Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Canada Sum Up And The Heart Speaks

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 beer, 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.

Motorcycle Highlights

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. 

Motorcycle Lows

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. 

Andi Again

Ouwh shit!!  

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