A biker we bumped into along the way asked me to keep something in mind when writing this blog. He told me that 'nobody cares how I FEEL'...
Having spent the last four days traveling 3,200km through somewhat unremarkable terrain I'm going to disregard that and tell you all just how I feel. Ha. We left Elgin, Illinois early on Sunday morning, one week in and we were beginning to find a rhythm, the miles were seeming shorter and the bikes far more familiar. We passed through Illinois and Minnesota without much ado, huge highways lined by pine trees and what I can only assume was the entire population of deer lying crooked and dead by the side of the road. We had been given warnings of deer by a number of harley drivers, all seemingly wearing bandanas, blue denims and leather waistcoats but had yet to encounter any alive. Minnesota, as well as North Dakota, leaves the wearing of a helmet to the discretion of the head that needs it and so most bikers pass by with their hair flowing in the wind. So it goes.
The next day we had slightly less luck as Kieran has already posted. Around 2 hours into an 8 hour ride we ran out of gas, tacking on an unnecessary 2 hour delay. I sat tight and waited for my little ginger pony to bring me fuel so we could get on our way towards the Canadian border, hoping to get out of the land of the giants before sundown. The breakdown meant that we were about 2 hours behind schedule and a good distance from anywhere where we could eat, both starving we decided to push ahead for another 200 miles. No more than a mile had passed when I decided that this didn't suit me, I was keen to eat something. I remembered I still had the last 1/4 of a ham and cream cheese roll sitting in my tank bag from the day before. Giddy with excitement I removed a glove and began to survey the bag, it was in the far right corner that I put my hand on something soft, damp. I pulled it out carefully, hoping none of it came apart as I pulled it passed the zip and began to remove the clingfilm. I examined the space between my helmet and my mouth. It was tight, no more than a few mm. I glanced to my right to consider my options, as I turned I caught a glimpse of my laden shadow cast against the bright yellow passing grain. It excited me wildly. I felt tremendous. Before realizing I had made a plan I crushed the bread between my fingers, blending various components together into a coarse paste. I maneuvered my hand again collecting the pieces and began to feed it between the cavity creating a make shift nose bag. I laughed aloud to myself as I ate. It was, in a word, disgusting but wholly satisfying. We continued on north towards Canada, the road narrowed and the land flattened out as each and every town we passed through seemed to be a credible location for a teen horror. We crossed the border at about 7pm and covered the final 40 or so kilometers to Estevan just before sundown, finally getting a glimpse of a living deer that crossed the road only a few feet in front of us.
We hit the road early again today, hoping to cross the prairies and enter the rockies before dusk. Flat land as far as the eye can see intersected by the Trans Canadian highway... it couldn't be easier. The reality was a long and arduous day that, for the most part, was spent wet, cold and anxious having passed through a hurricane warning in Minnesota without any peril we chose to take the storm warnings in Saskatchewan with a pinch of salt. What ensued was the most horrific series of rain bursts and squalls that I have ever encountered, coupled with an ould bout of diarrhea from a roadside diner for good measure. We were just outside Moose Jaw when the first outburst drenched us to our skin, still feeling somewhat positive from the progress made in the preceding days we thought we'd plow on, assuring ourselves that we were through the worst of it. These violent bursts continued for the day, cloud cover so dense that it darkened the sky causing automated lights to activate mid afternoon and reducing your speed to 50 or so kilometers per hour. We pushed on as best we could into a strengthening side wind as far as Swift Current where we stopped for some food, at this point things turned quite sour.
Listen having eaten a mashed, stale sandwich the day before out of damp tank bag I assumed my stomach would be able to handle a fresh turkey sandwich from a roadside diner. I was, in fact, incorrect... we ate quickly and got back on the bikes, both very much looking forward to a warm shower and being off the road for the day. We passed through yet another lightening storm, both very aware that we were in fact the highest point in the enormous, flat land. This concerned me for almost a whole minute until I was occupied by an entirely new fear. This fear turned to reality and manifested itself in the verge of the trans Canadian highway, observed by trucker and traveler alike. I regrouped and got back on the bike keen to drive the remaining kilometers through sporadic showers and inflamed thunderstorms in relative silence...
Well lad"s today’s tuesday and hoping you have a the day off ! I said to you in london she is a big place and lot’s would have quite but real biker’s go on will be following you and it;s hot here as oit is the first day of summer hehe! chereo chaps and i it must of been part of the dream ( nightmare ) now for the real FUN !! north to Alaska BIG BEAR’S and Wildlife wayne (hope the talc came in handy )
Hi Guys, I met you today outside Blackfoot Motorcycle, I would have liked to spend more time with you guys, I hope I didn’t put the fear of Bears into you too much but its safe to be on the safe side, LOL, You have my number so give me a call anytime , I have room for your bikes and your selves at my home, Iv been trying to persuade my wife to do the same as you guys, Dave , Calgary 403 8730972
@wayne cheers Wayne, kicking back in Alberta now, heading through Banff and lake Louise tomorrow. Feeling confident I could take on a bear so few worries there.
@david nice to meet you too, heading for lake Louise tomorrow if you fancy riding some of the way with us?
Welcome to Alberta! Glad you’re heading through Banff tonight. I wish I could ride with you but I’ll be heading East in a week, gotta save some rubber on the tyres!
All the best to both of you. I look forward to reading and viewing more on your journey!
Have a nice sharing dude. Simply satisfied through reading this post and truly I would like to share it with other. Thanks a lot.
I like “nobody cares how you feel” —that’s Mike all right. BTW I got a real good helmet and jacket now, I am turning into a biker
love andie in montreal
This is cyrsatl clear. Thanks for taking the time!
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