You know you’re tired when you try to use your credit card to open the hotel door instead of the pass key and it takes a moment to process why it didn’t work. I feel like I danced too much and yelled too much into the karaoke mic and rode too long in the 34 degree heat today.
Because I didn’t get my blog posted this morning, today you get two days worth of nonsense and shenanigans.
It was surprisingly chilly overnight in our tents, but if you didn’t have to get up for a wee, it was warm enough once snuggled into my blankets. Breakfast was scheduled from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. yesterday, followed by a group ride in the area. With my earplugs in, I slept like a stone and my get up and go got up and went. Woke up just in time to grab some breakfast before it was cleared away, then took my time having a coffee and washing up.
Heading out well after the main group of riders, I took Hwy 6 to 31A and on to Kaslo. There is a reason this road is worshipped by riders. Good pavement, endless curves, low traffic (except for bikes) and some of the loveliest scenery in Canada. And I should know because I have seen a very great deal of Canada.
Fury and I made the most of having the road largely to ourselves and we made our way to Kaslo where we took a break. As expected, some others attending the event were there and we all had lunch. I am doing my best to remember names, at least for this weekend. I’m likely to forget when I don’t see everyone for a long time again, but so far, doing ok. Kaslo’s Saturday market was on so I wandered through that and got my picture of the war memorial. Heading back, I took the little detour to New Denver to visit the Nikkei Memorial for the Japanese that were interned there during the second world war. Another sad chapter in Canada’s history. Many who were interned were born here. Properties stripped and never given back. Apology and recompense far too long in its delivery, with many never being compensated for their loss. Even while their own family members were fighting in the same war.
Silverton is only a few more kilometers down the road, so I headed over there and stopped at the historical sites of old equipment, buildings and stories of the development of the silver-lead deposits in the Slocan valley.
A forest fire is burning high in the mountains near Kaslo, which is always a scary sight. It’s not too bad and hopefully it will stay that way. Anyone who has lived in the interior of BC has learned that there is no such thing as a “minor” forest fire.
Took 31A back and there was hardly any traffic to be seen, so Fury and I cruised along, sweeping through the curves with glee. It must be a perfect riding day because I was the first to arrive back at Rider’s Retreat. There was time to relax before an excellent dinner and evening of making new friends, laughing, singing karaoke and the inevitable dancing, of which I am overly fond.
Despite there being many in her circle who have done more adventurous things,(including the group of women that travelled all the way from the UK to be here), Sue offered me the honour of doing a presentation about solo motorcycle touring. Her thoughts were to communicate the inspiration for my journey through Canada, tips for packing and managing the mental game to keep going. I thought about a lot of things and landed on making a few bullet point reminders and just telling the story. I tossed in some of the things I had learned and some of the funny stories that didn’t make the blog. Everyone very obligingly laughed at my jokes, some tears were shed for losing my Tracey, and many said they felt inspired. I am humbled to have had any effect on this marvelous group of women and grateful for the opportunity to share. I never once got the feeling they were just listening to me because I was followed by door prizes! 😊
We didn’t waste any time getting down to karaoke and dancing ourselves silly. A good deal of laughing and telling of stories went on. I have two new talismans added to my Tracey pouch. Evelyn gave me a pin that commemorates this wee Scottish/Canadian adventure and Janet gave me a little fairy to watch over me. Janet is involved with the Isle of Man TT which starts(?) at Fairy Bridge on the Isle of Man. It is unlucky not to greet the fairies, so I have my own little fairy which offers me their protection when I travel. As I said during my little talk, people will be kind if you let them, and people will love if you let them. The energy and camaraderie of 54 people, many of whom knew nothing of each other the day before, was indeed heartwarming.
I woke at a reasonable hour today and breakfast was already being served. Washing up was a quick job and there was some last minute visiting and well-wishing done as people gradually suited up to return home. I packed up Night Fury for today’s ride to Osoyoos and we were on the road around 9:30 a.m. Between Nakusp and Castlegar was a dream – virtually no traffic. The fabled roads of the Kootenays continued to deliver with curves winding through mountains and lakes, eventually giving way to the ranchland of the communities along Hwy 3. Temperatures rose swiftly once out of the mountains and the last 2.5 hours of the trip were like riding through a blast furnace. I was so focussed on the ride that I didn't notice I'd been stung by a bee through my right hand glove! We took lots of breaks and though the trip is only a total of about 4.5 hours, the exhaustion of the day settled as I parked Night Fury. My muscles stood up and took notice of last night's shenanigans and I stumbled up the hotel stairs to dump my gear in the room and step into a cool shower before going in search of food.
This rambling story is the last of today’s tasks before closing my eyes in hopes of getting an earlier start tomorrow. A couple of days of training to deliver in Vancouver this week before finally heading for home.
Ride safely, my friends, as you go in search of your adventures!