It’s time to chime in about a few perceptions, pet peeves and overall feelings I’m having as I make my way through the Great White North and into the Last Frontier.
First? Bugs. Yeah. Those pesky flying or otherwise space invading creatures that can make life very uncomfortable for a WorldRider (any motorcyclist actually). The romance of riding a motorcycle to so you can feel the ultimate freedom with the wind blowing in your face. Not happening here in BC, the Yukon or Alaska. I love to ride with the face shield of my helmet open. THe cool breeze makes me feel alive and the fresh air stimulates the senses. That is until a bug comes in between me and the wind. A bug hitting your cheek, forehead, nose or eye at 50mph feels like some just hurled a good sized pebble at your face. Ouch.
Resolving to keeping the face shield down except during those bouts with major scenery, every 100 miles or so I quickly become blinded by the smattering of dead bugs cemented to the face shield. xNothing less than an abrasive cleanser can bring the light back to my eyes. After a while I find myself pulling into gas stations and grabbing the windshield cleaner/squeegee and running across my helmet without taking it off.
Next? Size matters. Good god British Columbia is huge. After more than a thousand miles I wondered if I’d ever find the border. It seemed to go on and on and on and on. Bigger than California, Oregon and Washington combined British Columbia is relentless in its expanse. Love this place, but will it ever end?
Next? Daylight. Wow. I’m so happy for the extended hours of daylight. I can ride more than 500 miles, still have time for photo stops, conversations and relaxing and not worry about traveling at night. Doesn’t get dark until midnight. Love this.
More? RVs and Trailers. God love the US and Canadian economy. With gas prices pushing more than $3 a gallon or $1.11 a liter (Canadian dollars) I’m continually amazed at the massive RVs pulling extra large SUVs – two gas guzzlers for those fossil fuel worshippers. It costs me about $!0 to fill up my motorcycle. My smile widens when the RV next to me is paying a few hundred — and I wonder how far will that get him. British Columbia is huge, you know. I’ve met a number of RVing, fifth-wheeling and trailering travelers. For the most part they’ve been friendly, interested and cordial. I just could never travel that way. To each his/her own. But some of these drivers should be given a course in etiquette, common sense and smiling.
When I finally made it through British Columbia and The Yukon Territory I was poised and excited to take the ubiquitous photo of my motorcycle next to the “Welcome To Alaska” sign. With a bathroom, information kiosk, RV sized parking lot and a sign welcoming me to Alaska I was happy to find that I was the only person crossing the border at this time of day. I propped the bike, positioned it accordingly and proceeded to step away to take the aforementioned ubiquitous shot. With the sign and bike neatly framed in my viewfinder I was just ready to pull the trigger when this massive RV trailer thing pulls up and gets so close to my motorcycle he nearly grazes it as he pulls into the empty parking lot. But even worse, then he stops. Right there. Right next to my motorcycle. With my anxious head eager to trigger the shutter of my digital playmate, I’m flabbergasted as I watch the guy hop out of the RV with his wife and her yippee lapdog in town. She stands in front of the sign while the clueless goof (and that’s being nice) barks directions to her. AFter more than 10 minutes he walks over to me and says “I hope I didn’t get in your shot.”
If I had a mean bone in my body I’m afraid what I might have done. I just let my thoughts do the damage and then rolled onward into the Last Frontier.