RTW the Jamie Z Way: Winter Hiatus in Phoenix

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid Supporter

    Mar 18, 2008
    RGV Texas
    You have a knack, Jamie Z. You pack a lot into few words and choose your pics well.

    Are you using a P&S camera on a lanyard for your on-the-go pictures?
    Centerlane and EZ-D like this.
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    September 10, 2021

    Hey, I've been here before!



    I stayed in my room until check-out time. I’d made arrangements with GISdood in Prince George to stay for the night and change my oil at his place. Today would be mostly a mileage day.

    But I had to pull over for this.


    I was going to say it was crude and simple... but I think that's the point.

    I had to wait at a construction zone.


    It turned out to be probably the worst section of road I’ve been on in a very long time. When they let us through, we followed a pilot car. The construction area was filled with dust. The cars in front of me kicked up dust, and a few times we passed trucks going in the opposite direction kicking up completely opaque clouds. I had to pull over and stop several times.

    After that, I looked for a place to pull over.


    I stopped at a campground for lunch, overlooking a lake.


    A few more miles, a scenic overlook.



    I got to Kelly’s place just before sunset and he offered a beer and some dinner. His parents are staying with him temporarily and we stayed up past 11pm with his stepdad talking about bikes and Canadian measurements.

  3. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Feb 11, 2007
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    It's Fred Flintstones CaveMobile !!!

    Fred Flintstone_Cavemobile.png

    Freds CaveMobile.jpg
  4. amol

    amol Been here awhile

    Aug 4, 2009
    San Francisco
    on my trip to Alaska ~10 years ago all the other traffic was ok with motorcycles going to the head of the wait line in construction stops. Helped reduce the amount of dirt we had to inhale :)

    Hopefully that's still true and worth trying ?
    sieg, knight, Krabill and 3 others like this.
  5. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Oct 6, 2003
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    Thinking the same thing. Motorcycles were usually always brought up to the front of the line....
    sieg and Dirt2007 like this.
  6. Anwar Namtut

    Anwar Namtut Been here awhile

    Jun 13, 2008
    Boise, ID
    That Flinstone car is awesome.
    Golden955 and Hill Climber like this.
  7. fasttortoise

    fasttortoise Smartest Idiot Here

    Jul 15, 2013
    Hey thanks for the mini shoutout! Bummer you couldn’t get into Hyder... “The Bus” (seafood restaurant) was a highlight for me. I’ll never forget those halibut cheeks.

    Enjoying catching up on your trip. Can definitely appreciate your thoughts on a riding partner. I get those “what the f am I doing out here by myself” feelings too. Carry on!
  8. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    September 11, 2021

    Short day in the rain.



    I slept in Kelly’s almost-finished basement apartment. He had to be up early for work, so when I got up, he was gone and I ate breakfast with his parents. After that, a much-needed oil change.


    Kelly’s stepdad John and I talked in the garage about politics, the two-party system in the US vs the Parliamentary system here in Canada. They're having a national election here in a few days.

    After I finished up the bike work, I loaded my gear and said goodbye. On my way out of town I stopped at Kelly’s job as a riding instructor.


    He called for a break and came over to chat with me for a few minutes.

    My plan for the day was to make it to Jasper. The group thought I’d have no problem making it that far, and Kelly’s colleague Jeremy thought it would be likely that I might see a grizzly bear along the route.

    But… they don’t know me very well.

    I stopped for fuel when I saw the last sign saying it was 180km before the next available fuel. Here I discovered that one of my tank bag straps had come loose. It’s held on by zipties, so I guess the zipties finally broke.


    It’s a very pretty route and I found myself repeatedly stopping for photos.


    I pulled into this park. There’s not much here but a trailhead, and though it would be enjoyable to stop to check it out, I didn’t figure I had a whole lot of extra time.


    As I rode I thought about the next few days. I wanted to make it to Jasper tonight, a big ask. The weather forecast was not looking great overnight. And already it was raining on me. I also wanted to stop in the town of Kelowna, which was a bit out of the way of my current direction.

    So I made an en route change of plans. I would head first to Kelowna, and then go through Banff and Jasper afterward, assuming the weather holds out.

    I stopped in the town of McBride along the highway, and went to the shabbiest looking hotel. A room is CAD$90 for a night, which is more than I’d like to pay, but probably the best deal in town.


    I parked my bike on the sidewalk under

    When the guy showed me to my room, I pointed at the radiator inside. “How do I turn that on?” I was wet and cold and wanted to warm up.

    He says, “Oh, that doesn’t work.” What is it with Canadian hotels and not having heat? I feel like I’m back in Mexico.

    The manager got me a space heater to put in my room.

    He recommended a restaurant down the road called the Pub. It’s actually called the Gigglin’ Grizzly, but who’s going to say that aloud?

    I think half the reason he recommended that place is because nowhere else is open. I walked through town and though it was early Saturday evening, nothing was open.


    At the Pub I ate a burger for dinner. There was one other guy sitting at the bar and he struck up a conversation.

    After dinner when I went outside to walk back to my room, a steady rain was falling.


    This was another reminder that I have to replace my jacket. The jacket I have now is high quality, but it is very airy and absorbent. I need to find a good water-repelling down jacket with a hood which packs up tiny.

    The McBride hotel has a lounge downstairs, and this being Saturday night, I went down to have a drink and see what kind of nightlife I could find.

    Well.. two drunk guys at the bar.


    A little later, a group of four already-pretty-drunk construction workers came in. The lead guy bought a round of drinks for the whole bar.

    The bartender made me what she called a strawberry whiskey penetrator (or dominator or castrator or something).


    It wasn’t very good, and according to my taste buds, was not very strong. She said the snowmobilers who come through here really like them.

    After a couple hours in the bar, soaking up the atmosphere, I went back up to my room to watch some YouTube videos, and scroll around on ADVrider.
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  9. gpfan

    gpfan a mari usque ad mare

    Jan 4, 2008
    Careful. Worse than roaches, that's when the house hippos are at their worst.
    Pete_Tallahassee likes this.
  10. jaratr

    jaratr Without a ride

    Jul 6, 2007
    Fort Smith, AR
    liv2day and rider1150gsadv like this.
  11. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy Supporter

    Sep 12, 2006
    Tallahassee. FL. USA
  12. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

    Aug 21, 2016
    CANADA-100 ft N of International Falls, MN
    I’m confused here Jamie.??
    Kelowna is way south almost on the US border.
    You will do several 100 extra miles to go south to Kelowna then back North to Jasper which you are close to (at time of report)
    Unless those are all roads you just want to ride.

    Anyway—I am enjoying the trip whatever route you follow.
    Thanks for such a great (almost in real time) trip report.
    Look forward to your next instalment
  13. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Aug 30, 2019
    BKI Sabah
    This is my favourite thread here.

    One question, what camera does Jamie use for his travels? I don't think he lugs around a DSLR or large camera.

    EZ-D likes this.
  14. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    It didn't come up in my research.

    Ha! That's pretty awesome.

    Been seeing a lot of old cars, though mostly American made. Sometimes it's like being back in Cuba.

    Most of my media came from Goodwill. For the year prior to departure, I made frequent stops at the local thrift shops and went through their CD/DVD collection. Just a couple minutes to rip the media and save it to my tablet.

    I'm not sure if you've been reading my report, but I'm not much of a partier.

    The trail past the main hot spring pool was blocked off... I don't know why.

    And I pay zero attention to the price of fuel. It's an inelastic commodity. I need it. Doesn't matter what I have to pay for it. And the Honda is quite fuel efficient, so saving a few cents per gallon/litre really doesn't mean anything.

    It's been so long since I had my V-Strom, and these two were two-generations separated from my 2005, but I did remember the engine sound. I didn't remember it being so smooth.
    I don't think you can go wrong with either, or with any number of good bikes out there. The Strom was going to be the bike I used on this trip, and I'm sure I would have been just as happy with it.

    It's still one of my favorite things to do, and it did keep me there.

    Very well-stated post.

    Your comment about sharing a special moment with someone is what most often pops into my head. Some of the great sights I've seen, the beautiful rivers, lakes, and oceans. The clear night skies. Those are the moments when I am sitting by myself thinking how wonderful it would be to have my arm around someone. And I've had quite a few people (men and women) who have made comments like, "I'd love to join you." "Can I come with you?" And I usually say, "Yes, come on!" And yet nobody has. I have moments of frustration thinking to myself that "there must be someone out there somewhere who'd rather be doing this with me rather than going into work every morning."

    But what would I do if someone took me up on the offer?

    I've traveled with friends and girlfriends in the past, and I've always had a good time, but those moments you brought up would most certainly not have happened as they did. That's true. But no doubt I would have had other memorable experiences.
    Another reason I sometimes would like to have someone to travel with is exactly those differences. To have a different perspective. I consider myself pretty good at problem solving, but sometimes I figure something out, and then someone else will come along and say, "I think this other way would work better." And they're right. Like when Fin fixed up my topcase rack. I had spent quite a bit of time coming up with a good design in my head. Fin took a look and came up with a completely different solution which I thought was much better than the idea I had.

    James told me that Vickie often gets him to do things he wouldn't otherwise do if he were by himself, and pointed out that almost always, he enjoys the new experience.

    But I have to admit that quite often I've very glad that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't have to explain or compromise. I stop frequently for photos. I often make unexpected U-turns, or follow random tracks into the woods.
    Not sure of my plans for the next few weeks, but I'll mark you down on my map.


    It's this one, size large. I do like it a lot, though I had to have one of the straps restitched in Mexico. Also it was very pretty when I got it, so I had to mess it up a bit. The cover just barely fits over my huge top case.

    That's the bridge. At some point they closed it. It's now blocked with concrete barriers that I couldn't get around even on a motorcycle.

    Yeah, I had the same thought about Carmen, but she seemed to be in a rush. She told me she used to live in Dawson Creek, but moved away some years ago, and returned to visit friends for the weekend.
    In my world, unicorn is a fairly universally known term. I'm surprised your unicorn wife had never heard it.
    With rare exception, all my photos are taken with a Samsung Galaxy S10. I almost never take on-the-go photos. All those road shots are stopped along the shoulder, waiting for cars to clear.

    I had the Bus marked, probably from your report.
    Hmm.. hard to commit on sizing. I'd sure like an opportunity to try it on. It does look like it might not pack up very small.

    I'm confused, too.

    Just trying to make the best choice based on weather and schedules.

    As above, Samsung Galaxy S10. I do have a Moment 58mm lens attachment which I use occasionally.
    ilten, Baroquenride, liv2day and 7 others like this.
  15. MrBob

    MrBob Long timer

    Oct 27, 2005

    "It was a great place to party on a Friday night."
    I'm not sure if you've been reading my report, but I'm not much of a partier.

    No, I wouldn't take you for a partier. I'm not now, but I for sure when I was 21 years old and marooned in Kootenay Bay with a broken down 52 Pontiac. :photog
    liv2day likes this.
  16. codebot

    codebot Neophyte RTA (Round The Americas).

    Apr 16, 2013
    SLC, UT
    I just about had to clean scotch off my computer screen with this statement. Alway happy to see an update from you!
    Jamie Z, liv2day and jaratr like this.
  17. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

    Dec 27, 2012
    Lafayette, LA
    Jamie Z likes this.
  18. 9w6vx

    9w6vx Pergo et Perago

    Aug 30, 2019
    BKI Sabah
  19. PukaWai

    PukaWai Long timer

    Nov 21, 2007
    Big Bear City, Ca.
    Thank for all the effort you put into this RR. Been following since since I got de-railed onto this from Finn's excellent Cuba report. Anyways, I can't believe there's more than one flintstones car on this planet! I'll go back to lurking now:D

  20. picknpluck

    picknpluck Been here awhile Supporter

    Sep 14, 2020
    East Bay
    You've been to Rota!