A snowstorm setting records for the month of September rolled in to the north just as I touched down in Canada. I am really getting a complex about the weather now! Thankfully it was just grey skies and a bit of rain in Vancouver.
After a fairly painless flight I was greeted by a good friend I met on my Nepal trip last year, Patrick. A Vancouver local he was there to pick me up and after a short trip down the road to cargo we were on the hunt for Yogi who had arrived the day before.
Having crossed numerous borders and been through the importation process several times I expected a lengthy wait. Nope, not here, the customs official asked if I had cleaned the bike properly (he had no intention of leaving his desk to go and look at it), stamped the cargo slip and we were done!
Back over to freight and Yogi was brought out on a pallet and unstrapped, loaded into his coolest ride yet, a cherry red al camino and off we went. I was beyond happy to have him back and through such a painless process. A late lunch and I was ready for an early night.
Spending a day as a tourist being driven around was such a nice treat and the surrounds of Vancouver really took me by surprise. It reminds me of Sydney in a lot of ways. Within 20 minutes of down town we were in a spectacular rain forest with a waterfall and a red crested sap sucker who was busy pecking the poor tree with great vigour to get himself a snack. The harbour was beautiful and the sun finally made an appearance as we stood watching the cargo ships come in and out. It was a great day, capped off by meeting some of the neighbours for an impromptu Chinese dinner.
My main mission this week was to replace my poor old riding gear with something water and wind proof to see my through the rest of the trip. A ride to the outskirts of the city and I picked up some new Alpine Star gear which should be perfect in the cold temps I am heading into, however I was incredibly unimpressed with their safety armour. The so called protectors would have been more sturdy had they been made out of wet paper towels!
Thankfully I had the foresight to bring my old gear and replaced the lack lustre equipment with my high-end BMW ones that have proven themselves effective through many spills. There was only one problem with this plan, the back protector was way too large for the minuscule pocket in the new jacket. Pat made a few enquiries and found an amazing fashion designer and fellow motorcyclist up the road to do some modifications for me.
I visited Paula, and her super cute dog Pinto, at home and showed her what I wanted, my old protector sewn into my new jacket and she told me she would have it done by the end of the day. We chatted about travel and different places in the world, Paula has lived in some amazing countries including China where she was a design teacher. It is so incredible the interesting people I have had the good fortune to meet through my travels.
When I arrived back to pick up my jacket I was blown away with what she had achieved in only a few hours! I now have the perfect gear to finish my trip in, I’ll be dry, warm and thanks to Paula safe.
I had used Patricks address to have a couple of things delivered for this leg of the trip and we set about using his workshop to get everything fitted and working. The most important of which being my new heated liners that will hopefully keep me from becoming snap frozen in this unseasonably cold weather, also towards the end of the trip in late October which has the potential to be very cold.
All set up and ready to roll out, we headed out of Vancouver for a couple of nights in a fairly remote part of British Columbia with friends. Riding a few hours on some lovely rolling curves, we arrived at a tiny cable car ferry that connects the inhabitants on the other side to the larger towns. The river current was incredibly strong and as we floated almost sideways across to the other bank it was a scary couple of minutes.
Off the ferry and onto the gravel road for a couple of kilometres, we came up on one of the most beautiful and quintessential Canada log houses. A huge pitched roof and windows opening onto the deck to see the endless views, this was my idea of heaven.
We were so warmly greeted by Tonya and Rick and made to feel at home immediately. They moved up to their remote piece of land after realising the city life no longer worked for them. Living in a small cabin with 2 young kids whilst they built their dream house over 6.5 years they are truly living the dream. I love meeting and speaking to people like these guys who have made it work for them, rather than knowing they aren’t happy and doing nothing about it. I think we forget that if we really want something we can make it happen, there might be sacrifices, but it can be done.
Sacrifices aren’t something most of us are comfortable with however, if you want to be different, it is unlikely it is going to come easy. I have made numerous sacrifices to do this journey and I made them consciously. I know that they will be long forgotten in a moment, yet the memories and experiences I have had will last a lifetime. If I have any lasting advice from my travels it is to set yourself a goal and DO IT. Make it your priority, it might take longer than you would like to eventuate but if it is truly something that is important to you, you can make it happen.
There is an orchard, pigs in the summertime, chickens and a self-sustaining veggie patch. Last night for dinner we had a true farm to table meal. Pumpkin and pear soup, farm raised pork with beets, carrots, onions and potatoes from the garden and homemade apple and pear pie from the orchard. I couldn’t be happier if I tried.
Waking after one of the best sleeps I have had in months, Tonya was in the kitchen making waffles whilst we decided what we will do for the day. I have sat in the amazing lounge writing my blog and exchanging endless travel adventures. I continue to be so humbled by the amazing generosity of new friends I make on this journey, it brings the kind of joy that only travel can.
I know I have promised for the past two weeks to share my America adventures with you all, so here we go. After I leave the end of next week from Canada I will cross into the states via Montana. The first stop will be the Glacier National Park before Yogi and I head towards his home, Yellowstone!
There is an amazing trail, known as the Great Continental Divide, which I plan to travel north to south. It should keep me away from the main highways and a lot of the time paved roads at all through some of the countries most spectacular scenery. The tent and camp stove will be in full use as we cross the mountains, dessert and lush forests. After we have our fill of wild America we will be setting course east, heading for Kentucky, Washington, Buffalo and finally NEW YORK!
Off to pick veggies for tonights feast and campfire 😊
Love Kylie and Yogi x