Changing colors

Dear future me,

The Kicking Horse River experience proved to be the water sibling of motorbiking  as it is all about using your weight shifting to stay in the saddle, with the occasional splash of cold refreshing water in your face. Replace water in your face with mosquitoes between your teeth and it is just like you’re on a bike! The river tried it’s best to live up to his name and it did surprise me once in a while, but I kept my feet nice and dry. My true test came when I was riding the (highway) road next to the river. Three mountain sheep didn’t use the proper crossway and with the sun in my face, I didn’t see them before I had the chance to look deep into their eyes. Brown, with dilated pupils of fear. As I paid attention in classroom and had many opportunities to practice in real life ever since, my performance of coming to a total stop and then fly off again, almost got me raving critics. I could see the jury of Bighorns, standing on the mountain cliffs, hold their 10-points-signs up.

After collecting my gold medal, I left the Kicking Bighorns Highway, to meet Johan en Jane in Golden. After my lengthy days of riding on my own, meeting new people and saying farewell at the same time, I really looked forward to see a familiar face. Even though the face was from an opponent in my tennis competition last year! We stayed in contact, since Johan told me he was a sort of a manager at a campground in Canada during the summer period. By the time I was entering B.C. he and his wife went on a holiday of their own down the west coast of the States. Thankfully, I was lingering around long enough for them to find me still in the neighborhood. I got to see their beautiful campground, up a mountain, where they now have found a more permanent residence. And I had the pleasure to meet all of their wonderful friends, including a big black bear that keeps watch at the bottom of the mountain. Although I could have stayed there forever, I felt my own pressure to move on as Fall clearly showed its face to me. Still around 30 degrees, the weather forecast started to give lower temperatures for the next weeks with lots of showers. And I’m still nowhere within distance of Vancouver, so I had to go. 

After our goodbyes, I headed south to Cranbrook, where a few minutes before, I was sure to go north to Revelstoke. In both towns I should get stormy weathers, but in Cranbrook it would still be warm. Either way, it brought me to my next destination in B.C.: Nelson. A pearl I shouldn’t miss according to many and I agree, it is a very relaxed and nice place. Not only does the area offer the best motorbike routes in the West of Canada (even in the rain), the town itself has a very hippies setting, so time beats in a slower pace, the caffeine taste like a god and life seems happier all together. I must admit that I felt out of place in this hippie zone, because here the dress code is NOT wearing a boring t-shirt and jeans. And hippies always seem to bring a very communal feeling to a place where I as an individual motorbike ‘ster’ don’t play a part. So where Nelson is a very rustic and peaceful community in western Canada, it invoked a lonely feeling in me that had been smoldering there for a while. I realized that it would have been nice now to travel with someone else, even if it would be for a week. Sharing your experiences from that day when you lift your helm and come up with a big smile, because you’ve just witnessed the most perfect world around you. It still does trigger people to spontaneously start a small talk with me, but those encounters are always brief as I am or they are going somewhere else. Most travelers that I’ve met are long way gone, down in the south of the States or even crossing into South-America.

So, with a heavy heart, I dragged myself to the next place, Kewlona. This time I entered a sort of party hostel, the ones you’re not really into when you feel you represent the middle-aged generation of this world. But the parties turned out to be lets-get-together-and-watch-movies-evenings and help-the-other-making-pancakes-in-the-mornings. Even with my all my wrinkles and grey hairs, I could keep up with those parties. In fact, I was always the last one to go to bed. With an enlightened heart I was ready for the next stop in my non-existing plans: Kamloops. If I would have met the Holiday-Man (only known to Dutch people, sorry!) I would definitely put my pin in Peru, as the answer to the question ‘Where are you now?’. I actually saw lama’s in this really strange yellowish brownish dry country, but I must admit  they were surrounded by fences. It is funny to see this place in comparison to the blues, greens and blacks from the Rockies and the forests in the rest of B.C. My heart jumped up and down in my chest and I am afraid I have to tie it down soon, or else it is going to float out of my body. Wow! Combined with the great guesthouse and ditto host in Kamloops, it made my travel life worthwhile again. 

Now I’m heading for the most western side of Canada, Vancouver Island. As all the colors around me are changing, the one color I fear most is appearing on the horizon: the white of snow. I am afraid that from now on, I have to endure frozen hands and bones for a while, because I’m still not ready and willing to leave Canada yet. Somehow this country and its people creep up to you and maybe that is exactly the reason why I am getting to these emotional rollercoaster’s right now. It feels too much like home, especially with the smells and colors of the Fall sneaking up on me. Not that I am getting homesick, no that’s a total different thing! I’m still looking forward to every single day that brings me new adventures, new environments and different stories, but I do realize where my roots are and my friends and family……….


Annemieke, 25 September 2013

Reacties 3

Marian Hannewijk 26-09-2013 19:15

hoi Annemieke, wat een avonturen beleef je, geweldig om te lezen. Ik kan me voorstellen dat je niet naar ons kikkerlandje verlangt, als je zo jou overweldigende landschapsfoto;s bekijkt.
Heel veel plezier , geluk en succes nog met je reis.
groetjes v Marian

Joris 28-09-2013 15:37

Hoi Annemieke,

Mooie verhalen! En kop op, je komt straks vast weer leuke mensen tegen om je verhalen te delen en misschien blijft er wel 1 aan je spatbord hangen;-) Geniet van elk moment!

Grtz, Joris

Patrick 28-09-2013 17:42

Hé "party-animal" ! Je kunt het ook zo zien. Normaal betaal je voor een rollercoaster waar je maar een minuut in zit. Van de rollercoaster waar jij in zit, kun je veel langer genieten! Blijf dat doen!


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