I was siting here trying to make sense of my feelings this morning and convey them to you when it hit me!
I just spent the week flying by the seat of my pants!
It has had a profound affect on both myself and my wife. We took off a week ago last Friday and rode our Harley Davidson fat boy half way across Washington state then headed north up into Canada. We had only one thing on our agenda be in Prince George some 600 miles north for a friends 50Th surprise birthday on Sunday.
The funny thing was we have never been up this way and our iPhones that we depend on so much were no good up their as we have US coverage and it’s very expensive to use up there. So no Internet and Mapquest or calling. We could send and receive text only. We bought a map book and navigated the old fashioned way!
The real lesson came as we rode about an hour at a time from town to town getting gas and stretching our legs about 300 miles a day pulling in to find a room some where and living out of the small bags that fit on the bike. This came to be the most freeing experience we have had.
Here’s what I took. One pair of shorts, three shirts, 3 underwear, 3 socks, one pair of blue jeans, riding boots, flip flops, hat, sun glasses, sweat shirt, leather jacket, chaps and 2 pair of gloves. My wife took the same (a first) and a small bag of toiletries.
For living we took two compact sleeping bags the size of a loaf of bread and a cook set back pack stove and pan. One stainless steel nalgene bottle of water. That’s it.
We got to Prince George on sat about 5 and spent the next night at our friends mothers house. Then out to the lake after the party to stay water front with new friends in a camper van. Tuesday back to town for a nite at the birthday girls house. We had a bonus soak in the hot tub;)
The whole time we never really knew where we were staying or how long but all our new friends just kept adopting us putting us up and feeding us until we were about to burst! We did laundry at there homes as we went. Wednesday found us heading east after lots of goodbyes to all our new friends.
Where to? Jasper and Banff Provincial Parks!
We rode all day and saw signs for moose, elk,deer and bear but no animals to dodge thank goodness. We got in late to the town of Jasper just north of the park a beautiful town in a breathtaking mountain setting. It was high season there and all the hotels were full or a few rooms left at $250.00 to $300.00 ea!! We called about 8 places and finally got referred to a private home that rents rooms only $95.00 a nite quiet and unique.
After breakfast Thursday it was off to the parks.
Jasper and Banff what can I say you have to experience them your self they are truly amazing. Wild country, wild animals and unbelievable vistas. You could spend the summer there and only see a fraction of the area. Sadly we only spent 24 hours on our way home. We pulled out our map and found an exit near lake Louise (stunning) and rode toward Radium Hot Springs for the night. We found some motels near the hot springs at only $85 a nite but we got a $10 discount as bikers $75 that night! After riding in and out of rain showers all day we were tired and cold but still in awe of the scenery we just took in. Bears and all! Right on the road side! We stopped 20 feet away to watch them eating berrys.
Friday morning woke up to pouring rain not what we wanted to start the ride home in. We had coffee got packed and waited an hour before it let up so we took off for Cranbrook 15 min down the rode. It rain for 20 min!
We finally out ran it and stopped For breakfast and more hot coffee to warm us back up. We drove on to Creston stopped for gas and rest our butts then over the pass 6000 ft. Cold clear and amazing views down to the turn south and 10 min later were at the border crossing. Back in familiar territory about an hour from home.
That was yesterday and I find myself wanting to take off again for points unknown it was simple easy and minimal we had every thing we needed on that bike to keep going.
So why do we have so much stuff back home!?
A room some clothes and a motorcycle was plenty all week! No extra stuff and we didn’t miss a thing. Sell the house sell the cars and all the stuff and we can take off for good! Not one or two weeks but a year maybe.
We were alive out there in the open hot, cold, wet, and heat. Smelling the fresh air in the mountains. Stopping when and where we wanted not a care in the world. I believe it is all about the experiences in life not the stuff.
How about you?