Unfortunately, it is a real rainy day but however, the trip to Tofino is planned and will be done... Tofino is a paradise for whale watching, hiking and surfing at the beaches but after one rainshower after the other, I decide to drive back to the east coast where indeed the clouds did not arrive and a warm evening sun is rounding up the day.
a day of relax with laundry, reading and a visit of the sand castle competition
The road goes again via Whistler and along the sea to sky highway, but this time in sunshine without rain...
Near Vancouver there is the ferry station to be shipped over to the Vancouver
island to Nanaimo. The trip needs some 50 minutes and arriving at the Island, it is already evening and slowly getting dark! Yes here there is night in contrary to the north where there was 24 hours light. I find a place in Parksville and during night, rain finaly has started also here. The people are more than happy as the earth urgently needed water and some fires in the forest are still not under control.
The road goes again along the cariboo highway with marvelous curves and little roads. A dream for every biker and there are some on the road. Lillooet finally, as I was told is a real hot spot and there have been still 38°C at 7 o' clock in the evening.
Well, after some days of relax now the way back down to south continues. I take again the same road, the yellowhead highway, as there is no much choice but it is again marvelous with small curvy parts and slowly the landscape is changing from wilderness to farm areas with huge fields and every now and then a farm house. Around prince george, there ar still some fires and the water is limited as there was no rain for a long time. So people are desperately waiting for the clouds to come. In Prince George, I find again a place in the hostal and my bike is nicely secured for the night in front of the
Andy told me to look into the mouth of the wolf... and I did as you see. On the way to Smithers, there were several bears on the road including a black bear mother with 2 little kids. But I could`t stop fast enough to take a picture and decided better not to go to close...So just believe me, they have been there...
And then there were 2 Bisons right beside the road!
Since beeing back in Yukon and British Columbia, the road seems even more empty. Every half an hour a car and else pure nature and a curvy little road. The summer came in meanwhile with all its beauty in nature and the flowers are growing with all its strength. Where there have been a fire, the flowers are restoring the green and are the first to reestablish the wilderness.
It seems the clouds and rain are following me and no blue sky is visible somewhere, everything gray and melancholic. So it didn`t even make fun to search for some nice motives for the camera, but in meanwhile, I know the sound of rain in the tent, and it is waterproof !!!
another 2 days of relaxing and then I will start for Anchorage/Alaska
The Dust to Dawson 2015 took place in marvelous sunshine and a cloudless sky. While at thursday there was arrival, check in and informal come together, meet new people and look at each others bike, friday was the official day with program.
At noon, a roundtrip of approx 125 km km started where everybody could go on its own or drive with others. I was with a group of 4 other bikes and we all had to swallow the dust from those in front of us. However it was a very smooth and interesting tour with various stations, where everybody could drag a pokercard in order to collect a hand. The winner got a half of the participation fee during dinner.
After a shower, the banquet opened at 5.30 pm at the bar and dinner with various speeches started at 6pm until 9pm. The dinner took place in the famous grand theater of Dawson. From 9pm to 11.30 the program had various bikergames foreseen and at midnight the final offocial photo of all participants with their bikes was shot and everybody got a sticker for the bike with Dust to Dawson 2015...
In total we were about 300 persons and it was a great and impressive event. People were very open minded and helpful toeach other. A big compliment to the organisation team.
2 days off for finally getting my diary up to date, collect and sort all the pictures and make some bike maintenance and waiting for the "Dust to Dawson... not a rally" to begin...
And I used the time to participate at the famous sourtoe ceremony, which included to drink a cocktail with a toe in there and the lips had to touch the toe.
IT was the right decission as during night it was heavily raining, but the next morning, the road started to dry up and when I saddled the bike and started it was good and easy to drive. After arrivinvg back in Dawson, first the bike wash and then a shower for myself was programmed. In the evening, first I had to go for the famous sourtoe-cocktail, which follows a legend, that a guy, who lost one of his toes during a hard travel, kept it in a glas of alcohol and later the challenge remained to drink out of the glass with the toe and the lips much tourch the toe.
Later, I met Chuck, a 67 year old former military guy from New Mexico, who was this time travelling with a camping truck and we chatted about our former experiences of bike tours and the question, how to come to a decission for a trip like that and also the point in how far one is willing to leave his own comfort zone.
Moreover we agreed, that while biking, you are so much concentrated on the road, that a lot of things left and right are out of view. Lessons learned for me: less rush and more stops to enjoy the surroundings.
I finally also found the famous house in Dawson, which is waiting for it's own collapse.
In order to be on the safe side and following recommendations from the hotel manager, who told me that the road to Inuvik is even worse and challenging for the tires as most is very sharp gravel, I decided for the return way,as I wasn't so sure, how good my repair result would be. Again arriving in Eagle Plains, the mechanics welcomed me with surprized faces. We dismounted the tire and figured out that is was the same whole as the day before. While repairing, they had pulled out only half of the little stone which caused the whole and the remaining rest made his way through the repair plate and had flattended the tire again. Fair enough the second repair was free of charge.
My lessons learned: better to control the work done by anybody else by myself instead of only trusting!
As it was already after 4 pm and the sky got more cloudy every half hour, I decided to sty another night at the hotel there instead of rushing back to Dawson, which would mean another 7 hours drive, propably in rain and mud.
Today is the chance to start the Dempster Highway which starts 40 km east of Dawson and goes up to the north through Yukons wilderness, passing the arctic circle and enters into Canadas Northwest-Territories, passes two rivers and finishes in Inuvik. The drive was marvelous and the lonelyness over there overwhelming. Every half houranother car, else there is pure nature, mountains, first still woods which after the arctic circle chanes to bushes and gras, the canadian tundra.
I made it up to Eagle Plains, the first stop after 407 km and while arriving there, my rear tire was flat! Fortunately, they had a small workshop there where I could dismount the rear wheel and they helped me to get the tire repaired. On I went only to realize 175 km later, that the tire was again flat. Now the challegne was, to repair on the road. The repair set, which I was carrying with me since the start, now could proof it's efficiency and in fact after 30 min the tire was repaired again... the hardest part was the puming up with my little hand pump. As it was already 10.30 pm, I looked for an overnight stay and tehre was a little motel with exorbitant prices... 200 CAD a night... what could I do else than to accept.
I started, now again alone, from Dawson and climbed the "top of the world highway" with mostly gravel road but easy to drive. Up in the mountains, there was still snow but a wonderful panorama. And then, in the middle of nowwhere the border to Alaska. Fortunately with friendly and competent people who immediately knew what to do with my Carnet de passage... They have seen that frequently from any other bikers coming to Alaska. The next station was Chicken, a 3 building sized town with nothing, but really nothing around. A remaining from the gold rush end of the 19th century. And then it started raining and got cold and colder. Fortunately I found a motel in Tok where I could dry all my gear and get something hot for the stomach...
Day off for writing, laundry and planning
Yes, now finally some of the bears on photo... and then we arrived at Dawson City, the old gold digger town from 1898, when the gold rush began and up to 30.000 people moved over there to make their fortune. As fast as they all came they also left and after some years, dawson was forgotten with some 1.500 habitants. However until today, that city kept an image of the old days withsaloon, bar and casino as well as a wheel steamship on the river. The dome is a mountain peak moving up right behind the town and gives a spectacualr panorama to the yukon and on the other side of the river to the top of the world highway...
In meanwhile, the nights are not going to be really dark any more. We are approaching midsummernight and that here in the northern hemisphere. The Alaska highway is full of flowers left and right and the summer is bringing out all the natures beuty within short time. On the way, finally a moose between the trees, but until I could stop and get the camera ready, that lady, it was a female, didnt want to wait anymore and started to go...
Another eventful day with a lot of cold in the morning, but real impressive canadian nature and forest and lakes and mountains and empty roads with every half hour a car. We entered Yukon today and are always coming further north. Its already 23.30 and we have still light, the sunset was 10 minutes ago... amd now the moskitos are everywhere, it seems the spray, I am carrying with me since Ontario will be necessary now. On the way we have seen kilometers of died woods due to the bugs, which are eating the roots of the tree... but at the end, we found a nice place to stay overnight
Today I went on the stewart - cassiar highway. But already before heading left up to stewart, I met Trevor, a guy from Seattle who is riding on his DRZ 400 custom modified Suzuki and since then we were driving together or one following the other...Heading up to Stewart there is the marvelous bear glacier 3km after Stewart, it is possible to enter into Hyder/Alaska for just a short visit. From there is a direct conncetion to the pacific. Returning back and then heading towards Dease Lake, there were at least 5 bears and a caribou near the road... What else would one like to see on one day?
Thats one of the ways how houses are built out of wood here...
And in the evening, near Smithers, I found little paradise on earth... a hot tub with that view....
The way from Lillooet went through marvelous landscapes with huge canyons left and right and an impressive panorama to the rocky mountains.
from now on, it is going north towards Yukon and then Alaska. First I took the highway 99 which starts after Vancouver on sea level and then goes up in the mountains. It is also called the sea to sky highway. Absolutely beautiful with al the turns and curves, bikers are dreaming of, especially after these hundrets of kilometers straight in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
day off with writing and washing and enjoying the pacific coast and white rock, a very nice little town. And I found a marvelous BandB named Christine's, where Connie, the Manager took care of
everything and everybody... she is really a pearl. In the evening, I walked along the ocean promenade.
Well, that was the final etappe until Vancouver and then I have crossed Canada from Toronto to the Pacific coast. Until now it has been 5.215 Km, and the next piece will be direction north to Alaska. Tomorrow, one day rest with writing, washing and planning of the next days...
I hope you enjoyed up to now and could imaging the impressions I had...
A thank you to all of you, who are following my tour with interest and also to all the people which I met on the road and who provided the one or other good proposal.
That day was Rocky Mountains pure with all the impressions, one might know from any pictures. I found a nice camping place at Golden with the view below...
As my tires were worned, I checked on the way and with helpful proposals from a GS owner, who I met, of course at Tim Hortons, I found at Salmon Arm: one dealer who had the tires, but no capacity for mounting.... and another with now tires but capacity...you can imgaine, what I did.... and got some nice brandnew Heidenau K60 Scout... (thats for the experts)
And after another 100 km I finally arrived at Sorrento, named as there is a small island in the shuswap lake, which lokes like Capri... and found another marvelous camping space..
Leaving Sylvan Lake in the morning with a last picture, now it was time to approach the Rocky Montains, also leaving Alberta and entering into British Columbia. The snow covered tops of the mountains were already visible from fare away and the road got more and more curvy...
A marvelous recreation area with an impressive view over the lake and marvelous sunsets. Here it is good to be and so I will stay some days, writing, reading, washing, relaxing and enjoying landscape and nature.
In the morning I found a Tim Hortons right around the motel for breakfast, where I met 2 guys from New Brunswick, who crossed Canada on their motorcycles direction Vancouver and SanDiego. It was a nice chat and exchange of infos.
Right after, I went on the road towards Edmonton, crossed the city and turned south towards Calgary and found a sign to Sylvan Lake near Red Dear.
After check in in at a Motel and dinner at the lake view road, I came back to the motel and found 4 policecars in the entrance. Lots of discussions, people running around and crying at aech other and at the end it came out that some guys were drinking and one spoke about the girlfriend of the other and so on... At the end, nothing had happened, but the emotions were high...and at least the police had something to do...
Leaving Saskatoon in sunshine, it got very fast clear, that this will be a lost battle against the wind, which forced me to drive slow and in a 45° angle to fight against the strong winds. So in North Battleford, I took the nextbest Motel to stay and warm up...
Yep, it was a marvelous day with a lot of sunshine, which brought me until Saskatoon, the 2nd largest City of Saskatchewan. And I had everything; straight forward, curves and up and downs, a road with every now and then broken asphalt and some 25 km gravel road...
all preparation for Alask
And in between pure nature, a lot of small water holes near the road and even a huge area of mining.
In Saskatoon, I found a very nice Hostal near the centre to which I started an evening walk.
In front of one of the various churches, young people invited into their church with small candles for everybody, to light them inside and remain for prayer, meditiation or listening to the songs, some of them were playing.
Well, another grey day after a rainy night. You might wonder, that I am talking very much about weather but sitting on the bike means, beeing confrontated with all given nature conditions.
The trip through Manitoba and then into Saskatchewan was quite boaring, as the highway No. 1, the "Trans-Canadian Highway" is very straight and nothing else to see but fields... huuuuge fields, left and right. No wonder, that all the offroad agricultureal vehicle producer are represented at the local dealers in front of every city. As they have enough space, all the models are simply rowed up in front of the dealer location in the green.
However, I have crossed another provincial border and the speed limit rose from Ontario max. 90 km/h to Manitoba 100 km/h to now in Saskatchewn 110 km/h. With that conditions, the fuel consumption remains at an acceptable average of 5,4 l/100km.
Arriving in Regina, the sky cleared and promissed a wonderful following day...
2 Days off for washing, writing, check my BMW, reading and organising the next days
Kenora was a very nice Town, located directly on the lake of the woods, and everybody seems to have at least one boat or even an airplane for fishing, recreation or whatever. And the cottages on the lake are all over. Looking at the map, it seems that everybody has its own lake. And I passed the watershed between Atlantic and Arctic ocean.
On the way I met some nice people and a lot do have german or swiss origin. The way took me through whiteshell provincial park with a marvelous small road with a lot of curves. That was something, I didn't see since I am in Canada. The streets are most time straight and when I entered into Manitoba, even super straight. Left and right, fields as long as you can see.
In Winnipeg, I have found a marvelous residential home, the Hanseng Inn, which is a one family house, redesigned for travellers for short, mid and longterm stay.
However it was damned cold again, the trip was marvelous through the wilderness of Canadas forests and a lake after every corner. The nature has already started and everywhere the trees and bushes are pullating. On the way I also saw the first deer, but was to slow to take a picture...
Today was a splendid day along the lake superior from Sault ste. Marie until after Maraton. It was until now the hottest day with up to 27 degree C but whenever reaching near the shoreline, it got immediately cold dowm to 15 Degree C. On the lake there is still ice and the rivers all over all full with melting water. And there is a strong wind coming from the lake. I tried a first short video of the trip and you might have a look....
In the evening I found a motel in the middle of nowwhere. The owner of the motel was very kind and told about his experiences with the wild in the region and bout Terry Fox, the famous runner of Canada, known by his marathon of hope in 1980
As there was no supermarket or restaurant nearby, the landlord helped me with what he found in his freezer.
Yes, I started yesterday from Aurora to Tobermory, a nice little town at the end of a headland on the lake ontario. There I stayed overnight and took the first ferryboat in the morningt to the Manitoulin Island, a stupendous collection of islands for every outdoor freak. Crossing the island, there was a lot of pure nature. Woods, lakes and totally empty streets, not yet any dear of bear. This evening I arrived at SaultSte. Marie, found a nice motel and started writing before dinner. On the way there was an impression from last century, a man pulling his plow with 5 horses. And wonder, I sticked to my planning according to the maps. As the pictures express more than I can write, see and enjoy...
At saturday, my nephew michael and his girlfriend Natascha invited me to come to Toronto downtown. The area where they live is a mixture of old industry buildings, turned into bars, restaurants and little shops with lifestyle articles and local breweries and art galleries. And nearby is one of the lake ontario beaches, where all the people liked to spent the afternoon in the finally highly appreciated sunshine.
The sunday started with the preparation for alaska... a short swim in the pool with 16 degree C and a walk in the nearby countryside, followed by a spontaneous BBQ with the family and friends. We all took a bit of sunburn and enjoyed.
For today I had planned to start towards north-west to Tobermory and then to the Manitoulin-Island, but as rain is expected, I will start tomorrow...
Dear all! Yes I know you start asking when the real tour now finally will start. Be patient and keep in mind, that recently it was still snowing and only yesterday there was the first real sunny day with spring temperatures.
So I took the chance for a little tour from here in Pelham, where I am actually with my cousin Andrea and her husband Alex and started over to Caledonia, where an indian reserve area is located. It is according to WIKI the only reserve in North America that has all six Iroquois nations living together. These nations are the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Seneca and Tuscarora. There are also some Delaware living in the territory.
And then the tour leaded to Port Dover, well known amongst the bikers, as they meet there every friday 13th. Well it wasn't the right day, but however some were already on the road and in the city, called by the sunshine. And Port Dover is also known for fish, among others the perch, a little nothing of fish but very tasty.
On the way back I passed along the shoreway and found nice little cottages where the canadians spend their holidays or long weekends. And at an obligatory stop at Tim Hortons, I started a chat with a Harley biker about the where from, why here and all the stuff. Well people are interested when they see that strange looking plate from Germany on my bike.
My first Pit Stop team in Canada! A more than qualified team and beside, they are some of my relatives over here...
It's time for writing. As at my aunt's house there isn't any internet connection, I have to go for a restaurant with WIFI...
However, today the sun came out but still somewhere it's freezing cold. That's then the reason why yesterday I just made a day of relax, not even leaving the house.
Dear all, first of all thanks a lot for your ongoing interest. I am really surprized and proud, that the number of visitors is continuously increasing. Seems, you didn't yet loose your interest, or my contributions every now and then are really interesting. Please understand, that I will not directly respond to your comments in the guest book page, but you can believe me that I read all your comments with interest and will refer to them in the diary.
Well in any case, I did my first ride to the nigara falls and had lunch with my cousin Andrea. She invited me to a restaurant directly on top of the falls with an almost 360 degree view - impressing. And guys I can tell you, there is still lots of ice around the falls which tells there must really have been a damned cold winter. In fact when I then returned in the late afternoon, it almost started snowing...
Today my motorbike should arrive, so in the morning I called Air Canada Cargo and in fact they confirmed the arrival. I drove over there with the rental car, I took yesterday evening from the airport and started to search the building, passed my documents and was right away sent to the next building to make the customs clearance. Unfortunately, I was confrontated with a customs officer, who explained me for almost an hour, that my Carnet de Passage was not valid, as it was not stamped in Germany. I tried everything with unlimited patience and all available diplomacy to convince him, that the document must not be signed in Germany, but that he has to start the first documentation with the import into Canada. Finally he started to ask his colleagues who immediately confirmed, that this is correct and so he did as requested and everything was fine.
Back to Air Canada Cargo where they found that one... a huge wooden box. It was a real task, to get it open but Brad and Frank and also the Warehouse Manager helped me with all tools they found and were absolutely friendly and helpful. A great thank you to them all. A real professional team.
And the box gave a real "Made in Germany" impression, designed for a century. Congratulation to the one who built that one.
And finally also a huge compliment to Sabine Roettel from the DHL-Bike transportation team, who managed the complete package of pick up the bike, get it packed and shipped over to Canada. An absolute professional work with everything included. And Sabine is a very helpful person and found answers to all the questions which I had.
Final preparation of all the stuff, which I think I may need. Tomorrow, my flight is leaving for Toronto...
And then the adventure starts really... Yes, I am at least a bit excited and nervous and very curious if my bike which should arrive at tuesday in the Toronto Airport custom clearance will really be there with all the things, I already shipped together with the bike, such as helmet, Jacket, Pants, boots, rain cloths and some spare parts...
Now it is going to be real... today the transport company came to pick up up my bike and get it to the airport. I was quite astonished, having a huge trailer in front of me, but the company is absolutely professional and managed to get packed all safely together within 15 minutes. Before it goes finally to Frankfurt Airport, a flight suitable box will be created in order to get all stuff undamaged to Pearson international airport - Toronto - Ontario.
So now let's see if everything will arrive there as planned.
In meanwhile the preparation is going on. Yesterday I brought my bike for a huuuuuge service with all necessary maintenance to be done, in order to hopefully avoid any surprises on the road. The Carnet de Passage is organized, the bike insurance for US and Canada ordered and I started to download all the open street maps for all the countries I might or not might pass by. And I even managed to get them visible on my new Navi, a Garmin Zumo 590. I am still struggling which sleeping bag I should order to fight against the cold nights in Canada and Alaska. The challenge is the weight-size/warming factor relation and of course the price.
Within these days I also registered at ADVrider, the mainly north american organisation for all the crazy and adventure searching bikers. I got this recommendation from Rory and Rodney, thanks to you guys.
And I added now the first propable sketch of the trip, some at least 8.000 Km until Prudhoe bay...
Yesteday I have written a good bye mail to all the people within and outside Rexroth with whom I was working the last years and included a note about my planning for the next year. Since then a lot of good wishes and warm greetings are arriving. thanks a lot to all of you for your comments and your interest. Now the last phase of preparation is starting and I am going to be quite excited.
I just have to build up a webpage...
Knowing myself, I decided to start early enough with this webpage to avoid that I have to do that when I am already in Canada... maybe without or slow net connection and no idea, how to do.
and there is the choice between sitting at the computer and fixing the new navi system at my bike :-) which one first???