This Trip Was Not A Blind Melon Song

There’s been rain at some point every single day on this ride. On the plus side, I’ve got a stellar collection of mini shampoo bottles. Win-win. That’s a long “i” sound; make it cab merlot, stat.

In reality I’m pretty jazzed to finally be on the west coast. Mission accomplished, Coquitlam accomplished, then finally, Vancouver accomplished. Not sure why you wanted to know every town..

I almost made it last night, but she had a boyfriend. Actually I was on the Trans-Canada highway about 4 hours away and making pretty good time so I decided to push through to Vancouver. After about 45 minutes I’d seen four or five closed gas stations and I started to second-guess myself. But where do I go to? Back 45 minutes to Kamloops? I wouldn’t go if it were 12 seconds! (for the record, I have never gone in 12 seconds)…I was filling  the tank in Kamloops and a guy walking up to the entrance yelled over:

“Hey, what’s that thing on your helmet?”

It’s a video camera.

“What for?”

(Wow) So I can film the trip I’m on.

“Oh, where you from?”

Ottawa.

“You —— ——-?”

Sorry, what?

“You ——-?”

I can’t hear ya man, what’d you say?

(He gawked at me for three seconds, then just turned around and walked inside)

I thought, if they’re all that strange, I’m not coming back.

Although if that’s my standard, I’ll have to avoid Edmonton too…I tried for a good thirty seconds to tell 60 year-old guy in the truck next to me on the highway that his turn signal was still on and he just thought I was trying to get him to wave at the camera… I was actually laughing while angrily yelling “NO, YOUR BLINKER!” as I made hand gestures and put my own on to point to it. I wish I’d actually had the camera on for that. I’m 0 for 3 on good moments not caught on tape. And certainly batting almost .1000 on mediocre ones caught.

So, right, I was driving from Kamloops and seeing gas stations not, when I decided I had enough gas to get to the next major town where I could grab gas and coffee before finishing the ride to the coast.

And then it got black-dark. Still gonna do it.

And then the fog set in. Down to 40km/h. Still gonna do it.

And then it got cold. All my gear was on, but it was down to the single digits. Bearable as long as it doesn’t…

Rain. Great. Still g-g-ggonna d-d-d-do itt-t-t-t.

I’m glad it was dark or I would’ve been tempted to film my contortions as I sought the warmest position possible while still trying to avoid that ever-present butt-hurt. It was not easy.

I made it over two hours closer to Van, but the next big(ish) town I passed didn’t even have an open gas station. More importantly - somehow, it felt - there was no place for coffee. There was, however, a motel, so I cut my losses.

Now…the motel.

Just the fact that I wasn’t in a major city was enough to make me less excited. Add in that it was off of the main street, often another scratch, and when I got into the room I saw a cute little unlockable window open in the bathroom. Maybe I’m not the only one with a GoPro? Maybe the ride isn’t over?

Have you seen I Love You, Man? You know the guy who says, “Give it everythingyougot! Everythingyougot!”? His Asian cousin was working the desk. It was unreal. I was so exhausted, my eyes were British-humour-dry, and I couldn’t feel my hands (ooh, hotel room idea!), but this guy had me laughing so hard I thought I’d have to explain the movie to him just to avoid getting kicked out.

I survived the night and woke up at my typical 10-minutes-to-checkout, so I packed up in a hurry and rushed the key back to the front desk, but the guy wasn’t there…his wife was. AND SHE HAD IT TOO! Gotta be one of the best STDs, but I still wouldn’t risk it. (Translation: she said no.)

And so I hit the road and it rained. Grfkkjdfndlkjfnsf.

Two hours later I was in Vancouver, and if you could see fifty feet in front of you, you could see me smiling.

It felt good, man. Four days, fifty hours, butt-hurt. I made it.

I went into the first Tim Hortons for breakfast and some much needed java and ended up in an hour-long conversation with an absolute stranger about absolutely everything. Books, travel, philosophy, baking, marriage, etc. (I said everything, which was a little extreme, but now you can see it was close). Then I hopped on the bike and pulled into the hotel, and the exact same thing happened (not exact; different person). Unreal. I haven’t had dialogue like that since the last time someone walked away mid-conversation.

Well, that’s not true. It was way before I was halfway through.

I’ve got some stellar plans for the next few days, and I grabbed the last of my needed GoPro gear today. I also watched a few videos on YouTube to get some filming ideas. Hopefully I can jam all these conceptions into some coherent format. Tough to switch things up when you’re on the highway all day. I’ve probably had enough ideas while riding here to make an entire film but had no way of recording them and honestly forgot a lot of ‘em by the time I stopped for gas. (Less inhaling, more tank-filling). So I’ll do what I can and post the final product when it’s all said and done.

But for now, I need sleep. My friends here are people of the early morning and Johnny Depp’s interview on Letterman is over.

Forecast: no rain this weekend! Won’t be sleeping on my stomach tonight.

 

Ouch!