Published: October 12th 2011October 5th 2011
We are in my hometown of Boise, Idaho.
I had already gone over 700 miles on my seriously damaged rear sprocket with about 200 more to go before getting to the cycle salvage in Williams Lake, BC, when I got to Prince George again. It was cold dark and rainy when I got to PG, so I decided to dive into a motel and hot the road early in the morning in hopes to get my repairs done and make it all the way to Vancouver by evening. Just as I was pulling away from a stop light my clutch cable snapped! I walked to the McDonald's nearby where I asked a couple that was just finishing breakfast for a ride to the Kawasaki dealership on the edge of town. Surprised, and a little cautiously the guy agreed as his wife stayed behind to finish her coffee. He took me there and dropped me off as I waited for the parts department to open. I was just stirring my coffee when I realized that I had left my back pack in the guys trunk with my computer in it! I called McDonald's and they told the lady waiting, and they
left it behind the counter PHEW!
I got the new clutch cable and went outside to the cold drizzle and put my thumb out to get back to my bike. It took me about an hour before any stopped for me. After getting the bike up and running it was after noon. I had planned on hitting the highway by 9...
A few hours later I got to New Life Cycles in Williams Lake. Dave helped me with the lend of some tools as I wrenched on my bike. I replaced the rear sprocket and chain. In the process I noticed that my wheel bearings needed to be replaced too. I put on a new rear tire and got everything put back together and was off near 4 P.M.
I made it to Cache Creek around sunset. The weather cleared up and I was actually hot! The landscape there reminded me of Southern Idaho and I felt compelled to pitch my tent there nearby. I woke up early and went down Fraser Canyon and on into Vancouver. By the time I made it to Vancouver the rain had come back and it poured on me as I
made my way to the hostel.
The hostel was the same company as the place we stayed in Banff, and had the same kind of group of long-termers that were in Canada for a year with a work visa. That made it feel a bit safer, and the English couple in my dorm invited me to play pool with them before too long. The hostel had no parking, and the only suggestion the first girl I talked to was that I could park it at a hotel for $20 a night! I asked someone else and he said I could park it across the river in a neighborhood for free.
The weather cleared up a bit and i took a walk around town. It is a very metropolitan city that is on a narrow piece of land and in that is similar to New York and San Francisco with tall buildings and busy side walks. I passed a Korean bank (KEB, the one I used in Korea) and it had a Korean supermarket upstairs and a kimbap nara (Korean fast food) next door . I just had t go get something and I had one of my favorite
Korean dishes (Dolsot Bibimbap) for a Korean price ($6)! I went back to the hostel and had a beer at the bar downstairs before passing out for the night.
When I woke up I had every intention of leaving Vancouver around noon. the rain continued to get heavier as the morning got later. During breakfast I made the decision to stay another night. I didn't really have anything to do in Vancouver after a friend of mine ran into a streak of bad luck and couldn't meet up with me, so I got some down-time in. I got showered and packed that night to be ready to try to cross the border without my license plate in the morning.
When I got to the border there was only one car ahead of me in line and I didn't have to wait long to get through to the front. When I got there the customs officer looked at the monitor that was supposed to display my license plate and noticed that she couldn't see it. She simply said "Do you know your plate number?' When I read it off the registration she typed it in, then told e to
have a nice day! No Sweat! About 50 miles down the road a motorcycle pulled up behind me and pulled me over. Assuming that it was about my missing plate I got my papers ready and told the cop what happened what happened... then all he wanted to talk about was the ride to Alaska!
I was going to stop north of Seattle in Bothell, to see my cousins before heading out to the coast. I stayed with Ryan and Jake met us up for a beer later. I stayed a second night just so I could have time to have a relaxing evening with family before heading off to see the rest of the family in Boise.
I rode to Seattle for breakfast on Thursday morning, had a cup of coffee from the first Starbuck's on Pike Street and blew town. I rode on the I-5 to Olympia where I got on the 101 and rode the coastline of Washington before crossing the Columbia to Oregon where I pitched my tent in Cannon Beach.
I packed up early in the morning and drove down to Tillamook where I stopped for breakfast. I got out on the road by 10 A.M. with the goal of getting to Boise by sun-down. After a stop in Portland and Hood River I had to keep on the high-side of the speed limit to keep pace. I got to Boise just after dusk.
I stopped into the bridge party where my parents were playing with their group of over 30 years. They gave me one of the tostadas they had for dinner then I got to my parents' house, changed and headed out to downtown to see what the night life was like. It didn't take me long to realize that I didn't recognize anybody at all! I decided to head in because I had to be up early for the game. Boise State was to play Nevada at 12:30 to have a little revenge for last year when the were knocked out of the Rose Bowl.
The weather turned cold and rainy and that slowed Dan down, so he didn't get here until Thursday. We made several trips to Happy Trail (a KLR outfitter based here in Boise) to get up-grades, luggage and service. We both got heated handgrips (crucial for cold-weather riding), a luggage box that mounts on the tail, and a water-proof duffel from REI.
I took Dan hiking in the foothills around my parents' house on Saturday and on Sunday we rented mountain bikes and we rode on one of the best mountain bike trails in the area.
Now its Wednesday morning and we are about to hit the road again after being for nearly 2 weeks! We are going to Stanley then Sun Valley before camping out near Shoshone Falls-the Niagara of the West!