The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
When you decide to become a Member, it helps directly support the site. You get additional privileges on the HUBB, access to the Members Private Store, and more to come as we roll out new systems. Of course, you get our sincere thanks, good karma and knowing you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. :-)
Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
Advertisers- Horizons Unlimited is well-established as the first source of reliable, unbiased information on all aspects of motorcycle travel.
We reach a dedicated, worldwide group of real travellers, and are the only website focusing exclusively on long distance motorcycle travellers.
If you sell motorcycles or motorcycle accessories, riding gear, camping equipment and clothing, transport motorcycles, organize motorcycle tours, or have motorcycles to rent, you should be advertising with us!
Ride TalesAn easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world.
Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is.
See the announcement in the forum for details on posting.
Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
Peachlands, well, what a cool place, we had contacted fello ADVer Mike Ryder to catch up and stay a night, on our arrival it was 36 degrees C .. getting warmish!
We were very warmly welcomed by Mikes good lady Odette and son Elan (sp)
The biker gear was ditched and we quickly turned into civilians, Mike took us down to the lake for a wee cool off, Ellen took full advantage of this and had a swim, me I am a softy and the water would need to be steaming for me to get in so I just sat on the jetty in the sun and had a think about life for a while.
There were beautiful birds around too which made it really nice
Tea (dinner) was put on the table and we were treated to steak and a G&T, awesome, Mike and Odette then went to a party so Ellen and I caught up on some net stuff.
The following morning was a ride report catch up (much like now) and a beautiful day was served up, our hostess seemed to have caught a virus from the bottle (known as bottleflue) and was slightly second hand, must have been something she ate.
Mike was already on the go however and we had a breaky fit for a King.
Ellen offered to make Sushi as our hosts asked if we wanted to stay another night, the decision was made and Sushi it was along with a shopping trip to get the correct ingredients.
I had talked about doing my hair cut, turned our Odette is a hairdresser, she cut my hair professionally, it was so nice to have someone else do that for a change rather than me with my beard trimmer thinkyduffa.
Another good evening was had with our hosts really enjoying the Sushi and Sushimi, very nice indeed.
They have a bird called Mango for obvious reasons, we got on well and had quite an in-depth chat.
The following morning we kicked ourself out to get on the road from Peachlands, Mike was given permission from she who must be obeyed to come for a ride with us and make sure we left the district without flogging anything.
Mike treated us to backroads and beautiful views that we would never have seen without the local knowledge so this really iced our already nice cake.
The shingle road turned wet .. mainly because it was raining (funny that) so that demanded a bit more attention.
Mike rode with us to the Spencers Bridge, this was his turn around point to head home, we then continued on to Lilooet and had a really neat ride, along the lakes it was getting cold to the point our mirrors were fogging over, it was only 6 - 7 degrees C .. we even had our heated grips on.
This was one part of the road which was almost one lane ... almost exciting
We arrived in Whistler early evening and set up camp, our neighbour Jeremy who was on a BMW 658 was a great fello to talk with, we exchanged info and gave him The Milepost on PDF rather than the huge book (note fire lighter) that he was carrying.
At camp the trees were tall!!
The morning dawned overcast so a comfy temperature with riot gear on, Ellen and I decided that since we only had 142 km to get to Vancouver it was as easy day so we would head in Whistler and spend part of the day taking in the place.
That is when our day fell apart, we arrived in the main street and Chiwi was pissing oil out everywhere, she left a puddle on the road and the car park.
Swear words beginning with F were echoed not so quietly under my breath along with WTF are we going to do now? Tools out and investigate the issue for a start.
I removed the countershaft sprocket cover, then the sprocket to reveal the seal has completely popped out of the case, couldn’t believe it but there it was so I removed the seal, cleaned it and checked for damage, it looked a little unusual on the outside.
It wasn’t two minutes when a local came by and regonized Chiwi had a guts ache with all the chunder on the ground. He told us where we may be able to get a new seal and some oil, the oil was right but no seal within a bulls roar, I picked up some oil for which I was charged enough to buy an oil well but we needed it.
A plea for help from local ADVers
Chiwi was WELL undersealed!!
It was then up to Dr.Delis DR650 street mechanic extraordinaire to fix Chiwis problem, I lubed the seal up and got the alloy dolly out to refit the seal to get us to Vancouver, on pushing the seal onto the shaft then into the case it just dropped through the hole with no real effort, this really worried me as I thought well it will just fall back out.
So good was the job I did it got Chiwi safely to Vancouver, the North Shore Suzuki were very uninterested in helping us which was pretty disappointing, Modern Motosports did help us by providing the name and number of Mt Baker Motosports to whom we later took Chiwi to (US purchased bike in Canada ..Them and The Us’s).
While at Modern Motosports we contacted expat kiwi David, we were organised to stay with them that night before heading to Vancouver Island, Davids work is just down the road so he rode down and caught up with us, he had just purchased a wee strom from Modern Motosports so he new the owner, this helped us too.
A decision was made not to go down the motorway but take the back streets, this turned out to be a very long haul as we caught the traffic and roadworks, the result is that David left after us and beat us home by a long shot, never mind we did get there in one piece which was the aim of the game.
Vancouver To Bellingham To Vancouver To Bellingham To Vancouver ... You Get It!!
We had organised to take Chiwi in the following morning to get a professional doctor at Mt Baker Motosports to take a look at her saw tummy, we left from Davids home only to get three kms up the road at traffic lights to see oil pouring out again ... F words again ..... same same!! here we bloody go again :baldy:baldy:baldy:kboom
Turns out, the seal bailed only 10 meters from Davids home!!!, check out the snail trail, one of two that were to be left as presents for Davids street.
Ring neighbour, get trailer, will travel, Chiwi now turned trailer trash was taken to Mt Baker for surgery, condition unknown.
So we did the usual things you do when getting a bike fixed like crossing the border, leaving the country, getting grilled by border guards etc so just another normal day in the nutty life of One Point Five Moto Kiwis.
That afternoon David rang Mt Baker and talked with Luke, he said Chiwi will be ready by 5pm so come and pick her up.
So we did the usual things you do when picking up a bike after it is fixed like crossing the border, leaving the country, getting grilled by border guards etc so just another normal day in the nutty life of almost Two Moto Kiwis.
That evening David and I took Alexander and John (Davids two boys) for a ride around Langley area, a nice evening cruising around and about 40 km on Chiwi all going well.
David on his 2012 wee strom, beautiful colour too :clap
In the morning we had organised to got to Stanley Park and actually enjoy Vancouver, the day dawned a real cracker, we jumped on Chiwi and left to town only to arrive at Stanley Park amidst a pool of oil and a very well undersealed bike ... F words again ..... same same!! here we bloody go again!! :baldy:baldy:baldy:kboom
A quick call to David and our knight on shining Weetrom turns up with some oil, no tools this time as these are all in Hobbit some 50 km away!!!
The silver lining is we crapped out in a spectacular place.
We left Stanley Park after refilling the sump with oil spewing out and headed to Davids work to get more oil, the call was then to trailer Chiwi again to avoid engine damage, would have to say at this point I was starting to not see the funny side of this, David, our host was cool calm and collected and was able to do my logical thinking, we can’t thank David enough for helping us out of a not only one tight spot but two!!
So again we did the usual things you do when getting a bike fixed like crossing the border, leaving the country, getting grilled by border guards etc so just another normal day in the nutty life of back to One Point Five Moto Kiwis.
This time Chiwi was going in for more than overnight surgery and maybe have her stay extended several nights ... this at the time of writing is still an unknown.
Vancouver Island was calling, a visit to meet Alberto and Naomi was a must with the info we have got from them to start our trip ... so guys we will blame you for this stuff if that is ok 8-D.
We packed up from Davids, wedged ourselves onto Hobbit travelling very lite with no camping or cooking gear and most of our gear stored at Davids, Cindy (ADV Cowgirl) read our thread for help so upon arriving on Vancouver Island kindly offered us lodgings to get our feet on the ground and sorted out.
In between the mayhem we had with Chiwi we had organised prior to meet Susan and Grant Johnson, the Camp Mum and Dad of adventure world travel by bike.
Given that Grant has been very ill we were extraordinarily lucky to have a couple of hours over a dinner with them, for us this was better than meeting the pope.
Grant through his difficulties is as ever very positive and still took the time out to give Ellen some great riding advice and to chew the fat about travel and bikes, something I can talk about about until I am blue.
A huge thanks to you Grant and Susan, inspired and inspirational does not come close to how we felt over the evening and onwards, as Grants says if it is just a problem it does not matter and it can be solved, after me feeling angry about the oil seal saga with Chiwi I felt a little small to be honest compared to what Grant has gone through with Cancer and will continue to go through for some time and the extra work and responsibility that Susan has to take on regardless.
You guys are the true definition of a team, we will take a leaf from your book and use them very wisely for our life and travels.
Huge thanks to Cindy for taking us in and welcoming us to the Island, some net time to catch up with ADVers, Hubbers etc and work out accom and things were starting to fall back into place, with the fate of Chiwi still unknown we have no option but to make the best of where were at.
We had a very nice ferry ride from Taswassen to Swartz Bay on Friday 27th July.
While we are waiting in the que in Tswassen, a couple came to us said we can jump right in the front or the que because they give motorcycles priority - we felt lucky. When we were 3/4 way to Swartz Bay, the captain announced there were some killer whales on the left side, we were sitting there in perfect viewing seats, and true, three or four pods of killer whales were jumping and playing - what a nice welcoming to Vancouver Island!
Cindy found us from ADV forum, she offered to pick up us from the ferry and when she knew we didn’t have any where to stay for the night, she offered us to stay in her house, since she works at night, so Andi and I slept on her bed.
Andi and I were cramped onto one bike, so we couldn’t take our big tent with us. This is one thing we did not consider that we would have to do a portion of our trip on one bike ... bad planning or optimistic that we have two reliable bikes .. not sure. Cindy even lent us her little tent. We are now armed and dangerous again!
Another ADVer David from far north of the Island and his wife Kandi offered to meet us at Sayward the next day in the evening, so we had some good advice from Cindy and rode to the north to meet them. We missed one route and decided to go around lake Cowichan, which turned out to be a two hour gravel road in the middle of no where, that’s how our adventure unfolded and we still made it with time up our sleeve.... easy as bro!!
We finally arrived at Sayward around 7pm, David and Kandi arrived just after 8pm. We had tea at the pub, which was very nice, then headed to a free camping ground.
Sunday morning, after a quick breakfast, we started to travel further north. David led us to Mt Cain, which is a ski field in the winter. The gravel road was maintained very well, I’m used to sitting on the bike without foot pegs now.
Groovy concrete blocks on the way down
Our original plan was going through another gravel road pass a cave then arrive to Telegraph Cove. Only about 15ks up, the road closed for logging. We had to turn around, get on paved road to Telegraph Cove.
Telegraph Cove is a tourist destination, it is a little harbour, with nice restaurants and cafes, its beautiful too. We had lunch there, then Kandi needed to get home, so we went to Port McNeil to send her on the ferry back to home after a quick stock up on food.
Some cool signs
And some custom paint jobs
David then took us to the very north of the island. We were planning to camp at Cape Palmerston, but when we got there, the sea fog was quite thick, almost drizzling. There were lots of Salmon berries around, we had a good feed on them. They are orange and red, the orange has a light sweet and bitter test, the red ones are sweeter.
We had a huge feast on these YUMMO :clap
We decided the coast is not very good for camping, because our loaned tent is only good for dry night. David has his plan B, which was 15ks back on the way back called Swan Lake. We got there, also brought some fire wood with us, then realized the plan B was no good either - the place looks very wet and the path to the lake looks like a bear trail, and the lake was only a puddle - no good for drinking...then the mozzies came out!
Fire wood collecting, the DR logging truck!
Our hunting for camping turns into a mini adventure in itself. Time to form a Plan C. We went all the way back which was only another 5 k, and finally found a wee camping site on a river side. The river called “ Good Speed river’”. Just likes its name, the river was quiet. We set up our tent and lit a camp fire on the river bed. After a bit organisation, we had our steak, potato, onion and corn all cooked.
Then we realized the water was coming up. First we shift our fire further up, the water was still creeping up quietly, we had to move back up to the bank. Hence you see the photo of our fire in the middle of the river now. Anyway, it was time to bed, we just leave the fire for the mother nature to deal with..... two Great White Hunters and an intellectual Asian sidekick .. all this local knowledge and experience and we forgot about the tidal zone.
July 31, Monday
I (Ellen) woke up in the morning found my side of the tent was wet. It was drizzling overnight. I got up had a wee look around, found some animal prints 5 m from our tent. Later David got up he went around and yelled out to us he found some wolf foot prints. ..so thats what it was!
Seems that the deer had wondered through our camp closely stalked by Wolves, see the size of the Wolf prints and you will see we are not talking a Chiwawas!
So more berries for breaky and we were off to Port Hardy, we have a brunch stop at a restaurant, we thought it was a little early by out intrepid leader had big plans for us which were soon to unfold.
After being fed and watered we headed to Port Alice Who TF is Alice!!!! :huh
Papermills are not usually known for their beauty but check out the rust colours on the tank at the Port Alice, from there we headed up over the top and down to a lake edge to a house, one of Davids friends however he was not home.
Continuing on our merry way we arrived at Link Creek camp, neat spot, dunny stop and quick chat then mount the ponnies again, part way along the track a digger was blocking the track, he was excavating rubble out of a blocked culvert.
The digger driver kindly moved so we could sneak past, it was only 5 minutes and we ran into some other adventure bikers, they had taken a wrong turn on the way to Vanishing river so David invited them to follow us through which they duly accepted.
We stopped at the creek called Vanishing River that goes down into a cavern and pops back out about 4km away, the steps and walkways had been destroyed by the trees which came down in a flood so it was careful steps to get down to view.
We all refilled with water as it was beautiful, clean, clear and tasteless so it was a very nice stop.
Once climbing back to the road we continued on to our turn off point at which the other guys headed their way and we carried on our route, they we very appreciative of meeting up with us and more so David as he made their day which allowed them to continue on Plan A rather than go all the way back and around via the road, great stuff David your blood is worth bottling mate!!!.
We were going to have a swim however the wind had picked up a bit and the clouds were doing their best to shroud the sun which in turn dampened our enthusiasm so it was time to water up and have a snack, we then carried on to Woss(vegas) to fuel up and kiss goodbye (well man hug anyway).
We took a shortcut, (the definition from Murphy is "the longest distance between two points"), the bastid was right David led us astray and soon the adventure turned into some stump jumping and bike wrestling.
We had to come back cos it go worserer and harderer....
Last time we listen to David ... ouwh this is quicker with less dust :evil
Upon saying goodbye Ellen and I took a left turn at Mt Cain then carried on through to Gold River, we were treated to wildlife and a groovy shingle road which was sometime very rough and some parts almost like pavement, we did a loop around Gold River before heading to the Upper Campbell Lake to set up the house and camp the final night on Vancouver Island.
The campsite was cool, we had a fire pit, fire wood, our own personal beach and private camp site, Ellen took the advantage of going in for a swim while I got the fire up and running for her to dry off beside.
Mum nature gave us greyish morning to start with which was great for getting all our riot gear on (cos ya hot in that stuff), we packed up and rode to Campbell River township, this was a breaky and food up stop then on our way back to Cindys to drop off her wee two man tent that we used on the Island, although small it saved our bacon with having both of us squashed onto Hobbit.
Again at Cindys... hellos, afternoon tea, the giving back and thanks for the gear, hugs all round and we were on our way to the Ferry at Swartz Bay ... destination Salt Spring Island to meet Alberto and Naomi .... a big highlight for us.
Hey guys. Loving your ride report. If you travel through Illinois please let me know. Would love to meet up with you. I live in the central part of the state near the towns of Peoria and Bloomington. Would love to have you take a rest here.
Hello Im from montevideo uruguay If you want to visit there is no problem my and my father we travelled all across southamerica many times and we can help you with hints and tips for your trip. Also we have a workshop and you can leave your bike stored here uruguayan customs give you one year to leave the bike. any thing just contact at email@example.com
Coupled with their trip information and budgeting stats they were very instrumental in helping Two Moto Kiwis fly ... and here we are.
Naomi was away at work so our original date was abandoned, luckily Chiwi got the guts ache and delayed our Vancouver departure by a week or so, just the week we needed for Naomi to finish work, come home for two days then off on their next adventure ... we could tell you about that but we would have to kill you!!
On the ferry across
As timing would have it we arrived the same night Naomi was meant to come home however her flight was late thus she missed the Ferry crossing, no worries, we still had another day in between.
So we met Alberto, Graham (Naomis Dad) and Nina (Naomis Mum), they greeted us with open arms and gave us Naomis old bedroom for our stay and a NICE hot shower.
They said you can take a shower if you want (I reckon it translates to please take a shower 8-)), a wash and dry, new gruds and T shirt and we were as flash as Michael Jackson, a red wine was presented and duly accepted along with some very nice nibbles. We talked of travel and bikes .... something we are getting good at.
For us to be sitting there and chatting was one of the big boxes ticked for our TMK journey with originally the only reason to go to Vancouver to meet Alberto and Naomi. Of course this changed when we were invited by David an expat Kiwi who became our saving grace with assisting Chiwis medical issues and being able to meet Grant and Susan Johnson even given Grants medical issues and David on Vancouver Island who led us astray which was so cool and of course Cindy who helped us with her tent, map and info and a place to stay for a night so we could get our sht together and organised.
Susan, send Grant back under warrantee, we are getting new cases under warrantee for Chiwi so maybe that is all Grant needs. 8-)
Vancouver (and Islands) then turned out to be a very eventful part of our trip, not sure which order to thank you all in so I won’t ... just a big thank you across the board as everyones help, hospitality and warm welcomes made the trip for us in which started out less than ideal with Chiwi.
Back to Salt Springs again now, the following day after arriving Alberto went to Vancouver and met Naomi, he had to go to town anyway so it worked out well, Ellen and I slept in, got up to date with our writing and went to town for a coffee and wonder round just to take the place in, I felt straight away I could live there with ease.
There is Ural Sidecar rides too, groovy bike.
We also bought ingredients for Ellens famous Sushi (or Shushi as it is called on the mainland), on the way home we went to a thrift shop, I bought sun glasses for 50 cents and a belt for a buck so we really boosted the local economy.
Graham took us up a mountain track early evening which was an excellent work out rewarded with magnificent views.
Ellen and I with Graham and the dog called Enfield
Alberto and Naomi arrived soon after we got back, greeting and hugs to Naomi returning home from work and meeting us for the first time.... and she didn’t even run away.
Another excellent evening of Kiwi made Sushi and red wine we had locally brewed by VISA, a mid night finish was had despite it being a school night for Graham .. honourary Kiwi being first to get there and last to leave .. on ya mate!
The following morning Alberto was changing his rear tyre for a better one, being Kiwi I had to be a part of DIY, with two of us on the job it was done in no time, my oil was change was due as I had clicked over 10023 miles so Alberto and I jumped in the car and went to a local shop, in no time I had my oil changed and my air filter washed and re oiled, ready to race under 80 km/hr.
The afternoon continued with a ride on Albertos F800GS, Alberto took Naomis bike, wee cruise around the Northern part of the Island to Southy Point, we then headed for home and picked up Ellen for a quick trip up Mount Maxwell, again spectacular views and a neat ride.
On our return we shed the riot gear and turned into humans, a quick trip into town to meet Steve another fello ADVer who lives there, he owns a Liquor Store and bar and shouted us a round and a roady over chats of bikes and travels.
It was part of the deal for Ellen and I to shout Alberto and Naomi a coffee or or something as a token of appreciation for the trip info help so we all stopped off at the local store and bought Nacho stuff and big Water Melon and another bottle of wine.
As our Ferry was 6.15 am departure it was a 5.00 am start, the evening was rounded off by the sound of closing panniers and zips ready for the early start.
We did make the Ferry and on exiting the Ferry crossing we stopped for a group photo and group hugs, Alberto and Naomi with their input with trip stats etc gave us a solid grounding for budgeting and of course with pics and write ups as good as they did we almost didn’t need to go!!!
After saying goodbyes to Alberto and Naomi we sent them on there way on the secret adventure which they can tell you about and we carried on to the border crossing destination Mt Baker Motosports again hopefully for the final time.
At the border we were grilled by the friendly border guard who was full of jokes and happiness, we did get through easy enough as we had nothing of interest to them anyway.
On arriving at Mt Baker Motosports Luke lead us through the situation in which Suzuki are owning the problem having machined the cases oversized. They will be supplying new cases and will pull the motor and fix it which will be done in Fresno when we catch up with a buddy who lives there.
Mt Baker Motosports were very good to deal with and fixed thing as good as they could to ensure the seal stays put until the new cases arrive. We left Bellingham back over the border and were grilled by a nice lady who was full of jokes and happiness too, she must be related to the other guy, they seemed to be from the draught horse family ....draggin their hoofs and with long faces.
We arrived at Davids (Kiwi Cannuck) place to repack, regroup and spoon on the K60 Heidenau front tyre on my bike as the Trail Wing was spent and getting very dodgy.
Cultus Lake was to be the new destination for the night as we headed east toward Glacier Park along the Crows Nest highway (Highway 3),
On the way we were treated to four Vincents parked on the side of the road ... one of which was a hybrid of some descripts, still camera worthy tho.
Also a lake which took our interest, cool shapes.
Crows Nest Highway was nice but a quick stop at Mc Dees in Osoyoos to have cold coffee netted a better plan through a back road beside a lake, this was to turn out to be a great training ground for Ellen, Chiwi performed well and so did Ellen ... go girl.
This road went from Trail down to Seven Mile Dam and along the lake, neat wee ride and STINKIN hot, spot the soggy Asian....actually the whiteifoo camera man was just as bad
We stayed the night at a neat camp after Chiwi got too hot and lay down for a rest only 10 meters out from camp so I had to right her and encourage her to come right into camp .. mission accomplished.
Swims and food down we sat around a camp fire with marsh mellows the size of footballs, supersize me supreme and they were beautiful with a biscuit wrap and chocolate ... must be a Canadian thing eh.
Some of the beautiful rock work along the river.
Following morning we had a leisurely pack up and wondered on our way turning left right on the border at Nelway (didn’t wonna meet draught horse 3). This took us back out to the Crows Nest again and on to Creston and down to the border for the final time to exit Canada, a place that we will miss for sure.
On our exit from Canada we arrived at the Eckhart border, this guy obviously wasn’t part of the draught horse family as he was a dude, we were asked sensible questions and given great information from a guy who was actually interested in our shenanigans.
Farewell to Canada for the final time (on this trip), the most of Canada was simply outstanding and we loved it, could I live here hell yeah.
Managing to escape Canada (with reservations about leaving) and finding ourselves in the USA it is on to the next groovy location, destination Glacier Park.
We continued down Highway 95, turned off left onto Highway 2 then 508 into the back and beyond, stunning road that got narrower with less traffic as we carried on, perfect. This road took us through various small shingle roads and tar seal roads, we thought we were lost but turns out our navigational skills had improved so we should have trusted our own judgement first off.
Koocanusa Lake was our destination to camp that night however we stumbled across a small camp ground at Caribou Creek, there was only two other neighbours.
The family that was staying there had two VW campers and a MG car... not very American you lot!!!, Cath came out and promptly shifted her MG so we could park Hobbit and Chiwi and welcomed us in, totally cool, this will do us down to the ground!!
We had set up and organised ourselves when Thingymajig (sorry I can’t remember your name) pulled up on a 6 cylinder 1500 Valkerie Honda with a camper trailer, great setup you have mate (Ellen was specifically told not to get any good ideas)
He joined us and Toms family for a fire and coupled with some red wines and a chats we had a great evening, subject of discussion was my Star Wars Yoda chair and how I managed to fit my man bum into it ...... does this chair make my bum look big?? :evil :rofl
The following morning we set off toward Whitefish for supplies etc after watching the girls go fishing for breakfast.
Cath (sp) if you read this can you email the picture of us standing on the road with your big breaky catch, ta :clap twomotokiwis at gmail dot com
This bridge appeared .... quite a big bridge for such a back road ..... it then on to Glacier National Park, it was 103 F or 39.44 C for us normal people so just warm enough.
On arriving at the park we purchased a National Park Pass as we will be in and out of the parks throughout our US part of the trip, next thing was to find lodgings for the night so we went to the information centre, the place was packed with people pouring in and out like bees from a beehive, the only campground showing up as available being 40 miles away at Lake Bowman so off we went to get there before it filed up.
Now.. we have two directions, Mrs.Garmins and the Park map ... who to believe as they both showed different stuff. :eek1
Sensibility won over on this occasion and we used the Park map, this turned out to be an adventure in the making as some roads had been blocked by slips so it was combo to get to camp, Mrs.Garmin then sent us down a goat track in which a local agreed we should go that way... I don’t think he liked us.
From shingle road to dirt track to gravel lump to quad track we came upon a dry creek, the only way through was down across and back up, I knew Ellen did not have the skills so I did the riding part, only another 50 meters and we were back on relatively normalish shingle roads, this then took us into Bowman Lake a neat ride in itself and good practice for Ellen standing on the pegs on loose gravel, powder, rocks twisting and turning up and down.
This was camp for the night and look at the map to see what to do, the following morning we rode up to Kintla Lake and Ellen decided it was good enough for a swim, we mulled around for a while then made our way back down the road to hit the main attraction Going To The Sun.
The road was choca and it turned out to be a snail ride in a line of hundreds of cars...literally. Smoke filled the air from some wild fires further south but the views were still amazing, we stopped about half way up to have some lunch and pics still very very hot, spot the Harleys near the bottom of the pic.
Waterfalls everywhere there was so much to choose from to photograph, then right on the road side... very cool indeed.
Just a bit further up there was major roadworks so it was down to one lane and a sit in the cue, we only had about a 10 minute wait of the possible 30 so that wasn’t too bad... did I mention it was hot...warning moobs :eek1
Unfortunately from there was stop start stop start ride the clutch bla bla bla so not much fun to the top.
Stopping at the top the people were like ants all over the place so it was a quick stop and carry on down the other side to Highway 2, on the way down we were treated to seeing a young grizzly having a chomp on berries, nice looking animal he/she was.
We continued round the bottom of the park on Highway 2, Devils Creeks was the next destination to set up camp, was some soggy sweat filled gruds, socks and tees.
Wifi was on our list of wants at this point so we could update our ride reports and get some emailing done to sort Chiwis case change, just up the road from the camp is a cool pub with Wifi so everything came together.
ADV rider came to the rescue as we contacted shezonit (a Dudette from the tent sign up ) and she kindly took Two Dodgy Kiwis in, just happened a Hotrod show was on the weekend so our timing was mint.
I am writing this on day 100 of Two Moto Kiwis, a trip of our lifetime, a new normal of new places, faces and spaces.
Hundy Day photo in Polson!!!!
How Andi Sees It
Highlights Non Motorcycle
Right grab a crate of , some hankies and sit back.
This is a biggy, Canada is somewhere Ellen and I have both been to but only to Montreal so the rest was an unknown thus we had no expectations.
Starting at the top, Dawson City, cool, cannot explain the place well enough to do it justice and I suggest you dust off that wallet and get there, you will NOT regret it.
Inuvik, done that now, enjoyed it and have ticked that box, was great to get virtually right to the top.
Whitehorse, meeting Otis and Daniel, Claire and JD our hosts who we couchsurfed with, Otis gave us the lead to Fort St James, on ya mate we were stoked.
Meeting Dick Hubbard and Ken Wilson coupled with their better halves in Stewart/Hyder, I always looked up to Dick (Mr Muesli in NZ) finding inspiration from his life and successes, we knew he did some motorcycling and to meet up with him and in Stewart/Hyder was huge.
To the bears at Lake Kitwanga, thank you for not eating us but you owe me ten bucks for new undies tho!!!
Fort ST James, amazing, hidden gem and both of us loved it, biggest thank you to Mel, the people were the icing on a cake that was already hearty, the location we were spoilt rotten with and I guess it is fair to mention mum nature who gave us a great run with weather after the Cassier cold.
Meeting Richard in Dunster, been to NZ, bought a bottle of wine up for a chat and gave Ellen a Greenstone tiki to take home, this will travel with us as our good luck charm.
Catching up with our great mates from NZ in Edmonton, Dickie and Elaine, great catching a wee slice of homely hooligans.
Banff, meeting Griff and Lisa, guys with worldy advice on helping us get off the ground and just Banff itself, simply stunning.
Nakusp area, stunning, great ride with Ken, Pierre may the frogs be with you buddy!
Meeting Mike and Jing in Canmore, what a surprise and a huge thing for Ellen to meet Jing having done what we are about to do.
Michael and Odette at Peachlands, very welcoming and great fun, we will be back for that hospitality and Gin!!!.
David Barret in Vancouver, what can I say other than he saved our arses BIGTIME, for Chiwi to crap out was bad enough but to break down where we had access to vehicle and trailer and more so a great guy willing to help it transformed a huge issue into a great opportunity, David, we could ramble on and on and can’t thank you enough, I say that with a huge public blokehug.
David (part two ...gunnerbuck), you made Vancouver Island for us mate, your company and Kandi was mint.
Cindy, well she took us in and it gave us the time and contact to sort out with David (gunnerbuck), on ya chick.
Alberto, Naomi, Graham and Nina, dudes, a pleasure meeting you all.
Canadians across the board were fantastic, the welcoming, help, friendship you simply cannot measure ..... not sure I want to leave!!
Lows Non Motorcycle
I struggle to think of one, for me it would be leaving Canada.
Only the grumpy lady at Mazadian Lake camp .. she needs to find a new job that does not involve people.
Started from Dawson and ended entering the US.
Kaslo vintage bike show, what a treat for me, kid in a candy shop, Ken thanks for your company and the ride.
Seeing NZ stickers go riding past in my mirrors at Stewart/Hyder then chasing them down.
Getting Chiwi back up and going, ok thus far.
Being able to do the factory fork lowering on Ellens forks in Griffs garage with the proper tools and dry space, you don’t appreciate your own workshop until you need to do something technical away from it, thanks Griff, you have made my life a lot easier by making Ellens life a lot easier!!!.
Mt Baker Motosports in Bellingham, kinda US based really but was on our Canadian leg, they did the best they could with the time and parts, we thank you guys for the service you gave us to get us back on the road.
Undoutedly Chiwis Countershaft seal issues, we could EASILY have done without that.
The Heart Speaks
This round of The Heart Speaks is not as saucy as round one which was essentially the levelling platform to find our new normal, the new normal means being taken away from a daily routine which everybody hates (until you don’t have one), the new places, the new challenges of not just going to bed but first to find a place to put your bed.
When you come home from work, you raid the kitchen with flowing water, food galore and snacks at the ready, internet to check your emails in the hope that s o m e o n e might love you so these are all the things that are taken away from you when you live on the road.
Our new normal is rolling out our tent and sleeping gear when we are camping and pulling it back down and packing it up in the morning.
This has to be done rain or shine, windy or still, icy or dry, camping is great and a saves a lot on accommodation costs which is a fair proportion of the budget gone just to put your head down and suffering from insomnia I never get my moneys worth but you always meet neat people from around the globe doing their new normal.
Although Ellen and I can have our tent up within three minutes of pulling up we have seen some epic arguments on setting up... thankfully our turn to sit and watch and sometime larf quietly.
The rider training hit home with Ellen, she realised that not doing it at home under controlled conditions without house and contents on was a mistake and that my side of the trip was very hard and at times very unenjoyable, as you all know the harder side caught up with us both.
Ellen has been taking time out in carparks to practice under instruction (not just me), we have been lucky enough to have great words of advice from Grant Johnson, Mike in Canmore, Griff and lots of lady riders, basically all echoing the same words as me but not from the hubby so to hear it from others has secured her mind .... not that she trusts me now tho!!
Like all humans, we have had navigational tests sent our way, Mrs.Garmin is somewhat of a school teacher giving us unwanted homework, add to that dehydration, 35 - 40 deg C and hungry and the mix is never good.
We have learned to slow down, take a break and stop, maybe a cold drink and a nibble and not long after that life starts to make sense again.
I am happy to say that I still love Ellen and I have removed the add off Ebay “Female Suzuki Crash Test Rider For Sale”.
Ellen I love you and really appreciate the effort in trying to step it up to make our lives easier thus better, nothing like a good air clearing scrap to reset “How To Stay In Love On The Road 1.01”
As you were people, next ride report on its way soon.
Ellen’s Point of view
What can I say about Canada? Highlight is every where we have been and all the people we have met, only low is to say goodbye to this place.
Thanks Andi giving me the chance to improve my riding, when I said I started to enjoy the riding, it really freaked him out. I’m sorry dear you have to put up with me for next 21 months.
Enjoying your ride report, as well as your lovely photos. I just read you last report regarding your Highs and Lows and this caught my attention:
Lows Non Motorcycle
I struggle to think of one, for me it would be leaving Canada.
Only the grumpy lady at Mazadian Lake camp .. she needs to find a new job that does not involve people.
I am pretty sure this is the same grumpy woman that ruined our stay (my wife and I) at Meziadin Lake campground. You are correct, she does not like people! Well, take solace in the fact that you are not the only ones who have had a run-in with her. Lovely campground though. Happy Travels,
Leaving Glacier Park the weather continued to be very hot and great training for Central America.
The mission was to find a camp site that was suitable for tenting as everything we had seen was set up for RV’s with tarseal where you wonna put the tent up, everything else was on a hill or angle.
Devils Creek turned out to be the winner, although fairly close to the road we managed to get in behind a bank and trees to knock out the noise. Neat place with a creek so it was time to give the shirts a swim and dry.
During the evening we went to the local bar/cafe/pub and jumped on their Wifi to organise the next round of our trip and to see where we wonna go, with no idea of what was coming up we contacted shezonit from Polson from the ADV tent site thread as she had good offerings with local information.
Next morning we continued our way around the bottom of Glacier park, and started making our way to Polson not knowing if we had a reply or not, on arrival at Polson it was into McDees for a cold coffee and Wifi, shezonit (Maren) replied saying sweet so a quick phone call and we were sorted.
Maren had spare space for us which was cool and given she had been to Mexico a few times had some great information for us, while we were in town getting supplies she called Rocky so he could come over and see our bikes, well the small world thing happened again, just so happened we had bumped into Rocky and his riding buddies in Smithers in Canada, we had lunch in the car park with them.
Needless to say soon as he saw our bike he said I know these guys!!!!
On our return Maren told us that we were meeting someone who we had already met, classic!!!
Pizza from a local restaurant was on for tea along with discussions on travel and places to go. The following day was a local custom car show, there was some really beautifully done cars some with some serious coin poured into them.
Ellens famous Sushi was made for tea after a big day looking at hot cars, again the map came out and with the ADV infosystem in full flight we drew lines all over our map for places to go, things to see, an indicative idea of where to go after telling them what we were into.
The following morning after a leisurely pack up we rode back up to Bigfork and round Swan lake heading to Missoula.
Lance from ADV lives in Missoula, he was keen to meet us and put us up etc, Lance is a good friend of Geoff & Gus from Australia who are soon to be setting off for South America as well Geoff & Gus's Blog so we will meet them there, looking forward to that as Geoff has been a great source of information and a tech head on IT stuff helping with our web site set up etc.
Upon arriving in Missoula we found our the demolition derby was on ... saweet !!
Sub Trip Within The Trip
Ellen got lost in Missoula
Left Polson, we headed to Missoula, to meet Geoff’s friend Lance.
If we took road 93 from Polson, there is only about 125k to Missoula. But Rocky said it is very boring. He suggested us to take the road back to Big Fork then going through a forest road, that is much batter.
We took this long way round, only 100k more and happened to see more forest fire again.
It didn’t take too long to find Lance’s flat thanks to GPS for once. He showed us our accommodation - Pink Lady, what a cool van. Lance is flatting with three girls, they are all very welcoming and I felt back to my old university time, flatting is great!
Then Lance asked what we want to do for that evening. Go swimming in the Clark Fork river or a demolition derby event?.
For me, I voted for swimming any time, they boys, of course, going to the car thing. Well, lets just lose each other for a while, do our own things.
Andi asked me if I want to take the GPS or Cell phone, I said no just in case someone steals it. I think I can find home (I call all the places we are staying home now) no problem, just a few blocks away from the river....what can possibly go wrong!!
Lance and Andi dropped me off at the river bank -- it’s in the middle of town, a concert is on for the night in the park which is right beside the river. I went down to the river - there were lots of people floating down stream on their rubber tubes, a natural water fall just under a big bridge which connects North to South.
I jumped into the big river to cool myself down, it has been more then 30 degrees, and the cool water just felt so nice. When I decided I had enough, it was nearly 7pm.
I thought I was walking to the right direction. After 3 set of traffic lights, still can’t find a over bridge which was a landmark I remembered. I walked back to the river, the concert is on and the park is packed. I tried another direction, after 100m, I decided to get back to where I started -- I got totally lost now.
What can I do now? I went back to the park, found a security guard, told him I got lost. He asked me: “Do you remember the street name?”
“Nope, but I know it’s not too far from here.”
“But how can I help you if you can’t tell me where do you want to go?”
“I have a phone number (I hope it’s the right one), if I can borrow your phone to ring my husband.”
He dialed the number for me, but it’s an answer phone. I left a message - hope it was our phone and said I got lost, if he can come and pick me up on the way back.
It was too uncertain, firstly, I didn’t know it was our phone; second, I didn’t know if Andi took the phone with him; thirdly, if he did come to pick me up, I didn’t know when.
With some quick thinking, I remembered at Lance’s flat, we checked “spot” on our website see if it worked. If I can get on line I can locate Lance’s address, and if I can find a local map, the problem would be solved.
I asked around where can I get a local map, a gas station cross the river might have one. It took me a few minutes to get over there, I got the map. Now I need internet. It was nearly 8pm, Sunday night, all shops were shut. I found a Mexican restaurant, ask the owner if he can help me. He had an iphone, pretty small, however we managed to get the street address. It was on the corner of two street, which was exactly how I remembered. I had my map marked and off I went.
First, I needed to cross the bridge again. I thought it was a bit odd. I was sure we didn’t cross the bridge to get there. Maybe Lance’s took a shortcut. Anyhow, I had to trust the spot. I walked along the street, nothing looked familiar, it might be a different route. I walked and walked and walked, nearly a hour later, finally get to the point which marked on my map. The house is not there! On contrast, it looked like a big park with loud speakers telling people about the race. I was near the park where the car race took place! Andi must have taken the spot with him, and the last location is the car park.
What can I do now? It’s nearly dark, and I hadn’t had any food since Polson. I went into a transport company asked if they have computer for me to check my email. I knew Lance sent us his phone number earlier, at least I can call him. “No” they said, “ Maybe the shop two blocks away has it.” I was a little bit disappointed, but still there was hope.
I started to walk, all of a sudden out the corner of my eye Hobbit and Lance’s KLR sitting in the parking lot right in front of me. They are still here! I wrote a note and put it into Andi’s helmet: “I’m looking for you in the field, don’t leave without ME!”
As I was walking to the park, the event has finished. I saw Lance and Andi were walking towards me. It took Lance a few seconds to recognize me: “How did you find us?” “Thanks for Spot.”
It was such a relief seeing them.
Back To Missoula
My front wheel was feeling slightly out of balance so Lance took my bike to his work to check it, that is when the next level of disappointment started.
Per Ellens bike Hobbit threw his countershaft seal out only 100 metres from Lances house, he did not know until he got to work and he left a Hansel and Gretel oil trail for 2 miles to his work.
More calls to Suzuki and the local shop in Missoula, the local shop in Missoula being very disinterested and pretty unhelpful .... great!!!!
A couple of calls later to Leland Suzuki and these guys were on it and organizing things, I also discussed my 3rd gear which is whining pretty badly and our chain guards that had broken in half.
Not having a great start really for the want of buying a reliable DR!!, please Suzuki give us a sporting chance!!
Lance kindly lent us his workshop to do a temporary seal repair, this involved a large cleanup, clean the seal and surfaces, glue the seal back in and peen the case edges to stop the seal from bailing out again.
On the social side of things it gave us a sporting chance to take in Missoula, we took a trip to Weer Hots Springs which were VERY hot, watched the huge forest fire blazing on the back.
Tubing!!!! ... in truck tubes down the Clark Fork River, great fun and neat views, did get a bit cold at the end as sun fell but no one died so that was ok.
Ever wondered what a rail bridge looks like from underneath while floating past on a borrowed truck tube with a lima a rita in your hand, a wet arse and a train racing overhead... well ... now you do!!
Our great hosts Lance and Erin
That concluded Missoula and we said our good byes to Lance and Erin, next installment hopefully good news on the bikes.
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.