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Old 04-19-2013, 08:14 AM   #496
dirtdreamer50
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rico, save the pic you want to view to your desktop and open with windows photo gallery. They expand quite nicely and there's more detail available than the the posted picture appears to contain.

Anna made the trip as a spiritual endeavor, not so much a photo journalistic one. The pics just enhance her words, which really need no pics to be fully descriptive. Not a typical ride report, and I'm glad for it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #497
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Inspiring! Absolutely inspiring. Your personal description of the Thunderbird brought a moistness to my eyes thinking about your brother and the power of a motorcycle ride. I could feel some tension fall from your shoulders as you described interacting with Bill. Inspiring!

I agree with others, don't apologize. Your posts are worth the wait!
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:41 AM   #498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdreamer50 View Post
rico, save the pic you want to view to your desktop and open with windows photo gallery. They expand quite nicely and there's more detail available than the the posted picture appears to contain.

Anna made the trip as a spiritual endeavor, not so much a photo journalistic one. The pics just enhance her words, which really need no pics to be fully descriptive. Not a typical ride report, and I'm glad for it.
Thanks, will try that.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:38 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by tvbh40a View Post
Ronin moto went in May, Anna went in June, I went in July and a friend of mine went in August. We all got rained on, a lot. It is very green up north because it #@$%*$! rains a lot. You go when you can and hope for the best.
I'm heading north to Alaska the last week of May from Connecticut via Key West and fully expect to get wet and cold. If not it's icing on the cake , if I get rained that's why I bought the right gear & clothes. Having worked in AK for 5 years I can say that wet and cold is to be expected at some point while in the state, just like San Francisco!
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #500
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I'm heading north to Alaska the last week of May from Connecticut via Key West and fully expect to get wet and cold. If not it's icing on the cake , if I get rained that's why I bought the right gear & clothes. Having worked in AK for 5 years I can say that wet and cold is to be expected at some point while in the state, just like San Francisco!
That sounds awesome.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #501
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Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island
June 24, 2012

I asked Bill, “If you had one day on Vancouver Island, where would you go?”

He said Victoria was a pretty city and if I was looking to tour around a beautiful populated area I should definitely see it. But with my desire to ride twisting scenic roads, he suggested I ride to the west coast.

It was a three hour drive across the island but I had to make it back to Departure Bay by 7pm to catch my ferry to Vancouver. I hoped to get back to Nanaimo early enough to grab a drink and possibly dinner with Bill, but I knew it would be a stretch with only one day to see the island.

He told me to be sure and stop at Cathedral Grove, an old-growth Douglas fir forest in MacMillan Provincial Park. There are 800 year old trees there. With trunks 30 feet around, they tower 250 feet above the ground, arching their branches through a canopy resembling the internal crown of a holy house of worship.

Excited to ride and eager to make the most of my day, I woke early and left the hostel just after dawn. I didn’t bring much for food with the last minute planning, so I stopped at a little diner on the way out of Nanaimo on highway 19.

I headed north to Parksville before turning west onto the Alberni highway. It is a beautiful windy road cutting across the mountains and contouring the edge of Cameron Lake, perfect for any motorcyclist.

When I came to Cathedral Grove I was not impressed with the amount of traffic and cars piling up on the sides of the road. It was yet another natural gem built into a tourist attraction to withstand large amounts of people.

I walked the cut trail bordered by a fence to keep foot traffic obedient to the path provided. The trees were impressive and magnificent giants. But I couldn’t help but feel there was something missing, like something had been taken from this special place.









I felt the spirit had left these trees, their purity tainted. They looked out of their element, no longer native to their own home. Similar to a wild animal fenced in an enclosure, they were protected yet trapped, for all to see.

I asked myself, “What else could be done to protect this unique environment from the swarms of people flocking to natural paradise for all the same reasons?” We all want to see something amazing. “How else could these trees be saved from constant visitors?”

The reality is, everyone deserves to experience and see the phenomenal natural wonders existing in this world. All we can do is protect what we have left. Unfortunately, protecting such an environment from chains of RV’s, cars, and people, means laying down asphalt, putting up fences and signs, and digging toilets into the ground.

I walked the short path leading around the giants and waited my turn to capture my own photos, the same pictures everyone else visiting would bring home. After appreciating the spectacular forest, I quickly hopped back on the Radian to pursue the coast in solitude.





I rode through Alberni before highway 4 turned into the Pacific Rim Highway. It was serene following along Sproat Lake and Taylor Arm Provincial Park. It was green and lush as a rainforest covered in moss delicately suspended in the canopy of hemlock, spruce, and cedar trees.

The road continued winding around the edge of the mountains before cutting beside Kennedy Lake. I followed the edge of the crystal water riding along the seat of the mountain before the road came to an end.

There was The Pacific Rim Visitor’s Center there, and I stopped for a map to make my plan.

I could turn right and head to Long Beach and Tofino. Or I could turn left and head to Ucluelet.

I asked the girls in the Center if they had one day on the island where would they go. One girl told me to check out Long Beach. It’s a massive sand dune large enough to avoid crowds of people and a beautiful piece of the coastline where many go to surf. She warned me however, to be sure to get a park pass from any kiosk in the parking lot since I was entering the Pacific Rim National Park. Otherwise, I’d be sure to get a ticket.

The other girl suggested if I wanted to hike, to go to Ucluelet. She highlighted a couple trails on my map along the coast she remarked were gorgeous.

They both agreed Tofino was a fun town to visit, but with only one afternoon, it may be too far to really enjoy it.

It was close to noon and I had just a few hours to enjoy the coast before heading back to Nanaimo. I was ready to just sit somewhere alone and have a picnic. So, I turned right and headed towards Long Beach. But before too long, I saw a sign for Wickaninnish Beach, so I sporadically turned left and decided to check it out.

I parked in a sandy edged lot surrounded in jungle like trees hearing the crash of the coast close by. I could feel and taste the salt in the air. I found the park permit kiosk and used my credit card for a daily pass. It was $8, a little steep I thought, but then again it is a National Park, which I’m happy to give back to.

I taped the permit to the inside of my windshield tucking it as low as possible, hoping no one would take it for themselves.

After strapping all my gear down to the bike, I walked along the white sand path towards the sound of the ocean. As the trail led me out of the trees, I summited a hill with a view of the horizon touching the sapphire water as far as I could see. There were piles of driftwood logs stripped smooth of their bark and bleached white from the sun.







I climbed and scrambled across the stacks of sea trees until I found my spot hidden away from others. Nestled against the back of a trunk, I ate my lunch, baking in the sunshine, gazing to the Pacific.



I wandered down the beach admiring the colorful smooth pebbles mixed in the pure white sand. I collected several as I explored around a rocky teal lagoon on the other side of Wickaninnish Interpretive Center. There were purple mussel shells everywhere, reminding me of the beach in Juneau Billy and I stumbled across.















As I took my time making my way back, I stopped in the Center perched on top of the rocks. I admired several exhibits on the history and native culture of the Nuu-chah-nuth tribe and Ditidaht First Nation people. There were beautiful artifacts including a hand-carved canoe, tools, and intricate arts and crafts.



By the time I got back to the Radian, I had just a little over an hour to finish enjoying the coast before heading east.

It was another 15 minutes north to Long Beach, and 30 minutes to Tofino. Ucluelet was 15 minutes south and closer to my way back.

I decided to head south and jump on the Wild Pacific Trail for a short hike around the coast of Ucluelet.

I followed the gravel path through a beautiful green landscape that contoured the edge of Barclay Sound all the way to a light house on the edge on a cliff overlooking the water. Although I didn’t have time to hang around, the view of the coast was gorgeous. I hiked the two mile loop back to the Radian at a quick pace, but I still enjoyed every moment of it.















After fueling up, I headed back to Nanaimo without stopping, giving me just enough time to catch a quick drink with Bill and his wife. I purchased my boarding ticket and met them at the bar next to the ferry terminal to say goodbye. I’m glad I got to see them.

It was a great adventure visiting Vancouver Island, and a beautiful trip back to Horseshoe Bay.











I have just one more week at the Aquarium now, and then I’m on the road again, destined for San Francisco.

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Old 04-28-2013, 12:23 PM   #502
tvbh40a
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I like it!

BEAUTIFUL. I rode the same ferry on my way home last July..great memories. It was damp when I was there, like your pics, more blue sky.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:37 AM   #503
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I had the same reaction at the Redwoods in California as you had in the big trees there. When they pave around them to make it easy for people to walk among them (and protect them somewhat), they take away something of the tree and our experience of the tree is diminished.
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:27 AM   #504
elkgrichard
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I've been to the Redwoods and it didn't bother me about the paving around the trees. Trees are not like people and don't know what the heck is going on around them, they just continue to grow and prosper once protected like that. People try to humanize everything, nature is just not that way. Nature always adapt to conditions despite the human brutality.
Some of these protection laws in my opinion go too far. I've noticed areas that have been closed off to the public so that only special groups can go in and enjoy such as the Sierra club. We now have vast tracks of land closed to public access and or development. All or nothing type thing for the conservationist movement. I'd rather see a balance with some better access to these areas and some sensible use like single track motorcycle trails. Development is not always a bad thing if implemented in the proper way.

I'm not saying we need a bowling alley in the middle of Yosemite but a few single track motorcycle trails would be nice. Or some land for sale so that people could have a house with one hell of a view.

elkgrichard screwed with this post 04-29-2013 at 08:43 AM
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Old 04-29-2013, 08:31 AM   #505
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Anna:

You made the right choice. I like Ucluelet much better than Tofino and we also walked the Wild Pacific Trail, but during a wet and stormy November a few years ago. The water was really angry at the time, making for huge waves and tidal surges. We didn't even go to Tofino on our last visit


Too bad you didn't visit Vancouver Island the next week when you left for SFO. You could have taken a couple of more days and then take the Ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles instead and go around the Olympic Peninsula on your way south. One of the best beaches is Rialto Beach just west of Forks. You would have liked it as it is the last virgin beach/rain forest in North America.

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:03 PM   #506
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Anna...Thanks for sharing your heart and passion with us. It has been a joy to read your RR.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:58 AM   #507
Dirtbike
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This was a great way to start my morning.... Now I will be day dreaming for a whole week... Great RR
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:30 AM   #508
Beezer Josh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffntuff View Post
Walking along the river I scouted for peregrine falcons that nested there until I came to the remains of an old ship wreck. It was not only impressive seeing the size of the destruction but also how much of it was still intact. Amongst the piles of scattered lumber and debris with vines growing around it, I could see the bow of the ship and the watch deck with an old coal exhaust pipe towering above. I wonder what year it was from.





Great ride report!! I just caught up today and am looking forward to more. I love your introspection. In case you wanted to know more about this wreck (the Seattle No. 3), it was built in 1898 and was abandoned sometime in the 1930s. If you would like to know more, click here.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:35 PM   #509
rico2072
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Thanks for the next installment!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:47 PM   #510
locorider
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Back in 2010 I was considering riding up to Ak and the budget was at $100/day. Now I think it might go up to $150-$200 a day....just for budgeting purpose.

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If the op doesn't mind, I might be able to help with some figures. My wife and
I rolled up the Alcan to home in Fairbanks within a couple days of ruffntuff
(sorry we didn't cross paths.) Our trip avg gas cost/gal was $4.70 (USD) for 91+
octane, regular would be less of course, with 3600 miles in US and 2000 miles
in Canada. Some stations along the Alcan don't have 91, only 87. Typical gas
prices in Canada ranged from $4.80/gal USD in Calgary to a high of $6.00/gal USD at
Pink Mountain BC and Muncho Lake BC. Gas is less in the towns than at the
highway lodges, no surprise there. Our avg food/day was about $30 for two
of us with grocery store for breakfast and lunch and restaurant for dinner.
That is low but our travels had several days staying with friends and
family. We don't tent and avg motel was $95. Best info source for the Alcan
is the Milepost book. And as ruffntuff found, ADV'ers in Ak will help out, just give
us a shout on ADV Alaska regional or send me a PM.
Most of us have been there...
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