be sitting on the bike! After a BBQ and talk over a cold one, Mike took me on a round-about trip to his place and quickly reminded me of why I miss Victoria so much - the roads here are like no where else in Canada. They literally have paved old oxen paths through the woods and call them roads! It was a challenge to be throwing the weight of my bike around those corners after having ridden straight roads for so long, especially since I still had my luggage strapped to the back. Final mileage from my house to Mike's was 5050km!
Sunday began slowly - sleeping in and then sipping coffee (oh sweet coffee, how I love thee!)
. Mike and I then took a spirited blast on the bikes to Port Renfrew. Fantastic scenery out there, and the road is plenty twisty, but the condition of the pavement left a lot to be desired! I pounded my poor back to the point that I could barely move for the next 3 days (oh sweet ibuprofen, how I love thee!). We stopped at a nice little hotel restaurant there for a surprisingly excellent meal served by a lovely Australian waitress (there seem to be a lot of Australians in the hospitality industry out here - good natured visitors or dastardly hostile takeover? Talk amongst yourselves...) The return trip was us take a route to Lake Cowichan on (get this - this is so British Columbia!) a logging road that they decided to pave
. I'm not kidding - the road is lumpy and rugged but paved. Too funny. I think this was the leg of the travel that ended up crippling me.
Monday was my day to catch up with old friends, the pharmacy crew at the base clinic, and Stacey (You rock! I am so happy for you!); the gang at Royal Jubilee Hospital (Huey Lim, the Dans, Curtis, Richard): I can't believe you are all still there! I miss working there...keep that job open for me.
I dropped my bike off at Action Cycle for a new front tire and tune up and they were kind enough to lend me a bike in return (thanks Kerry!)
. I got the chance to ride a KTM 950SM (SuperMoto) - what a hooligan bike! Tons of power and takes a curve like you are on rails - I had a blast on it carving up the corners of some the south island's best roads. But before I ever had a chance to play, I had another encounter with the boys in blue...RCMP this time. Let me start by saying I DID NOTHING WRONG!! HONEST!! A cruiser was driving behind me and ran the plate (a dealer plate) and it came back with no registration info so they pulled me over and I got to stand around for 45 minutes while they contacted the dealer and had the info faxed to them. God was obviously trying to teach me a lesson in patience...I had the KTM for 2 days and managed to get it back without damaging it or killing myself!
Tuesday night we went to Western Speedway and caught the SuperMotard guys practicing - impressive how quickly the top guys and take a corner. We also got to see some Motocross folks playing around, including some little guys - it's easy to be fearless when you only have a foot to fall before reaching the ground!
I took a blast up island to Qualicum to visit Warren and Gail in their new home - Warren has the fantastic opportunity to work with me for the next year or so. I can't believe they've only been in their place for a couple of weeks and everything is unpacked and put away - they even have pictures up on the walls
. I've had my house for 7 months and the only thing set up is my TV and lazy boy! Crazy cat-leash people!
Thursday evening is a ride night for the BMW crowd but they kindly allowed my big Honda cruiser to tag along. Fun ride on some back country roads (no freakin' idea where we went) followed by food and BS at a local watering hole.
Friday was spent doing anything except the 3000 word essay I had due for the OPME I am working on. Saw the new Batman (very dark, excellent performance by Heath Ledger - recommended!), cleaned the bike up, did my laundry, cooked supper, etc etc. Anyway, I did get it finished and now I'm thinking about the next leg of the journey...
I made it to the coast!! I left Hope midmorning and arrived in Vancouver in time to take the noon ferry across to Vancouver Island. The timing was perfect as I met my good friend Mike at his friend Doug's place just as they were getting ready to cruise the islands in Doug's boat. It was awesome to just kick back and cruise - really felt like I was on vacation for the first time, and it was novel to be zipping around that quickly and