Motorcycle Hammock-Camping

The Best Midlife Crisis We Could Think Of

Caution Elk and Truck Tires

What a great night! 

NMBL and I both slept very well at Waitabit Creek campground. It’s a wonderful site. We feel guilty mentioning it because more people may want to go. Still, it’s worthy of mention. We woke up to a beautiful sunrise in the mountains with the creek talking to us as coffee was made, breakfast served, and cleanup done. The water of the creek is a vibrant turquoise blue which just glows in the morning sun. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the day.

We were on the road fairly quickly but unhurriedly. Our end goal for the day was Calgary, an easy ride with some time to make stops along the way. Beyond gas and food, we had few other goals. 

The Trans Canada Highway through the Rockies offers some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. There was quite a bit of construction along the way but that just gave us a better opportunity to view the grand vistas on offer. We rode past sheer rock cliffs, densely forested mountainsides, deep blue lakes, and meandering valley bottom rivers. All the while we traveled windy mountain highway. It was a motorcyclists dream. The great thing is that there’s more to come on the way home. 

We rode through both Yoho and Banff National Parks. It was NMBL’s first time through by road. She was absolutely awed by the scenery. I hadn’t been through in years and I was awed as well. We had to stop in Lake Louise going through Banff. It’s such a touristy thing to do but the lake and surrounding mountains really are spectacular. If you’ve never seen Lake Louise go Google a picture now and take a look. We’ll wait…

Done? Good. Now picture that in your mind’s eye but incredibly better. Because the real thing is incredibly better! Again, NMBL had never been here so taking her to the lake was a special treat. She said it was like the postcards only in real HD. The pictures we took will be spectacular but picture them in your mind incredibly better. 

We saw some very odd things on our trip eastward. For one, there were all these Caution Elk on Highway signs. Neither of us saw any Caution Elk but we can only imagine that they wear hi-viz vests and carry some sort of caution sign. Possibly to help other elk cross the highway while slowing traffic to facilitate. We’ll keep you posted as we find out more.

Another odd, and scary, thing happened when we were being passed by an 18 wheeler that we had passed a bit earlier. His trailer’s rear wheels were just past parallel with me, riding point, when the rear tire blew out. A piece of the tire whipped past my left shoulder and hit NMBL in the chin and chest. “Ooh! That tire hit me!” came over the intercom into my ears. I asked her if she was alright and checked my rear mirror. She was still on the bike and moving along. Apparently it didn’t even hurt! Fortunately it was just a hunk of the tire and not the whole thing. Otherwise it would have unseated her. 

We talked about the tire incident as we rolled down the highway. That is the first time in 15 years of riding that this has ever happened to her but she had wondered what would happen if a hunk of tire flew off a truck. On a subsequent stop she found a hunk of tire on her gear. We’re keeping it. Expect a picture of that too!

That’s it for today. We’re in Calgary right now, safe and sound, staying at the Ramada downtown. No camping tonight, and that was planned, but it’s a good thing we’re not hanging. There’s severe weather rolling through he area right now. The wind has caused damage just north of here with a major storm coming up in the next few hours. Hopefully it passes by the time we have to leave tomorrow.

Happy night all!

DES out.

On the Road Again

Willie Nelson has been going through my head the last few days. Darned ear worms. We’re sitting at our campsite near Donald B.C. relaxing for a bit. Saturday we set out on our three week tour through the Canadian Rockies and into the Prairies. The weekend was spent with family in the North Okanagan which always involves good company and good food. We’ll be back to visit them again towards the end of the trip.

Today took us along Hwy 97 north through Enderby and past Mara Lake. The ride was beautiful; I regret not putting the camera on my helmet for that stretch. We rolled on to the interchange with the Trans Canada, making our way east to Revelstoke. We were told about a great little coffee shop there called The Modern Café so, like the good west coast coffee snobs that we are, we made our way there. The Modern did not disappoint. They serve one of the best Americanos either of us has had! 

From Revelstoke we headed east. Our goal was to get to a place called Donald. NMBL had done some research and found a free B.C. Forrest Service campground called Waitabit Creek. This meant that we weren’t riding for as long as we had for most of our days on the road last year. Spending six or seven hours on a bike is hard work, especially when you go for two weeks straight. This year we decided to shorten our ride time each day. It’s so much better. Today was an enjoyable day of riding, going through the mountains and over the Rogers Pass. The campground was relatively easy to find and we got in at 2pm… that left us plenty of time to set up camp, have dinner, go for a walk, and meet some fellow campers. No stress! We didn’t go pillar to post leaving little time for anything else.

So here we are at Waitabit Creek. It’s lovely. NMBL and I couldn’t be happier. We’re currently both in our hammocks; she’s reading and I’m blogging. We had a nice dinner and sat by the camp fire while a bit of rain came down. It was a casual rain. The kind that no self respecting Vancouverite would ever open an umbrella for. A drop here and there. Noticeable, but not worthy of action. We were indifferent to it. The fire ignored it completely. The already swollen waters of the river moved by without giving it much notice as well. A completely unremarkable rain but an enjoyable evening.

We’ve lived on the coast for too long.

Tomorrow we ride into Calgary though this post won’t likely be up until we get there. So it’s a post from the past mostly in the present tense? Mostly. Now I’m just rambling. It’s time to sleep. By the way, this new hammock is excellent. It’s going to need a review. Soon.

DES out.

Coddiwomple (v.): to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination

A week from today we’re heading off for three weeks on the road. Plans are being made, maps are being prepared, multiple destinations are being contemplated but few are confirmed. Yep, we’re coddiwompling.

The one thing we do know is that we’ll be traveling across BC and through the Canadian Rockies. We’ll meander around Alberta a bit and head into Saskatchewan. We’ve decided to go no further than Regina before we head back, again meandering through Alberta only to muddle our way through Southern BC’s Kootenay region. Unfortunately we’ll have to head back to Vancouver eventually. Gotta get back to making a living to travel more.

Fernweh (n.): “distance-sickness”

Yeah, that’s the feeling right now. A longing for being far away and traveling. It’s like being home-sick but the opposite. We’re both giddy with anticipation but at the same time longing for being out on the road and exploring new places while finding the best hangs we can. The longing is so strong you almost feel sick for it. That’s just where we are. We have our Canada 150 National Parks passes, we know some of the roads less traveled that we’ll take, and we’re planning meals. Fernweh has definitely set in.

We’ll give you all sorts of opportunities to follow along on this summer’s coddiwomple. And we hope you end up feeling a sense of fernweh, enough so that your go on a coddiwomple of your own! Happy travels all.

DES out.

Pemberton Flat Track Races

NMBL and I did something different this past weekend. We went to a racetrack. And we traveled up to Pemberton to do it. For those of you who haven’t heard of Pemberton, it’s a town just north or Whistler, BC’s most popular and famous ski resort. The trip up to Pemberton is done on the Sea-to-Sky Highway which, as we’ve written before, is a great stretch of highway to ride. It’s arguably the most popular ride among motorcyclists in Greater Vancouver! The ride up there offers spectacular scenery and fun curvy stretches of asphalt. So much fun!

Continue reading “Pemberton Flat Track Races”

I finally got through all the pictures from our Tofino trip… just in time to head off to Pemberton and take some more. Plus there is some video I need to edit. Anyone got a suggestion for an easy to use video editing software for bloggers? I need something simple.

Anyway, enjoy the pics! They can be found here or by going to the Photo Gallery. You’ll see the link.

Thanks for checking it out!
DES out.

Danger, Disappointment, and Delight – A Long Weekend in Tofino

We love hammock camping! We also love riding our motorcycles so it’s no surprise that we planned yet another motorcycle hammock camping trip. This time we wanted to head to Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for the Victoria Day long weekend. NMBL and I both took some extra vacation time as well, stretching our long weekend out by a few more days. Our goal: ultimate hammock-hang relaxation. It was mostly perfect. Continue reading “Danger, Disappointment, and Delight – A Long Weekend in Tofino”

Motorcycle v. Car Interactions

May is motorcycle safety month.

Being on a motorcycle is an exciting experience. Most of the time that experience is amazing. The Venn diagram with motorcycling and joy shows a lot of overlap. However, there are times when the overlap goes into the scary circle. This evening our ride home had one of those. Continue reading “Motorcycle v. Car Interactions”

Loco Libre and Mosko Dry Run

This past weekend was kind of nice. Just the kind of weather you want for a bit of a ride and to play around with some new hammock gear. No pressure, no time constraints, and no “get this right or you’re going to have a very uncomfortable, sleepless night”. Those suck so it’s best to avoid them. Continue reading “Loco Libre and Mosko Dry Run”

Oil and Rust

On Saturday we went for a day ride which took us out to Surrey and back. At the end of the ride we stopped by the Oil and Rust Motorcycle Show down at our end of town. East Van is a haven for all sorts of artistic talent. Motorcycle artistry is no exception. There are all manner of back yard wrenchers and shops putting out some pretty cool stuff. These people like to tinker and play with their metal masterpieces, getting a chance to put their efforts on display at Oil and Rust. It’s great to have this haven of custom bike enthusiasts right in our back yard. Continue reading “Oil and Rust”

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