All posts for the month April, 2014

Heading back to Calgary was anti-climatic, I’d already been reunited with Ash and had a blast with buddies at the wedding.  The ride back from Penticton felt more like a choir, but it was perfect day and easy ride back.  Ryan stayed in the Okanagan for a few more days so I was solo back into town.


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Last border crossing:


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Overall it was a great trip, loved every minute of it, even the multiple breakdowns – all part of the trip.  It felt good to get back home and integrate back into the daily grind knowing the next big adventure is just around the next corner.


Home sweet home.


My buddy Terrence and his now wife Tara were getting married in Naramata.  I was stressed about making sure I made it there in time, and we rolled in with a day to spare.  The wedding was in a beautiful winery on the Naramata hill overlooking lake Okanagan:




Out of my smelly moto gear and into an equally hot black suit.  My hand was permanently seized in the throttle position:

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Final picture of Ry and I on this trip:


Wedding house guest:


Another house guest, not part of the dinner service:


I’d say its fair to say Ry had a good time at the wedding:




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We spent a day touring vineyards and soaking up the sun at the beach.  It was great to unwind, and meet back up with Ash.

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I dont have a lot of pictures posted of people we met and hung out with along the way.  I try to ensure I have peoples permission before I post their picture, not sure how many people want to immortalized on my blog without the ability to take their picture down should they want to.

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Willie bought me a beach towel knowing I was packing light and showing up to Penticton without one – thanks buddy!

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I woke up before dawn to try to make it to Penticton early enough to meet Ash as she was driving in with my buddy Willie from Calgary.  Ryan planned on sleeping in, spending the day in Seattle and heading up in the evening.  It was the first time we split up since leaving Calgary weeks ago.

The morning was brisk and I decided to take a secondary highway through Washington state, instead of the main freeway.  The sun came out, the scenery was stunning and I was feeling great.

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I was in no rush and soaked in the empty country road cruising just below the speed limit (which was a rough estimate since my bike speedometer was only in km/hr)  I passed a ranger station and the speed limit dropped, it road was empty and I slowed down to about 50-60km/hr, however passing a ranger station was about 40km/hr.  I didn’t think anything of it until I spotted red and blue lights flashing in my rear view.

I pull over and figure I couldn’t be that much over and will get a trooper inquisitive about my trip, a slap on the wrist and sent on my way.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  He struts over and I have my helmet off in preparation to talk to him.  He tells me I’m speeding, then looks down and notices I have a ipod on my tank bag.  The earphones were not in my ear (as I pulled them before he walked over), but he asks if I was listening to them when I rode by.  Being honest I said yes (in actuality I had the earphones in for noise reduction, but no music playing).  He tells me that it is illegal to listen to earphones on a motorcycle in Washington State.  I apologize and tell him I’ll put them away.  He takes my license and walks off.

At this time I’m still in a great mood, feeling the cool mountain air and not another car on the road.  He comes back and hands me two tickets, one for speeding and one for listening to my headphones.  I tell him I’ll pay for the speeding, but that I just finished 6,000 miles on my bike and didnt realize this jurisdiction doesn’t allow headphones, asking for a break on that ticket. (I actually asked the border guards in Montana and they told me its fine and recommended the best headphones to use while riding).  He says no, and tells me to sign the back of the two tickets.  I told him before I sign I want to understand what the process is to fight the ticket, he takes it back, writes ‘SERVED’ on the tickets, slaps them on my bag and walks off.

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I’m left feeling gutted, the trooper was completely rude and totally took the wind out of my sail.  As an ambassador for Washington he really soured my experience.  I was polite, respectful and generally in a good mood when stopped.  I left pissed off, more about the cloud he cast on my day than the $500 in tickets he left me with.  What I also didn’t realize is that when he served me he left my license on my tailbag with the tickets.  I scooped up the tickets but didn’t see my license.  I was flustered and didn’t notice he had not returned it.  My license would fly off somewhere down the highway.  Which was great because I was pulled over the last day of my trip and because I didn’t have my license received a ticket.

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Trying not to let the rude trooper experience get to me I moved on trying to salvage the day.  The scenery was stunning and eventually I was back in a good mood.  I was also really happy with the choice to take the highway less traveled.  It was almost worth the $500 in tickets the State of Washington managed to pry from my depleted wallet.




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It actually felt good to hit the border, knowing I was meeting back up with Ash and a number of my good friends at my friend Terence’s wedding.

The lineup was short and easy to pass through.  Years ago Americans and Canadians could pass through each others borders with nothing more than a drivers license.  Those times are done and moving back and forth requires passports and security screening.  Its too bad that two countries with such a longstanding friendship have one of the most controlled and regulated borders.

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Oh Canada

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BC has one of the most modest border signs I’ve ever seen.

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I rolled into the place we rented which was right on the lake in Pencticton.  I love the Okanagan and was looking forward to spending a few days relaxing before wrapping up the trip.

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