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Old 09-16-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
jkdwings OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 95
The Somewhere Between: Part 2 - Two KLRs to Patagonia

I woke this morning with a fuzzy feeling through my head and body. I lay there for a minute trying to figure out why I felt this way; was it the late night, or something else? Wait, why did I have a late night? I stumbled out of the room I had been staying in at my folks’ place for the last week and remembered rather promptly as I toppled over on a sleeping bag laid out on the floor. I’m going to South America!! Today was the big day of departure, the day I had been anticipating for the last three years of school and summer work.

I looked at my phone to see that the time was an hour later than my alarm was set for. Still not packed? Check. Colin’s going to be waiting, but I doubt he expects anything different. The milk poured over my crisped rice cereal which began to make pleasurable sounds as I sipped my coffee. This will probably be the last time I have fresh ground beans in some time.

I hurriedly stuffed my extra pair of underwear and t-shirt into a compression sack and tossed it in my saddle bag. I saw the large black ABS tube leaning against the wall that I was meant to mount to the front of my skid plate; this was to hold all my tools which were currently in a scattered pile on my dad’s work bench. Vice grips, a few appropriately sized metric wrenches, some needle-nose pliers, a ratchet, and a driver with some hex, phillips, and blade bits. A perfectly sized crescent wrench hung neatly on the wall, so it too ended up in my stash.

As I made the 10 minute journey to Colin’s house I recognized the extra weight up high and took note of it. I didn’t have more than a Jason-sized sliver of seat space between my large tank bag and my duffle – I’m going to need to do something about that.

Once there we both took the opportunity to do a couple last minute fixes. I had just replaced the touch screen digitizer on my old Zumo 450 GPS last night and needed to wire it and my 12 volt outlet into the accessory relay I had made on my trusty KLR, Mitzi. Mitzi was a wonderful girl whom I met in Buffalo a year and a half ago and had fallen madly in love with. She could take me anywhere, along with my camera equipment and camping gear. A guitar will join me down the road and I’m not sure what else I could possibly need for the next nine or so months heading for Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.

Meet Colin and I and our trusty steeds, and join us on our adventure!



Best regards,

Jason
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The Somewhere Between - Fly and Ride

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Old 09-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #2
jkdwings OP
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Oddometer: 95
The day was a brisk one, with a high of only 9° Celsius and thick, overcast skies. The wind was light, but out of the northeast which was to our advantage as we opened the throttle towards Calgary, our planned pit stop for the night. You have a lot of time to think when making the journey from Saskatoon to anywhere else; the roads stretch on towards the horizon as you pass Rosetown, then Kindersley, Alsask, and so on. To break the monotony of a drive we had done countless times on our way to the mountains we detoured off the number 7 highway to one that was just as straight; the traffic was much lighter though, which made it more pleasant.

As we detoured, straight as an arrow and bundled up in all our layers, we were in chase of the winding roads of the Rockies to be had. We just had to get through this first cold, long day.



Our detour had an ulterior motive to just getting off the main road - we were in search of a small town called Dorothy that was mostly abandoned. Dorothy lay in the bottom of a valley just south of Drumheller, and as we passed through we could see there wasn’t a hell of a lot going on. I stopped beside a dilapidated grain elevator and Colin pulled up beside. We looked back over the highway and saw an old steel bridge leading to a dirt road up into the hills.



“I really want to go check out that road” I said, muffled by my helmet. Colin moved his finger around his GPS and decided it might actually be a shorter distance so off we went. Well, that dirt road turned to slick switchbacks climbing right into the snow-strewn hills we had seen from miles back. Calgary and the surrounding area had gotten a bunch of snow the last couple days, and it looked like we were in for more.



For the next forty minutes or so we fought the slick, loose, wet dirt and gravel with visors barely translucent, trying to make our way to a more travelled road. It was getting later than we had hoped to get into Calgary, so with a few more tank slappers and visor wipes we were on the Trans Canada heading west once more.

Josh came out to greet us in front of his apartment in downtown Calgary as we hobbled off our bikes. We had covered 620 km of mostly straight, cold distance today, and the sleet coming down was really getting on my nerves. As we unloaded the things we thought we’d want for the night I managed to lean the wrong way on Mitzi sending her to the ground hard. That’s drop number two for me today after an embarrassing drop at the Kindersley Co-op this arvo. I really need to add more preload to my rear shock.

We woke the next morning with the intention of heading to Fernie; the weather, however, had different plans for us. It had snowed all night and the city was chaos. We saw the heavy, wet snow take down trees from the warmth of Josh’s place, one of which took out the phone lines to the building. The power was out and there was a pretty constant sound of sirens echoing through the city. Let’s wait this one out for a day.





As Josh had gone to work, our buddy Wonger picked us up to go for lunch. Something Asian inspired, Colin had texted. Well, I ended up having the best Pho of my life thus far, including both soft tendons and tripe which were new to me.

Back at Josh's place I snapped a quick shot of a world map he had on the wall and with a little photoshop magic drew a rough route south



That night brought on beers and pizza and eventually a hike up Nose Hill to overlook the city. And drink more beers, of course.









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