Virginia to Alaska and back on an '86 Yamaha Radian

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ruffntuff, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. banshee

    banshee hi

    Joined:
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    Virginia
    fantastic journey and report. thank you for taking the time to write it.
  2. slaterock

    slaterock Adventurer

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    Houston, TX
    Very Nice! thanks for confirming that I need to get to Alaska one day also! That encounter with the Bear, wow!!

    slaterock
  3. EffinNewGuy

    EffinNewGuy Adventurer

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    This RR is too good to not be at the top.
  4. locorider

    locorider Loco, pero no estúpido!

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    Subscribed! Still in the Icefields, but will catch up tomorrow. Wonderful narration and great pictures. Sorry to hear about your brother, but I know he enjoyed the ride with you while in heaven!

    This is about the same trip I had planned for 2010, but things didnt worked out as planned. Hope to make it in a couple of years.

    Keep riding and ride safe!:clap
  5. r60man

    r60man Been here awhile

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    Wow, read the whole thing. Fantastic.
  6. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    You can get these cheap at hardware stores and they are completely waterproof if a little clumsy.
  7. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
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    Location:
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Granville Island to Vancouver Island
    June 23, 2012

    After a fun night of drinking at the Black Bear Pub in Lynn Valley with friends of Jules and Jean, it was nice to sleep in. I had the whole weekend with no plan and the sun was shining outside.

    Of course my first thought was to get on the bike and ride as far up the Sea to Sky Highway as possible and campout for the night. I loved that road so much and wanted to do it again. However, it was already somewhat late in the day and felt like just taking it easy in the city to explore.

    I loved the native art of the Pacific Northwest and I was told Granville Island was a good place to check out art galleries. I knew it would probably be a tourist trap, but there was a brewery, so it couldn’t be that bad.

    I headed down there with Mike, a friend of Jules, that offered me a ride to be my tour guide for the day. We drove under the Granville Street Bridge for some time before finally finding a parking space. I was already starting to wish I was on the Radian.

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    The International Jazz Festival was going on in Vancouver that weekend and a stage was set up on the marina of Granville Island. It was a beautiful weekend with clear skies and free music equaling more people than I typically could handle at once; but at least there was music which for some reason always makes crowds more tolerable for me.

    We wandered the bustling marina and public market packed full of goods and gifts with lines at every cash register. I enjoyed some fish and chips there that were fresh and delicious.

    We managed to find a few secluded art galleries that were quiet and less busy to escape the crowd. We saw some beautiful wood carvings, elaborate masks, and colorful prints of Haida designs.

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    I love the black and red prints of the Thunderbird, the powerful and wrathful horned bird of power serving the Great Spirit. It is said the flapping of its wings pull clouds together creating thunder and the blinking of its eyes flash lightning while snakes below its wings shoot lightning bolts. The imagery of this refined swift bird symbolizing potent fierceness capable of stirring up a storm reminded me of my ride with Billy. It shows the grace behind a destructive squall and beauty beyond its malice with a magnificent intangible force.

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    I wasn’t planning on buying anything, everything was so expensive. I did however see a “Life is Good” shirt with a moose on a motorcycle that said “Born Free.” I had to get it.

    After about two hours at Tourist Island, I was ready for a brew. We headed back towards the car and stopped in Granville Island Brewery to share a sampler of several beers. I thought they were pretty good, but I don’t recall a favorite.

    Mike dropped me back off at home around 4:00. My first thought was, I have to get on the bike. My second thought was, I want to see Vancouver Island.
    I got on the internet and looked up ferry information. Tickets were on sale from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo at $20 one way for a motorbike. The next ferry left at 7:00pm. Perfect.

    I packed quickly and searched on my Droid for hostels. Sure enough, Nicol Street Hostel showed up in downtown Nanaimo. I called to be sure they had space and inform them I was on my way. The lady on the phone sounded kind and said the office would be closed by the time I got there but she had a private room available for $20. Someone staying there could let me in and I could pay her the next day.

    It was a last minute decision but the spontaneity got me excited.

    I walked out to get on my bike ready to go but the sun was gone and clouds had rolled in. It was starting to rain.

    I rode up to Horseshoe Bay to the ferry terminal with still 45 minutes to kill before departure. It was pouring at this point so they let me pull ahead under the ferry port so I wouldn’t have to wait in the rain.

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    As I was trying not to get discouraged that it may rain the rest of the weekend, a gentleman waiting several cars away approached me.

    “I was looking at your license plate from back there, Virginia eh?”

    His name was Bill and he was on his way home to Nanaimo after working a Trigger Point Therapy workshop. We chatted until it was time to load onto the ferry and I felt I was going to have a good friend and company for the duration of the ferry ride.

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    I was still tying the bike down to the car deck when he found me. “I don’t think you need to do that,” he said. I assumed since I did it on the last ferry, it was better safe than sorry.

    In a kind and unimposing manner, Bill offered to buy me a coffee. He was one of those people I felt instantly comfortable with and connected to. I felt I could tell him anything, like a therapist, which is exactly what he is. My interaction with him was one of those that I felt was meant to be, even if only for an hour and a half.

    I had never heard of Trigger Point Therapy, but I found it fascinating. He offered to demonstrate an example after I told him my issues with carpel tunnel and how my hands tend to go numb when I ride. He pressed deeply onto a point of my forearm that initially felt very painful, but after several seconds of holding pressure, it went away. I didn’t feel anything directly in my hand then, but when I rode the rest of the weekend, my hand never went numb.

    Trigger points are basically nodules within taut bands of skeletal muscle that can cause all sorts of ailments. Carpel tunnel, migraines, fatigue, dizziness, IBS, chronic cough, chronic pain, and heartburn are just a few common results of these nodules.
    (For more information go to http://www.triggerpoint.ca/)

    We spent the remainder of the ferry talking about everything; trigger points, Bill’s background, my background, my trip, my work at Vancouver Aquarium, and Dan. It was nice to have someone to talk to and to listen. I realized I hadn’t talked that much in depth to anyone in a very long time. Bill was a comforting and healing person to relate to. I’m so thankful to have met him.

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    When we ported in Nanaimo, Bill invited me to come have dinner and drinks with him and his wife tomorrow after exploring the island before departing for Vancouver. I thanked him for his invitation and hoped to make it back in time.

    The rain had stopped, and the sky was pink. It was about a ten minute ride from the ferry terminal to the hostel. The neon pink sign with the camel caught my eye as I drove past and parked behind the house next to some beautiful gardens. It is a cute little white house with blue trim perched on a hill overlooking the Georgia Straight. The sun was setting over the island casting its glow upon the water.

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    I settled into my room in the basement of the house then made myself dinner in the kitchen upstairs. There were several other people there but no one I interacted with. I grabbed some maps and brochures of the island and headed back to my room to formulate a plan for tomorrow. It looked like the weather was going to stay clear. I had a hard time sleeping I was so excited to ride across Vancouver Island.
    ONandOFF likes this.
  8. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    You are!!!:clap:clap
  9. ruffntuff

    ruffntuff TUFRDR

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    I know, I know, I FINALLY posted another report.

    Sorry this is taking me so long. Thanks to everyone following along and for your patience. These last couple posts were especially difficult because I stopped journaling while in Vancouver so I am having to write completely off memory...which isn't so sharp at times. Plus I'm having to do a good bit of research to make sure information is correct.

    I spent over 24 hours writing each of the last two posts, so it takes a while to get them done in between work and the nice weather lately that has been sticking my heels to my bike instead of in front of my laptop. :)

    Please stay tuned and I'm loving everyone's support. I apologize if I haven't responded to anyone's questions or comments in the meantime. I greatly appreciate all of them and hope to get to them soon.

    Thanks again!!

    anna
    ONandOFF likes this.
  10. dirtdreamer50

    dirtdreamer50 long time rider

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
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    texas coast
    Thank you for another insightful, beautiful day in the life of ruffntuff. I've enjoyed every post you've made. I realize this is a ride report, but I, as well as every follower here, am wondering how and what you are currently up to now that you've been home all these months.

    Hope your days continue to be as interesting as your reports... tomp dd50

    You posted while I was writing, so one of my questions was answered. Glad you are enjoying riding and we all understand the need to ride over write.
  11. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

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    No apologies necessary, Anna. Always worth the wait.
  12. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile

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    Pacific NW
    Love reading your reports. The way you describe your life and travels puts me right there with you. Thank you again.
  13. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Fly over zone
    +1. We are patient, and here for the entire trip.. Thanks for staying with it.. :clap
  14. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    No worries, Anna, your wonderful writing is worth the wait. In the meantime, enjoy life!! :clap:clap
  15. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    Tampa Fl
    Great stuff, but sorry to say, I wish you had a better camera. Not that the pics are bad or the clarity is bad, but I would have liked to see bigger pictures. I like to see all the small details in photos.

    Great RR!
  16. dirtdreamer50

    dirtdreamer50 long time rider

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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.
  17. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    Denver, CO
    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!
  18. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    Thanks, will try that.
  19. ClarkA

    ClarkA Power sleeper and eater

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    The People's Republic of Connecticut
    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!:D:D
  20. rico2072

    rico2072 Been here awhile

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    That sounds awesome.