Friday, July 24, 2009

Border to Border Ride Day Seven

Day Seven

Start – Kirkland, WA 8:40am

End – Victoria, BC, CA 4:30pm

We are in Canada, eh! Border to Border success! The marauding motorcycle horde arrived at the Canadian border a mere 112 miles after leaving Stitches’ dad’s place. A 30 minute wait later and across we rumbled. (Ed. Note: If you can, try to imagine this entire entry is a bad Canadian accent, eh. It’s aboot how I sounded in my head the whole time.)

The day started with a bad omen. My bike, the Nomad, has an aftermarket trunk and the key to said trunk has been gradually weakening. Well, this am it finally went. I twisted it to open the trunk and only the top of the key turned, not the teeth. Scary moment before I pulled it out intact. (Ed. Note: All manner of frightened thoughts flashed through my mind when that thing gave way. *shiver*) Luckily, Papa Rocket is also Joe Boyscout and a spare was ready. Whew! Off we went.

Crossing the border was as uneventful as it could possibly be. A lot of start-and-stop, on-and-off in line. We stopped and checked out the gift shop about 50 yards past the border. Bought flag pins. Yay Canada, eh! (Ed. Note: I don’t even own an American flag pin. But I own a Canadian one! I love Rush that much.)

Then the Canadian Bike Gods decided to smite the rocket ship. It might also have been all the Rush and William Shatner jokes Too Good and I had been cracking. (Ed. Note: They are both from Canada! How much more proof do you need that Canada rocks? Just ignore that harpy, Celine Dion. She doesn’t over power the Shatner.) Either way, in front of a huge group of Catholic teen tourists, the Vision refused to turn over. Damn. Damn damn. (Ed. Note: Where the hell is Javier when you need him?[If you don’t get that joke go back to Day One. Should learn to read in order or work on your retention skills.])

A bump start in front of a crowd is never fun, especially when it doesn’t work. (Ed. Note: And when they are being too helpful by half and getting in the way. Stupid good Samaritans. Sure, just because we’re in Canada you gotta be polite.) So Too Good and I set off to find jumper cables while Lillypad called AAA in hopes they have a Canadian cousin. (They do. Yay!)

This lead to my being able to say one of the best sentences of my life: “I’ll be right back, border patrol has my ID.” Let me explain. First we went to the gift shop. They politely sent us to the duty free shop across the street (Ed. Note: We may have jay-scampered across the street at this point. Nothing like immediately breaking a law in a new country.). They duty free shop politely set us to the border patrol station. This is where we learned Canadian cops have just as much of a sense of humor as American cops. That is to say- none.

We were full on questioned, more detailed than when we actually crossed the border. “Where are you coming from?” “What do you do there?” “Why are you in Canada?” “For how long?” “How did you get here?” and so on in a stern but still Canadian accent. (Ed. Note: He was of Middle Eastern descent as well. Isn’t it always fun to hear an accent come out of a face you aren’t expecting it from? Like a Chinese guy who sounds British. Also, the whole time he was questioning us he had my ID and Too Good’s passport in front of him and he was typing furiously on his keyboard, looking very serious. I think he was checking out our Facebook pages. What else could he have been doing? Looking at Canadian porn? [I have so many funny images of what Canadian porn could look like I can’t even begin to go into them now. Think maple syrup and extreme politeness, but dirty.] ) Finally he gave us a booster with a warning to come right back, keeping my ID and Too Good’s passport as collateral.

The booster worked and the space ship was running as soon as Too Good hooked it up. He got to be the Canadian Hero!

That delayed us enough to miss our planned ferry so we road to and then hung out at the dock for an hour waiting for the one o’clock. Great ferry, very smooth, easy load and unload. (Ed. Note: Government ferry. Like oil. Tomorrow’s ferry not so much. Private American company.) Beautiful scenery as we traveled between the San Juan islands. Or so I heard. Too Good and I napped most of the way.

The ferry arrived in port and it was a short 30km jaunt to Victoria and our hotel. Apparently Canadians have never seen a Vision because many times during that short trip people pulled up next to Papa Rocket excitedly pointing and taking pictures. (Ed. Note: Really, a guy was leaning over his wife with his cell phone to get a good shot. While she was driving.)

The kilometer thing is a trip for all of us too. The speed signs are now all in kph, hard to switch thinking. Kinda funny to see signs that read “Maximum 100 kph.” This makes Canada awesome because we’ll get better mileage. Kilometers are shorter and kph are faster. Makes sense, right? (Ed. Note: I have no excuse for this logic. It was late. I was tired.)

Notes on Canada - it’s a cliché but the people here are so nice. Like, everyone is incredibly polite. And the whole area is clean. Just beautiful. Canadians know what a great land they have and they also know that if they ruin the populated parts all that’s left is the tundra and bears. Better treat the good part well. And they do.

We’re all thrilled with Victoria. Short ride today too. I’d love to come back for the Olympics in 2010. The hotel is right on the harbor. Watched sea planes land and a street performer on a tall unicycle. Funny guy. Also have some Canadian money now. It’s pretty. (Ed. Note: They have hockey players on their money! We should put baseball players on ours! Presidents? Pshaw.)

We get to sleep in a bit tomorrow. That should be good for all of us. Stitches is still feeling under the weather.

Michael Jackson died yesterday. Must blast Thriller in his honor. Back to the states tomorrow, eh.

160 miles today (257.5km)

2595 miles total (4176.2km)

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