On the road again… Woo Hoo!!!!

[Geoff’s post- Elliott’s back at work!] 🙁

Well- it’s been a fantastic week in Pender Island with Jackie and her family.  It was soo good to get the bike clean(over 3 hours and not really done), clean all my gear and actually spend a few days in a row in the same place- even if it was in the living room!

I really like the gulf islands and the weather was perfect.  Spent time chopping up a giant tree that had fallen last winter in a storm.  Any activity involving a chainsaw is good times!  We took the dingy out and made some epic voyages to other islands.  Was like coming home.

But it’s not home… home is several weeks and several thousand miles away.  This was all a side trip as my passport and dental issues needed to be sorted out and Vancouver was where these were going to happen.

And it’s really really nice to be back on the bike again… I am loaded up as before (riding around Pender unloaded spoiled me!) but it felt so good to be back on the road exploring.

A point of clarification regarding the million dollars Elliott feels he won in the bet over the mountain climb.  My version goes something like this… he says he thinks he can climb it in 30 mins.  I say “no way”.  We go back and forth over amounts of a bet and time allowed without actually setting on either (and definitely not shaking on anything either- you can’t have a bet without shaking- right?).  Then as I am drinking my coffee, he kinda meanders down the road towards the bathrooms.  I continue drinking coffee and contemplating the universe(OK, actually I was trying to upload new songs onto my IPod and flailing about doing it).  About 45 mins later, I think to myself… “Hmm… I wonder where El got off to?”  I look around a see a tiny speck about ¾ way up the rock pile.  I don’t know who it is… I thought he had on a dark shirt and this speck is wearing white… but who on earth else would be up there this time of day.  This poor speck was clearly not making great time… and long breaks were seen… I am sure there was a lot of panting.  Anyway, speck makes the top, looks around, checks out some stuff, comes back down, and claims victory.  He doesn’t even know what time he left (‘cause he admits he wasn’t planning on actually going up it) and doesn’t record the time he reached the bottom(we are probably 1o min walk from the base).  Hmmm… hard to prove you won a bet that was never made when you can’t tell time.  I know it was a lot longer than the 30 mins he thought he could do it as I spent WAY more time than that (unsuccessfully) dicking around with my IPod.

So back to today… so I left Pender today on the ferry for Vancouver.  The ferries are running a bit late lately as apparently there was a “hard landing” at Mayne Isl. about a week ago.  Four people injured was on the press release at the terminal at Saturna Isl.

On the ferry leaving Pender, I meet three other guys on BMW’s.  One from Saskatchawan(sp?) and a father/son team on two bike from Oregon.  We all exchange stories and the boat gets to Mayne Isl.  There are two ferry landings there as it’s a big transfer point. Only one is working… the other has a big barge in it with a crane cleaning up the mess from the “hard landing”.  In other lingo, I would have said, “he musta came in HOT”!  It was quite a mess… and the ferries backed up a bit.

So I am now in Vancouver, at a pub exchanging war stories with the peeps here.  Tomorrow I go to the Consulate and get my passport and then have a 1PM appointment to get my toof fixed… it’s really a crack-up how people perceive you when you are missing a front toof!!!!  Dude from Saskatchewan today told me he liked the look and that Canadian women love hockey players BUT you aren’t gonna pull unless you are missing two teeth, preferably one from top and one from bottom, and opposite sides.  Gosh, women are fickle everwhere!!!

Another clarification on a bet Elliott thinks he won.  Law states that you have to have a passport to enter the country.  Period.  But according to the consulate here, apparently the agents at the border have some latitude about who they really require to have one, as if they followed the law to the letter, the consulates would be totally inundated with US travelers that lost/forgot/ate their passports and the system could not handle it.  So, if traveling by land, if you can make up a good story as to why you don’t have it, and if you get the agent on a god day, and if you have all your teeth, you MAY get through.  So I am hard-pressed to just give Elliott the win on that one as well. Sorry man… no dice on that one either.

So, again, back to here and now.  My time in Pender has allowed me to plan part 4 of this trip.  I am going to hit the road tomorrow and head towards Glacier NP.  Been wanting to check it out.  Looks like if I keep heading a bit east, I can hit Little Big Horn in WY.  Dad just let me know that Custer graduated last in his class… I wonder if his troops knew that?

A bit further east is Sturgis, South Dakota… Elliott has inspired me and it should be in full swing at this point for what I hope to be is some excellent people watching.  Then head back west for Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, a stop in Meridian, ID to see Shawn and the family and then to the family reunion in Oregon on the 20th.  It’s a pretty ambitious trip- probably close to 3000 miles… and I am not committing to all of it as that’s not the way to travel (and I am male) but I will try to keep the blog updated and I will make a point of taking more pictures… may even invest in a better camera… I have already broken one of the two I had brought with us!

Onward tomorrow…

G-

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