I’ve seen a few eagles while pedaling, but none close enough to grab my Nikon from the trailer and click away. Today, while on the ferry to Vancouver Island I saw a few bald eagles sitting in the treetops, as did every “photographer” on the boat with a DSL camera. We were lined up like “Combat” fishermen in Alaska. If you aren’t familiar with that term, it means shoulder to shoulder fishing. Not literally shoulder to shoulder, but close enough to make fishing difficult for all. This never made sense to me with so many places to fish in Alaska, but it does happen often enough for this term to exist.
As all of the cameramen and women waited, one of the eagles took flght toward us, long enough for most to get a great shot. After seeing the majestic bird with a 6’ wingspan, I knew it was time for me to get a more powerful lense for my Nikon. My 100-300 power lens is nice, but I need some serious magnification for times like these!
When I met the cyclists down in Baja last December (who were my catalyst for this ride) and asked how long they had been riding together, it surprised me to learn that everyone was on a solo journey other than the couple Marty and Ed. They explained to me how it worked, how riding partners would come and go as the miles clicked away.
Since I’ve been on my solo journey, I’ve come to understand the dynamics of bike touring. In order for a group to do this, all would have to have the time, the funds, the health and the determination to do something like this. What are the odds? What are the odds of knowing a group of people who would want to and be able to ride together hundreds, if not thousands of miles on bicycles?
I discussed this topic with Lauren. I met Lauren at the Prince Rupert hostel where she said that she was cycling and taking the ferry to Vancouver Island as well, heading to Vancouver, then flying to New Jersey before flying home to England. Lauren has been pedaling for 2½ months, started in San Francisco, rode to Yosemite, through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and up into Banff and Jasper then west to Prince Rupert. She’s clocked about 3500 miles so far! I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed. Lauren is a few years older than my favorite daughter Trina and is exploring the world as few people do.
Speaking of hostels, I made mention of them in the past, but I have to reiterate. When traveling in the past, I had always done as most people do that I know. I have flown somewhere, rented a car, found a hotel and isolated myself. Interaction was limited to vendors, shopkeepers and occasionally other guests if I was at a resort. The traveling I’m doing these days is not only different in mode of transportation, but also in my lodging. I’ve stayed in a few hostels now, and anticipate who I will meet, where they are from and where they are going. I’m meeting people from all over the world who have stepped out of their comfort zone and have chosen to see new places affordably with all the amenities of home. I have to question myself why I’ve spent $100-200 per night for a room, when the most I’ve spent for a hostel is $23 per night with the opportunity to interact and learn from other travelers. If you’ve never done this, I dare you to try it…you might just like it!
Thank you for following me! I’m off to explore the 300 mile length of Vancouver Island!