and in conclusion….

Looking at Yellowstone National Park from Wyoming

I set off on this adventure with very little planning. Laura was set to fly out and meet me in British Columbia to visit with our families and friends and a little riding. It has become second nature now to fill the hardcases and take off. Little bit of cash, clothes and chain wax go in beside my passport. We had just finished a trip to Key West and it was a matter of gas and go.

Out through the States and back through Canada was the only plan. The weather to the North kept me a little further South on the trip out. I have to mention that I was blessed by mother nature. In the last three weeks of riding and visiting the temperature has consistently been above 25 degrees (77 Fahrenheit) and less than two hours of rain! Interstate travel mostly with small connectors and diversions as I slowly laddered North and hustled West.

Mississippi River Valley, Iowa

I have been asked what was striking thus far. Iowa was incredibly lush and a fun ride. South Dakota and Wyoming are rugged and wild. Both are areas I had not yet covered in my previous rides and much of my reasoning for the general route. Met some great people along the way. Same stories different cities or towns. I am always amazed at the fellowship I stumble upon as I tour. Open arms, hot coffee and honest conversations.

The Trans-Canada gave me a completely different perspective on crossing back. At first I was a little impatient. The ride out West was direct and easy in a sense that I could get on an Interstate and not question myself. Gas, food and motels are available every 40 to 80 miles. If they are not then a big bold advertisement will tell you when to expect the next stop. I gave myself a destination the night before and would load up and leave in the morning.

Canada is different. The Trans-Canada is more like a secondary highway in the United States. Gas, food and shelter need to be calculated. You have to be a little more attentive and present. The highway passes through the middle of towns. Stop lights and speed zones. I really needed to adjust my tolerance and find some ease. Once I left Calgary I reflected on this fact and found that pace.

Somewhere in the middle of Alberta I pulled up to a Husky Gas Station. Looked at the pump. Regular gas or diesel. No other choice of fuel. No prepay. You fill your tank and walk inside to pay and pick up a hardboiled egg and sausage. People patiently wait behind you in their cars and trucks to finish the transaction. In Saskatchewan a young man came up and wanted to fill my tank for me. Full service gas station! These experiences continued right up until the last day in Ontario.

 The ups and downs of road through Alberta Badlands is like a kiddie roller coaster. Never level and

Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ontario

always a corner coming up in view. Sun was always over my right shoulder though. Southeast and East always the bearing. Downtown Winnipeg is surrounded by parks as the Red River winds its way though the core. Kenora is a beautiful old town in Northern Ontario. This is lake country and I have never seen so many pristine rivers, streams and lakes cut into the hard Canadian Shield.

I am so very grateful I was given this opportunity. Once again I am able to go on an epic adventure and be given a gift. I cannot properly explain how it feels to be in the middle of nowhere and feel so connected to everything and everyone. It teaches me how to interact with people, places and things in a very real and present way. Until the next trip….

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