That space in between

So I’ve been home for a couple of weeks and have to admit that I’m feeling a little deflated, bored, and maybe even a little depressed. It’s hard to come off a year of constant motion, of picking up daily and moving on to somewhere new and exciting, and just STOP. Even harder to come off the adrenalin packed month I’ve had in California; flying high in a formation clinic, driving a sling shot or munching on a Schat’s Bakery sandwich at a quiet overlook while staring out at the ever captivating Sierras. It’s kind of hard to get excited about watching traffic go by outside our window and reading the weekly Canadian Tire flyer with my morning tea. UGH! I’ve tried to get out as much as I can but even hiking on the local trails is a little anti-climactic after hiking out west.

Maybe it’s the post adventure doldrums. Maybe I’m feeling this way because everything associated with “here” has to do with our former eat/work/sleep lives. Maybe reality lies somewhere in between, I have no clue. Continue reading

Reflections at Lake Powell

Needles, Hoover Dam, and now Lake Powell. I was starting to connect the dots along the colorado river.

What another stunning place. Lake Powell is man made and I’m told it has more coastline than all of the United States. It was once a stunning canyon much like the Grand Canyon.

Sunrise from my campsite on the lake. I’d say it’s still pretty stunning! Continue reading

A near death/stupid experience at the Bristlecone Pines

With Tigger already fixed up (actually I snuck back to San Ramon over the weekend to pick up my bike from the dealership before heading back for all that fun in the sky in Fresno), I headed out on my own again for a couple of days. Mike and Kati were heading to Lake Powell the most direct route and I wanted to head over the Sierras.

Mike’s expertise of everything California became obvious to me within the first couple of hundred miles as I managed to fill up at the most expensive gas station around. Not to mention I had to pay attention to the GPS again.

Sonora Pass was closed the previous week from the winter still, so I was looking forward to taking a new pass over the mountains. It was nice to have Tigger in tip top shape again and fresh rubber on the rear. The previous tire had kept me company for 18,000km’s (11,250 miles), and still had some miles left on it. I’m really liking the Heidenau K60’s. The front has over 33,000km’s (20,625 miles) at this point and I expect it to last to 50,000km’s (or about 30,000 miles). As long as you don’t need to do a tire change on the road, these things are fantastic.

Sonora Pass did not disappoint. No vehicles to speak of and as twisty as anything I’ve ridden in California. Just a blast. Continue reading

Flying in a Cub, meeting a 3 legged wonder dog and Sequoia National Park…the adventure continues

Yup, Tim lives in a very interesting neighbourhood in Fresno. Forget that 3 car garage you’ve always wanted, these guys have hangers for garages. HANGERS! WITH PLANES IN THEM!! I didn’t even know places like this existed.

That’s a mighty fine hanger (and plane) you got there.

But before we go anywhere else, you need to meet Tim’s dog, Buddy – the wonder dog. Buddy has only 3 legs due to an unfortunate accident, but man is he just the happiest dog ever. Continue reading

California’s Pacific Coast Take 2

With Tigger still in the shop, Mike’s friend Doug was generous enough to lend me his steed; a 2005 BMW GS for a few days and Mike and I were off again. Thank you very much Doug, the bike ran like a champ! We did an encore run down the Pacific coast, just like the 4 of us did last fall.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

We headed up Nacimiento Road. Continue reading

Another Round in Sunny California

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

With the temp soaring back to life on the other side of the Sierra’s, we were pleasantly thawed out by the time we arrived at Mike’s place in San Ramon. First order of business when we got back was FOOD! I translated the growling emanating from within my belly as stomach’s plea for more MEAT! I can’t explain it but I really did have a serious craving for meat ever since returning to the US. Maybe it’s something in the air, I’m not sure.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
While I’m happy with a 5 Guys or Habit burger or even a dehydrated Mountain House cuisine when camping (ok so happy might be a strong word for the Mountain House), this was more like a symphony going off in my mouth with every bite. Seriously the best steak I’ve ever had. Mike and Kati were taking better care of me than me. Continue reading

Manzanar, Mono Lake, Bodie…oh my

What do a WWII concentration camp, a 760,000 year old lake and a ghost town have in common? They can all be found in California and can be visited in the same day. Oh and there’s also a stunning view of the Sierra’s from each of them. Ok so the Ghost town doesn’t exactly have Sierra views but the road leading up to it sure does.

Bright eyed and bushy tailed we departed Furnace Creek the following morning at 7am to a perfect 20C (68F). We found ourselves puttering along the 190 when a group of BWM touring bikes caught up to us around Panamint Springs. These guys were really moving. As if on cue, the road turned super twisty just beckoning us to gear down and twist the throttle and we found ourselves in the middle of the pack blasting through the curves and s-bends that unfolded before us. Forget morning coffee, you should definitely check out this section of road for that morning pick-me-up. We soon split up as they made the turn to head south while Mike and I continued north.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
A few clicks later we found ourselves pulling into the Manzanar historic site right off the 395 in the Owens Valley. Continue reading

I’m baaaack, in the USA

First order of business once I got clear of the border was to fuel up the bike. $2.19/gallon – nice! I’m used to paying 13.57 pesos per litre which is about twice the price. I was also able to use up my remaining Pesos to pay for my gas at the Circle K. Speaking of filling up, my insatiable meat craving guided me to the nearest 5 Guys Burger & Fries for lunch. “Is it possible to get extra meat on mine please.” Thought of Denis Leary for some reason.

It felt a little weird being back on the roads in the states, it felt more dangerous somehow. Maybe being passed by someone texting on a cell phone in one hand and a cigarette in the other had something to do with it. Cops everywhere along the highway waiting to pull someone over, just not any of the winners I’ve seen so far apparently. I somehow made it to Needles (unscathed) where I met up with Mike at a campground right along the Colorado River.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Pretty nice spot.

Brand new REI Half Dome 2 and Exped SynMat UL 9 waiting for me when I arrived, thanks to Mike who was nice enough to deliver my new gear. That REI dividend and 25% discount code were perfectly timed I gotta say. I know this sounds crazy to some but I was so stoked about sleeping outside again. The sound of water flowing by, nature, comfy bed, no foosball games or screaming kids. Turned out to be the best sleep I had in weeks. Although I did strangely find myself missing being woken up by the sound of roosters crowing in the middle of the night. I’m sure I’ll get used to this tranquility eventually. Continue reading

Mexico, 4 months or 4 days

We arrived in Mexico on December 6th, and I finally pulled away from what was our home for the past 2 months on April 6. I made one last stop to feed the puppy all the left overs I had at the house before hitting the slippery streets of San Cris. Before I could even leave town, I dumped Tigger on the right side as the car in front of me came to an abrupt and unexpected stop. I grabbed a handful of front brake forgetting how slippery the road gets when wet, and down we went. “Well this isn’t the way to start our solo adventure now is it,” I thought to myself. I quite literally walked away uninjured simply stepping off the bike as it fell under me. I did manage to break one of the tool tubes under the side case, but only the mount at the front. I removed the contents none the less and left the partially broken tube hanging under the case. I just didn’t feel like taking the tool kit that was located at the bottom of the other case out and removing the rest of the tube. Mañana. I was actually happy Lori wasn’t there with me at that moment as she would have probably gone down with Tigger. Even though I had just gone on that group ride the previous week, I felt rusty after our 2 month break. I scolded myself for not paying more attention to the road, turned off the tunes and made a conscious effort to re-focus on the task at hand.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Continue reading