Day 1, Wednesday July 31st Two of my best friends moved from Montreal to Whitehorse a couple of years ago, and ever since then I've wanted to head up there and visit them. After a few months of going back and forth about it, I finally took the plunge and left this morning. Secondary objectives for this trip were to help treat my anxiety / depression and to cover more states that I hadn't been to yet. My goal was to visit all 50 before I turned 40, but I think I'm going to fall just short of that mark. I left downtown Montreal around 9am this morning, the V7's saddlebags filled with, rain gear and tools (flat repair kit, battery booster, cordless pump) and the dry-bag atop containing 7 days worth of clothes, my SLR (by far the heaviest piece of gear on the bike, amazingly), my laptop, and camping gear. The handlebars held my phone and USB ports. Against traffic but in tune with our perpetual road construction, I rode through Quebec's Laurentian mountains, past the iconic hangouts of my youth: St-Sauveur's water park where I'd spend summers as a teen, Mont Tremblant where I discovered how terrible I was at snowboarding, St-Adolphe-de-Howard, where I'd rent a cabin and a PWC and go zooming around the lake. The last long epic trip I'd done was 7 years ago, on a Victory Kingpin, from Saskatchewan across the midwest, Mexico, Gulf Coast, and then back up the Atlantic coast. By most metrics, that sort of bike is much more appropriate for this kind of trip... but the bike I have now is the V7, so it'll have to do. Today I learned the great and not-so-great things about using a V7 for such a trip: The gas tank, mileage and range are fantastic. The seat takes some getting used to, but you do get used to it. Even with the flyscreen, there is some wind. It vibrates more than other bikes. It's more than powerful enough on city streets and country roads, it'll buzz along happily all day at 75mph / 120kmh, but on the parts when I'm on the superslab, it's lacking a bit in power. Overtaking across a dotted yellow is a hairy proposition. I arrived at my first stop, Val-d'Or, after about 550km and 6 hours including stops. The bike averaged 4.7L/100km or about 50mpg, which is great considering I wasn't very easy on the throttle. I was couchsurfing tonight, and after meeting my host, Thomas, we went out to the local microbrewery (Le Prospector), where I introduced him to the concept of a flight of beer, which he had never heard of before. After some interesting discussion on Quebec independence and language laws, we called it a night and I prepared my bags for the next day's ride to Kapuskasing.