Today is a sad day for the writer of this blog. At noon today, I waved good-bye to my brother as he turned right onto I-90 east, on his way to Michigan, and I continued north on I-405 toward Everett. Sad, because I will miss my brother after being together for over two weeks. Sad, that this little adventure has come to an end for me. Sad, that we had so many shared memories that we still need to talk and laugh about over and over again. Sad, that he has to ride home to Michigan all alone. My prayers will be with him even though I cannot. My brother is a good man-a much better man than I will ever be in this lifetime. I already miss him a lot.
This morning, we rode over to Renton, Washington to visit some distant relatives. Bill and Delores Peless, and their offspring, are the only remaining Peless's in this state. It was good to visit with them and to get to know them better. They are good people.
Yesterday, Butch and I rode about 1 1/2 hours over to Oak Harbor, Washington to visit our niece, Tammy, and her wonderful family. Unfortunately, her husband Gary was at work and we didn't get to see him. But we did get to see his beautiful, new, BMW motorcycle. I took it for a spin and it really moves! (Just kidding Gary!) After spending much to short of a time with Tammy and family, Butch and I stopped at a Harley shop and got the oil changed on his bike. I had to restrain my brother from trading his bike in on a newer model that was in a "postal blue" color that he loved and really wanted . I convinced him not to do it when I said that his wife would "go postal" on him if he bought the newer bike!
Butch has promised to call me every night so that I can continue this blog, because his little adventure has not ended yet. He still has about 2400 miles to go before he gets home. Butch figured out the mileage from Everett to Kenai and back-5,015 miles. What a ride! But Butch will have twice that on his entire trip. He is my hero.
Things observed and pondered along the way:
1. Many thanks to Butch who planned this trip. He mapped out our route, and made reservations at many of our stops. He was lead dog, who, with his hawk-like eyes, spotted much of the wildlife (critters) for us. He also made the days go faster by keeping me in stitches throughout the day. He also kept me at a sensible pace, obeying the speed limits most of the time. I just relaxed this entire trip and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and shed the occasional tear for the yet another "perfect" shot that we were passing by. So, I thank you Butch.
2. We both noticed the lack of road kill along the highways in the remote areas of BC and the Yukon. No road kill at all-none. We didn't even notice any dead animal smells in the remote areas that we always smell once we get back to civilization. Conclusion: the bears take care of any excess carcasses that may be out there. Because the bears are every where.
3. Lack of billboards. It was refreshing to see no billboards for days at a time. None. Even approaching the small towns-none. Even approaching the larger towns like Whitehorse. None. Even when we got back to civilization in BC, the towns do not have the size or number of bill boards tha are found here in the states. Refreshing.
4. Traffic. Yesterday and today, every time that we got stopped due to traffic, we would look at each other and say in unison - "I miss the Yukon". We could drive for hours and maybe see one or two vehicles on the road.
5. There are enough trees in Canada to keep us supplied with paper products for a long time. As well as oil. According to two people that we spoke with, and one of them working for the oil companies, there is supposedly enough oil in Canada to keep the USA supplied for decades to come.
6. Canada and the USA are so similar in so many ways that the only way you can really tell the difference is in the money and the speed limit signs.
7. Butch and I REALLY want to take our wifes on the same routes to and from Alaska so that they too can see and experience the beauty of Canada and Alaska. But by car, and over at least three weeks.
8. Experience it yourself. Butch and I bought and read books on motorcycling to Alaska. We did research on the internet. We followed exactly what others were saying to do and not to do, and we learned that only about 50% of the information that we gathered was useful. Just do it and experience it yourself.
9. Cell phones are useless in most of British Columbia and the Yukon. That is one reason that the people look out for each other so much in the "bush". There is nothing else to fall back on except your neighbors. I like that.
10. Wonderful spouses. Our wifes are the best for putting up with two men who are still boys at heart and allow them to live a dream and ride a motorcycle to Alaska. Awesome.
11. We were blessed. We know that. And we are greatful.
12. And yes.....we would do it again in a heartbeat!!!! We just have to hit the Lottery, and make HUGE promises to our brides.
13. We are already making plans for the next little adventure. We were thinking of doing all 48 states in two weeks, but then we thought of taking our spouses on the next adventure instead. Salt Lake City, Utah is only a days ride from here, and it is about a days ride to about 11 national parks. So we are going to plan on seeing as many national parks as we can in two weeks with our spouses. We are planning this for 2009, because we are going to invite another couple, Tammy and her husband Gary, to join us. Gary is in the Navy and will be oversees for a year, so we will just have to wait until he gets back. By then, he will be a little older and a little wiser and will probably trade in his Beemer for a real bike. ;-)
So keep in touch with the blog, and I will update it as soon as I hear from Butch each evening.
......and thank you all for joining us on this little adventure!