The Rough Draft

If you can't go through it. Go around it.


A cold wet rainy afternoon at Long Beach, BC

It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything up on the blog and for that I apologize.

Things have been a bit hectic around here before, during and after my return from our trip out to the west coast. Some of which I’m happy to talk about and others (not so much) but we’ll get to that.

Every trip starts with the kernel of an idea and this year’s was no different. I saw the relatively cool conditions of the West Coast of BC and Vancouver Island as a great offset to last year’s trip through the heat and dust of Southern Colorado and Utah.

I’d be riding with good friends, Mark and eventually Kelly and we’d be stopping by to see other friends who now live on the island as well, and yes, all of that was great. But as I’ve said before, every trip reveals something about yourself to you in sharp and pretty unyielding contrast.

This trip wouldn’t be any different.

But then you’d expect nothing less, would you.

Things got off to a rocky start when Mark’s job of three decades went away ten days before we were set to leave. It was a bit of a blow to him (understatement of the year) but more importantly, we were shipping the bikes out on a truck his previous employer was providing. It took a few days but things came together and we were able to go with our original plan. Still, it was a rocky start.

We packed the bikes after riding through a pretty torrential rain storm. I had a feeling that rain was going to shadow the entire trip. It was BC we were going to after all. I wasn’t wrong.


They’re all wrapped up and ready to go. The firs time my bike has crossed the country without me on it.

About two days prior to our flight out to BC my right knee started to hurt. I’ve messed it up a few times over the years so the odd twinge isn’t an unusual thing. However, this time it felt a bit different. The pain felt deeper and more than just stuff bumping edges. There wasn’t any real time to get it looked at so I did what I’ve always done and pushed it off as something to deal with when I got back from the trip.


Waiting to board our flight at Pearson International Airport. I’m already working on my helmet hair look.

June 1st, we took off for the West Coast. The flight to Vancouver was uneventful though because I couldn’t figure out how to order food on the flight across, I was a bit goofy by the time we landed. A quick stop to get some chow in the airport got my blood sugar back up and we set out on transit to the William F White depot in Burnaby on the train from the airport. Three trains and an hour later we arrived in Burnaby, five minutes later we were at Whites. I should mention, it was pissing down rain when we arrived in Vancouver but both Mark and I are BC boys so it wasn’t a surprise, though knowing we’d be riding through Vancouver traffic in the wet, didn’t fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Still, the guys at Whites were glad to see Mark and our bikes had made it across the country in fine shape. Mark and I got them off of their skids and went about getting kitted up for our ride to the ferry. Since we’d left, there’d been a new bypass installed on the other side of the Patullo bridge that tied hwy 17 right to the road to Tswassen. The Patullo has never been one one of my favorite bridges. So I was not looking forward to riding across it. The Translab is one thing Vancouver traffic is another. Still, it went fairly smoothly with only a few idiots doing stupid stuff in front of us. What you consider a light day in traffic in Toronto. The rain looked like it was done so I opted to keep my rain gear off. We made a quick stop at Bass Pro to pick up a couple of things I’d forgotten to pack on the bike and then we were off to the ferry.

The nice thing about a motorcycle is you’re never stuck for getting on a boat. They might whine and moan about you and keep you in the naughty room but there’s always room on a ferry to put a motorcycle.


Front of the line on BC Ferries to Vancouver Island.

We spent the night in Victoria and had dinner with Mark’s stepmother. The next day we’d start the trip in earnest.

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