Meeting up with the guys from Finca Magdelena was a blast, as the travellers code of hospitality proved itself again...
Following the info from HorizonsUnlimited I crossed into Canada at the Cascade border and headed straight for the BC Beemers rally in Nakusp. The roads, the ride and the views were just stunning.
I did, as usual , have an unprompted contact with local law enforcement - this time in Kelowna where I slipped between two lanes of cars. I looked inside the open passenger window of the car on my left to discover an RMCP officer looking straight back at me.....
The bad news was I'd just incurred a $115 dollar fine for my sins, the good news however was that I could keep the ticket as a momento, and not worry about payment. He kept his quota, and I kept my money - perfect.
I met some great people at the rally including this bunch of BMW riding misfits...
BC Beemers rally misfits : Larry, Ruth, Moosejaw and yours truly, click for a larger view
The rally itself was heaps of fun, a good chance to talk bike stuff and not worrying about boring anyone. It was also my first chance to meet Grant Johnson, guru of the HorizonsUnlimited web site, and master rider of his BMW boxer. Despite the size of his custom made aluminium boxes he could still outride everyone...
Kids, don't try this at home...
From here I hi-tailed it to Vancouver for the Nicaragua reunion courtesy of Carolyn and Bill Dodds. Not for the first time on this trip I was bowled over by open house hospitality shown by people I've met on the journey. Carolyn, Chris, Ilse, Sheila and myself had met the Finca Magdalena months beforehand, and it was great meeting again...
Paul and Ilse sampling BC's finest salmon...
Paul and I getting some air on Pender Island
To complete the package Chris treated us all to a weekend in his fathers batch on Pender Island, complete with it's own private jetty.Relaxed was definitely the key word as we did our best to enlarge our wastelines and suck in the awesome views....
Sunset on Pender Island....
Thanks to Chris and Carolyn for putting that weekend on - and Sheila, apologies for locking the keys in your car.....
While in Vancouver I took the chance to meet Grant and Susan Johnson, the generous souls who make this website what it is, an indispensable resource for the adventurous motorcycle traveller. Grant performed some adjustments on my bike, brought my leatherman back into the land of the living and gave me heaps of advice including a healthy dollop of motivation. He also supported my thinking to purchase an electric vest - something I was later to be truly thankful for...
If there's anyone who deserves the most thanks on my travels - it's these two
Grant and Susan doing it all in their Horizons nerve centre
Buzzing north through Quesnel I happened on a bunch of Italians doing a 'raid' Canada, everything from Goldwings to R1150GS's, and even including Andrea Forni from Ducati on his St4. Somehow I got the feeling he was riding a prototype in ST4 livery....
Further on I got see some Salmon catching at first hand, although I was dismayed to see the fish had no chance at all of making it upstream. The 'aborigine', or indegenous locals have the right to use nets as they see fit, so long as it's not for financial gain. Noting the 1 fish per minute catch rate I wondered....
A hapless Salmon trying to fly at Morricetown falls
Riding north towards the Alaskan border was another very, very wet ride. After knocking wistfully on the doors of some nice looking lodges I had to keep on to avoid the 150 USD room rates. I was wet to the core, although the bike performed flawlessly....
Dirty and doing it - Iskut, B.C.
Eventually I made to a place called Red Goat Lodge, - not that I could see any of course, instead I was greeted by a bunch of Llamas and the resident cat called Fritz , a cat so big he should have been a dog....
Nearing the Alaskan border I spotted a BMW GS rider doing sandwiches on the side of the road - this turned out to be Rob Dale - a self confessed IT freak on his very first bike trip. My eyebrow gained altitude when I heard from Rob that his BMW R80GS was his very first bike - 800 cc !, now that's what I call ambitious.
Quicker than you can say 'broken Harley' and I'd convinced Rob to join me on the run for Deadhorse, I thought some company wouldn't be a bad thing, and Rob somehow had the daft idea he would be travelling with an experienced traveller....
If only he knew what 'Grizzly Bait' meant !
Soon to be famous - Rob Dale
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