Saturday, August 11, 2012

plan B

...saturday morning we head to the ferry...determined that although the beemer is in the shop we can still have an adventure. I am riding my 250, he is on the Pan and we are heading from Victoria to Port Renfrew. We meander past farmlands and roll into deserted roads along Spectacle Lake. I am in a groove - left right, left right scanning for scenery to take your breath away. Weekend traffic is just emerging as we make our way to Jordan River. We stop to visit a friend who graciously asks us to stay the night and we will all ride the Refrew loop in the morning. The temptation of the cool of day and the lure of roads without travel trailers and tourists was an easy decision. We head back to see a friend in Victoria but the 90 minute round trip left us depleted of energy and hydration. I feel stretched physically and mentally as I try to anticipate the impatience of drivers too lazy to spot me in their blind spot or just beside them. Fatigue is threatening my delight of the landscape - ocean views and vistas as we wind our way back to Jordan River with the sunset over the Juan de Fuca Strait awaiting us on a deck with frosty beer, soft black licorice and the satisfaction of a great day of riding. We awake early, dew glistening on our seats and birds chirping good morning to the world. We get to the main road and I cannot contain the excitement that has bubbled up to my cheeks and into a grin. I love the early shadow being the only thing in front of me.. I know I pinned it...the anticipation, my first ride on this pristine snaky pavement with chicanes and cliffs, waterfalls, aquifers and lakes dotting the road as fast food and shops dot the city. A '53 and '59 Pan behind I am loving leading the pack for the first part of the relay. Shifting up and down, eyes following the arc of the road - careful to look where I want to be...conscious of the vulnerability and invincibility the open road brings. Fuelled up on coffee, food and gas at the marina we are off through tree lined arches over gently swaying roads and on to Lizard Lake for the refreshment of a swim and a rest for our throttle hands...well at least mine. I am more and more comfortable with the timbre of the motor and the lean of the bike through a winding cee.... I love staying tight within a corner. I love to challenge myself - proving my skills at handling. The lake was refreshing and completely necessary given the heat of the day. We leave still wet but the wind brings relief from the heat...on to Cowichan Falls and watching people wade in the bubbling river looking for refreshment from the heavy hot air. We imbibe in water and shade recounting the road that jolted us at times with a cover of shade for a hole or bump unexpectedly. We all had jaw smashing and jaw clenching moments either from gravel strewn around a corner or a frost bump that reverberated up our spine. We hug goodbye to the '53 - he back to the idyllic quiet of his home, and us to the Malahat and Sunday traffic amidst tired boaters, hot dogging bikers, and drivers of different abilities and comprehension of all that is around. We avoid the speed traps and press on to the ferry. This is the hardest part of any journey. Tired limbs anticipate the rest of and familiarity of home and normalcy. The journey has been, I even say epic...and yet home is that place of respite I need to relive the road - the vulnerability and the invincibility.

Friday, August 3, 2012

..and sometimes...

..unexpected things happen like this morning... Right after the chuckanut drive of twists in turns we enter farmlands and there is a sound.... I am adept to sound..I can hear the cry of a child in the night in the dead of sleep...i can also hear the door open at 3:45am as another slinks in... I hear the wheeze of a baby and the ping of a cable throttle braking.. I think I listen carefully.. We are now in the side of a road unable to start the bike. It is a wonderful place to be right now. The morning sun is warm but not sweltering. A Kawaski stops to help..he spends a lot of time determining what it is not. He is using his iPhone and pulling up schematics..turn over the engine... Thank you stranger on the road...I didn't ask your name because I knew I might not remember... He works in the prison... Thanks!! You may never know how much I appreciate it...but I am grateful and hope that I will do the same for another traveler. And to the people who live on Farm-to-Market Road in Edison...thanks that we could tuck the Beemer in... And to the Artisan Cafe...though we didn't take you up on the offer to pay you later...I loved that you invited us to... this is rare unusual and should be noted to everyone... And to our wonderful son who got off work...brought the truck and helped us..what more can I say..? As we slunk through the border with the bike safely tied down I could not help but think of our honeymoon... A book could be written of that journey!!! My man is disappointed..he has planned Mount St. Helens for 3 years and kids, life and health have interfered.. and now... so has mechanics..

Highway 3 AGAIN????!

Yep...there are not enough roads to the places we go to change things up.... We are back to highway 3 that bends and curves and follows rivers... I am not feeling great....still recovering but enjoying the view from behind... Breakfast is our meal of choice and hubby is so glad that I am vegetarian and give him my bacon rations.... We were in Penticton for a wedding. Seated with family highlighted the difference in who we brother engaging anyone that would listen to his rhetoric on life.. we clearly do not belong here ... not because we are better or worse .. cool.. or nerdy .. we just can't relate to what is going on .. I realize that I love the road more than anything... let me qualify... not the road ... but the journey. He has no idea that I love that he plans the route for us... I love that he thinks of how we get there... I am the there person ... I completely trust him... I know that he is thinking of us... (ooops..this is getting sappy...sorry..) but as we are approaching a new stage of life... he cares that our journey is an adventure... he wants things to be thought out.... thank you honey.

early morning.

..and it all began last Friday...just after dawn we slunk through the border, down I-5, found Sedro-Wooley bound for Twisp. Twisp is the end-point of the scenic destination through vistas, verdant mountains painted with azure blue lakes at the base... I love the Cascade loop. I feel big and small simultaneously. I feel big because I feel part of something that leaves me awestruck....cascading waterfalls, forests and flora that are ever changing. I feel small knowing I am but a dot in the immense canyons and gullies. Moving side to side like the tide I am ever aware of all that I am part of. Tarmac cut through pristine forest and grassland. We arrive in Twisp at the heat of the day grateful for the river, fish tacos and the lull of the road by the motel. It is biker area...lots of chrome and fringe, wife=beaters and high-heeled biker boots for the gals poured into pants and makeup that are part of the facade. Behind the wraparound glasses and rumbling engine a persona is put on of tough guy. Rarely do I get a wave from them and yet if we were engaged in a conversation of any merit they would have the grin of a cheshire least if I noticed the machine that bolstered their ego... We are boring to say the least. We texted kids as we ate pretzels, licorice and beer watching the Olympics in London....but then again this is our respite from the stress of life... ride, eat, relax, repeat... We rise early knowing the sun will soon be scorching....through Okanogan to the Okanagan...I know you are questioning...but it is true....The one with the O is in Washington State...and the other is in Canada..... onto Omak without stopping at the Walmart...(previous blogs have let you know that more than once I have had to visit Walmart....and both times in Omak...I am NOT a fan of Walmart in the fact...I will go out of my way to avoid....but...if you ever want to have some rich fodder for a blog post..I recommend you visit the Omak Walmart....) I digressed so far I lost the momentum of the ride...the ride around lakes of glass where hills were reflected so clearly and not a ripple was moving.... In that moment of tranquility I understood fishing. The stillness and the power of the water juxtaposed with the reaping of a meal...and like biking - understanding the minuteness and vastness of the world at once.

breakfast @ the Acme

We breakfasted at the Acme Cafe...great food and beautiful decor....recently remodelled the owners mom served us, happy we had noticed the change. I eavesdrop on the couple behind as he instructs her on what she should do with her money - coloured with f-bombs and crappy wisdom he seems more to be prying into her net worth than her past relationship....He then tells his tales of disrespect at his bank and how he wants to take all of his effin money and put it into something less corporate... at the same time telling her to get a line of credit because she could get it for 5% right now.... He is 54 and she is 51... He has had 3 marriages...she has had 2.... and all this while Ken is in the bathroom... and he is complaining the effin server needs to step it up...he needs to ride. I also determined he has only ridden a few years...and she is not yet licensed but wants to ride. He encourages her to buy the sportster for $7k because it is an amazing deal and a great beginner bike for her. We pay the bill and they are getting ready to leave. I am preparing my iPod and watching surreptitiously as they awkwardly try to get on the bike....he dismounts a few times because he cannot even lift it up....twice he makes sure I am not watching.... I am glad for the black lenses. He is clearly flumoxed and blames her fat ass for not being able to get up. Not sure if he is referring to the bike... I am reminded how great my man is...not just because of the example...but in the moment that follows and unknowing to him...he is tender and you need a scarf...are you okay? he asks as I am still recuperating from a cold.

pause for reflection