Crossing the Border into Canada: Day 1
Crossing the Border into Canada: Day 1

Day 1

What a mess of a day.

I woke up late from my alarm, forgetting to set the right one.

I got dressed, got coffee, and threw the rest of what was needed in my tank bag for the trip.

Out I got, around 6am, instead of before 5 like I had planned.

The ride up north was great. Still no traffic to deal with, and it wasn’t long before I was headed on my way on the North Cascade Highway.

I’ve been on this road before… On my R6… Needless to say, I saw it for the first time today.

So much is missed when you are paying attention to corner after corner of blissfull knee dragging.

No, for once, I made my way down the highway proper. I took in the sites, but stopped only once in Winthorp for fuel.

There, I met 2 couples on BMW Touring bikes, heading back to Vancouver from a trip down to California. Both were very excited to hear about my trip, and both wanted to take pictures of me and the bike to show their friends when they returned.

I got a kick out of it. It’s the first time anyone has every really come up to me to see where I am headed. It kinda made me feel warm and tingly inside, and made me want to push on.

Once fueled up, I pushed on up to the Canadian Border on highway 97. What a mess.

Construction after construction caused delay. Eventually I made it to the border about an hour behind my new schedule.

At the border, the wait time said 15 minutes. Great, I’m going to get a break.

WRONG….

An hour later, I finally make my way up to the checkpoint. It was a quick question and answer session with the very nice Canadian lady, and I was finally in Canada!

First Stop, an ATM!

I pull up to an ATM, insert my card, go to draw cash, and DECLINED.

WTF?

I try again… Declined… I try it as a VISA, Declined…

I’m getting a bit miffed.

I try another check card of mine from Chase.

It worked, and I was able to pull a small amount, knowing I only have a small amount in this account. As I use it for rent, and paying my insurance bill each month. Yah, I keep separate accounts for those items… Strange, I know…

I then make my way to a shaded parking area, and call my bank. They say nothing is wrong, but they are glad I called to at least inform them I’m going to Canada…

Dang, I knew I forgot to do something, inform my bank of my trip!

With that, they transfer me to the fraud department, double check my account and said everything is fine, and the card should work in any machine that takes VISA.

I try again later on for gas in Kelowna, with a Declined State once more.

Completely miffed over the whole deal, I find a bank. I go into the bank and use the ATM, and it works, allowing me to withdraw more cash.

I don’t care for caring large amounts of cash, so I kept the amount low, enough to sustain me for a few days.

I then push on North.

This is where things get tricky.

I realized I left my map at home, but remembered the route I needed. Highway 97 to Canada 1, and then on to Golden.

Simple Enough, right?

Again, wrong.

I came upon a sign that said “Highway 97 North” With an arrow, so I took it.

I was expecting to go, well, north.

Apparently that is not the case… It goes more Northwest than North.

I eventually find out my mistake, but much too late. The first town I stopped in to find a map, they did not have any at the gas station. The next one did.

There are 2 Highway 97’s. Actually, there are more than that, but the one I took is actually a split from the one I was on.

So I wanted 97A.

So here I end up finally getting on Canada 1, about 100 miles from where the other 97 meets up with highway 1.

I push on East. I eventually end up in Salmon Arm, and decide on what to do. At this point I am broken.

I have no access to funds, with limited cash on me, I am way off from my destination by over 200 clicks, and I am tired.

I find a campground, pay the twelve dollars fifty, and setup camp.

I call my mother at home, tell her of how the day has went, and just wondering if it was worth pushing on.

I sit here, wondering what to do.

I have no idea if I’ll be able to access my accounts, I’m now 2 days behind schedule, and, to top it all off, a VHOLDR Camera that my friend Kevin let me borrow for this trip, fell off of my bike somewhere between Kelowna and here.

So much for video on this trip. Which really bums me out.

I’m broken down. This last week has torn me apart, from getting parts late, getting a late start, and all of these delays. I wonder if I didn’t plan enough, or maybe, I am looking at it to hard, and I planned to much. Maybe I planned that things should go too well.

Whatever that may be, in the morning I’ll make my final decision. Right now, I’m just thinking maybe it isn’t meant to be.

Day 1

What a mess of a day.

I woke up late from my alarm, forgetting to set the right one.

I got dressed, got coffee, and threw the rest of what was needed in my tank bag for the trip.

Out I got, around 6am, instead of before 5 like I had planned.

The ride up north was great. Still no traffic to deal with, and it wasn’t long before I was headed on my way on the North Cascade Highway.

I’ve been on this road before… On my R6… Needless to say, I saw it for the first time today.

So much is missed when you are paying attention to corner after corner of blissfull knee dragging.

No, for once, I made my way down the highway proper. I took in the sites, but stopped only once in Winthorp for fuel.

There, I met 2 couples on BMW Touring bikes, heading back to Vancouver from a trip down to California. Both were very excited to hear about my trip, and both wanted to take pictures of me and the bike to show their friends when they returned.

I got a kick out of it. It’s the first time anyone has every really come up to me to see where I am headed. It kinda made me feel warm and tingly inside, and made me want to push on.

Once fueled up, I pushed on up to the Canadian Border on highway 97. What a mess.

Construction after construction caused delay. Eventually I made it to the border about an hour behind my new schedule.

At the border, the wait time said 15 minutes. Great, I’m going to get a break.

WRONG….

An hour later, I finally make my way up to the checkpoint. It was a quick question and answer session with the very nice Canadian lady, and I was finally in Canada!

First Stop, an ATM!

I pull up to an ATM, insert my card, go to draw cash, and DECLINED.

WTF?

I try again… Declined… I try it as a VISA, Declined…

I’m getting a bit miffed.

I try another check card of mine from Chase.

It worked, and I was able to pull a small amount, knowing I only have a small amount in this account. As I use it for rent, and paying my insurance bill each month. Yah, I keep separate accounts for those items… Strange, I know…

I then make my way to a shaded parking area, and call my bank. They say nothing is wrong, but they are glad I called to at least inform them I’m going to Canada…

Dang, I knew I forgot to do something, inform my bank of my trip!

With that, they transfer me to the fraud department, double check my account and said everything is fine, and the card should work in any machine that takes VISA.

I try again later on for gas in Kelowna, with a Declined State once more.

Completely miffed over the whole deal, I find a bank. I go into the bank and use the ATM, and it works, allowing me to withdraw more cash.

I don’t care for caring large amounts of cash, so I kept the amount low, enough to sustain me for a few days.

I then push on North.

This is where things get tricky.

I realized I left my map at home, but remembered the route I needed. Highway 97 to Canada 1, and then on to Golden.

Simple Enough, right?

Again, wrong.

I came upon a sign that said “Highway 97 North” With an arrow, so I took it.

I was expecting to go, well, north.

Apparently that is not the case… It goes more Northwest than North.

I eventually find out my mistake, but much too late. The first town I stopped in to find a map, they did not have any at the gas station. The next one did.

There are 2 Highway 97’s. Actually, there are more than that, but the one I took is actually a split from the one I was on.

So I wanted 97A.

My Frown Face at the end of Day 1
My Frown Face at the end of Day 1

So here I end up finally getting on Canada 1, about 100 miles from where the other 97 meets up with highway 1.

I push on East. I eventually end up in Salmon Arm, and decide on what to do. At this point I am broken.

I have no access to funds, with limited cash on me, I am way off from my destination by over 200 clicks, and I am tired.

I find a campground, pay the twelve dollars fifty, and setup camp.

I call my mother at home, tell her of how the day has went, and just wondering if it was worth pushing on.

I sit here, wondering what to do.

I have no idea if I’ll be able to access my accounts, I’m now 2 days behind schedule, and, to top it all off, a VHOLDR Camera that my friend Kevin let me borrow for this trip, fell off of my bike somewhere between Kelowna and here.

So much for video on this trip. Which really bums me out.

I’m broken down. This last week has torn me apart, from getting parts late, getting a late start, and all of these delays. I wonder if I didn’t plan enough, or maybe, I am looking at it to hard, and I planned to much. Maybe I planned that things should go too well.

Whatever that may be, in the morning I’ll make my final decision. Right now, I’m just thinking maybe it isn’t meant to be.

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Arctic Expedition: Day 2

The Author

Mic

6 Comments

  1. Marty
    June 20, 2010 at 3:48 PM — Reply

    Chin up Mic, you’re on the road and things will work themselves out! One suggestion though, treat cash like gas – get it when you can because you never know when you’ll need it. On a recent 4000 mile, 11 day, 8 state trip I just completed I started with $1000 in my pocket. You never know when you’ll need help and no one takes plastic. Consider it insurance, you’ll have if you need it, if you don’t need it it goes back in the bank later.

    Also, when in doubt, stop and assess your situation. You have a long road ahead, take your time, enjoy the journey. Two weeks from now you’ll look back and be amazed what you have done.

    Good Luck!

    Marty

  2. Marty
    June 20, 2010 at 3:48 PM — Reply

    Chin up Mic, you’re on the road and things will work themselves out! One suggestion though, treat cash like gas – get it when you can because you never know when you’ll need it. On a recent 4000 mile, 11 day, 8 state trip I just completed I started with $1000 in my pocket. You never know when you’ll need help and no one takes plastic. Consider it insurance, you’ll have if you need it, if you don’t need it it goes back in the bank later.

    Also, when in doubt, stop and assess your situation. You have a long road ahead, take your time, enjoy the journey. Two weeks from now you’ll look back and be amazed what you have done.

    Good Luck!

    Marty

  3. Ilse
    June 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM — Reply

    I told you CASH was a thing to have. Trips like this show you how quickly you become irritable and what your breaking point is. A VERY GOOD LESSON. Makes us the SURVIVORS/WORRIARS

    • June 21, 2010 at 10:50 PM — Reply

      I have cash. I just don’t want to have to carry a large amount. I’d rather just use plastic where I can. Makes things much easier.

  4. Ilse
    June 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM — Reply

    I told you CASH was a thing to have. Trips like this show you how quickly you become irritable and what your breaking point is. A VERY GOOD LESSON. Makes us the SURVIVORS/WORRIARS

    • June 21, 2010 at 10:50 PM — Reply

      I have cash. I just don’t want to have to carry a large amount. I’d rather just use plastic where I can. Makes things much easier.

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