I rolled into the lovely town of Bellingham in Washington and stayed with Ian, another Adventure Motorcyclist who had done some impressive trips of his own. We chatted about bikes and he recommended I ride the lakeside road out in the morning.
The lake was indeed gorgeous and the road twisted around in tight curves marked 25 miles an hour. I was going about 35, jamming to my iPod and grinning with every turn.
Then I hit one marked 15mph…but there wasn’t time to really slow down. I leaned the bike over as hard as I could, I swear I felt completely horizontal and was just waiting to hear scraping, but the bike kept leaning. I should have just kept going for it, I may have made it, but foolishly I began to wonder what would happen if I slid out. I glanced to the side of the road at the muddy rut that awaited me and next thing I knew the bike bolted up and started heading right at it. Since I wasn’t leaned over, I thought I could hit it dead on and ride it back out onto the road again, but the grass was slippery and the bike spun sideways, hitting the embankment and bucking into the air.
I was suddenly splayed out face down in the mud, with my bike upside-down, backwards, on top of my head. I reached up and blindly pushed the bike off of me, grabbing onto some searing hot piece of engine which promptly melted through my glove and the first few layers of skin.
I stood up and checked my body all over. Aside from neck soreness, hand burn and a killer headache, I was alright.
“Holy shit!” A young guy driving by had seen my crash and thought I was toast. He kindly helped me drag my bike out of the muddy ditch, asking me about a hundred times if I was really okay before he continued on down the road.
The bike is facing the opposite way of my original direction, you can see the pile of dirt where we hauled the bike out of the muddy ditch. I had some nice grassy handlebar fringe for a while too… Continue reading
I had run out of travel food the night before and ate a vending machine dinner of Doritos and fruit snacks, so by the time I hit the road in the morning, I was starving. I stopped in at a little diner for a massive stack of pancakes and sausage.
The other diners were very friendly and were asking about my trip. I had my map spread out and told them I planned to take the Crow’s Nest West to Vancouver.
“No, no” a man in overalls interrupted “That road winds through the mountains and a bunch of little towns, what you want to do is take the interstate. It’s straight and flat and much faster.”
I laughed to myself, smiled and thanked him for telling me what I needed to know.
The Crow’s Nest did indeed wind through the mountains and the weather was very erratic. I would be getting drenched for miles and then dip into a valley where I would be overheating in just my mesh armor. I didn’t get as many pictures as I would like due to the rain.
Some kind of concrete monument with flags of the world Continue reading
It was very, very wet.
I reached the Canadian border and the guard looked skeptically at my plates.
“Let me get this straight, you rode this dirt bike from Arizona to visit your friend up here?”
I guess that does sound silly, but the truth that I was just doing it for the hell of it seemed even stranger.
He shrugged, stamped my passport and I went on going North. My headlight was useless, the night had turned completely pitch black and I was squinting to make out the lines on the sides of the road. I was wearing every bit of gear, plus waterproofs to stay warm and still I was beginning to shiver violently. My hands were frozen around my hand grips and my fingertips were numb. Riding all night wasn’t going to be an option after all, so I turned off the highway at town called Warner.
The town consisted of one main street with a hotel above a bar. I pulled up outside, shut off the bike and wandered in, decked out in my oversized bright yellow rain gear and looking very much like the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
There were about eight men seated along the bar and they all turned as I entered and stared at me blatantly. I’m assuming not many women pass through the town of Warner (I doubt many -people- do for that matter, it took the bartender a while to remember where they kept the room keys) and I felt a bit comforted knowing I looked like hell.
The room reeked of cigarettes and stale beer, but I was too tired to care and fell alsleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
Renewed by sleep and a morning shower, I headed off again towards Edmonton.
Lethbridge is the first major city heading North and just when I hit the city limits, a man in a truck passed me flailing his arms and pointing at the back of my bike. Continue reading