The Road

The Road

Monday, February 2, 2015

Riding In The Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies ! well,here I am in the Canadian Rockies.It's beautiful!Crossed over on Monday afternoon and then rode up to a place called Crowsnest Pass where I held up in this motel. Todays ride was an incredible journey thru mountains and small towns.I met these people traveling on bikes after I entered the Banff National Park and we hung out talking.Ran into them again later on down the road and they told me of a good place to camp.I looked and found the town and a hostel there so I went for that to get a bed and shower plus some company.Met a nice man from Montreal here.We talked some and then I settled in.Nice place.It's filling up now with mostly young couples but there are a few single guys here too.It's dormitory style with a mens section and a woman's section .I like it.Tomorrow I will be on my way heading up into the park to see all this incredible beauty and find a place to camp before turning west. These mountains are something else.Glaciers and turquoise rivers with nice roads that I can negotiate with no problems at all.It's good to be back in Canada. The hostel is filling up now.someone just took the bunk on top of me.It's nice being around people.Unlike "Cosmic Bob".He's a loner to put it mildly. Actually he has a very dark side.He's a very disturbed individual .He's a survivalist ,which in itself isn't all that bad but when you factor in the 40 years of drug use and abuse with the arsenal he's sitting on and it's a time bomb waiting to explode.He's sitting up there on his mountain with dozens of guns,boxes of ammo and a warped sense of what should be.He's convinced the world is going to come to a very violent end any day now.It's sad to see my old friend in this state.He was always kind of out there but in a good way.He's a creative talented guy .Very sensitive. his politics aren't that of a reactionary but he's convinced himself that the shit is going to hit the fan and he's gonna have to fight the bands of surviving assholes off to protect his little piece of ground so he can get an extra 3 months after the apocalypse. I worry for him.I tried to talk some sense into him but he's not interested in hearing anything but gloom & doom.This is why he's in Montana,you can have all the guns and ammo you want there no one gives a shit about what you do as long as it doesn't spill over on to they're property.The mans mind is fried from living in a psychedelic waste land for 40 years.Maybe I just found the subject for a book! I really do want to learn how to write and then write a book.One sort of based on me but not really.So,I could use my experiences intertwined with his crazy life and come up with a totally off the wall character. A left wing survivalist! A guy willing to go the distance to do battle with the Sarah Palins of the world high on acid shooting from the hip and serious about his twisted mission.That's Bob in a nut shell,a left wing survivalist ,a former follower of Bog Whan.There it is right there,he was so impressionable that his beautiful creative ,very sensitive mind has been poisoned.He backed himself into this bizarre fantasy about the end of the world and now he believes it. It makes me very sad.This is the young man I met walking up the road where my camp is in the Adirondacks all covered in snow 30 some years ago.A young man filled with ideas and creativity.The guy I cut logs with to build a cabin and who taught me how to use a chain saw and hunt grouse .What a shame! No doubt,we'll hear about him on the 6 o'clock news someday but there is nothing anyone can do about it. Yes, "Cosmic Bob" will be the main guy in my book for sure! That's assuming he's wrong in his assessment of reality. I dread to think about "what if he's right" The Rockies are a memory now as I roll across the beautiful mountains of British Columbia towards Vancouver.My time in the Rockies was high quality time for sure and time I will remember always .Yesterday on the road when I stopped for lunch I met this guy.I pulled into this cafe and as I was getting off my bike this other bike pulled up. The guy was a local and started up a conversation with me outside.We talked about bikes and art and the beauty in nature when his friend,a truck driver pulled up. he introduced us and the three of us went into the cafe sat down and had a two hour lunch! These guys were really nice men.They showed me on the map all these cool places to go and we talked of all the places we all have traveled to over the years. They were both the same age as I am and we all had been to many of the same places.It was an incredible lunch as we talked of Nova Scotia,the Yukon,Newfoundland,and other places we'd all been.When it was time to go we pulled out the map again and they made sure I got it right and then refused to let me pay for my lunch! No,you are out guest they said and there was no arguing about it.That is how my weekend started and it has been good ever since. I rode all afternoon after lunch following the route they suggested and the road was incredible.It took me thru these beautiful mountains with all these lakes on this two lane secondary road.I only went thru one semi large town where I gassed up and bought food then found myself going down into this steep gorge .At the bottom was a dam and a hydro electric generating station with a small town and just out of town was this free campsite operated by the power company where I am right now.This place is great! An ice cold crystal clear stream where I bathed upon my arrival and a lake about 10 miles long behind the dam where I went swimming today.Lots of very friendly people in this place too.I was going to head out this morning but this man on a bicycle came along and talked me out of it.He told me all about the area and the gold mining history .How the little towns got their names like 100 mile house.That's the name of the large town where I bought my gas and food.It was a stage coach stop,just a house at the 100 mile mark from vancouver or someplace on the trail to the Klondike up in the yukon way back when or something.My stay here has been very enjoyable and restful .I'm ready to ride again tomorrow and go to Vancouver . There are giant forest fires burning here.The air is heavy with smoke.I have been in this smoke since way back in the upper Rockies.Time to move on now and breath the salt air of the coast. Got an email from my friend Greg who lives in the Vancouver area today when I got on line at the local bakery.He's on his way back west from touring eastern Canada and the US.We both were at Mid Ohio at the beginning of my trip and talked about hooking up out here for some riding.He wants me to hang around until he gets back August 15 so I guess I'm in Canada for awhile! Actually this is a good thing 'cause I can do a major service on my bike at his house.Greg and I both do motorcycle restoration and do stuff for each other long distance so it will be good to actually get to work with the man in the flesh.When I first met him 15 years ago it was on the telephone.He got my name from someone I painted a bike for and was seeking advice about how to reproduce the paint work on a 1965 Yamaha YDS3 so I talked him thru the job.Told him what materials to use and just how to use them and we became very good friends.It turned out that he is one of the most talented and skilled metal workers I've ever known.I sent him parts that are no longer available and he reproduced them! Made jigs so he could duplicate them at will too! Greg is a good friend and I will definitely wait around to spend some time with him even if it means not going somewhere else I had planned later on if I can. It's getting dark now as I sit here at the table in my campsite.Guess it's time to shut this thing down and chill for a while before climbing into my sleeping bag for the night.
So,now I'm in Vancouver. I am having a wonderful time and tomorrow I am heading out on my way down the west coast.Decided I can't wait for Greg to get back.Two weeks is just too long to stay here spending money.I need to keep forward motion.So tomorrow I take the ferry to Vancouver Island from Horseshoe Bay and head south to the ferry to Port Angles WA,USA !

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