July 13, 2012 – Today was my day off, and I took full advantage of it, I put 544km on my motorcycle today, and what an awesome 544km it was, even if I need some pain pills at the end of it all. It was worth it. (GPS track here –>)
I didn’t get on the road until after 10am, and the border was hideous. I tried to cross at the Pacific truck crossing, but the Nexus line was just as long as the regular lines…in other words, WAY too long to sit there in full gear on a hot day. So I headed on along the Canadian side of the border and popped out to take the Aldergrove crossing, which the sign said was 10 minutes long.
The sign lied!
And the border guard was in a pissy mood, made me take off my helmet, and still looked back and forth at me and my ID several times like he was about to say he didn’t believe it was me. It’s a Nexus card, not a handwritten letter! When he finally gave my card back I made sure to take my sweet ass time putting it away, pulling my helmet back on and doing it up slowly, re-zipping my jacker and sleeves, slowly pulled my gloves back on, standing the bike back up, restarting it and finally pulling away.
I rode along the US side of the border to Sumas, then on towards Glacier. I didn’t intend to go up Mt. Baker today, I meant to turn off towards Acme and head back down Colony Rd towards the coast, then up Chuckanut and back home. But I missed the turn, or rather, I thought there was another. But to be fair, I usually run this route the opposite direction so everything looked different. Funny how such a simple thing as going backwards can make everything confusing. I had a rest break and sat at the bank of the Nooksack River for a bit, a cyclist said hello as he rode past. Two different types of bikes, both enjoying the solitude of the ride.
So when I ended up in Glacier, I figured, what the heck, I was almost there anyway. I wondered if the snow had finally melted. The last time I was up two months ago there were still high snowbanks, Picture Lake was under ten feet of snow, and the road was treacherous due to sand in most of the corners. Most of the snow had melted up to the lake, it was almost clear, but the road up past Heather Meadows is still closed.
I stopped at my favourite lookout point, chatted with a couple who had stopped to take photos, and took some of my own. I have this silly thing for daisies, I just like them, they make me smile, there is something ‘happy’ about a daisy. It is a flower that just screams summer to me. So I had a hair-raising moment picking this one as they were all just at the edge of the cliff, and in full gear, I wasn’t exactly flexible. I put it down on my tank for a moment and the reflection caught my eye. It made for a really interesting photo that seemed to tell a story.
I passed no bikes on my way up, and coming down, only three were on their way up. It felt like a deserted road, perfect! Actually, there were hardly any bikes anywhere today. Not sure where they were all hiding, but they weren’t on the roads I was traveling.
I found the right turn on the way out of Glacier, and headed down through Acme and around the bottom of Lake Whatcom to pop out at the south end of Chuckanut Drive and then rode back up through Fairhaven and into Bellingham before turning north on the I5 and heading for the border. It was a fairly uneventful ride, drivers south of the border always seem a lot more courteous to riders than those in BC, and I only missed one more turn. I had at least half a dozen drivers pull over to let me pass. That’s such a rare occurrence up here, sad really.
As usual, crossing back into Canada was a breeze. No helmet off, no harassment, just “Anything to declare?” “Nope” “Have a great ride!” (Like really, where would I hide anything on a sportbike!?)
When I finally made it home, Kirk was looking forward to a ride after work, so after a short break, a pain pill, and a glass of water, we were on the road again, just a quick run up to Squamish for a coffee, then home for a much deserved glass of wine after a LOT of miles.
And THAT is how to make the most out of a Flex Day.