I used to listen to Freakonomics podcasts in grad school and a segment from the show came up to mind the other day, about how people change their behaviour depending on their surroundings. It got me thinking about how our surroundings affect our daily lives, rhythm, lifestyle and the lessons we take from it all. Then I thought about one of the motorcycle trips I took years ago in northern British Columbia. Certainly feels like a world away today. What I now think I learnt from it is quite different from what I thought at the time. As silly as it may sound, one of the most recurring thoughts during the trip was about packing the bike as it affected the ride and is something I had to do every day, sometimes several times. I mean look at it, that mountain in the back of the bike looks pretty unwieldy. I felt quite pleased that the situation has been slowly improving day by day.
One of the things I now think I got out of the trip is a marginal lesson on how to enjoy myself. Let me explain 🙂 Such trips in northern Canada can get bumpy. It’s nothing to complain or write home about, but on some days with hands frozen to the handlebars, a numb face and sore body parts it’s easy to start to wonder “why am I doing this?”. Unlike the packing situation these thoughts have surfaced only once in a while. One day in particular comes to mind, a few days before I took this photo. Almost in Yukon the weather was woeful with a temperature around 0, rain and wind. At a much needed pit stop an RV driver came up and stated that my friend and I must be either very brave or very stupid. It’s probably a bit of both but my frozen face could only summon a smile in return. I didn’t really think much of his question as my mind had been fixed on a hot soup I was about to get. It’s quite fun to get surprised by a ready convenience at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. The attendant’s demeanour added to the whole atmosphere as she nervously and frantically rushed to serve the only 4 customers like she was serving a full house in lower manhattan 1000s of kms south. Maybe she wanted to hurry us out of the place to get back to peace and quite until the next pack of customers, whenever they might pass by.
What I’m trying to say is that it takes a certain mindset to smile and disregard every inch of your body screaming “get me out of here”. Then you stop wondering “why am I here?” and start thinking “isn’t this something!”
It was already dark when we had to look for a place to sleep. After a long day, without giving it much thought we picked whatever spot felt close enough to being ok. It didn’t promise to be anything special, even seemed dull but little did we know this vista was just around the corner. My friend and I were up early enough to catch the sunrise and witness the numerous colour changes around these hills. I don’t usually have breakfast, but with a view like this I can always make an exception and stay a bit longer 🙂
As we were finishing up our breakfast local fishermen passed by to start the working day.
I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas 🙂 I hope you get to share it with the loved ones.
My last trip to Tofino was like a trip down memory lane. This is my most favourite section of the road, with a bunch of deep curves which are an absolute joy on a motorcycle. This time, even in a truck they gave me a funny feeling in my stomach. I stop at this particular spot nearly every time I pass by. Once, I even managed to camp not far from the spot I snapped this photo. Not a bad view to wake up to. There are always lots of cool places to hang if you get off the road and walk a bit. As usual click on the photo to enlarge.
I’m trying out a new look for the website. There is still a fair bit of work to do, as not much is yet available besides the photo blog. Hopefully that’ll change in the coming days. For now here’s a photo from the English Bay in Vancouver. Fall here is sure colorful. So colorful in fact that the yellows are coming out a little different than on the actual picture file. Click on the photo to enlarge.
Thinking about what to do over the weekend I got in touch with an old friend of mine. He tells me he has a 32 year old collector’s bike in his garage. It’s a funny old bike but with a barely touched 500cc engine. He obviously knew what my response would be. It’s been raining nearly everyday since I’ve been back. Luckily for us it was a clear November day so we took the bikes up north into the mountains, to the roads I can ride with my eyes closed. But why would I close them with breathtaking views like these. I forgot how beautiful these mountains are and riding these curves again is truly surreal. I took the photo on the way back almost in Vancouver with a few wider spots with viewpoints to stop and stretch. Perfect time too with the sunset.
Unlike the title of that rock song this view couldn’t be anywhere else but Vancouver. After several years in Europe and some other places I’m back to British Columbia, the place I know better than any other in the world. I’ve left and come back here many times over the years, this being my longest time away, and it does feel a little weird coming home. Though maybe it’s just the jet lag 😉 There is however always a little nervousness about it, sort of like seeing an old friend. How long will I stay for? I’m not yet sure. For now it’s family, friends and familiar peaks while I decide on my next step. This scene gives me a nostalgic feeling, so I thought it appropriate to post an HDR retroish version of the photo too 🙂
On a side note I’ve been having some technical difficulties with the website. Over the next few weeks I’ll be moving my host and will possibly try some new things. So if the website is down or looks like a 3 year old built it, don’t panic. It’s just me trying to fix things up.