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Old 07-26-2005, 06:42 PM   #16
richard cabesa
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Good on ya , Allan

Looking forward to reading the rest of you tail
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Old 07-26-2005, 07:57 PM   #17
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enjoy your vacation,we're all here with ya. Stay safe. I'm looking forward to your posts.
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Old 07-26-2005, 11:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CoSnipe
enjoy your vacation,we're all here with ya. Stay safe. I'm looking forward to your posts.
right on and ride on...

love having all you guys with me... the adventure has yet to really start. Haven't even left the states. But Alaska and Dalton's Demons daunt me and the reports will continue to post....

thanks for the good words. Looking forward to meeting many of you on the road or online...

smiles...

allan
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:18 AM   #19
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Looking Back At Last Year

Today as I gathered my things, packed my bike and headed to Mt. St. Helens I reflected on the fact that one year ago today I had a little mishap which combined with some business events put off my WorldRider journey by nearly a year. I thought it would be interesting to revist the writing and blog post i did last year for those new readers of the Digital Tavern and The WorldRider blogs....

--------
July 24, 2004


That Sunday morning after blogging about my Airport Express implementation I did what I usually do on Sunday mornings: I stayed in bed. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I eventually sauntered into the kitchen. Grind beans. Boil water. Brew coffee.


By the time I was ready to take on the day I reasoned a quick jaunt down the road to complete a few errands before heading south to Laguna Beach for the wedding reception of my friends Micha and Leanna.



Grabbing my shades, cell phone and car keys from the counter I took several steps toward the front door. That's when I noticed my helmet. Resting on the hardwood floor near the door upside down. When I opened the door the sunlight reflected off the keys and the D-rings of the chin strap and called to me. A sunny California Sunday. The sun calling me. The wind still but still begging me.


It had been several weeks since I fired up my motorcycle. The BMW F650GS. The same one I rode last fall to Wyoming, Utah and Mexico.


My brain quickly fired its synapses and assessed the pros and cons. For example, the air-conditioned comfort of my car or the interruption of my flow to change into motorcycle jacket, boots and gloves. Then I'd have to open the garage, wheel the bad boy out and head on down the highway. The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).


I decided to give my bike the attention it needed and to give my face a brush with the wind and sun that had called on it that morning.


Just hours later I found myself in the emergency room at the local hospital.


The irony that strikes me most about that day is my thinking when I sat at the traffic light where I'd turn south onto PCH. I've ridden motorcycles from more than 20 years. I had one accident about 18 years that left me with a broken collar bone. And had a silly little "drop" last November when I was in Mexico. But as I made that north bound turn onto PCH I thought to myself as followed my line and leaned into the turn. "What would happen if the bike slid out from under me?" I reasoned that it could happen. Gravel. Oil. Leaves. Rain. Any number of things could cause a loss and traction and next thing I'd be sliding along the pavement with my bike.


I'm not sure why I thought this that morning. But in retrospect, I feel I must have been visionary. Because a few hours later when returning from my errands I was feeling good with the wind in my face and the sun beating down on my nose through my full-face helmet I cruised back up the Pacific Coast Highway going north.


The sky nearly cobalt blue save a few fluffy clouds. I responded to the fraternal nod of a motorcyclist heading south with the ubiquitous nod. The leather of my gloves stuck to my palms. I check out the blonde babe that passes me in the BMW. THe visor of my helmet is open. I can feel the breeze. My shades positioned perfectly, I consider the prospect of just carrying on and not stopping. Perhaps appearing at the wedding in my motorcycle garb. And then cruising the coast the remainder of the day. Not I good idea. There'd be good wine at the reception. Never drink while riding. Not even a sip. So my Sunday ride fantasy quickly fades to the reality of getting home, changing clothes and vehicles and heading to laguna for the party.


Soon I was on the bridge that spans Newport's Back Bay and heading toward the fateful intersection.


Yes. That same intersection. Focus and concentrated, I merged into the right hand turn lane that freed motorists taking that right turn from waiting for a red light to turn to green. So I set my line and going barely 25 miles per hour I leaned into the turn and just as I was coming out of the turn I slowly rolled the throttle. That's when the rear tire broke loose.


I hit the pavement with a thud landing on my belly. Sliding just behind the bike I came to an abrupt stop nearly on top of my bike. Dazed and certainly confused I jumped up and began walking in circles. I realized my arm or wrist was broken. A woman in a Range Rover was calling to me. I was searching for my cell phone. The man in the Chryslers was yelling "I'm calling 911." The dude on the Harley asked what happened.


Another voice asked me if i was going to fast. I glanced back at the turn where a few other cars had pulled over. Shimmering in the noontime sun I spotted debris. No. That's oil.


"I broke my wrist." I explained to the woman. She had pretty green eyes that expressed the concern of a mother. "Do you want me to take you to the hospital?"


"I don't know."


"Do you want me to move your bike?" The Harley dude with his tatted arms and WWII style motorcycle helmet was in the road with me.


I hopped into the Range Rover when another man told me to put my hand into my jacket between two buttons. "You need the support. Don't move it." At this point my right foot started crying for attention.


At the emergency room I joined the body surfer who's face and nose got slammed into the beach, the girl who was hit by a car while riding her bicycle and the young couple with their 4-month old child who they swore swallowed her wedding ring.


Sunday at the emergency room.


A shot of morphine, x rays under my arm and an arm and a leg in a cast I was the picture perfect example of a gimp and poster boy for why many people find motorcycles so dangerous.


My orthopaedic surgeon a couple days later saw things different. He ripped off the cast on my leg and told me it was only a bad sprain. Actually, he said "very" bad sprain as he pointed to bone fragments suspended in orbit around my ankle on the x ray.






He didn't look at the x ray too long when he started talking surgery. He said I had a very common break called Barton's Fracture and that he'd cut a three inch incision on the inside of my wrist and place a plate and a few screws in my arm to hold the bone in place.


"Are you sure?"


He smiled. I've known this doctor perhaps too well over the years. "In many cases I question surgery. But in your case, it's a no brainer."


He explained that the Swiss (Swiss AO (Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Osteosynthesefragen) had developed this technique and as a result of fixing the bone internally with a plate and screws would mean I would only be in a cast for a week and therefore my post-operative rehabilitation would begin sooner than a traditional cast and therefore I'd have a better chance of restoring my full range of motion.


I hope so.


So I had surgery just over two weeks ago. I've been more than a week with simply a wrist brace. Yesterday I picked up my guitar for the first time. Nervous. Sweating and worried I tried to play a few chords. The pain is still there. But the pain stems less from the fracture and more from the fact the doctor must have used a 20V DeWalt electric drill to put three screws into my Ulnar bone. But that's besides the point.


I worry most about playing guitar again. But I will prevail.


I'm finally weening off the vicadins. Pain tends to creep up in night when I'm sleeping. I don't like pain killers. Funny feeling. Foggy head. Low motivation. Not something Allan Karl deals with too well.


As for the ankle. A couple weeks in a boot that stabilizes my ankle and now I'm limping around. It's a time thing. You know. The type that heals all wounds?


As for the motorcycle? Well. It's doing fine. Back in the garage. Merely a few scratches. That's it. I took more of the damage this time. Will I ride again? Damn right I will. I've got a lot of miles left in me. You just wait and see!


As for the blogging? I'm back. I've got somewhat a good command of my keyboard again. Fingers seem to move well. Though a long post like this tests my tolerance for pain. Still funny numbing, pulling of nerves and overall tiring of my hand certainly taxes my patience. Damn. I want to write long posts.


For you who'd rather me not (ha). No worries. I'll take it easier on the next one -- maybe two.


I would like to thank all of my friends here in Orange County who've been so helpful and supportive to me as I recuperated from my surgery. It's such a great feeling to know you have friends who go out of their way even with their busy schedules to bring food, do shopping, check in, visit and offer help in every way. This has been great for me because up until this weekend I have been unable to drive -- my car. Probably be a couple weeks before I can ride the motorcycle.






Thanks for joining me again. It's going to get fun!




---------------

July 24, 2005 - Portland, Oregon



So a year later and that wrist is hanging in there and I'm on the WorldRider realizing the dream for me and for those of you who can't make it. Ride with me and we'll have the adventure of a lifetime. Stay tuned... It's still going to get fun!

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Old 07-27-2005, 02:24 AM   #20
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Ggggggg! Folks, there's some other big starting here! Damn', adicteds like me won't have much time left for work next to pick up the daily shot of "SV bumming the world", "The US on 40 Bucks a day" and now "Journey and Adventure"!
Go WorldRider, go!
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by r1150gsadventure
Ggggggg! Folks, there's some other big starting here! Damn', adicteds like me won't have much time left for work next to pick up the daily shot of "SV bumming the world", "The US on 40 Bucks a day" and now "Journey and Adventure"!
Go WorldRider, go!
Very true...the posts make my day and fill the quiet gaps in an otherwise busy office day.....
Well, last summer I was jobless and had time to cover some 12000 miles in Europe...now, I am happy to spend a short weekend in the Alps. But "I'll be back" one fine day

Keep on rolling safe and enjoy! Advise us when you come through Europe
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:18 PM   #22
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Portland What?

Portland is one of those cities that to me has an identity crisis. When you think of Portland what comes to mind. Unlike other great cities Portland conjures up a mishmash of images, words or ideas. But nothing focused.






San Francisco has its great bridge, Chicago is the Windy City, Detroit is the automotive capital and New York, well New York is The Big Apple. Even Seattle has the Space Needle, LA is a state of mind and Boston personifies New England or a place where the biggest Tea Party was ever held. St. Louis is the gateway to the West, Denver the mile high city, Memphis has Elvis and Nashville is the Grand Ole Opry and the home of country music. Still other cities that may not have been emblazened into the minds of Americans through cultural or architectural icons, have their identities (good or bad) built around sports teams. Dallas has the Cowboys, Green Bay its Packers and so on. But Portland?

When I think of Portland I think of the Columbia River and its grand gorge, but Washington shares this. Then there's wine. The fertile Willamette Valley and its stunning Pinot Noirs. But sandwiched between California with its more famous Napa Valley and Washington with great wines from Walla Walla and Columbia River Valleys, it can't hang its hat here either. And of course, Portland has no sports team worth mentioning.

So what is Portland? Portland is in Oregon and Oregon has no sales tax. Despite its educational crisis its residents repeatedly refuse to vote for any sales tax. Some may find Oregon the hotbed of manufactured homes, logging and the Oregon Trail. With a stunning coastline, beautiful rivers and valleys, grand deserts and old growth forests, Oregon may be a paradise never found. To the east the booming town of Bend will give Sun Valley, Aspen and Jackson serious competition, and to the south the largest Shakespeare festival west of the Mississippi draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. But back to Portland.

Riding to Portland one can simply take the same freeway that haunts me in Southern California (5) or the back roads that wind through Christmas tree farms, through forests, by waterfalls and blazing through pastures. For me, I was met with a 40 mile route that winded through all of this but unfortunately was recently oiled and loosely graveled. I painfully with white knuckles on my handlebars navigated up and over and around and around. Then more. It was time to take the 5 freeway so I could be in Portland for dinner with my friends James & Heather.

Oregon and Portland were extremely pleasant surprises for me. Not only the geography and history of the state, but the warm and friendly people. My second time in Portland I found cool cafes, emerging neighborhoods and a downtown area bustling withe energy and enthusiasm. I imagined this micro urban scene and what it would be like living here, in a city lost without an identity. Living on the Northwest side of town, James and Heather can walk virtually anywhere and they can hope in the car and in an hour be on the coast, winding through beautiful forests or tasting some of the best Pinot Noir in the USA.

But life will change rapidly for James & Heather. In a scant few months they will welcome a baby boy to their family. And maybe by the time he grows to appreciate and understand Oregon, Portland will find itself.
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Old 07-29-2005, 05:19 PM   #23
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I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet

I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet



Since climbing the most active in Indonesia's "Ring of Fire" many years ago I've been fascinated with volcanoes. And since leaving Northern California over a week ago I've been hot on the trail of the Cascade Mountain range. Stretching from British Columbia (meager Mountain) to Northern California (Lassen Peak), The Cascades roughly parallel the Pacific coastline. Dominating the landscape of the Pacific Northwest great volcanoes such as Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake, Mt. St. Helens, Mount Hood and Mt. Ranier, The Cascades might be what is the Pacific Northwest's "Ring of Fire", with these tempting and explosive sultresses of power. But more than that, this region is also famous for its frequent earthquakes.






I Feel The Sky Come Tumbling Down

While Crater Lake blew its head off 7,000 years ago and the most recent explosion from Newberry dumped obsidian 1,300 years ago, the Cascades and the West Coast has changed and been defined by volcanic and seismic activity. But when we read of great geologic events in the history books, it's hard to get a grasp of how such things affect us today other than provide us with dramatic backdrops and fields of scientific exploration. Yet just 25 years ago Mount Saint Helens garnered national attention to the Cascade Mountains and provided us with a closer view at the still continually changing landscape of the Pacific Northwest.



After taking in my last day in Portland, I mounted my bike and headed for a campsite somewhere on the Southeastern side of Mount Saint Helens and waved my friends good bye and good luck with their continually changing lives. Fueling in Vancouver, Washington I estimated an 8:30pm arrival at my campsite. And with each mile north the days get longer and so does my riding. At 9:30pm the sky is like dusk in Southern California -- usually around 7:30 - 8:00 in the summer.



But winding through dense forests day quickly turns to night and sun breaking through the trees causes playful and deceiving shadows to scatter the roadway. Not that concentration is ever lacking when riding two wheels, whenever the road changes, looks different or seems to change suddenly attention levels rise, and your guard raises.

I rounded one corner and crossed a bridge when I saw it. With a rose colored misty cloud emerging from its summit I met Mount St. Helens. Big and bold and looming high above the road I had to pull over and stare.

As I pushed on, I had great rhythm winding my BMW through and endless series of S-curves when the shadows got to me and a truck toting a ski boat decided to borrow part of my lane. Minutes later an elk darts in front of me. My face shield littered with bugs didn't help visibility. I glanced at the clock and at 9:30pm I thought by now I'd be settled in at the campground. Did I miss it? Using both a forestry map and my GPS I figured I'd passed the two campgrounds I was planning on making home for the night. I decided to keep pushing on and stay at the last campground on this road for hundreds of miles.

Visibility was touch and go. I have a rule to never ride at night. Too many risks. But by now I was breaking my own rules. When I got to the campground it was full. Unfamiliar with the area, I hesitated about taking a dirt road toward the mountain and finding an ad-hoc campsite, but was prepared to if I felt I was in danger.





I decided to turn around. The last town I passed was closer than the any towns going forward. My lights caught the eyes of another elk and by the speed he dashed off I figured we were of like minds -- neither of us wanted to be a statistic.

I finally found the campground. Managed by the power company that operated the damn at Cougar Lake, security had closed the gate at 9pm. When I blew by in my S-curve rhythm it appeared as another closed access road to the damn or daytime recreation area. It was past 10pm. I blew off setting up the tent, cooked dinner on my MSR multi-fuel stove and crawled into the sleeping bag and counted the stars until I dreamed of elk and volcanoes...
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Old 07-30-2005, 04:31 PM   #24
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Great stuff Allan. Good to hear from you also.

Good luck out there. I am truely enjoying this travel log. For now my travels will all be mini-adventures save for "riding along" with you and others in these many pages.
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:27 AM   #25
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New Shoes

Time For New Shoes

Waking up to the hussle and bustle of busy business people pulling rolling luggage down the hall of my hotel I remember that there is just one other set appointment I must make -- to get new tires and change the oil at the Seattle area BMW dealer, RideWest BMW.

With only 1,750 miles on my trusty Dakar, my bike was barely broken in, but with nearly 4,300 miles upon arriving at RideWest my plan was simple. Change the oil and throw on a new set of my preferred tire for this trip: Avon Gripsters. The stock Metzler Sahara tires may have lasted another thousand miles or so, with the journey through British Colubia, Yukon and the grand state of Alaska ahead of me including the 425 miles of rocks and dirt on the fabled Dalton Highway, this would be my best shot to give my baby new shoes and replace her vital fluids.

I also arranged to replace my BMW ComforTemp undershirt exchanged. Bill and Fred in the parts department worked with me to exchange my shirt with a damaged zipper for one of the same size and color they held for me. Normally the dealer would send this out for repair, but with turnaround times of one week they graciously replaced rather than repaired it so I could get on with my journey.


The mechanic working on my bike noticed the same thing I'd been concerned about since leaving on my journey. My new Works Performance suspension (rear shock) acted extremely funny without any load on the bike -- as if there was no dampening with it rebounding to a screeching halt. I put this shock on only days before leaving and never had a chance to play with the adjustments - or even understand how all the adjustments affected the performance and behaviour of the shock. So riding away I made a note to call Works Performance and review it with their engineering staff.

I thought I'd spend a few hours at RideWest, but I spent the entire day with the service manager pulling the garage door shut just as I strapped the last remaining bag onto my bike. I had hoped to get out earlier so I could do a few local errands and have more time to spend with some of my friends who live in the area. However, I got to know every inch of that BMW dealer, read every magazine in the waiting area and perused the new bikes and accessories a dozen times.

With the bike packed up I head to Redmond to meet one of my former business partenrs, Roland Yamamoto.




HELP: But the latest mishap in my journey has happened somewhere in Seattle. I'm missing my map holder that clips to my handlebars. I thought I left it at RideWest BMW, but they insist it's not there. I've called everywhere I've been since then and still can't find it. If any of you in Seattle see a black canvas/cordura folded pack with a clear acetate cover with a map about 6 x 9 inches and less than an inch thick, please send me an email. I'm desperate not for the maps but for my motorcycle registratioin and other important documents that were contained in there. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:29 AM   #26
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Forget Riding, Walking Can Be Dangerous

I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to have dinner at one of Seattle's finest Italian restaurants with a great bottle of wine and a beautiful woman last night. Walking the streets of downtown Seattle through Pikes Market and the cozy tony Belltown Neighborhood. Everything was going right for me when it happened.

Riding a motorcycle around your home can be dangerous. Riding around the world can be dangerous. When you're miles away from the comfort zone of your own community the last thing anyone wants or expects is a major disaster or a mild hiccup.

My hiccup happened last night. Not that I really needed new material for this blog relating to the Swedish Medical Center from "Pill Hill" in Seattle. But maybe this emergency room would be slightly different. The cabbie worked as an intern at a competing hospital also located on "Pill Hill", he strongly suggested that we go to the Swedish Medical Center.

"It'll be more comfortable and quicker," he assured us as I handed him a $!0 bill and limped toward the sliding glass doors.

About 30 minutes later my name is called.

"What happened?"

Forget motorcycling. Walking can be dangerous. I decided to take in the water sculpture, fountain and walkways of a city scape courtyard feature on 4th outside a couple tall buildings. A couple steps up and I walked across a short walkway elevated above the water just slightly so to still experience the thrill of misting fog and water. Angie didn't want to get wet, so she stayed below and watched. And as I made my u-turn to return to solid ground, I stepped down and something went awry. My right foot buckled under my ankle and a jumped up grabbing my knee and slowly setting my foot down.

"Shit!"

The pain was moving through me faster than a bullet train. All I wanted was a glass of port and an espresso.

I knew I sprained the mother... maybe worse. I've twisted, turned and flopped both my ankles around enough over the years that I know the drill. But this time the pain seemed worse. We hobbled to the White Horse near Pikes Market and ordered a glass of Port and called our cabbie.






The ER doctor a tall woman in her late 30's was tall, auburn hair pulled back and wore a long dress with a short slit and has she walked revealed a completely tattooed leg.

She handed me a bottle of ibupropen and a handful of Vicadins.

"Don't let this interfere with your trip," she consulted with me as the intern wrapped an ace bandage around my ankle.

"You've got a convulsion fracture -- a really bad sprain. But people with worse injuries have done more physically demanding activities than ride a motorcycle."

These words didn't settle well with Angie as revealed by the look in her eye as the doctor delivered her advice.

"Just don't put your foot down. It's too bad this happens in the middle of your trip. But don't let it interrupt or ruin it. I know. My husband rides a bike."

Sure. Why not head into the last frontier with a broken foot and move like a gimp through the tundra while scouting caribou, moose and grizzly bears. Sure. Sounds good to me.

All I could think is thank god it was my right foot. Had this happened to my left foot I'd be temporarily stranded. With the weight of the bike on the side stand which leans to the left, I'd never be able to pick the bike up off the side stand if my left foot had incurred the injury.

I downed the ibupropen, through a big bag of ice on my foot and closed my eyes.

Yes. The adventure has begun.
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:29 AM   #27
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Crossing Borders

As gracious and helpful they could be Jeff, Eric and Carrie at the Apple Store in Lynwood delivered me the bad news. My PowerBook didn't make that morning's DHL delivery. Per the information available from Apple's depot repair facility in Texas, a part for my computer was back ordered.

If I wasn't going to let a broken foot delay my journey, there was no way I'd let a broken computer get in the way of moving onward to the Last Frontier. I made arrangements to call with an address in Canada so that upon receipt of the computer the store could ship it to me on the road.

A couple hours later after riding through the strongest winds of my journey to date, I was greeted by the young olive skinned Canadian border customs agent. After the typical where you going, where you from, what's your citizenship questions, the border guard moved to the nitty gritty.

"Carrying any tobacco or alcohol." I confided in the two bottles of wine Jonathan had sent me with -- not that I needed the extra weight, but there I was sitting at the Canadian border with two cigars and two bottles of wine.

"Any weapons, firearms?"

Nope.

"No weapons? Not pepper spray?"

Nothing.

"You sure?"

Yes. I have no weapons.

"Aren't you worried, traveling alone and camping, about bears?"

No. Should I?

"Yes. You might want to get some bear spray."

Should I get some pepper spray? I couldn't hear him too well because of my earplugs.

"No pepper spray is illegal in Canada. But you can use bear spray."

He sent me on my way thinking about bears and the need to defend myself.
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:31 AM   #28
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Whistler & A Little Self Pity

The sea to sky highway is a small two lane road that winds its way from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver to the grand ski resorts of Whistler and Black Comb, this scenic byway hugs the cliffs of a magnifiscent glacier carved landscape. With the Howe Sound to my left and the tree-covered Coast Mountains to my right I piloted my bike through blissful turns. Carefully keeping my eye on the highway was difficult with the dramatic drops to the island dotted waters far below.

My plan was to get to Whistler, spend the night with an ice pack on my aching foot. I dreamed about opening one of those bottles of wine from Washington and a nice dinner. I reasoned to myself that I needed to slowly ease into the rough wilderness of Canada and Alaska and as a premier World-Class ski resort which will play host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, feeling sorry for myself and my bone-head move in Seattle that left me in a precariouis position where I couldn't walk to far from my bike. Normally, I'd pull off in a wayside, hike a bit, shoot pictures. But tethered by my new cane and a brokena and sprained foot, I was rooted close to my new best friend -- my BMW F650 GS Dakar.

Rounding a corner and getting within 20 miles of Whistler I soon found myself under the watchful eye of Stawmus Chief, one of the largest granite monoliths in the world sitting high above the scenic village of Squamish. the chief attracts climbers from all over the world. I am happy to wind the road to Whistler just below it.

In Whistler I played on my own personal pity and decided to splurge for one last dinner before I'd once again join the ranks of campers, canned soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and decided to dine at Araxi in Whistler's lower village.

The meal was fantastic. Key to Araxi's culinary concept is using all local and naturally grown ingredients and foods in each of their dishes which change daily. I was blown away by my meal and figuring it'd be my last fine dining experience for sometime, I thought I'd share the menu and wine selections and strongly urge you visit this restaurant if you find yourself climbing the sea to sky highway or skiing in Whistler.








Purple & Golden Beat Salad - Buffalo mozzeraella, basil sorbet, beet & orange vinaigrette

Herb Crusted Queen Charlotte Halibut - Globe artichokes, eggplant puree, Across the Creek Farm wax beans (white), verjust, olive oil, grape juice and lemon and tomator vinaigrette

The beets grown locally up the road and the Halibut from just north of Vancouver all were fantastic. My mouth exploded with flavor and that basil sorbet - who would have thuought anything sounding so silly could taste so good. I paired these entries with local British Columbia wines which pleasant suprised me:

2004 Qual's Gate "Limited Release" Gerwurtztrameiner, Okanagan Valley
2004 Gehringer Brothers "Optimum" Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley

I couldn't stop their, my server tempted me with locally grown berries from Pemerton (a town I'd drive through on my way to Prince George)

Pemberton Berry Napolean - fresh rasberries and sable pastry with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream.

I hobbled my way back to the room and slept in a Murhpy Bed until 6am when my alarm was greeted by my hand for a number (I lost count) of "sleep" slams.

Photos: (1) Queen Chalotte Halibut; (2) Quiet dinner good place for self pity for my broken foot and to catch up on my journaling and notes; (3) Pemberton Berries and ice cream. Yum.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:31 AM   #29
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Location: from Orange County; currently on a world ride
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Whistler to Prince George - Chasing Daylight

I wasn't sure I'd make the full nearly 500 mile journey from Whistler to Prince George. Not sure of the road, the scenery and photo opportunities that would unfold in front of me, all I could do is get on the road. And leaving Whistler on the last section of the Sea to Sky Highway I was taken through scenery even more dramatic than between Horseshoe Bay and Whistler.





Flying around lakes and through smooth twisty turns, up and over slight changes in elevation the rhythm of my ride was smooth, clean and mesmerizing. As I continued to climb I looked over a valley and literally at my eye level were clouds casting shadows on the gentle scene below. It was at this time I really understood why the road was so aptly named. But before catching my next road North to Prince George, I'm treated to a quick view of the World's Largest Chain Saw -- right here in the heart of British Columbia's logging country.




From 70 mile house I call the Apple Store while paging through a AAA lodging guide. I choose a Days Inn figuring it'd be safe shipping a computer to a more well known chain.

Pushing on I've decided to go for Prince George. Today will be my longest day riding yet, but I'm committed to finding a motel where I can safely receive a package from Apple.

Feeling a bit drowsy after more than 7 hours of riding I pull into a Tim Horton's coffee shop for a quick shot of caffeine and to bundle up as the lower temperatures send chills through my bones.

His jeans were so damn tight fitting and his belt buckle proudly commanding attention, but for a guy in his 60's he didn't have an ounce of fat showing. He shuffled toward me in his pointed cowboy boots.

"You look like you're dressed for a journey," he says scanning my riding suit and Camelback valve dangling in front of my chest.

"Where you headed?"

Alaska and Prudhoe Bay, I tell him.

"You better have good foul weather gear," he asserts while adjusting the brow of his hat upward revealing steely blue eyes. "You're going to have snow, you know. Probably mixed with a little rain. The weather up there is changing. Watch it."

He flips the brow downward and walks out to the parking lot with me.

"Be careful."

I pass lakes, rivers, streams and extremely wooded landscapes and through small towns and settlements. I pull off in Hixon for fuel at a tiny general store. Older children on bicycles wave to me as I idle into the gravelly parking lot. Like many of the small fueling stop settlements along the way, these gas pumps are pages out of history. Black cylinders with white digits fly by at high speeds. There's no glass protecting the gauges on the pumps, like a kid I tempt myself and want to rest my finger on the dial as the numbers fly and gas is pumped into my steed. But I refrain.

I pay for my fuel and power down a bottle of water. Straddling the bike a 7 year old boy rounds the corner and says, "Wait! My little brother is coming." I pull the helmet over my head and watch as a native boy about 3 or 4 years old rounds the corner frantically peddling a mountain bike with training wheels. He flashes me a huge grin and waves.

"You guys have fun now. And be careful!" I extend my gloved hand flipping my thumb upward and then wave as I pull out of the parking lot leaving a small trail of dust until I hit the tarmac.






The beauty of driving the Northwest is the extended hours of daylight. While I know later in August the late night daylight will rapidly diminish, I'm taking advantage of it while I can. I roll into Prince George around 8pm making my way to the Days Inn.

Tired, weather beaten and anxious to wait out till the next morning for my computer I enquire as to room availability at the Days Inn in downtown Prince George. The skinny twenty-something clerk flips through some pages and peers through his thick glasses at me and says, "Yea, I got a room. Since I'm feeling nice tonight, it's eighty-four bucks." I swallow slowly, hesitate and suggest that maybe a triple-A rate might work more in my favor. He says that it's normally $89 and he's doing me a favor. Before commiting to this rate and knowing that I could find a motel much cheaper up on the access road, I call Apple and learn that the store cannot ship my computer internationally. I'd need to arrange for something in Alaska. And since I was at least three days from Fairbanks, I knew I'd fall behind in my journals and I'd have to think fast about how to find a location in Fairbanks to receive my shipment.

I blew off the "nice guy" and headed up the road to a motel that would ideally offer me a better rate. Riding through town a couple pull up next to me at a light, wave and we exchange a pair of thumbs up and on green move on.

I come out of the motel office and the couple is parked next to my motorcycle.

"We had to follow you and talk to you," the woman confesses, "what are you doing?"

I arm to the kindness of strangers and the curiosity inspired by my loaded motorcycle and WorldRider decals. Traveling alone as I am I find that more people approach me than other smaller or larger groups traveling in packs. People offer to let me stay with them, buy me coffee or simply want to pepper me with questions stemming from their wonder and curiosity. When I share my dream and story their eyes open wide, mouths gasp and usually they'll retort with their own dream or simply share their lament that they'd like to do what I'm doing but can't for whatever reason. I urge these new friends to travel with me -- literally or virtually through this web site.

This couple urges me to choose a hotel on a different part of town that would be safer for my motorcycle. Minutes later before the sky opens up with a twilight shower I'm checking in at the Camelot Motel thanks to the recommendation of my new acquaintances.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread

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Old 08-27-2005, 07:09 AM   #30
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Joined: Oct 2004
Location: from Orange County; currently on a world ride
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Rattle and Hum

Prince George to Fort St. John - British Columbia, Canada

Last night while unpacking my motorcycle I found had lost something. Don't you like that? Find something lost? Humor me, I'm trying to share this story.

Keys. I lost keys to my Jesse Bags, Touratech GPS mount and my Adventure Pipe secret "stash" pipe. I had clipped these keys to my primary key chain for my bike but they were on a separate smaller gauge key ring. This ring was threaded onto the bigger BMW key ring. Seems like the 500 mile day and rough roads of Southern British Columbia caused the poor "children" to vibrate off the key chain. Of course I had copies, but it worried me that so early in the journey I was already resorting to using my back up keys, so waking up this morning I decided it'd be best to get copies made before heading up the Alaskan Highway deep into the Yukon and Alaska.

I spotted a Strabucks last night while trolling for motels so thats where I started my locksmith search over perhaps my last cup of "good" coffee for sometime. As usual conversation and curiosity peaked about my journey with two young kids from Vancouver who were on their way to Tombstone Reserve and then Denali to do what they called "light mountaineering". Also joining the conversation was a young Brazilian Girl. With backpack on and carrying a small puppy she admitted she'd like to do what I'm doing.

"But it takes time and money," she agreed, "it all comes down to time and money, doesn't it?"

I pondered perhaps one of my favorite subjects and philosophical explorations and said, "yeah, but at the end of the day all the money in the world can't buy you time," I explained, "so I'll take time."

She frowned and squished up her face and poked at me, "you couldn't do this without money...travel the world. You must eat, buy gas...live." Her thick accent coupled with the puppy made her appear so cute. But she didn't get my point. She was too focused and insisted on the need for money. And while my answer may have appeared to her as a utopian view and a bit lofty, she didn't get the concept that too many of us will complain we don't have the time to do something that we want to do. I insist that you'll never have the time so it's up to you to make the time. And while we could work, work and work thinking we needed just a little bit more before we "find" the time to do something, the worse disease is to wake up finding you never found the time because you didn't make the time.

I looked at the time and realized it was time to go get some keys cut.

Spending a couple hours at Prince George Lock & Key, I quickly learned that when you're in Prince George and you're local, it's simply "George." With a few new keys (including a hand cut key for the German made Touratech GPS mount) I was on my way and coming to the peace of mind that I'd probably never make it to Fort Nelson before dark, so I set my sights on Fort St. John just north of Dawson Creek.

As a twisted my throttle and headed up the John Hart Highway (97) out of George through low rolling hills past lakes and up through the Nechako Plateau and then down along the Crooked River to Williston Lake, British Columbia's largest. Perhaps my first day without the heat of the beating sun, I zipped tight and crouched low as I wound through the rolling hills. Dark gray and steely blue clouds hung so low while the narrow two-lane highway climbed to meet the clouds I felt them race above me accentuating the spped of my motorcycle. For a moment I felt I was in a video computer game where trees, lakes and telephone poles flew by in my periphery while the clouds moved lower and lower.




Raising my hand above my head I felt I could rub my palm under the belly of these low lying orbs. Leaning into curve after curve the drama of the scenery, the purr of my engine and vastness of the scenery made me feel calm -- forgetting about my foot, my computer and the disillusioned Brazilian girl lost at a Starbucks in George.

Soon I descended into the small town of Chetwynd. Here I made the decision to blow off seeing Mile Marker Zero (0) marking the start of the Alaskan Highway (Alcan) for the more scenic ride along the Peace River and by the Bennett and Peace Canyon Dams and through the old fur-trading post of Hudson's Hope.
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WorldRider: Adventure & Discovery
2005 -- Journey Around The World -- 2008

'05 F650GS Dakar

My WorldRider Journey ADVrider Thread
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