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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Monday, June 10, 2013

Seattle and the dreaded ferries begin

Rode the I-5 North for a short distance to meet up with a fellow rider on ADV. Jerry helped me figure out a route and avert disaster as one of the roads I'd planned on taking was closed.

Made it to Mt Rainier after a crappy lunch at a very beautiful lodge.

Then I met a group of guys riding who coincidentally wanted to go the same way I'd originally intended before I found out the road was closed, so I told them, and they promptly ignored my warning and went anyway. 

I was taking a back road out of the park and asked some ladies about the next gas station. I had a half tank, plenty but this nice lady insisted I take some gas from her.

Arrived in Seattle just in time for rush hour traffic and worked out the sore muscles in a 20th floor Jacuzzi.

My sleeping arrangements....16th floor with a great view of the space needle. 

Enjoyed meeting up with some great people who are my boyfriend's closest friends and fast becoming good friends for me too, for cocktails and a huge steak dinner!

Remember that story about the guys that ignored my warning? Well I ran into one of them again, Aaron, who promptly told me that despite his admonishments about my having GPS, a spot satellite tracker, maps and a plan that I should know what the heck I'm talking about, the guys went ahead and rode an extra couple of hours to a dead end. Figures. 

We shared the ferry crossing to Victoria and I met his wife Joanna who just passed her MSR rider course with flying colors and loved sitting on my bike. 

Then he gave me the nickle tour of Victoria....

And got a good eyeful of Jim Clark's Athena mega yacht. 

I found Wyatt and Marlene on ADVrider and they invited me into their home. What a cozy bed this was.

Slept soundly without anxious dreams like I usually have.
When I passed through Portland, 
I dreamed Mt St Helens started smoking again.
When I passed through Seattle, 
I dreamed I missed the ferry.
When I passed through Port Hardy, 
I dreamed I woke up at 5am to a flat tire.
The mind will play tricks on you and all my hidden worries and fears come out when I dream.

The next day after an excellent and filling breakfast, they rode almost 1/3 of Vancouver Island with me as I headed to Port Hardy to make the ferry.

Northern Vancouver island is quite spectacular. The sky was crowded with dark, ominous looking clouds that blocked just about all sunlight but fortunately only sprinkled on me a few times in my 200 miles trek. Arrived at the sleepy Port Hardy early and walked about the waterfront. It was graduation day here and many of them were dressed up and posing with the beautiful scenery all around us.
I'm a bit miffed that I didn't see on critter. Well except for a biblical hoard of mosquitoes when I stopped for about 2 minutes. 

Surprisingly beautiful flowers all over town.

Woke up at 5am the next morning…well actually woke up at 4am because the ding dong sharing the room with me was so disorganized that it took her a whole hour to get herself put together to the music of zippers opening and closing and opening and closing….

Arrived at 5:30 am for the ferry to Prince Rupert. Made some friends with the ladies in charge and was the only motorcycle to load. Al, the deck manager, actually called my Tiger, a 'scooter'. 
Almost ran him over. 

Saw a Disney cruise ship. The horn was that oh, so familiar and possibly sickening tune we all know so well...imagine a week of hearing that all the time at 100 decibels. 

15 hours of gentle rocking on a huge ferry with those same dark fluffy clouds….funny how they look more appealing from the comfort of a leather lounge chair in a climate controlled room.

This ferry sure was much nicer than the crappy ones I took in Europe last year. 

And the chicken wings weren't too shabby.

Arrived past 10 pm and it was still light outside, good thing I brought my eye cover. Found my Hostel before the pedestrian passengers on the same ferry. Showered and settled into my cozy room. Banged my head 7 times now.

The next day, walked the quaint town and found this cool box made out of 3 pieces of wood. They use turning techniques to bend the wood. 

This is the original rail road through town. Prince Rupert accounts for over 75% of all container freight between North America and Asia. The port is rather impressive. 

A beautiful Art Deco town hall. Notice the motifs aren't the usual fountains and sunbursts, rather local native motifs. 

A neat old firehouse where they have an actual REO Speedwagon!

These are the original wood homes built when this town first started. 

Shortly after I took this photo, another bike turned up and he's riding the same ferry as me tomorrow. 

Taking a 2 day ferry to Haines where I am going to meet up with a friend I knew 20 years ago in Phoenix AZ.