July 19, 2012 – I was up early this morning, a long day ahead. When I went to leave the hotel I felt like kicking a Harley over. Last night I was annoyed at myself for forgetting my disc lock, so I’d tucked the bike in between two planters that provided a bit of protection from people and cars, provided a visual barrier deterrent, and gave me an easy out access.
I’d had to wiggle in around the back on the walkway first, but there was a great exit point straight out. I’d heard the other bike come in last night, a while after me, but I simply couldn’t believe the rude parking job he did. With an entire parking lot to choose from, and a sister place to where I parked just six feet on the other side of the pedestrian walk, he parked his bike on the walkway, and blocked off my exit. The only plus side was that he made my bike that much harder to get at. But seriously, what a douche. Look at that parking job?!?! Why would you do that!?!? What, were you lonely or something? Or just a douche!
Oh well, after a bit of backwards wiggling I squeaked out and headed for the hatchery where we loaded up the boat and headed up to Comox Lake for some water sampling. The weather was fabulous, the winds were light, and the water was beautifully calm.
An afternoon meeting that went later than I expected, and then back to the hatchery to collect my bike and head for home. With no hope of catching the 5:30 ferry, and just enough time to ride the more scenic route, I took the old highway along the Ocean Route. Traffic was pretty light, and the ride was great.
When I reached the ferry terminal I had a bit to eat and was waiting back at my bike when a man and his son walked by. The little boy, blonde, huge blue eyes, probably around seven years old, and incredibly animated, jumped to a stop on the other side of my bike and said “Who’s bike is that!?!” “Well, it’s mine.” I replied.
His eyes got even bigger, his face looked incredulous, and he waved his arms and then pointed at me and said “NO WAAAAAAY, it’s YOURS!?!?!?! I LOVE motorcycles! But I LOVE cars too!!!!” I laughed and said “Me too.” He went on and on for several minutes before his father asked me “How is it for long rides?” My response was one word “Painful.” Laughter. We chatted for a bit, the little boy really directing most of the conversation. His father finally dragged him off saying to me “He’s a little bit outgoing…”, all the while the boy kept turning around and yelling back to me “BYE!” Even as he got into the back seat of the car, he stood up and stuck his head out the window and waved and called out to me. Several drivers were laughing uncontrollably, and one fellow said to me “Quite the introvert, I think you have made a friend for life!”. Wow, do kids ever like motorcycles, especially little boys!
The ride home was the quietest I’ve ever experienced. The boat du jour was the Coastal Renaissance, one of the newer ferries. During lower periods, the first passenger deck is mostly closed off and passengers are directed to the upper two decks. But there are still a few areas open, though most people head for where the food, the gift shop, and the arcade are located. I hooked a quick left after the first flight of stairs and thought I’d end up in what is usually a large area of mostly unused seating. But I was at the wrong end of the boat, and was instead met with the locked off crew area, but when I turned around there was a small seating area, 5 rows of double seats down two sides, for a total of 20 seats in a tiny little area. I pounced and had it all to myself. Took off my boots and jacket, brought out the iPad, did some reading, played a game, closed my eyes and drank in the quiet. The funny thing is, when you are alone in a small area like that, when other people do look in, I think it is uncomfortable to think you are disturbing someone, so everyone (all half dozen people) who did poke their heads in, looked around and then left. So I had it to myself for the entire trip.
And then after what was definitely the most peaceful ferry ride I’ve ever had in my life, I went down to the car deck and enjoyed the fabulous sunset over Howe Sound as the ferry entered Horseshoe Bay for docking. I always come down before the announcement, usually it is my little bit of quiet time before the last bit of highway home. But I’d had an entire trip of quiet time. I always love hanging out the side of the ferry as it comes around Bowen and heads for it’s port, doesn’t matter what the weather, I just love being closer to the water and listening to it rush by the hull. The rider and passenger of the Gixxer came down and chatted for a bit, and then it was time to get going.
That fading light also meant that I didn’t have long before I would have trouble seeing since I’d not brought my clear visor along, so a quick boot home at a fair clip and I managed to just beat the dark.
Pretty great day.