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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-Aug-2019, 08:09 PM (048) Thread Starter
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I lied.

I said I travel solo, but that's not the truth. I do travel with a friend, and my friend travels well.

There are little snippets of life that happen, insignificant at the time, and taken alone insignificant still, but when viewed in the context of the timeline of one's lifetime, well, you remember "That was the first time I...," or "That was when I saw..."

Flashback, early fall 2005, post Katrina, only 4 guys back on our block, me, Steve, Mike, and Jim , no electricity, everyone armed, and in the afternoons we compared notes, what notes there were to compare. We were it for weeks.

I'm on a Jim's front porch with him, talking trash, most likely. Guy talk. Probably our worst aspects spilling forth, he!!, I don't know, I don't recall, but I remember a couple of "things" not from a particular conversation, but from our conversations in general. I remember Jim talking about what happened on some day, middle of the day. Said he was sitting on his front porch, watching, chilling, passing time, when a car slooowly rode down the street, stopped in front of David's house--across the street from Jim. David and family were still evacuated. David's house is empty, right? But Jim is watching and the "occupants" of the slow ride don't see him. The car stops, occupants emerge and start walking toward David's house, according to Jim, "like they are casing it." Three of them.
Jim described their look as "thugs."

Jim stands and says, "Can I help you fellas?" Startled, they turn to face him, our narrow streets put them about 25 feet away. They stammer something about "looking for " as they see Jim standing, fit and probably close to 6 feet, on the "high ground " of the porch," and to hear Jim tell it, and he pantomimed it, patting the overly big 45 on his hip. Again they stammered and got back into the car and left more quickly than they arrived. In those days post Katrina it was not wild west, but as close as I would want to come to it. So, I remember that, and that was interesting but a total tangent to where I was going with this. texture for "Jim."

Jim was a stay at home dad, his wife worked, I think, and was an heir to a liquor distribution company. In his early years he was a ski instructor/coach to the US Olympic ski team, and he raced motorcycles. I had my Vespa. He gave me a leather Walter Dyer motorcycle jacket, some sponsor had given him two. I chose the black and red one. Still wear it on occasion. That's a tangent, too.

So, one afternoon I am on the porch with him and a UPS truck pulls up. We were both surprised to see that. There were NO city services, no federal services, no electricity, no one to pick up all the trash we are cleaning from out yards. A UPS truck pulls up. The driver carries a big box to him.

He's not surprised and says his mother in law thought he'd need this. He opens it, right there.

"This" is a case of Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch.

"Here, you want a bottle?"

Uh, yeah sure, my brother is a single malt fan, I'm sure he'd like it. Thanks

That bottle never made to my brother, and thus began my affair with single malts. I just adore a new vice. There is nothing like a new vice, it's like falling in mad love, you caress the vice, you enable it, you handle it gently, and you learn the nuances of it.
You work with it, make excuses for it, and you think you want to try others. Very much like a woman, vices are.
I have favorites in the seven deadly sins, but maybe single malts should be the eighth. J'adore un nouveau vice

In an ironic twist, my brother, the same brother for whom the Glenmorangie was intended, nearly 15 years later gave me a bottle of scotch for Christmas, and, ironically it was Glenmorangie, though an 18 year old version.

So, coming around back to where I started, that, this was my companion on the trip. It never complained of any pain, it was fine with where I chose to stay, to eat, it was always there, never had to look or wait, and it is so goshdarn smooth that if it were any smoother it would slide from the glass.
This bottle.

So, there were many an evening that, upon arrival at the Suoer Huit my first stop after dumping my bags was a pour of that Glenmorangie pictured above. Oh, soo good. I am having some as I write this.

Aside (as if all of this wasn't): I have divided the single malt crowd into two camps: there is the Glenlivet Oban crowd and The Macallan crowd who overlap with the Lagavulin crowd. I am in the latter.

Digression aside. I was in Revelstoke and now definitely in the meat of the ride. Tomorrow would be a big day.

I take CA 1 to Tekakkaw Falls.

This could be the prettiest portion of all of the Trans Canada Highway. It goes through Rogers Pass, a spectacular part of the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately, unlike US highways passing through very scenic areas, there are no turnoffs to admire the view!!! WTF, and the TransCanada, at least in this part is not a place where you can just pull over. I will say that as I passed through, twice, the last time actively looking for a place to pull over and finding none, both times foul expletives were said in appreciation of the beauty of Rogers Pass. If you get there, I hope it will be different for you and you find a place to capture it.

But, I am headed to Tekakkaw Falls in the Yoho National Park, and Rogers Pass was an incidental finding. I read about Tekakkaw Falls

from Wiki

Takakkaw Falls is a waterfall located in Yoho National Park, near Field, British Columbia in Canada. The falls have a total height of 373 metres, making it the 2nd tallest waterfall in Canada. The main drop of the waterfall has a height of 254 metres. "Takakkaw" translates to "wonderful" in Cree

To get to the falls from Revelstroke I did this route

However what this glosses over is this part of the ride

Looks pretty benign, right? And if you go to youtube and look for a video showing the ride to Tekakkaw, it still looks benign. I did that because I heard that tour busses are no longer allowed up there because of these switchbacks and I thought, "that doesn't look so bad." I can't recall if I said it looked like a "piece of cake." but I may have.
Life lesson: Never ever ever never believe yourself when you hear yourself say something will be a "piece of cake."
I am 73 years old and I learned that lesson over 30 years ago. I kinda recall thinking it. I should have known better. Trust me on this, young'uns!

It is not benign. It's full on malignant.

On the way up, I am on the outside and get through and then see the second one that comes very quickly, with a huge elevation change. Discretion being the better part of valor, I pull off the road at the apex of the switchback, and execute a 5-15 point turnaround and point myself uphill and get through.

So, I am riding a GS, right? And there is this "aura" with riding a GS--or maybe only GS riders tell themselves this, and I suspect the KTM crowd is the same. If you've bought and ride such, a GS or KTM, there is nothing on the road that is "daunting" and to be "concerned" about going down is definitely a sign of weakness.

So, I look around and no one saw me execute the 6->23 point turnaround in the pull out area of the second switchback.
My manhood is intact for the outside world. False within, but lookin' good on the outside! You betcha.

I continue onward and get to the parking area of Tekakkaw Falls. The parking lot is a little difficult, lots of traffic, very bad surface, leaning at once in 6 dimensions, but I manage to land safely. Let's go see the Falls. But in the parking lot, this greets me first...Oh those Cannucks!

I march onward

yes that was the color of the water--more on that later

This is the kind of stuff you see right and left in these parts. I saw this pull off on the way up and knew I would be stopping here for a pic. Places to stop are in short supply. Places begging for pictures are not.

So, now I am on my way down, and i know what's coming with the switchbacks, and I am ready.
I slow down a bit and make sure there is no one in front of me or behind me. I downshift and I am coming down in first and get through the first switchback, the one where I had pulled off to turn into it. I am looking far down, elevation wise, not distance, on the second one planning my attack, now on the inside.
There is a gaggle of cruiser types coming through it and I watch them as I slowly and cautiously approach it, They all make it and I am listening for screams as they hit the second one, the one i just passed, I hear none.

What I should have done was head straight out to the apex of the turn, swallow pride, execute a 24 point turn around and head down.

That's not what I did though. I was alone in the turn, but could not see well what was coming up at me, so I didn't want to swing wide into the other lane, so I slowed to nearly a stop and tried to tip toe my way around the inner part of the slanted and downhill apex.

I can't say I almost did it, though I may have. Almost being the key word. Close to 250k miles on two wheels and I always think how horrible it would be to go down on a switchback especially a steep one. Now I know.

Before I could say "slap my a$$ and call me Charlie" I was going down , slow enough that I remember cursing the whole way down. Foul expletives befitting the experience emerged, one after another, colorful.
On these slow "descents" you have time for that. I didn't hit hard, but enough to knock off the rubber "GS" pad on the tank! and my tank bag, knocking off the lid, spilling the contents of the tank bag--I was able to repair with a couple of tie wraps--, breaking into 4 pieces the plastic winglet on the right side of the windscreen--glued that back together when home, breaking the lens on the turn signal right--replaced, and knocking it out of place--re-situated that afternoon, and I even managed to go over far enough that the upper edge of my windscreen was a bit scraped!

Immediately, people came over.
Yes, I'm ok, just my pride, with a laugh.
There was a guy on an RT who was smirking and said,"these bikes are made for this, right? they can take it, right?" I shared a grin with him. He then said, you got through the really nasty one. A group of people helped me get up, after I collected all the pieces on the ground and threw them in my pannier, and I was on my way.

That was the only mishap in the nearly 7600 miles of the trip...a little embarrassed about it, but in truth, not that much.

There is an 18% grade switchback on Mt Nebo in Arkansas, but it is not as tight. On California 4 I think there is a 26% switchback, but again, not as tight.

Oh well, you pays yo moneys, you takes you chances--I think Little Richard said that.

For the rest of the day, i was concerned someone would see me and say, Hey, Look! There's that guy! and maybe they did, but I didn't hear it. I am that guy.

Anyway, there were places to see up the road, and I head toward the Icefields Parkway.
One of the places I really wanted to see in planning this ride was Peyto Lake. It is one of the lakes in Banff National Park which is kinda adjacent to Yoho National Park...they all run together. Pictures of Peyto Lake actually do do it justice, but you don't believe the pictures until you see the lake. Remember I said that "yes, the water really is that color."

continued below
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-Aug-2019, 08:10 PM (048) Thread Starter
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continued from above

This is Peyto Lake

just gorgeous and good for the soul, especially after a fall. I think all of the water up here is this color. It is caused by the mineral content of the glaciers feeding the lakes and the rivers so it is not the only one this color, in fact it appeared that this was the typical color of the waters in this area.

another lake

It was really pretty amazing to have planned this trip with this being one of the destinations, a check box, and to actually be here on this machine that carried me all this way. It is hard to fathom even now. When I tell people what I did, and they say, "you went all that way?" I realize that they don't realize how far this is and the effort involved.
Y'all do, and it is part of the reason why ride reports are so instrumental in getting people to think beyond oil threads or which backpack, or getting the latest bike. They all do the same thing, or can do the same thing. Two wheels in the weather, inches from the ground, self reliant, and seeing stuff that is not possible any other way.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-Aug-2019, 08:42 PM (071)
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Thanks for the great post. Loved the photos; actually some of the best I've seen.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-Aug-2019, 09:57 PM (123) Thread Starter
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Sorry for the delay, life got in the way...BRB, getting some of that Glenmorangie...BRB

got for those of a certain age a total tangent, but this came up in the Strangelove household while I was in search of scotch.

Two postmen times three animal control officers divided by two gassed meter readers equal how many bendable integrated community workers?
Decode your answer now...........................................
Did you remember the carry da bum? Good!

OMG those guys (Firesign Theatre) were funny. And those who don't know the source are saying, huh? But I'll bet there will be someone out there who catches the reference and that makes it worth it. Totally.
Yes, I digress. I do that...and it plays better on some forums than others.

After Icefields Parkway, which is a park, btw so you have to pay to get on it even though it is a major road between Banff and Jasper, no biggie, but I thought I'd mention; after Icefields I backtracked a bit, headed south to Radium Hot Springs for the evening. In Radium I re-situated my right turn indicator and assessed the damage from the fall at Tekakkaw. Everything looked like it could be repaired either with a couple of tie wraps (the greatest invention ever), or, worst case, after I got home, but all was manageable.

Radium was a quiet, but neat little town. They must have a significant German presence there...ok, I say that because there was a German bakery, iirc, and a fine German restaurant where I dined that evening al fresco though by dessert--a home made apple strudel--the wind was whipping pretty good.

I did not take the waters.

I went back to the motel after dinner for a particularly boring evening. I've been requested, ok too strong a word, actually no one has asked, hey John, where do you stay at night? Tonight I am here, in Radium Hot Springs. You'll have to look it up. At The Gateway Motel. Clean, economy and only one little picture on the wall. All other walls are COMPLETELY bare. No black and white of a yucca in the desert, no gaudy vaguely Spanish street/rain/night scene. Nothing except for the thermostat and something, either a circuit breaker or where the AED used to be. Most places are not as Spartan as this one is. Comfy though.


I did sleep well, though.
I went to the breakfast room, got a couple of hard boiled eggs, coffee, a yogurt, sat by the window. There were probably about 8 people in there, a small room, polyurethaned pine it looked like, and NOBODY was talking, not the young couple, hiker types, that came in after I arrived, not the other couple, older, who sat across from each other though looked passed each other, no conversation, silence, couples came and went in complete silence with not even the beeper of the waffle machine to break the silence. Weird. No "where's the coffee," It was a black hole of sound, couldn't even tell you if the chairs scuffed the floors. I got up and no one looked my way, I was invisible as was everyone. Completely asocial.

The next part of the trip was a bit unfortunate, for no reason than the weather and the traffic conspired against me, and it was laundry day. It was notable though because per routine the countryside was beautiful and I missed the one picture on the trip that I regret not stopping for. There's always a few of those.

I was headed to Kamloops and by the time I arrived I was in full rain, cold and wet, but it was laundry day, they had one, and a good restaurant next door.

I ate at Storms on the River, walking distance even after a Glenmorangie. I had the mussels appetizer ( i'm a $lut for mussels) and seafood saffron risotto---both delicious. I figured I was close enough to the coast to be getting fresh stuff now. I almost never order seafood away from New Orleans, but if on a coast or close to one, I do not hesitate. I had some great seafood in Nova Scotia, and this trip was just as good. It seems that wherever you go, if they have fresh seafood, there is some version of fish and chips...could be cod or halibut, catfish or speckled trout, whitefish or sockeye, but it's always a safe bet if you are in the proper location. IOW, don't get it in Des Moines or Denver.

I like to dine alone on these rides. I am never lonely. You get to set your own pace, and watch the crowd, eaves drop, voyeur, let it soak in.

When I was in Nakusp, I was in the restaurant at the hotel, and my server was a girl who was covered in tattoos, "sleeves," and had a piercing in her upper lip. As she is answering questions about the menu, I could hear air squirting through her lip piercing. I mean, wtf. Is that supposed to make her more attractive? And to whom? So, I am again eaves dropping at the conversation she is having with an older couple--50s I'd guess--and the guy is raving about how great her "work" is referring to the sleeves on her arms. I just don't get it, and I am thinking why would an otherwise attractive girl do that? Ok, cultural thing, youth thing, but ****...I guess I've just seen too many in the operating room...and YES we do talk about them, and some are particularly memorable for various reasons, many of them not good reasons. Some are incredibly obscene.
But, all we can think of is how they are going to look when that arm has a waddle, or the back or abdomen is sagging...She comes back to my table and whistles her conversation to me.

Ok, and I suppose they all have some "significance," and when she looks in the mirror she is reminded of this or that. I am not talking about a butterfly on the shoulder. That was something noticeable in BC though, the amount of ink on young was almost universal, especially on the lower legs.

However, at Storms on the River my server had no visible tats, no visible piercings, wore a long black dress, was a late 20s early 30s willowy brunette, stylish. You know how you take a sip of a wine, and it's fine, but as the bottle wears on, you start looking at the glass, and looking some more and yet again, maybe smack your lips and think "that is good stuff." That was my server. and she had a funny sort of accent...French? and she was wearing ballet flats and walked like a dancer. She was a beautiful girl who became more and more pleasing to the eye.
I couldn't finish my risotto and got a doggy bag and I finished it at breakfast...just as good. But, as I was confabulating mentally who she was as I was finishing my risotto, she came over to the table. When you dine alone the servers, I think, are more apt to come over and hang a bit with you. And if they are beautiful young girls, so much the better.
I had to ask her...and I did...
Where are you from?
No, where is your accent from?
I've been told I have an accent, but I've lived in Victoria all my life.
I was trying to place it, thinking French, or ?
Ok, and I have to ask...are you a dancer? you walk like a dancer. (Have you seen how a ballet dancer walks? there's a certain style to it; it catches your eye, or maybe mine.)

She giggles, No I am not a dancer, but thank you.
More small talk and I thank her and leave.
Beautiful girl. Memorable then, memorable now.
Let me impart some wisdom of the ages to you young 'uns.
If you come across a girl who has an "accent" when no accent is expected, this should serve as a shot across the bow. Don't ignore it. There may be some craziness lurking beneath. Now, that said, there may be no craziness involved at all, jus' sayin', but there may be...damhik. Ok, now, if we accept that some craziness is involved, or may be involved, you have to decide whether to proceed or not...again, damhik. What is unfortunate and disquieting is that they may be the most appealing femme you happened on in a long time, a moth to the flame, a web of attraction, and the best thing since pain tranché. Proceed with caution. Yeah, proceed with caution, Yeah. Now...if they were to have, say, a little girl voice, a musical voice, maybe throw caution to the winds and rush headlong...YOLO

I offer this as a public service. And I am sure some of you are asking if she would have been worth the risk? In another world...absolutely...I promise to be careful. I also promise not to be stupid and how's that working out?

The next morning dawns grey, but the good news is I am going to ride the Cariboo and then the Sea to Sky. The bad news is to come.
Breakfast is social, appropriate noise and conversation, the risotto aged well.

I head out and stop along the way for a few pics at the beginning of the Cariboo

Progress note: I am now finished the Glenmorangie, just a couple of sips left. tant pis!

You know what comes next? The Sea to Sky...and the bad news. It's raining the whole **** time and it's cold. I have my rain gear on, but it is no match for the rain. I am getting wet. And my visor, despite the pinlock thing, is fogging. So, it's wet, I'm wet, I have trouble seeing. And I'm on the Sea to Sky. I am going into first on the switchbacks, concerned I could slip, but I don't. Even though it was miserable conditions I could tell that this was a GREAT road and I really wish I could do it in the dry. Fortunately, there was little traffic and what there was respected my cautious riding. I tell you, the drivers in BC, the BC drivers were very courteous and it seemed good drivers. I learned to become cautious if I saw Alberta plates, but maybe that was sample size.

I dried out ins Squamish, just cocooning that evening, ready for the ferry ride in the am to Nanaimo (NAN-Imo).

I arrive a Horseshoe Bay for the ferry and everything went pretty smooth.

TIP: if you don't know what you're doing don't be the first in line of motorcycles to get on. That said, the group of bikers was an eclectic but very nice group of people. There was am Israeli guy on an Africa Twin, an Aussie girl on a BMW 650 I think, and some other guys, but generally a very nice bunch of people. We chatted a lot while awaiting embarkation. The Aussie girl said just follow her when the time came and I did.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-Aug-2019, 09:57 PM (123) Thread Starter
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continued from above

sorry for the focus, but you can see the "wedges" used to prop the bikes, no issues on transit

and we are underway!

that's Vancouver's skyline

so, it is here I will leave off, disembarkation was uneventful on Vancouver Island at Nanaimo, and I am headed to Port Alberni
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 13-Aug-2019, 12:00 PM (709)
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The Canadians and the Americans were having a race to complete trans-continental railroad tracks. All the experts told the head Canadian guy that Rogers Pass was impossible, too steep, too narrow. Rather than accept delay to relocate he had crews dig cork screw tunnels into the mountain on one side, at an acceptable grade. They were in service for a number of years until more modern locomotives could make the grade in the actual gorge leading up to the pass. In separate places on the downhill as I passed through there were three logging trucks taking naps on their sides in the ditch line on the high side. Yikes!
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 13-Aug-2019, 05:04 PM (920) Thread Starter
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Disembarkation at the ferry terminal in Nanaimo was easy and non-eventful. That's probably the way it is in most circumstances, but my first two ferry exits were adventures, but, fortunately uneventful also, depsite giving me more grey hairs.
The first was years ago, crossing Lake Champlain on the Essex Charlotte ferry. When you exit you are going uphill, fairly steeply and must take an immediate left or right, and, because of the steepness of the xit you really can't see well what might be's a crap shoot. I did it in the day time and there wasn't much traffic, but it was pretty hairy to do.

My second was on the Portland, Me, to Yarmouth, NS ferry. We arrived around 11pm and the lights of Yarmouth had long since been turned D A R K. The exit ramps from the ship were metal grates and they were totally covered by sea fog, my feet just slipped along in the false impression that they were in fact giving me any increased stability. Oh and there were a couple of 90 degree turns on that downhill ramp. Again, for me, scary stuff.

So, I am always wary about ferries, having seen the worst they can do.

That said, getting on and off the ferries in BC were a non issue.
So, I am off and heading toward Port Alberni...the now infamous Port Alberni

It was only the salmon capital when I was there on the weekend of Canada Day. Actually, there was something untoward. I was going to stay there two nights, but couldn't get 2, only 1, and I am glad. I was able to do whatever I wanted in the time available, and I spent an extra day in Victoria.

And there was another reason. I stayed at The Riverside Motel. I arrived around 230pm. There was like a patio area, picnic table and a canopy. It was right outside my room. There were about 6, 7, 8 millennials there, male and female, complete with their "music," their alcohol, and mostly their loud voices screaming over the volume of the "music." I'm thinking, Uh-Oh. When I checked in the lady at the desk kind of laughed about the saying "they won a ball game," and we both agreed, or maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, that "it can't go on forever, right?"

It did. Fortunately, I had a place to visit in the afternoon, Cathedral Grove...I passed it along the way, and I was going to eat in town, so thinking I would maybe be away for a few hours and maybe by then....But noooooo.

Before I left to sight-see, there was one guy whose voice just boomed, far louder than any of the others, I could hear his "humor" and it was not close to funny enough (or at all) to elicit the cackles from the girls it produced. And the laughter was that obnoxious drunken laughter that is like fingernails on a chalk board. Topics included "vaginas" and "scrotums." with peals of laughter.
Ok, so I think you may have correctly assumed I am not a prude, and to prove that:

What would you never hear a woman say?
"My, that's an attractive scrotum!"

OK? I think that's really funny, these people were not so glib, not glib at all, glibless, I just wanted them to STFU.

When I returned they were setting up some kind of "toss game," the music just as loud and now they were starting to BBQ. Ugh. And it was old music, stuff I've heard a jillion times. Ironically R-E-S-P-E-C-T played.
I didn't want to complain about the noise, for more than one reason: I was the only other guest they saw, the office was now closed, and the room I had, had a second bedroom in the back, so I could go back there, close the door and almost have quiet. Also, ok, I am a bit of a curmudgeon, but I didn't want to be the GETOFFMYLAWN old guy. So, I endured, and in the back bedroom it was mostly quiet.

So, where did I go that afternoon, escaping The Riverside and the denizon of same?

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove | British Columbia | Our Big Tree Heritage

It was later in the afternoon, though early summer. That allowed the light to filter down from the west sinking sun and created some interesting contrasts. On this Sunday afternoon, there were a lot of people there, but it was a big enough area to avoid them and get, I think, some decent shots.

They are mostly Douglas Firs, "Christmas trees" and the scent was the same. In addition the carpet of needles and dense vegetation absorbed sound so mostly what you hear are the sounds of the forest, or less.

It was a beautiful area, free and easy to find, you ride right through it on Hwy 4, the major east west route on the island.

Now, my baser instincts too over...I was HUNGRY, and I went to Bare Bones Fish and Chips, Ordered well, Fish and Chips, choices were halibut or cod, and the server recommended the halibut. Sounds good to me, I dig in and I am not disappointed.

Afterward, I head back to the Riverside Motel and the fellow guests, now setting up the drunken toss game, which probably precedes the drunken vomit game.

You know, there are places that can do drunk well, or better than most. With Mardi Gras and all the other things we do, New Orleans does drunk well and I am sure there are other places that do also, but Port Alberni is not on that list.

Doing drunk well...

more on the way
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 16-Aug-2019, 06:02 PM (959) Thread Starter
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from another forum
Originally Posted by Subman View Post
Beautiful story, beautiful photos. AND Firesign Theater.
Don't crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers...
For the Subman...a tribute! Granted that was an easy one, but still, knowing it, quoting the source, is the mark of something like a gentleman, and, something like a distracted scholar!

and "they never come up into the hills."

But I did. So, my plan for this now Canada Day Eve was a ride I'd been looking forward to, the ride out Hwy4 to Tofino, which would be the the farthest extent of distance from home. After Tofino, I would be officially "heading home," albeit a purty fair piece of riding, and will include the hardest two days of the trip, but that's a while away.

I was glad to get out of the Riverside. No breakfast available, so it was some kind of a "bar" I brought from home, maybe a Larabar, or something with "real" sea salt. Anyone with high school chemistry should know that the modifier "real" was put on by marketing, like the sodium and chloride and other electrolytes are somehow dependent on anything but, as Aristotle would say, their "souls." Points of origin, Indian Ocean vs Columbus, Ohio, the ions couldn't care less, if the ions could care at all. Sorry, but that's the mindset the Riverside and it's occupants, your humble narrator excluded, produced. Pack up the Dodge and get out, to far far more pleasant climes. As I was packing, it was a bit of schadenfreunde ( if only they were my freunden ), to see the pained looks on their faces, the furrowed brows in a weak morning sun, to hear them talking so quietly to each other that almost everything resulted in a "huh" from the recipient. Yes, their heads were probably not the best, and I packed.

Hwy 4 was a nice road, pretty scenery, and I arrived in Tofino in the late morning. I probably hit it at the wrong time, but on this day, a Sunday and, as I said, Canada Day Eve, it was pretty crowded. I couldn't get out to any of the beaches because all the parking lots were filled or looked to be a lot of sand. I decided I didn't want to go exploring in unknown terrain on the laden GS, so I limited myself to the town.

Tofino was not the typical New England coastal resort, but it did have the feel of a small sea side town that was becoming more and more commercialized with trinket shops, quick bites to eat and not much else. The scenery was very nice, but I saw no knock-your-socks off views and I wasn't expecting that nor was I seeking them out. And I had had my socks knocked off in the days previous, even the cold rainy wet Sea to Sky. Still, it was the kind of town that you walk around for a bit, stick your head into a shop or two, and each shop seems to be stocked with the same items.
I found a couple of stickers for my panniers, but surprisingly no T shirt shops---they would've fit right in. And I likely would've bought one.

Do you have that in a large?

Not having access to the beaches probably made a H U G E difference, admittedly, but otherwise it was a nice ride on this sunny Sunday, a nice place to wander for a bit, and then move on. For me it was worth it, but I could see how some could say "not worth a detour." Though that may be too strong, it's only by a bit.

A "First Nations" souvenir shop...

"First Nations" is a generic term popularized by the sensitivity police in the 1970s and 80s to refer collectively to the indigenous peoples of Canada, exclusive of the Inuit and the Metis. They are the ones south of the Arctic Circle and not mixed with Europeans. In the US individual "nations" exist, eg, Sioux, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Ute, Navajo, etc, but it appears not so in Canada, just the collective term, First Nation. First Nation replaced "Indian" which was considered insensitive. But, and I do not mean to stir the pot of controversy, and maybe someone could educate me, doesn't using a generic collective term for all indigenous peoples south of the Arctic Circle steal or homogenize the autonomy of the individual groups? It's kind of like the word "Indian" in a way though without reference to the INdian Subcontinent.
If that term were used in the US, no more would be the individual groups such as those listed above. It could be that there was only one indigenous nation of peoples south of the Arctic, from Pacific to Atlantic, but the Hurons and the Iroquois extend into Canada...are they considered First Nation and if so, how did they keep their autonomy and others did not? I've researched this a bit during this report, but have not found a satisfactory answer.

I considered this:

but I didn't have the time---next flight would be at 4pm. I was willing to roll the dice on the safety aspects of flying in a small plane like that, but just didn't have the time.

A couple of years ago I was at the other end of this road, and of the farthest reach of the trip in the farthest town, this was probably the farthest spot. The Orca is wearing a found hoodie.

It was lunch time and I knew I had a few hours before I would be settling down for dinner, so I looked at the street fare. There were a number of places to eat. My priority was shade as the summer midday sun at these northern latitudes could be pretty brutal. This looked to be the easiest spot to get a quick bite. As along the way, I pushed fluids as I could feel myself getting more dehydrated by the day, a real risk on these rides, and a condition that at best can make you headachy, and at worst could lead to dizziness, loss of balance and a faint...none of that is good at any time and most certainly not on two wheels.

I chose the Cod Burger, checking to see if the server from the night before was right about the halibut being better than the cod. She was right. I found the cod to be decent, but a bit oily. The halibut was lighter and flakier, better. Still, on this Sunday afternoon in Tofino, BC, far far from home it was still fine and bordered on tasty. (sorry, a bit out of focus). The onion rings were truly forgettable. Get the fries.

and don't feed the **** birds, ok???

The ride back was just as fine as the road out. Despite my garmin trying to derail me, I found the Buccaneer Inn and checked in in Nanaimo. I had misgivings when booking the Buccaneer. It seemed like it was maybe in a sketchy area of a port city, but I couldn't have been, happily, more wrong.

Nanaimo was a good sized town, but easy to navigate and not at all sketchy. As I walked to the restaurant along the marina there were some homeless looking kids who were in the throes of a serious argument. I didn't want to become a diversion for them, but other than that I liked Nanaimo, more than Port Alberni for sure, and I really liked the Buccaneer Inn. There was a nice sea breeze, a nice view of a real neighborhood, a choice of restaurants, IOW it was head and shoulders above the Riverside and no drunken millennials to keep me company. It was one of the best places I stayed on the trip.

My wife is of Irish ancestry, so I took this for her. G.K Chesterton described a paradox as "truth standing on its head to command attention." "Carlos O'Bryan's EAT DRINK BE IRISH" wraps up a paradox and an ethnic stereotypical slur all in 6 words! Of course I sent it to Mrs Strangelove, and she laughed, but maybe she had already begun her afternoon Pinot...JUST KIDDING! I did not eat at Carlos's, but across the water from C o'B's.

and back at the Buccaneer and my neighborhood view with the quiet and the so-nice sea breeze, all night long

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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 26-Aug-2019, 04:30 PM (896) Thread Starter
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The next day was Canada Day and my itinerary was bringing me to Victoria. I didn't initially want to go there, generally eschewing cities on these travels, but the peeps on ADVrider talked me into going and as the trip developed it made sense.

And I was very glad I did. It was the ONLY stop where I stayed 2 nights, ie did not have to pick up and leave every morning, and that was very welcomed. I usually stay a couple of nights, sometimes 3 in one place and do day trips, but the ambitious nature of this ride dictated otherwise.
Turns out, those recommending a stop in Vic knew their stuff, it was a very nice town and I very much enjoyed being there. It had a good vibe, and was worthy of the "city" moniker. Stay there if you're near.

There was a really fine road between A (Nanaimo) and B (Victoria). And I figured there may be fireworks, and being a guy, I like things that go BOOM, so the ride continued toward Victoria and to get there meant The Pacific Marine Highway, on the short list for coolest roads of the trip.

Why was it cool, I'm glad you asked.

For one thing it doesn't get the glowing reports of its cousin, Hwy 4, and I think that is because people can get to Victoria a lot quicker by going straight down. So, it is less traveled.
For another it goes to Port Renfrew...say what? Port Renfrew is in a beautiful area and there is a park there, but it IS out of the way. And The Pacific Marine was narrow, too narrow for road markings. Nada, Niente, Rien, None. It is tarmac, but it is about as wide as a driveway. What it offers though is solitude, and hills and curves, some up and down, but definitely peaceful riding. It is the kind of road that you ride across a continent to experience. No, it wasn't that good, I suppose, but it was VERY fine and most certainly enjoyable...enjoyable enough to remember it and report here. It made me grin if that tells you something.
Let me put this another way: if you are in the neighborhood, you want to ride this road.

This is the very beginning of it. It gets MUCH narrower as I said above, too narrow to stop safely, but even if I did, I couldn't show you much beyond a road curving just ahead into greenery. This is a google satellite view of part of it.

For me it was a 40 mph ish road, a road to savor, rather than gobble. This road is where, I think, I saw the only bear of the entire trip. I was riding along and as I passed, I saw some leaves rustling to my left and when I turned in passing I saw something like a black shadow moving away from the rustling. At the time I thought I saw a bear. Again, the only time on the trip.

It was at a vegan friendly cafe (I'm an omnivore, but I was very hungry so I stopped) that I met the most interesting person I encountered on the entire ride.
I get this sprouts and avocado and cucumber etc etc etc on toasted whole wheat with their potato salad at The Coastal Kitchen Cafe. I had gotten lost, just a bit and would up on a road even less wide than the Pacific Marine, and just as fine. I sit on the veranda.
It was a chilly, grey and maritime air, but I had a mug of coffee to warm me, munching my sandwich and watching westward, next stop Fukushima.

There's a guy there, mid to late thirties, looks like a cross between David Byrne and Bill Nye. He is neither, but it's this guy leaning on the railing of the veranda playing with his Ipad, looking at the GS parked right across the small lot.

That's your bike?
Where to going, where you're coming from?
Victoria, New Orleans.
This stops him.
WOW that's far.
I grin outwardly, but even wider within. It is far.
He asks my how did I get here, then specifies, Which States Did You Come Through?

I rattle them off...Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, back in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, then BC. Impressed he asks if I am going home the same way?
No, probably Washington, Oregon??, Idaho?? Nevada??. Utah, Colorado. New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana.

He was one of those guys who tell you they always wanted to get on a motorcycle and ride away, but never did.
Aside: There are guys who HAVE motorcycles and never do it.

I tell him I didn't ride until I was 58, so there's time.

He starts talking about Kansas, but I stop him. I tell him I really like riding Kansas and Nebraska, that, to me, it is a beautiful minimalist landscape, a meditative experience on the middleofnowhere backroads, a Great Spirit Thing.
I've ridden Kansas many times and always enjoyed it, and I tell him. He says he crosses the US a couple of times a year, and it sounds like he thinks Kansas will never is the Ground Hog Day of states.

He says something about having more than 12 years of school, and that always gets me thinking about the number of years to be a finished doc, something north of 20 years, then board certification. When he says this I am doing the math.
He asks me if I like photography?
Uh, yeah, and I tell him what I am carrying in the topcase. He walks over...
Here I took these in Kansas and he shows me exquisite pictures of the Milky Way, complete with silhouetted foreground objects, really nice shots, publishable I think. Then he tells me that he is a senior in med school, and trying to decide on a specialty. I just gotta stop him right there.

I tell him I am a semi retired anesthesiologist and that I've been taking pictures for over 50 years and I love shooting astrophotography.

We talked for more than an hour, until he had to go, but ****! the places you'll go and the people you meet on these rides. Nothing like it.
Maybe the most interesting thing he told me was that he wanted to go into Emergency Medicine and he could not get a residency in Canada because the government would not allow it because there "were already too many emergency medicine docs" and the government was putting the brakes on producing more.
Whoa, if that is true it is extremely short sighted. He said he was looking at US residencies as a result.

I ride the rest of the way along the western coast to the Days Inn in Victoria, check in and work on the bike a bit, tightening the right mirror which loosened in the tipover a few days past. That night was Canada Day and there were supposed to be fireworks over the harbor. The view from the hotel balcony.

At about 1030 I hear a couple of Boom Booms. As I am deciding whether to go out, the Booms stop! I was warned at the desk when checking in that Canada fireworks are not like US fireworks. It'll be over in "5 minutes" they said and they were right

The next morning dawns raining, not cats and dogs, more like puppies and kittens, but enough to stop an excursion for the time being, but by late morning I am taking the bus into downtown Vic on this mostly grey, now dry, day.

Victoria was a very pretty city and most definitely worth a visit.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 26-Aug-2019, 05:37 PM (942) Thread Starter
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From WIKI...

The Chinatown in Victoria, British Columbia is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America after San Francisco's. Victoria's Chinatown had its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century in the mass influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia in 1858.
A pedestrian friendly city, indoor malls, lots of restaurants, Victoria is a treat.

I'm confused, or am I? Does that mean hips AND lungs, or "hip lung(s)" like really cool, woke lungs? Actually, I need neither since most of my parts mostly work. However...I could use a little Kwong on my Tai.

Fan Tan Alley nearby the Hip Lung, and the narrowest street in Canada


And sometimes I think I could use training wheels on the girl

I head back to the Days Inn and head over to the GLO restaurant for dinner. It is one of those modern restaurants that hire slinky young girls in fashionable garb as servers, and you know, there's nothing wrong with long as the food is good, and it was, a seared tuna salad that hit the spot. It was about a mile of a nice walk from the Days Inn.

and a mural to Victoria's namesake done in Banksy style.

Tomorrow morning I depart and head back to the USA after more than a week of Canadian hospitality.
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