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Old 08-11-2013, 09:35 PM   #616
dksd39
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always makes for a better day when I get to read one of your updates...thank you for taking the time :)
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 AM   #617
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Thanks for the update!! Just made my Monday a whole lot brighter!!!
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:35 AM   #618
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Good story about the British and American soldiers. Thanks for the next installment!
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:55 PM   #619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffntuff View Post
It’s funny how every time I crossed into Canada, I had to remove my helmet and answer a billion questions. But every time I crossed back into the U.S., I only had to show my passport and that was it. I wonder what it’s like for Canadian’s vice versa.
I passed the border from Vermont into Quebec some 13 - 14 years ago on a rented Harley. East of Lake Champlain. Leaving US was smooth but when I hit the canadian border there was this french canadian border guard that refused to speak english and he was not very nice at all. Very grumpy indeed. Until I gave him my passport and he realized that I was from Sweden and not from the States. Then he spoke fluent english all of a sudden and excused himself. -"Oh. Sorry. I thought you where a US citizen since you are on a american bike with US plates. So sorry"! Then he started to talk with me, making jokes and gave me a fridge magnet with the canadian flag on it before heīd let me go. Ten days later I took the ferry from Nova Scotia to Main (there was a ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor at that time. I think itīs gone now) and the exact opposite happened. The american border guard was a total arse til he got my passport. -"Shit. Sorry! I thought you were a canadian!!" Then he gave me a handfull of candy before he let me go. I donīt know. I think itīs a border guard thing..... Donīt take it personal! :)

Love your travel story and your way of writing. Splendid. Well done! Thanks for sharing!

//Jan
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StickJan screwed with this post 08-15-2013 at 04:03 PM
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:22 AM   #620
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Those days are gone, my friend.

After 9/11, the US spent a metric shitload of money on border security.

The cameras scan your license plate, they run the registration on your vehicle automatically, and if you have a new passport with an RFID chip, they even know your name and border crossing history before you even get to the window.

The questions they ask are merely to verify your story against the record.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:40 AM   #621
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I've gone over the border a few times in my past, but there was a (roughly) 15yr gap that held me up at the Stanhope border crossing just south of Coaticook, QC. I just loved the look on the face of the border guard when I said 15yrs.. It went from a smile to dead serious in about half a second! "And why is that sir? Have any prison history? Prior offences?". "No sir, just didn't travel this way for quite some time!" He went into his office, and about 10 mins later came back and said all is OK, and to have a nice ride.

Of course, since I was contracted to do some computer work at the Plattsburg, VT border crossing, I've never had any problems at all I even got some heartfelt thanks from the guard when I zipped by on my TLR during the summer months!
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:45 PM   #622
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I've crossed into Canada a few times at the post above Plattsburgh. Usually treated fairly, but once in a while an officer will get a nasty tone asking me what my purpose is in coming to Canada, perhaps thinking that I am on my way to Montreal to spend some money on hookers and drugs. Coming back to the US has been pretty easy the past few years. They've only searched the vehicle one time....I carried no contraband, so no probs. The truly aggravating thing was that for a few years post 9/11 there was a special "surprise" border checkpoint on a desolate part of I-87 Southbound (placed so there was no exit once it was in view and it was not visible from the Northbound lanes) about 20 miles SOUTH of the border. You had to stop and be bombarded with questions like: are you an American citizen? Is this your vehicle? Where have you come from? etc etc etc. Sometimes this was done courteously and sometimes they were rude. Always it was a huge PITA.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:35 PM   #623
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffntuff View Post

I headed back to camp and snacked on some goldfish and beer while scouting the water, still no more orcas.
I am assuming you meant the crackers, but this came to mind anyway and made me laugh. Thanks for the update, will be watching for the next one!

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Old 08-24-2013, 07:55 PM   #624
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Finally caught up... Very nice report. Thank you for your courage & time to post this.

Dave
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:59 AM   #625
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Originally Posted by ruffntuff View Post
It wasnít until April I got the bike that would take me 17252 miles in one summer. Another friend of my brothers, bike mechanic and builder, emailed me the link on Craigslist. Iíll admit I was skeptical when I saw the picture of an í86 Yamaha Radian, although it was in mint condition with only 13,500 miles and it came with a tailcase. But I trusted the swearing advice of my mentor that it was the bike that would get me to Alaska and back (in my price-range) in comparison to all the other reviews I had read that only a BMW GS would be the bike to do such a trip on. Unfortunately I had only $1000 to spend on a bike so the Radian was it. I didnít even have a helmet yet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3pOQW_7VMQ
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:25 AM   #626
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San Juan Island - Port Angeles, WA

Part 2: Day 3
San Juan Island to Orcas Island to Port Angeles, WA: 165 miles
July 2, 2012

As I laid in my tent, listening for orcas, I heard some rustling outside. Peeping out with my headlamp I saw two glowing eyes glaring back at me from the top of the picnic table. My food bag was open and contents spread across the table.

The raccoon didnít seem too concerned with me, even after I got out of my tent and threatened to chase it. It just casually wandered off to another campsite, sulking while scrounging for more scraps.

It was a warm clear night and I suddenly had the desire to sleep under the stars closer to the water. I put my food in my tent, hoping the coon wouldnít try to break in, and moved my sleeping bag down to the edge of the water.





It was a beautiful night, but I never heard any orcas.



I got up early intending to catch the 8:30 ferry to Orcas Island and made it back to Friday Harbor with just enough time to get breakfast. I went to the Hungry Clam, another place Billy told me about, assuring me it would be the best greasy breakfast ever. And it was. I had fried eggs with crispy bacon. Oh the glory and goodness of greasy food.

The skies were overcast and the air was cool. I loaded the bike onto the ferry, this time parked in the front row with the cars. Usually bikes are parked to the side at an angle in their own narrow bike lane. It made me a little nervous, but the ride over to Orcas was short and smooth.







I grabbed a map of Orcas Island on the ferry and picked the windiest road I could find. Mount Constitution is the highest Mountain of the islands at 2400 feet and it looked like the road going up it was full of switchbacks and steep grades.

Brady had told me about a fun dirt road to check out; assuring me it was in good enough condition for a motorcycle. He told me to turn right coming off the ferry heading towards Dolphin Bay instead of turning left with the rest of the thru traffic onto Orcas Road.

It was peaceful and quiet with no traffic winding through lush forest along the East Sound. It was hard to follow at times with lots of turnoffs and I constantly found myself pulling over to refer to my map.

Eventually the road looped back around to Orcas road before going through the cute town of Eastsound. I kind of wanted to stop and explore for a quaint coffee shop to melt into temporarily, but I felt more anxious to ride up Mount Constitution. I hadnít been on many technical roads in a while and was eager to giddy up.

I headed down Olga road and entered Moran State Park before riding along Cascade Lake. It was crystal clear as glass reminding me of Beautiful British Columbia.

Mount Constitution was just as fun and challenging as it appeared on the map. It felt good to lean the bike and accelerate around the steep turns switching back and forth all the way up the mountain. Thereís something about that focus and precision in every moment that makes me feel one with the bike and pavement all together. The feeling grounds me and makes me calm.

I guess this is why riding motorcycles can be so therapeutic. People ask me all the time, ďArenít you afraid?Ē And I know I am, because I know injury and fatality is a very realistic possibility. In fact, I think I feel more fear when I think about riding somewhere, and Iím planning the journey. But, once Iím on the bike, thereís no turning back. Iím going, itís done. Iím just in the moment focusing on the next turn and can no longer be concerned with the possibilities lying ahead. I leave fear behind.

When I got to the top of the mountain I was surprised no one else was there. It looked like there was a closed office and gift shop where youíre supposed to pay to enter the park. I saw there was a stone tower resembling a medieval watchtower with open gates. So I took advantage and climbed up with a 360 degree view of the islands. It was too overcast to see the Cascades, however it was still an impressive view.













As I stood gazing I felt a few drops tickle my nose. By the time I got back to the bike, there was a cool misty rain. I decided it wasnít a good day for kayaking, and would ride back to the ferry to head towards the mainland.
By the time I got back to Anacortes the rain was resting. I wanted to head towards Olympic National Park and it looked like I would have to take another ferry from Keystone Harbor by Fort Casey State Park to Port Townsend. That would make three ferry rides in one day. I was starting to get a little ferried out.

So, I rode south on 20 towards Deception Pass. I crossed the long bridge connecting tiny pieces of land towering over the foggy water. I wanted to stop and take a picture but there were so many tourists already I pressed on. It was 4th of July weekend and the roads were getting crowded.

I got to the ferry terminal a little early so I parked the bike in line after purchasing my ticket and walked up the road to a little cafť for some coffee. I searched the Droid for places to stay and found Thor Town hostel in Port Angeles just off 101.

The ferry was a quick ride over. I continued on 20 for several miles through Anderson State Park until I reached 101. I headed up the Washington peninsula riding just north of Olympic National Park. It rained off and on the rest of the way but I got to the hostel just in time to avoid a major downpour.

It was a cute house shaped like a big red barn with lovely gardens in the front surrounded by a white picket fence. The owner lived downstairs and rented the top floor out as a hostel. There were several bedrooms with bunks plus a community kitchen and bathroom to share. It was a small space and tight to get around in but cozy and quaint with all necessities.

I met a nice girl, Sara, from England. She had just driven up form California on her holiday. We found a local pub and enjoyed some heavy porters together. She had lots of suggestions on routes to take on my way down south.

I was hoping the rain would clear up tomorrow to ride through Olympic before heading to Portland. My Dad, Aunt, and cousin would be there to celebrate the 4th of July. So far the weather forecast wasnít looking so good. Washington may be beautiful, but it sure is wet.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:34 AM   #627
Dirigo
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Awesome! You stayed at Thor's house!!

Thanks for the update, always happy to read a new dispatch, good on you!
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:44 AM   #628
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RuffnTuff said, "I guess this is why riding motorcycles can be so therapeutic. People ask me all the time, “Aren’t you afraid?” And I know I am, because I know injury and fatality is a very realistic possibility. In fact, I think I feel more fear when I think about riding somewhere, and I’m planning the journey. But, once I’m on the bike, there’s no turning back. I’m going, it’s done. I’m just in the moment focusing on the next turn and can no longer be concerned with the possibilities lying ahead. I leave fear behind."

This is just so well written. .

Thanks for the update..
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:27 AM   #629
mitko69
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Anna you ROCK, great adventure and great RR.
Thank you.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:55 PM   #630
StickJan
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Thank you. Inspiring writing as always. :)
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