Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back in British Columbia

The ferry landed at a very dark and rainy Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Before finding a place to camp, we had to go through Canadian Customs/Immigration, and for some reason, the line went especially slowly. Roel went ahead and when I finally arrived at the booth, I did my best to answer the very bedraggled looking border agent’s questions efficiently and honestly. He asked about food or animal products and I was about to lean over to check to see if I had eaten the last apple from my saddle bag when he stopped me and said “Listen, I’m talking about weird stuff… animal bones, bear hearts, that kind of thing. You have any of that? No? Good. It’s been a really bizarre night here. By the way, take care on the road once you get 10 miles out of town. The wind knocks me around in my truck, so I can only imagine how terrifying it would be on a bike. Welcome to Canada.”

Gotta love Canadian border agents.

After a chilly hour in the rain searching for a camp site, we did something we don’t usually do and rode around the gate at an open provincial campground. (Closed/off-season campgrounds are usually our thing - not open but “Gate Closed After 10pm Campgrounds”).  Figuring that at 2am, there would be no more arrivals, we glided into an empty spot and set up camp.

The next morning we were thrilled to see sun and we headed in the direction of Smithers. Sam at Eyecandy Custom Cycles had ordered all of the parts that would be necessary for us to begin the top end job on the Transalp, so they would be there ready and waiting for us.

And at a truck stop back in Idaho, we had met a V-Strom rider named JJ who had invited us to stay at his “Warm Showers” cabin just outside of Smithers. (“Warm Showers” is like the “Tent Space” equivalent of the bicycle world, fyi.)

Not only would we finally be able to get my bike’s engine sorted out, once and for all, we would actually have a warm, dry place to stay with shower, etc, while we were there.

The sun was out and things were looking up.

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