Lorne and Cindy » Motorcycle travel story

Motorcycle travel story by Lorne and Cindy

27 000 km Motorbike trip across Canada by Lorne & Cindy

This past summer my wife and I took a 3-month motorcycle trip across Canada. We covered over 27000 km riding 2-up. This was our first long-distance motorcycle trip and we enjoyed it so much we are planning another trip within the next 2-3 years. Being new to extended motorcycle travel, we were not sure what to expect or just how much to pack. Once we left Toronto we knew we had to make do with what we took.

We encountered all types of weather, including a brief hail storm on the day we left Toronto. Our plan was to head east towards Newfoundland and Labrador, then back west to Yukon and into Alaska. We are now home and truly miss being on the road. The trip was amazing and except for a clutch issue in Labrador we rode problem free.

Apr. 13th, 2006 10:05 am Final arrangements

We are leaving in 5 weeks! The routes are now finalized, printed and mapped. We were lucky enough to sublet our apartment (furnished), so now we just have to pack up our personal belongings and get ready to move to our temporary post with Cindy's parents at the end of the month. Once we're there, we'll test some of the camping equipment by camping out in the backyard for a night. At least we'll find out how to set up the tent, use the camp stove, and know if our sleeping bags are warm enough. Now I just have to make sure all our gear fits on the bike! - L&C

Apr. 22nd, 2006 02:11 pm 4 weeks to departure

In 4 weeks we'll be on the road. All we have left to do is pack up our belongings for storage and move into our temporary home in North York. It's been a busy week though. We have visitors from no-fixed address!  - L&C World travellers Uwe Krauss & Ramona Eichhorn have been circling the globe on their KTM 640's since 2001. I received an email through Horizons Unlimited from Uwe advising that they will be in Toronto on Apr 20th, and are looking for info on inexpensive accommodations. I've read a number of articles written by these two and recognized their names. I offered them our place to stay while in Toronto. They are great people. Cindy and I were glad we could accommodate them. Their stories and photos are incredible, and Uwe even had a look at our western route through BC and YT and suggested a few nice roads and places to stay. Look for Uwe and Ramona's articles in RoadRunner Magazine.  - L&C

May. 7th, 2006 07:14 pm 2 weeks away

We leave in 2 weeks. Everything is bought and arranged...so we think! I left out the Dempster Highway on our original route primarily because of time limitations. Our friends Uwe and Ramona highly suggested we take the Highway as it is a spectacular ride, and there is no highway like it in the world. So I think we'll make the extra effort to fit it in. Next weekend we'll do a trial run with the bike loaded up and probably camp out in the back yard. We bought our tent last year. It hasn't been un-packed yet. Hopefully we'll be able to solve any trial run/camping glitches by next week. After that we'll deal with stuff as it comes up. Jeff....thanks for the Motorcycle Camping book!!  - L&C

May. 18th, 2006 12:45 am Ready to go...

We'll be on the road in 3 days. It's been raining all week in Toronto, but they're calling for sunshine and 18 degrees for the 21st! Our first stop is Belleville, ON. We set off on Sunday at 10 AM with a send-off from my riding pals from the ACME Motorcycle Club. They'll ride with us for the first 85 km or so, then head back to Toronto. We'll be on the road for ~35 days - returning to Toronto at the end of June in preparation for the western part of our journey, which is ~ 55 days. Email will be limited while travelling, but we expect to find Internet access 1-2 times/week so we can post to this journal. We'd like to thank our friends and family for their support and enthusiasm during our planning.  - L&C

May. 21st, 2006 07:33 am We're off!

This is it. Have a great summer folks. We hope to hear from you via this journal from time-to-time. We'll post as often as possible.  - L&C

May. 25th, 2006 10:11 am Levis - Quebec

We are in the gorgeous town of Levis and off to Quebec City for the day. We have been through all sorts of weather - hail rain cold but our gear is amazing. Have yet to camp - a whole new experience. Already been through some amazing roads and beautiful scenery. Stayed with my buddy Bruce for welcome respite from the elements - he wined and dined us...we are loving this. - Cindy We are averaging approx 300 km per day. The bike is riding very well and all the gear is performing as expected. Got used to the extra weight pretty quickly. The next 3 days will take us around the Gaspe peninsula, then into New Brunswick. So far it has been a great trip, and only 5 days into it. - Lorne

May. 29th, 2006 09:48 am Campbellton New Brunswick

We made it to NB last night at 7 pm. Riding through Gaspe was amazing. The mountains and roads are incredible, although a little rough (lots of shoddy patchwork). We took a detour through the Chic-Choc mountain range. (Jeff...a must do sometime) and took a gravel/dirt sideroad with breathtaking views...and evidence of moose (evidence meaning plenty of moose shit). The rain seems to have stopped, for now. We also spent our first night camping 2 nights ago. We had all the gear we needed, but it was just a matter of getting used to it. The tent, bags and stove worked great. We are averaging approx. 350 km per day and seem to have developed a schedule/system for our days. Perce Rock is a huge rock, with a hole in it. But you have to see it to see how beautiful it is. It's more than just a rock! So far this has been a great trip. The biggest mishap was me breaking my sunglasses, so we're in a mall now looking for a new pair. For you bikers: This bike rides/handles perfectly. Even traversing 60 km of gravel, stone and some mud, it's a pleasure to ride. Fuel consumption is as expected and not much more than ri8ding solo (3500 RPM seems to do the trick for good milage. Will top up a little oil soon, but hasn't burned much after 2400 km riding loaded up. Hwy 132 is 90 km max with lots of hills and great curves. There are plenty of places to pull off for fuel, food and lodging. The road can be rather patchy and we hit only 1 (2 km) section of construction. Other than that, it's an amazing ride. - Lorne That off-road course that Lorne took last year really came in handy, especially crossing the Chic Chocs in Gaspe. Loose gravel, mud, dirt, washed out road, you name it. And me, a.k.a The Heavy Load on the back trying to take pictures. The scenery was breathtaking. Yesterday, better roads, sweeping turns,Lorne loving the ride. We've stayed at some cool places and camped the other night for the first time. Still need to get used to the camping routine, but not bad for the first time. And cold. But last night was a soft bed in a beautiful 100 year old house in Cambellton, NB. Today we set out for Mirimichi. Wish my French was better - everyone here and in Quebec speaks better English than my French. There is so much to tell and we have to be off..... This trip is really teaching me to live in the moment. And wear extra socks. And pack light. And learn to speak French. And read the "instant" rice package carefully before taking it camping (it could take 25 minutes to make). I guess that's all my words of Pillion Wisdom for today. I think I'm developing some strange thigh muscles from getting on and off the bike over the luggage. Loving this, Cindy

May. 31st, 2006 02:47 pm Charlottetown P.E.I.

Hi all. Thanks for all your replies, friends, family, and some new friends! All is going well. We left Campbellton NB on the 29th and took the Appalachian (sp) scenic route to Miramichi NB. The mountain range is also great, although quite different from those in Quebec - less visible rock, and more pines. We've been blessed with good weather the last 4 days, but not nearly as hot as in Toronto. The people we've met have all been wonderful and helpful. Late yesterday afternoon we arrived in PEI via ther COnfederation Bridge. This bridge is an engineering marvel, and the view (on a bike, where you can see over the wall) is spectacular! We were supposed to Camp, but the park was closed, so we went to Summerside and stayed in a Farm/B&B. Now we are in Charlottetown for a rest/snack, then off to Nova Scotia for the evening. - Lorne Thank you for all your encouragement and support! This is so cool. We've put in a lot of mileage the last few days, and today we're cruising around PEI and taking it easy before Nova Scotia. Went to Cavendish Beach today, beautiful sand dunes and practically deserted - too cold to swim, but great to be here pre-tourist season.Took off the evil riding pants (actually they've been keeping me warm and dry) for the freedom of walking in the ocean barefoot for a few minutes before the frostbite set in. Rode through New Brunswick yesterday, lots of moose warnings, but fortunately none on the road. Met a guy in Moncton, who recommended a really cool scenic road to PEI. People have been great about giving pointers and routes. Met a woman in Campbellton who was telling us about growing up in rural Quebec after the war...Anyway seem to be telling this backwards. Now we're in Charlottetown and on our way to Nova Scotia - camping tonight? Who knows. Ok enough about the thigh thing. But from getting on and off the bike over my little throne of luggage, I can do a new move I call The Wishbone..... - Cindy

Jun. 2nd, 2006 12:23 pm Lunenburg

Lorne is the Backroad King. We took an amazing route yesterday from Pugwash to Lunenburg. Great roads and scenery and only got 10 minutes worth of a thorough drenching of rain. Really good riding day. Lunenburg's full of old houses from the 1700's and of course boats and piers. We are taking a rest day today before heading off to Antigonish tomorrow. Several dire warnings of moose in Newfoundland. Lorne had a lobster for dinner last night. I've named him Lionel..... I want to see the whales. Maybe today, or we may wail until Newfoundland in a few days. Great to explore and take the day off the bike, also great to be riding....- Cindy

Jun. 4th, 2006 08:43 pm Antigonish N.S.

We're in Antigonish Nova Scotia after 4000 km of riding. The last 3 days have been rainy...teeming at times. We left Lunenburg while it was raining, took some side trips and wanted to ride through Peggy's Cove. Bloody pouring, but Peggy's cove is a real sight. After 185 km we were soaked through and had to pull off in Halifax for the night. Every piece of our gear was strung all over the room, and we turned the temp up to 77 deg F, hoping it would be dry by the morning. It was, luckily, only to head out in the rain again. After 5 minutes out, I thought I didn't want to do this again, so we sat in a coffee shop for 2.5 hours. Finally the downpour let up and we headed out of Halifax through a blowing mist (better than rain!). The route from Halifax to Antigonish (approx. 265 km) was a little cool and wet, but the scenery was amazing (via Hwy 7, alonmg the southern coast). FInally at around 3 the roads began to dry. Haven't seen a dry road in almost 3 days. The bike is doing great. A true stallion. - Lorne We are loving life on the road. Though we haven't been in any one province long enough to really get a sense of it, each one is unique and every day is an adventure. Also learning a lot of history we forgot or never knew. Today I had such a feeling of freedom after being forced to seek refuge from the deluge in Halifax. So good to be off on beautiful roads with views of inlets and coves around us. And much less rain. Tomorrow we're off to Ingonish on the Cabot Trail. -Cindy

Jun. 6th, 2006 07:36 pm The Cabot Trail

Today we rode the magnificent Cabot Trail. It was absolutely incredible, twisty winding hills, sweeping turns, spectacular views of the coast and the mountains. Stayed at an inn, wary of another downpour, but today the weather was warm and sunny. Yesterday evening we hiked down to the water and caught a brief view of whale fin in the waves. Tonight we're in North Sydney ready to catch the early morning ferry to Newfoundland tomorrow. Met some people who rode here from Barrie and just left last Friday. Booted the Trans Canada just for a day of the Cabot Trail. Worth it! Lorne is too wiped to add anything, but very happy. - Cindy

Jun. 11th, 2006 09:24 am St. John's Newfoundland

Hi, Haven't had Internet access in a few days. Thanks for all your comments. We love reading them. We arrived in St. John's on Saturday. Still no rain, but misty. There seems to be a perma-cloud around these parts. The scenery and side trips were amazing. The best roads and lanscapes are well off teh Trans Canada Highway (TCH). So far Nfld takes 1st place for bad roads, but the bike is are doing well. Still no moose...yet. This marks the turn-around point. From here we head north/west to Labrador. We've been able to camp a couple times this week and have plenty of stories. - Lorne We are loving Newfoundland. We went on this side trip to Crow's Head which was breathtakingly beautiful. Cliffs and turquoise water crashing on the rocks and endless ocean. No whales, though. Last night we went to a pub in St. John's and had a blast. People really know how to have fun here. So much more reserved in Toronto. The night before last we camped and were eaten alive by mosquitoes, but last night it poured and we stayed in a b&b that was like the Taj Mahal. I like the contrasts between the different roads and scenery and places we stay. People have been really friendly as well. Today we're off around the coast and then back on the TCH. Maybe camping tonight. Thanks for being with us on this trip. - Cindy

Jun. 16th, 2006 01:28 pm L'Anse au Clair - Labrador

Hi all. Great to see your comments! Thanks for taking the time. Limited Internet access, and no cell reception either. Last few days have been interesting and incredible. Saw our first ice berg (pronounced oyce berg here!) in Capstan Island Labrador. Gorgeous...and it was ~ 500 feet from the rocky shore. Gros Morne Nation Park is outstanding. Totally different landscape and mountains than N.S. Camped in Trout River, and our camp site looked directly at the Tableland mountains...nothing between us but the Trout River. Labrador is also a different landscape. Rocky, windy but so far sunny. We attempted the Trans-Lab Highway but after 2 km north of Red Bay we decided it was too "marbly" for our bike/load and turned around. I think later in the season, once the trucks have hammered it out, it's a more manageable, packed surface. Spent the night in Blanc Sablon (bordering Labrador) and saw a small pod of whales, spouting and barely breaching the surface...cool! We changed our course, as we're not traversing Labrador, to take a 2-day ferry to the north shore of the St. Lawrence (Quebec), starting from Natashquan and riding to Baie Comeau - resuming our original route. Life on the road is great, once you get used to the routine. Met a great couple of guys (one from Toronto - also on a beemer) who we've been hanging out with for 2 days. Tourist season hasn't yet hit, but we've met a number of Ontarians up here. - Lorne We love Newfoundland and Labrador, as we've loved all the other provinces. Lorne's told you about Gros Morne in NL and the Table Mountains, and the amazing experience of seeing the iceberg and the whales. I just felt so lucky to have this experience. I'm excited about our change of plans and doing these roads (Lower North Shore Quebec!) after a 2 night ferry ride. We've camped a few nights but it's been really cold the last 2 nights in St.Barbe NL and Blanc Sablon in Quebec right at the border between Quebec and Labrador, complete with time change. Newfoundlanders are the friendliest people, although all the Maritimes is extremely outgoing and lively. Very different from reserved Ontario. Camping tip: Put a little bug repellent (natural if you want to go that way) inside your ears, the blackflies seem to love this tender spot. Add a dab on your face and a fun hat, and your ready for a glamourous night out... outside, that is. Keep your thermals on. Think of them as a second skin! -Cindy

Jun. 20th, 2006 Back in Old Quebec after bike died

Been an interesting 4 days since our last post. Too many details to write out so point form is the order of the day. - bike transmission goes in English Point Labrador - Coast 1 km down a hill to closest town, stop at a house to use phone - very hot out, and black flies are eating us - contact BMW, after 10 mins of describing where in Labrador we are, they arrange for trailer to transport bike to ferry at Blanc Sablon (Quebec/Lab border) - board ferry and change trip to go to Rimouski (approx. 1100 km) - spend 3 confining days on ship - land in Rimouski, trailer waiting for us to take bike to Quebec (330 km) - too late so we stay in Rimouski, and truck picks us up at 4 AM this mornining to drive to Quebec City. - Get to dealer at 9 AM. Tech looks at bike...3 weeks to fix - I lose it and call BMW Canada They decide to trailer bike, again, to Montreal, where the dealer there has the resources to fix in 2-3 days. BMW loans us another R1150R to scoot around Quebec on, find accommodations until bike is fixed (they pay the tab!!) So we are in Quebec City now - hoping to get back on the road before the end of the week. See below for Cin's details - Lorne OK Like 3 days ago I'm puking up everything I've ever eaten on the High Seas, and now I'm in a cool pub in Rue St.Jean, drinking too much to pay for using this computer. (The price is a beer) In a gorgeous thunderstorm in Quebec City. The reason 1 half pint is too much, is because a couple of hours we were at a dealership parkinglot deciding what we were going to do with kaput bike after a 5 hour truck ride and then everything changed and we were in a beautiful cafe in the sun drinking wine and eating real cheese (as opposed to kraft slices and hamburger buns which we were eating 4 days ago at a lighthouse in Labrador) Bike is hopefully in recovery, which we were just in, after our harrowing journey in the High Seas. Does this make any sense? I hope not. Only way to convey the weird and wonderful twists and turns our journey has taken us. Oh yeah, we're staying in a funky b&b in a gorgeous courtyard with a fountain not too pricey that we found on a fluke. So there you go you never know. Love this, in spite of a few challenges. We've met the best people. -Cindy

Jun. 23rd, 2006 10:08 pm Back in Toronto - for a few days

Hey all, We are back at our Toronto HQ until the 29th, then we head west. Got here around 4:30 directly from Cornwall Ontario. Yup...had to take the 401 just to make up for the lost week without the bike. All is OK, and I have a brand new clutch! Not to plug BMW, as they have not sponsored us in any way...BUT...I challenge any other major brand to take care of their customers the way BMW looked after us. Basically they: - trailered the bike approx. 550 km to the nearest dealer, who could fix the bike asap (Moto Internationale in Montreal) - gave us a loaner while spending 2 days in Quebec City (again) - told me to keep ALL receipts during the time the bike was being fixed (accommodations / meals & travel) for reimbursement (haven't submitted these, so we'll see) - had a new clutch installed in 1.5 days, and delivered on time - warranty (freak, but not unheard of, instance where the drive shaft grinds off the clutch plate splines) - no hassle! ** for you tribesmen & women, I could have writen a Diaynu jingle around this...it would have been enough! We'll rest up a bit, get some errands done and pick up some supplies in the next few days then off to the west. The first 34 days of our trip have been incredible. Even with the breakdown we got to see places most people don't even know exist, and accessible only by boat or plane, and we met some great people. We really appreciate reading your comments, and glad that you can take a few moments to catch up on our journal. Cheers, Lorne & Cindy

Jun. 28th, 2006 10:43 pm Leaving for the West on 6/29

Hi, Been a busy few days at home in Toronto. We've posted a few pics from our eastern trip, and will have western side pics when we return (we'll also include Ontario). Lots of prep for this trip, as it's almost twice as long. We leave early on 6/29. First stop is Tobermory Ontario, then the ferry, then west towards Lake Superior. We'll post after a few days on the road. Cheers Lorne & Cindy

Jul. 3rd, 2006 05:33 pm Atikokan Ontario

Hi, We're in Atikokan Ontario. This small community is about 200 km west of Thunder Bay. On our way here we crossed into Central time, and found out that not far from here, all lakes and rivers flow north into the Arctic Ocean. The last 5 days have been spent on the Trans Canada, and other than today, we've had plenty of rain. Scenery north of Lake Superior is beautiful, beginning in Espanola. By Wednesday we will be in Manitoba. - Lorne We did take one detour off the Trans Can from Ironbridge to the Soo, hwy 638, which was well paved and full of twists and hills as well as beautiful scenery - hills of rock and pine layers, and lakes with little islands shrouded in mist. Today we saw a deer with a fawn at the side of the road, and yesterday in Nipigon we saw this strange bird, like a giant raven that made a noise like someone would make imitating a horse clopping along a road, that's the best way I can describe it...does anyone know what it is? We are still having a great time on the road, but are feeling the toll of insane mosquitoes, drenching rain and more trucks than we're used to, so tonight we're motelling it.So far we've stayed in a teepee in Tobermory (beside a teepeeful of adolescent boy scouts) a b&b in Blind River, a motel in Wawa, and a campsite in Nipigon (home of weird and wonderful bird, and viscious mosquitos)Thanks for reading and commenting - I always look forward to reading your remarks -Cindy P.S. nothing works on mosquitos, nothing. They are just a fact of life. Except the head nets. Although this just makes them angry and they bite harder everywhere else. They also lie in wait until you have to take the net off (to eat) and then they attack your face with a vengeance.

Jul. 9th, 2006 02:23 pm North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Been a few days. Internet access is quite limited in Rural Manitoba and Sask. We are "borrowing" some web time on a PC in a office supplies store. Weather has been great - 25 to 30 degrees. Hot, dusty and FLAT. People are great. Spent last night in Saskatoon - a rockin city, really. We had a blast after meeting a BMW rider, who invited us to his pad for some wine, then we went to catch some local acts at a club. Also had some real food for a change. It was a late one for us - 2 AM!! Scenery is not boring, and the sky is bigger than you can imagine. When we entered Saskatoon, there was a tornado warning. Very high winds, dust blowing everywhere, and black clouds. Two hours later it was gorgeous out. We're having a lot of fun. - Lorne The way Lorne put it, while we were in a parking lot almost being blown over, and black clouds swirling in the sky: "I suggest we find a motel before we end up in Oz." Anyway it turned out to be a great night. Look, I didn't mean to complain so much about the mosquitoes. But thanks for the suggestions. I will cease bathing and eat more greasy fast food. This will have the added bonus of keeping Lorne's interest after days on the road together. It's been flat and dry and hot, but the prairies have their own beauty. And lots of lakes. With pelicans in Manitoba! Who knew? We have to be off - thanks for keeping in touch, everyone! -Cindy

Jul. 9th, 2006 08:13 pm Edmonton Alberta

We're in Edmonton staying with some friends of mine who I haven't seen in 12 years. Today was a nice relaxing ride to Edmonton, with a stop to see the Ribstones, aboriginal rock carvings like the ribs of a buffalo, just sitting in the middle of a field. Camped last night in Dilberry Provincial Park in SK, after a spectacular sunset, and moon shining over the water.... - Cindy We're taking a rest day tomorrow, and suiting the bike up with new tires. After Edmonton we head to Calgary then the Rockies. - Lorne P.S. Jeff...now in Ed, update the map!!

Jul. 14th, 2006 11:22 am Banff - Alberta

Well we made it to the Rockies after 6 days through the prairies! Yup..just like the post cards, only larger than life. Weather has been great. Warm/sunny all day, and a brief shower (or storm) for 1 hour after dinner. Evenings still cool down a bit, but after camping in 6 degree waether in Newfoundland - we feel we can handle it. Bike is riding well and have a 10k service set up for Vancouver (beginning of August). We've travelled over 13k kms so far. Just over half way thgrough the trip. We are in Banff now, heading up to Jasper and Hinton. Next week we'll be in Yukon. We've met many people. More bikes out west. Surprising how many people have lived or are from Toronto. Wonder why they left? Taking plenty of pics and recording in our journals - a way of life already. - Lorne

Jul. 18th, 2006 12:33 pm Dawson Creek - B.C.

Dawson Creek - Mile "0" of the famous Alaska Highway. We are spending a rest day here, and staying at the Alaska Hotel. It's a funky old hotel from the 1930's - and it looks like not much has changed. It's dirt cheap, and you get a room with a bed, window and a pedestal sink. I guess this is like the Gladstone back in the day when folks would 'live' in hotels. Lot's of cowboys up here. Dawson Creek is 55 degrees north latitude - which is about 1100 kms north of Toronto. Sun goes down around 11 PM. People here are nice so far - nicer than Albertans. Next is the Alaska Highway to Yukon. Once we hit Dawson City, we start our route south and back to Toronto. To date we have travelled over 14,000 kms by bike. Add another 1500 km including boat, bus and pick-up truck in Quebec. 10,000 km left to go! - Lorne & Cin

Jul. 21st, 2006 04:25 pm Watson Lake - Yukon

Hi everyone. We made it to the Yukon. Watston Lake is mile 635 of the Alaska Highway. Strange up here...so far north the sun sets at 1.30 a.m., and rises again around 3 a.m. We are north of 60 now. The mosquitoes and black flies are relentless - never seen it this bad in our lives. The Alaska Highway is incredible, and of course, every marker or town is 'famous'. Amazing history behind this highway. Google it! We have seen mountains, green rivers (from copper deposits) and took a dip in the Liard Hot Spring yesterday. Water is between 108 and 129 degrees F, depending on how close to the source (I got within 10 feet of it!!). Scenerey is like no ther place we've been. More intense than NF and NS. Wild terrain and more animals crossing the highway then anywhere we've been. Yesterday alone, grazing on the road side (and crossing the highway) we saw moose, caribou, mountain sheep, horses, mountain goats, a black bear and a heard of buffalo. They are emormous. We have to stop until they are off the road - which can take between 2 and 10 minutes. We will be in Whitehorse tomorrow and Dawson City by Sun or Mon. We met a couple from Brazil who are riding to the north shore of Alaska. We have been riding on their heels since Dawson Creek B.C., now we are riding with them and sharing a campsite tonight. They invited us to ride to Fairbanks AK with them....we'll see. Other than that - not a whole lot happening LOL! - Lorne Ok, Look, everyone can eat as much steak as they want in my honour, just be sure it's one of those tofu steaks, or "fakes". Thanks everyone for your sweet and amusing birthday wishes. I like the name Cinderblock and plan to make it my nom de plume, when I write my memoirs. This trip has been amazing... I didn't have the heart to post anything for a while after Edmonton, I was heartsick after leaving my friend, after not seeing her for 12 years. It was amazing to see Maureen and Adrian and they were great to us. I cried under my helmet all day across the prairies. Lorne thought I was just hot. Northern BC and the Yukon have been Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom so far. It is so foreign and amazing for us to see so much wildlife after Toronto, land of the noble squirrel and raccoon. Look, I hate to complain about mosquitoes again, but I have a theory that each one has its own trademark biting pattern, just like no 2 snowflakes are alike. I think one had a plan to make 10 perfectly spaced bites across my forehead. They have all swollen up and my new nickname is Stegasaurus Head. I can't believe we're in the Yukon. Yesterday the scenery was out of this world. Muncho Lake is breathtaking and we had the lakeside road to ourselves. Thanks everyone for your comments. Funny you should mention that restaurant, Tree Spirit. We ate across the road from there in Nova Scotia and took several pictures of it. Thanks, everyone - Cindy

Jul. 24th, 2006 10:19 pm Dawson City Yukon

Were in Klondike town. This place is pretty cool. They have kept this town pretty authentic - and no Starbucks! Streets are mostly dirt. No sidewalks, but boardwalks. What they say is right. Once you visit the Yukon, you fall in love with it - in the summer anyway. Two days ago we were in Whitehorse. Nice town, but a little less character than Dawson. We are now off the Alaska Highway and took the Klondike Highway into Dawson. It's just as beautiful. On the way here we hit a 22 km stretch of construction. That meant 22 km of stones and gravel. Good practice for the Top of the World Highway, which we'll take into Alaska. We met up again with our Brazillian friends and we'll head into Alaska with them. They gave us a slide show of their travels through South America. It's incredible. The highways and scenery is so different from here. Must be nice in real life. Maybe that will be our next big trip. Tomorrow is a rest day and we'll wander around Dawson. Weather here is hot and sunny. No humidity either. - Lorne Dawson City is great and the roads through the Yukon and Northern BC have been lovely and amazing. Except for that teensy construction issue today. But so much of this trip and any trip, are the people you meet and the stories they tell.... After a great day and beautiful scenery to Whitehorse (Saturday) we stayed at this guesthouse called Heritage House. The hosts, Bernie and Pam, are warm funny down-to-earth people, and told the most amazing stories. A friend of theirs and his girlfriend joined us in the back yard with 4 dogs and they told Harrowing and Entertaining Bear and Bush stories that were wild, and had us sitting on the edge of our seats one minute and howling with laughter the next. We will never forget it. Nothing like sitting in a beautiful back yard and listening to stories under the midnight sun.....Weird night camping in the back lot of a motel last night and tonight luxing it out at the Eldorado Hotel in Dawson. Met Serge and Ligia for dinner and then slide show at their campsite. Wish I had time to relate the bear and plane crash stories (luckily everyone lived to tell the tale) - Cindy

Jul. 27th, 2006 12:11 pm Tok - Alaska

"North to Alaska" they say, and here we are. Took us 7 hours to ride 300 km from Dawson to Tok. The Top of the World highway is actually on the top, carved along the edge of a mountain range. One bad turn and you slide down the outside for about 300 feet. Oh...the first 10 km was in the clouds, or fog as we call it. Scenery is even better than before. The dirt/gravel road was difficult as it rained earlier in the morning. Stones, gravel and muck for 65 kms. We made it with no problems, other than being covered in mud from the knees down. The bike was caked with 1" of mud from the bottom of the seat down. Power washed it this morning. Today we head back to Yukon, then to BC. From here on it's south and east. - Lorne Hey, what has sheer cliffs on one (or both) sides, mountains on the other and mud and gravel all over? Yes, the spectacular Top of the World Highway. I was a little concerned when I saw all these tshirts in Dawson City saying "I Survived the Top of the World Highway". What's that about? I thought. Well, now I know. A rider we met said that the word was that the conditions yesterday were "marbles covered with baby shit". How true. The fog with the cliffs on either side was a nice touch. But I'm glad we did it. It was definitely an adventure and Lorne was a champion, getting us through without any spills. And the scenery is like nothing we've ever seen. You really do feel like you are on the top of the world. - Bouncing Pillion Pothole Woman of the Almost-Arctic

Jul. 29th, 2006 01:29 pm Whitehorse - Yukon

This is our 2nd time here. Stopped in Whitehorse for a night last week. We're heading south-east now. Weather is great here, as this is the driest part of Yukon - little rain and little snow. We spent last night camping just outside Haines Junction YT. Gorgeous area. Yukon government campsites are, by far, the nicest we've stayed in on our trip. We camped at Pine River, across from - you gessed it, mountains. It was nice and quiet until the RV's arrived. The place got louder and looked like a Wal-Mart parking lot. And of course, they all have to bring their dogs! All is well and we're eating just fine. We don't always shower though! - L&C

Aug. 1st, 2006 06:51 pm Stewart B.C / Hyder, Alaska

We're in Stewart B.C. Nice small town that has yet to be gentrified. From Whitehorse we took the South Klondike Hwy to Skagway Alaska. WOW...this 110 km stretch had the nicest scenery I've seen in Canada so far. Emerald Lake is beautiful and looks like an emerald in colour. Skagway is a beautiful setting, but too many places to buy porceline figurines and they have a Starbucks - figures. It's also a port-of-call for the Alaskan cruise ships, so tourists are plentiful most of the time. The road to Skagway follows the Chilkoot Pass and the White Pass & Yukon Rail route - which was built to get gold-diggers from Skagway to Whitehorse during the gold rush. From there we took the Alaska Hwy to the Cassiar Hwy in BC. Incredibly scenic as it's a narrow road the the trees are right there about 10 feet away from you in some areas. We know you Torontonians are swealtering in 35+ degree weather, but here in northern B.C., it's about 15 degrees with spurts of sun showers. The 65 km ride to Stewart was like winter, cold, rainy, sunny and snow capped mountains. We also stopped to photograph a glacier. All is going well and we know we are heading south because the sun goes down around 10:30 pm. Big different 500 km makes. In the Yukon, it's still setting after 1 AM. - Lorne That stretch from Whitehorse to Skagway is insanely beautiful - we were laughing with absolute disbelief that we were seeing all this - it was crazy-gorgeous, and just kept getting more and more beautiful. And we've seen bears walking at the side of the road. In BC before we got to Skagway, we visited this guy who nurses eagles back to health, so we got to see them close up. One was sitting on his bed....A couple of days ago, on the way to Rancheria (in Yukon) we saw a moose calmly grazing in a pond while lightning forked over the mountains in the distance. I figured out how to take mini movies on my camera, so Live and Amazing Footage will soon be coming to dvd! I am making a movie called Pillion which I've already shopped to several um interested um producers. I did swim in Pine Lake in the Yukon, but did not bathe there.....It was a little chilly. - Cindy

Aug. 5th, 2006 07:20 pm Vancouver - B.C.

Finally some warm weather again. Northern and central B.C. is beautiful but much cooler. Camped the last 2 night. Last night was off Hwy 99 in Marble Canyon. No trailers! Wooo Hooo!! Quiet place on the banks of Crown Lake. Took Hwy 99 south from Clinton to Vancouver. This is the Sea-to-Sky highway. It's nuts! (Jeff..it's 100 kms of Forks road - hairpins included, down hill). We passed Whistler and Squamish. Locals call this the nicest road in Canada. Can't really disagree, but we've been on some great roads all over. As it turns out, we arrived in Vancouver late this aft and found out it's Pride weekend here, plus a long weekend. We made at least 10 calls and finally found a room - right in the Village (they have their own Church St. here). The next 2 nights we'll be in a hostel. Tuesday we take the ferry to Victoria island...so we're going a little further west before we head to Toronto. - Lorne

Aug. 10th, 2006 09:18 am Tofino B.C.

Tofino is a resort town, right on the pacific ocean (Banff west??). Furthest west you can go on Vancouver Island. Gorgeous here. We spent 3 days on the Island - mainly because I had to get my bike serviced here. The roads are fantastic! The trees are emormous, some of them have a 4-foot trunk diameter. Today we head back to Vancouver and continue east - this time for sure! - L&C

Aug. 13th, 2006 06:09 pm Milk River - Alberta

Milk River is a tiny town a few miles away from Writing-On-Stone provincial park. From Vancouver we took the Crowsnest Hwy (Hwy 3) through some MORE amazing scenery and roads. We passed through the Frank Slide today - where Turtle Mountain gave way and rocks the size of mini-vans filled in the Frank valley and covered 3/4 of the town. Just past Crowsnest, the mountains faded behind us and we've spenmt the last 2 hours in the priaries. The southern part is nicer than the northern prairies - I think. Tomorrow we should be in Sask. - L&C

Aug. 17th, 2006 09:09 pm Kenora - Ontario

Well, we're back in Ontario. After Milk River AB, we spent days riding through the prairies, on secondary roads, and of course, some were dirt and others just horrible. We stayed at a farm B&B one night and got the farm tour the next morning. Very neat! We still meet lots of people who are curious about our journey. We'll be in Toronto before next Saturday. Not sure which roads we'll take or which towns we'll pass though, but this is likely our final post while on the road. Thanks, everyone, for the comments and the recent anniversary wishes (we were in a camp site in Assiniboia Sask). It's been amazing. We've travelled over 25,000 km to date. We'd like to do something like this again in the future. Sponsors??? - Lorne So hard to write a tidy paragraph when so much has happened....don't know where to start. The prairies have been beautiful, such a stark contrast to the mountains. We witnessed a bad accident in, ok don't laugh because it was awful, Climax, SK. A truck tire blew up in a garage of the service station where we stopped to fuel up. The guy was conscious, had a broken arm and bruised face and help was soon on its way....he didn't remember a thing. Anyway, there were lots of people there to help and hopefully he's ok. Weird to be back in Ontario. We have mixed feelings about going back. Miss everyone but so used to life on the road. Thank you all so much for staying in touch with us and your anniversary wishes. (Did Lorne mention that the anniversary campsite was beside a hockey arena?) Tres romantique, n'est ce pas? But it was great to be doing this incredible trip......Less than a week left... - Cindy

Aug. 24th, 2006 05:31 pm Toronto - home

We got back to Toronto on Aug 23. Ninety days and 27800 kms after we started in May. It's been a fantastic adventure. We'd like to do something like this again in the future. 26000 on the bike 1100 km by cargo ship (3 days) 350 km by flatbed truck 250 km by bus 7 ferries throughout the country. This has been the trip of a lifetime, so far, and one we'll remember always. Thanks for all the comments, and those folks who followed our journal quietly. We have met so many people on this trip, and a couple of weirdos, but that goes with the territory. No accidents, illness or mis-haps. Lucky us! - Lorne & Cindy

Nov. 4th, 2006 03:43 pm Back to Regular Life...

It took us a few weeks to re-adjust to stationary life in Toronto, but we're now both employed and back on the 9-to-5 treadmill with 2.5 million other Torontonians. We have a short trip in the plans for the summer of 2007. No other plans for an extended trip right now. It's now time to store the bike for the winter...so until April I'll surf and read about other traveller's stories and think about our next adventure. - Lorne & Cindy