July 11, 2005 GMT
Update from Mile 0, Dawson Creek, BC

In the interests of saving gas, tires, a slack chain, worn sprockets, wildlife preservation, and scenery enjoyment, I've been cruising at around 50 mph--nice when there is no traffic but unsafe when there are 30 wheelers on your tail. It gets me about 60 mpg at that speed, 50 mpg if I go to 60, 45 mpg at 65, 40 mpg at 70 mpg. Not sure how I would do if I went 15 mph.

So I ride on to Dawson Creek today for this update and a coffee break. I'm finally in cell range again and I had a message from my health ins. co. that said if my check isn't received by the end of the week, I'm SOL. Twice they returned my letters and in my absence my former office manager finally found the right one, apparently. However, my auto withdrawal hasn't been approved for some reason so I have to send $500 for the two months I've been healthy already. Considering the dangers that are ever-present on this ride, I'll pay.

On a very sad note, I got a message that a friend of a friend in the Bay Area died of cancer yesterday. He had a tumor on the adrenal gland last year and they thought that surgery, chemo and radiation had got it. But a couple weeks ago, apparently, he collapsed in pain. They took him in and found it had spread throughout his body. He has two daughters. He was a fun person to be with, a teacher, and I spent some time with him at ball games and bars, shooting pool and hanging out at our mutual friend's house. It's a real tragedy.

Last year a law school classmate died of a brain hemhorrage without warning of any kind. I have reflected on the meaning and purpose of this trip, life and death, and all the big picture questions. If I die on this motorcycle trip I don't want my only legacy to be this goofy blog. This trip has been amazing, and life changing, and I wouldn't trade it or anything. In deliberately shattering the rigid structure of my life, I'm putting the pieces back together in a different order based on different priorities. They include settling down--in the marriage and family sense--and being more actively involved with friends and the community and doing something creative and tangible, either as a profession or on the side. A dog is in the near future and you can bet weekends will be spent outdoors exploring. I'm not sure I've been gone long enough to want to live a reclusive life in the mountains as a hunter/trapper/goldminer, but an occasional overnight canoe and camping trip seems like a good idea once in a while. Central and South America are off the table; it will be National Parks down to New Mexico, then west to Phoenix, San Diego and them home to San Francisco.

That's all the shmaltzy stuff I wanted to say. Let the goofy blog continue in all it's glory with the next post. I may let Ichiro submit the next report with harrowing tales from the Southern Canol Road, Liard Hot Springs, and the best cinnamon rolls EVER somewhere between Muncho Lake and Toad River. Be well, everyone.

Posted by James McPherson at July 11, 2005 09:05 PM GMT

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