|After being home for 2 days I headed out on a quick afternoon ski tour with friends. Crazy how much snow is still in the mountains.|
OK, let me rewind a week. After the blur of Vegas which I included in my last post, I worked my way north through Nevada. I had an appointment booked at Happy Trails in Boise, Idaho to get my front shocks looked at in addition to picking up some new rubber for my arrival home. Happy Trails was where I purchased my luggage in addition to a variety of add-ons for the KLR. They specialize in adventure touring and are a really great bunch of guys.
|The line-up of bikes at the Happy Trails shop in Boise, Idaho (most of these were owned by folks who work there.)|
|Patiently waiting for Rojo while his shocks were ripped apart|
|A few more ADV bikes at Happy Trails, my mechanic owned the BMW on the left.|
|A pit-stop beside the Middle Fork of the Payette River, Idaho.|
|Finally packing a spare tire in true ADV style|
My final morning waking up in Grangeville, Idaho it was pouring rain again. I was sure I could push home in one day but needed to keep my hands warm. I headed to the local supermarket before leaving and bought a pair of heavy duty dish gloves. I figured I could put them on over my riding gloves and be golden and warm for my final push home. This didn't work. Unfortunately, the gloves were too tight and they just cut the circulation off in my hands. The first few hours of riding north were wet and miserable, and then my core body temperature started dropping... I was very cold. I knew I only had 2 options and one I wasn't even willing to consider, I wanted to get home.
|My strategy for warm hands in Idaho... which didn't work.|
|I was lucky as the sun came out, it warmed up and I was staying dry on my final push home.|
As I pulled into Lewiston, Idaho, I began looking for a hunting store. I knew I could get warmer gloves and thermal underwear at a local outdoor - hunting shop. I HAD thermals on my way south, but I sent them back from the Baja after meeting up my Dad figuring I wouldn't need them for the rest of the trip.
I'm sure I had an internal radar on loud and clear as the minute I rolled into Lewiston I looked to my right and saw Black Sheep Sporting Goods. Perfect timing as I was wet and cold and needed some help to push on. I hopped off my bike which ended up being more of a stumble and immediately through the front doors of the Black Sheep. Once opening the door, my eyes focused on a younger clerk behind the back gun-counter of the store. He was cocking a shotgun and he said, 'I just love the action on this bad-boy!' Seriously. I had to give my head a minor shake to begin focusing on my thermal search. Upon being asked for some assistance I was told that most of the thermals had been put away for the summer but they gladly went to the back to get something for me that would work. I was a little upset when the head-to-toe 'cammo' underwear ended up being too big, but we managed to find some that worked. A couple pair of gloves - thin inserts and larger ones, my new long thermal underwear, $31 on the Visa and I was out the door and all warmed up for my final stint on the road home.
|British Columbia - the best place on earth|
|Nelson, BC - my home|
|A nice tail-gate reunion with my pooch upon arrival home, we were pretty happy to see one another.|
I don't think one can ever understand this unless you've been there, unless you've tasted it for yourself. It is tough.
|Double thumbs-up to a fun afternoon ski 2 days after my return home|
|Loving my new long underwear thermals purchased at a hunting shop in Idaho - (which saved my bacon on my final push home.)|
|Haircut, shave and my bikes back in the shop where I started this surreal journey|
|Nelson, BC - (I took this photo yesterday on a quick hike with my dog)|
|Overlooking Nelson, BC|
I know it'll take time being home and getting back into the swing of things. Just the other day someone asked me if I'd do it again... and without hesitation I said yes. Half of me wants to pack up today and to continue heading north to Alaska. I'm sure this will happen one day, but for now I need to focus on working my way back into my community, getting back to work and keeping my 'stick on the ice' as we say here in Canada.
It was surprising how many people I met on my trip thought I was completely nuts for traveling solo throughout Mexico and Central America. A question I was hearing over and over again was, 'Isn't Mexico dangerous?'. My answer would always be 'No, it is great'. My advice is to 'turn off your TV', in the loose sense. We live in a day and age where this would be extremely difficult due to our connectedness, but it is truly amazing how the media plugs the fear in people. Dangerous, unfortunate things happen to humans on a daily basis, all over the world, regardless of where you are at. I had countless challenges on my motorcycle trip, but 99% of the people I met were really interested in me and in helping me in any way possible. Sure, I had to be very aware, alert, 'on my game', but it is truly surprising what a positive attitude, a smile, some basic communication, and a simple laugh... can create. It is amazing.
I read a quote once years ago that really stuck with me, and it goes something like this:
"The World is like a book, and those that stay at home never leave the first page."
My advice to you...
Get Out There!
Thank-you SO much for all of the support, encouragement and positive energy sent my way... it aided me to my destination and back thus accomplishing my goal and I'm still in one piece... so thank-you again and again.
My next trip? Who knows... for now, I'm sticking around, but stay-tuned, I'm sure something will start bubbling and brewing.
Until next time...