Epilogue: Wraping it up

A couple of weeks ago (July 20, as I recall) we pulled in the driveway like it was a stand-up homer. We came from Vernon but had a good long stop at my sister’s in Merritt making the last leg was relatively short so weren’t road weary at all. The kids were having a smoke (grrr) on the deck so we had a welcoming committee. Fifteen thousand klicks and seven weeks after hitting the road. Although it was shorter than we had planned, we were happy with our ride and glad to be home. No regrets for coming home early and no feelings of regret for not being away longer. Must have been a good trip.

From Cranbrook we rode to Grand Forks where we stayed at the Western Traveler Motel – our favourite in G.F. The next morning our usual breakfast stop on the way out of town was out of business so we rode to Greenwood for breaky. There’s some nice restaurants there now, a long way from the rough and tumble town I remember from ’65 when I worked in Grand Forks. We trucked on through on the Crow to Rock Creek where  we turned north on 33 to the Okanagan to visit my ex-brother and sister-in-law.

We had a great visit there and overnight stay then on to Merritt to visit my sister and brother-in-law for lunch on the way home. We expected rain so covered the packs with the rain gear at the ready before we left. We weren’t disappointed. As we descended into Merritt we saw “The Black Wall” so stopped to gear up well ahead. A couple of bikes passed us earlier then we passed them, gearing up in some semi-serious rain, just in time to be late. They got a big smile from us and a toot on the horn as we passed, dry as a bone: tough titty, suckers! The viz was down to about a quarter mile or less when we pulled into Merritt, so were pretty happy to have a coffee stop lined up.

After a couple of hours the worst had passed so we headed out again. Unfortunately it got pretty wet again but at least just ordinary heavy rain rather than a thunderstorm. By the time we reached Hope we were shedding our rain jackets in hopes the rest would be OK – and it was.

Home again, safe and sound, another notch in the riding belt. Twenty nine states, 4 provinces and 15,000 klicks. Not bad. Although Arlene has ridden some pretty serious rides so far, this was a dandy. She – both of us – rode through some terrible conditions: unbelievable heat for days on end, long distances, longer days, rain and thunderstorms up the wazoo, almost completely unmanageable wind – but enjoyed some of the most incredible sights, sounds, people and places not to mention experiencing a culture quite different than our own – Y’all. We saw only one other gal on the whole trip who was actually touring and that was right here in BC.  We did see some day-trippers but most gals were passengers only. I don’t think there are many riders out there who would tackle what Arlene did. Include highlights like riding the Senora Pass, Death Valley and the Tail of the Dragon to the list and it was a ride that’s hard for almost anyone to meet or beat. That’s my gal. 🙂

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