to do this right now, so that was out of the question, but it would be nice to have someone along with me to share the experience with. On the other hand, going alone gives the flexibility to go at your own pace, do the things you want, and tailor the trip the way you want it to be.
2) Luggage. Next time, I will try to save up some extra money for proper luggage. Not necessarily so that I can bring MORE stuff, because if I had more room I would likely just bring more useless crap, but BETTER luggage. For example: Lockable hard boxes for security (when travelling in sketchier places), or Waterproof soft bag such as wolfman for safety if planning on doing something more off-road oriented.
3) Gear. This is something I dished out the big bucks for (KLIM traverse) and have not regretted the decision for a moment. Also, high quality base layers (Icebreaker) is a completely suitable substitute for heated clothing. Others may disagree, but I am a warm person and not bothered by the cold too much. (more on this later)
4) Planning. A month was too short, but I don't think I would want TOO much longer to think about it. One of the best vacations I have been on was the perfect combination of organized things to do, and spare time to do whatever you felt like at the time. I feel a little on the unprepared side this trip, but it some ways it is exciting to have the unknown factor in there, and also makes your trip very flexible.
5) Buy a center stand. 'nough said.