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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

Olympic Peninsula

September 22nd, 2008 by sunflowers

Olympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaOlympic Peninsula

I was lucky enough to stay with Greg and his family in Port Angeles who treated me to smoked salmon, roasted marshmallows, archery lessons and an introduction to the new Harry Potter replacement series by Stephenie Meyer series based in Forks 60 miles from Port Angeles.

Olympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaGreg also let me have his bead cushion for my bike which to begin with was wonderful if a little cold with the air blowing under my wet from the day before trousers. But after a few hours just began to feel like I was sitting on some hard wooden beads.

After a bit of early morning maintenance in my PJ bottoms I headed down the Olympic Peninsula with its wonderful scenery. It is also the start of the 101 highway going to LA.

Also being in the state of Washington that also produced Starbucks coffee, even though I only saw one Starbucks through my travels through Washington there was a lot of these little drive-through coffee huts. They obviously take their coffee seriously. (August 25)

Olympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaOlympic PeninsulaOlympic Peninsula

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Ferry to Port Angeles

September 19th, 2008 by sunflowers

CascadesOn Sunday morning I rode through the rest of the Cascades past shacks with 5-10 cars in various states of decay but the most gorgeous backdrop of mountains. I also passed a couple of Indian reservations, one that was a bunch of houses with a Smoke Shop outside and the other a casino.

CascadesCascadesOlympic PeninsulaIt was a bit of a shock to hit the I5 just outside of Settle with its 5 lanes of traffic going each way with everyone doing 80 miles an hour on cracked concrete and a sliver of space between vehicles.

CascadesSkipping Seattle I crossed over on the ferry to the notorious rainy Olympic Peninsula on my way to Port Angeles. It was a slow ride in the pouring rain with a six mile backup to the site of a three vehicle accident as there is no filtering in most of the US. (August 24)

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Northern Cascades

September 16th, 2008 by sunflowers

CascadesCascadesCrossing the border back into the US I had been told that highway 20 through North Cascades National Park was a great scenic ride. On the way I passed through Winthrop a town full of old wild west building facades, motorbikes and people. I decided to push on, got lost and rode through most of the Cascades at dusk and had the road and view points to myself. I was a bit nervous about finding a place to stay but eventually found a campground with a couple of spaces free. (August 24)

The next day I got up early to find something for breakfast other than the cherries I had with me and found this deserted quaint little town and a friendly cafe.



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Driving Through the Valley

September 13th, 2008 by sunflowers

Lake OkanaganLake OkanaganBecause my park pass ran out before I made it down to Banff from Lake Louise I decided to head west on the TransCanada highway and drive through the Okanagan Valley instead. I must admit that I was getting a bit over mountains.

Lake OkanaganLake OkanaganThe Okanagan Valley is BC and Alberta’s summer holiday destination where my family spent every summer holiday when I was a kid growing up in Canada. The area around Okanagan Lake is full of fruit stalls, wine vineyards and no accommodation during the summer. I finally found a hotel in Vernon and met a bloke at the pizza stall across the road and shared a few ales.

Lake OkanaganThe next day I spent most of the day driving through concrete built up areas along the length of the 135km south running lake. As this was my last day in Canada I decided to take a photo of the Canadian money to show you. I could do the same with American money but it pretty much looks all the same and more widely shown in the media. (August 23)

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Arrived in LA

August 30th, 2008 by sunflowers

And so ends part one. Stay tuned as I will update the last fun-filled, dangerous (have you driven on California roads?) week of my solo adventure through Canada and North America. But for now it is back to earn my last three months of dosh, take my forth Spanish class (no, I still can not speak it) and prepare for coming back in December to start part two of the odyssey tour. This time with no time limits!

Posted in USA | 4 Comments »

Lost and Found

August 25th, 2008 by sunflowers

Just a quick post as I think I will have to write up the rest of part 1 later as now I have to ride from Port Angeles to Los Angeles (about 1,600 miles).

MaintenanceI got lost in the Cascade Mountains as I ended up taking a service highway that I thought was route 20. To be fair at the start of it there was two lanes but once I had done about 15 miles on a single lane I finally asked some mountain bikers and found out I was on a road to the national park service points.

But it made me think that when I post I might also include where I am going to go as I don’t know how many people knew that I was planning to ride the route 20 through the North Cascades National Park.

So over the next three or four days I am planning to follow the number 101 down the Washington, Oregon and California coast until I get to the number 1 highway to LA.

Meanwhile if you want to read about more about the Dalton Highway trip to Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay). AdvRider Jack’s Trip Report.

Also there was a write up in the Grande Prairie’s Daily Herald Tribune. Pants photo though.

Posted in USA | 8 Comments »

Columbia Ice Field

August 23rd, 2008 by sunflowers

After leaving my mother and sister with my packed lunch I rode through the Columbia Ice Field is a basin of snow between a circle of eight mountains between Banff and Jasper National Parks (325 square kilometres).


I had to miss Lake Louise as my pass (you have to pay $10Can per day just to be in the National Park) was just about to run out so I got to the parking lot, looked at the time and left.

JasperJasperDead Trees: One thing that I noticed where a lot of the trees driving out of Jasper seemed to be dead. First it was the odd one and then it was whole slopes of them.

Mileage: Driving south I decided to stick to 100 kms/hr (60 miles) as the speed limit was 90km/hr. My petrol consumption has gone up to 15 miles/litre (60 miles per gallon). But I was passed 8 times on double yellow lines.

Posted in Canada | 1 Comment »

Jasper National Park, Rocky Mountains, Canada

August 22nd, 2008 by sunflowers

Today I stood under a glacier! It was so cool, literally. I spent the day sightseeing with my mother and sister and then we went to the hot pools again in the evening. The next day I headed off and a bear ran out into the road. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop as there was a car right behind me and one trying to pass both of us.

Wildlife Note: when trying to take photos of wild life there is a good chance they are eating as they are standing still and you will only have a picture of their bottoms.






Posted in Canada | 1 Comment »

Good bye Grande Prairie

August 22nd, 2008 by sunflowers

After a blistering hot day and a dinner with the relations I set off from Grande Prairie in the pouring rain (riding a fully laden motorbike in the rain is a good way for your family or anyone to think you are nuts and/or adventurous).

I had an uneventful ride to Jasper other than being cold but luckily missing a huge hailstorm. I was meeting my mother and sister at Miette Hot Springs. Even though they were waiting for me to arrive on a motorbike when they saw me they thought that I looked too scary.

I had wanted to get some picture of the prairies but due to the weather wasn’t able too. But it turns out my cousin J to the O to the H to the N has given an overview in his music video. If you can’t see it you can do a search in You Tube on John Macklin.

Posted in Canada | 3 Comments »

I.V. (Ivy) Macklin

August 21st, 2008 by sunflowers

IV MacklinMy grandfather was one of the first pioneers in Grande Prairie. He owned a diary farm on the edge of the town and was the first school teacher. When he started selling sections of his land to people who couldn’t afford to live in Grande Prairie a new mini town sprouted up called Macklinville (present day Hillside).

IV MacklinIV MacklinHe was also quite into local politics and was the justice of the peace for a short while. Now there is a school called I.V. Macklin school.

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