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The Best Midlife Crisis We Could Think Of

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Stunning Geography

Riding the Monashees, Riding Home, and Wild Fires

We left Nakusp for the North Okanagan to visit with family. That ride took us through the Monashee Mountains along Hwy 6, through Cherryville, Lumby, and on into Vernon. On the list of great rides from this trip, we’re rating this one at number two just behind the ride along Hwy 31A from Kaslo to Nakusp. Going through the Monashees was a treat! There are some very tight high mountain turns along this road that deserve the reputation it has as one of the best rides in Western Canada. The asphalt relentlessly snakes along sheer mountain cliffs. There is one stretch that is 8km of nothing but curves non-stop. It was a magnificent ride.

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Bleary Eyed but Beaming

July 2

Bikers really know how to party.

NMBL and I both quit the party early last night. Neither of us drank much. We enjoyed good conversation, good music, and the company of some new friends. But we wanted to have a good ride in the morning. Everyone we talked to said that the 31A from Kaslo to New Denver was a great ride but to be careful. There are bears, deer, tight corners, and rough roads. Pay attention is what we were told. We wanted to be on our game.

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Toad Rock: Serious Biker Culture

July 1. Happy 150th Canada.

Picture a biker in your head. A real North American biker. What do you envision? It’s likely a bearded guy on a Harley, wearing leathers, shades, and a beany helmet. He may have a woman riding behind him in the post seat. There are probably some sort of side bags on the bike. Maybe something that looks like a bed roll. Lots of chrome. And the bike is loud.

Now picture a few hundred of them. That is Toad Rock on the Canada Day long weekend.

Oh. A bit of a heads up about some of the charm of Toad Rock. There are dogs, a pig, and ravens. The dogs bark all night but keep the bears away. The dogs and pig are terrible thieves. The pig in particular likes beer. Secure your food and drinks. The ravens are just loud.

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The Continental Divide

This trip has fewer days left in it than have passed but some of our best riding is still ahead of us. A big part of that is the 93 south through Radium and Cranbrook to Wyrie Lake Provincial Park. Right along the Continental Divide. A day of riding the Rockies; we’ll take it.

We woke up to clear skies at Bow River. After the usual breakfast and coffee we struck camp and headed out. The goal was to hook up with the 93 Interchange on the #1 west of Lake Louise. What we didn’t know at the time was that we could have continued along the 1A. Next time. We made a quick roll through Banff since NMBL had never been there. It’s crawling with tourists, ourselves included. 
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Mountains

When you live in the mountains they are just always there. Omnipresent. Unmoving. You navigate by them. Hike them. Ski them. And, when the vast majority of your home Province is defined by them, you can take them for granted.

Then you leave home, riding through mountains to visit flatter lands. You’re still in your home Country, but not your home Province. The roads are straight. There is a horizon. The sky goes on to eternity. Nothing breaks the straight line marking the curve of the earth and, while it has a certain beauty, it feels… odd. Like there’s not enough topography.
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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.

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