PeopleWell, two things: 1) The saying is that if you travel in a group you meet and talk only the people of the group - but if you travel alone you meet and talk with EVERYONE - it's true. 2) Hostels. I've never stayed in one. They are generally places for teenage hikers to stay for a night. Nominal cost (often around $20 US) and they may ask for some housecleaning chores to be done (up to about 15 or 20 minutes). World travelers often stay in hostels - another great place to meet "travelers".
So, this being written post-trip, I certainly will leave a few folks out. Mentioned prior, I wish I would have documented the people I met as the trip went along. A loss but also a lesson learned.
This recount will be listed in chronological order. I'll be scanning the track that I took and remembering the whole trip day-by-day. Any encounter will be listed here. Also, some of the details of people I've met are being extracted from the "news" page from the trip - that might be worth a read too.
Termpeleau, WI: Hotel owners making a go of the new life. Restaurant owners and their nice place to eat.
Cannon Falls, MN: Bill, on a Valk, and I met while I was waiting out a storm under a fuel station awning.
Norwood, MN: Thanks to Joel for letting me take cover in the garage / house as the fast moving storm passed over.
Devils Lake (?), ND: Hardees. Another rider asked me to join him for lunch - we had a nice talk. Leaving, a different guest stopped out to ask about the cameras.
Granville, ND: Jerry & Steve working on a vehicle that did not want to stay running. I wasn't much help but I did learn how to put out a small fire with a t-shirt
Cochrane, AB: Mel, a fuel station employee, who suggested the Tunnel Mountain Campground near Banff.
Jasper, AB: Gerhard & Monika, from Austria. I stopped to take a picture of a steam locomotive as they stopped to take a picture of me - loaded up and traveling. They've visited the area before and have taken motorcycle trips. We've e-mailed a time or to. They gave me some suggestions as to where to stay further up the road.
Hinton, AB: Brian & Ryan (see also the news entry 2005-09-09) - spent an evening with two guys at the hotel - sorting out their wireless network connection issue, having a few beers and enjoying good conversation.
Grand Cache, AB: I pulled over at a parking lot in town - to make some adjustment on the bike I think - and a gent came over to chat. Where ya going starts things off. He filled me in a bit on the history of the town and a bit on his family.
Grand Prarie, AB: Sitting in the hotel's laundry I met a guy who worked in the energy extraction field (oil industry). He was talking about how much money he was able to make out on the jobsite ($40,000 CAN - IIRC). He also then went on to expound that he had blown through 30,000 of it in one week. I asked if he purchased a truck - nope - bars.
AB - 2 hrs south of Ft. Nelson: Flat tire folks. Stopped to help a couple who were at the side of the road - a nice wide, straight, flat pull-off area. Fifth wheel RV (with enough food and fuel to camp there for many days) pulled by a Ford F-350. The problem was a flat tire on the pickup. While the owners carried extensive tool kits the ONE tool REQUIRED to lower the spare tire from its home under the bed of the truck was not there. I should have been included with the spare tire change kit supplied with the truck - but it was not there.. We tried different tacks - no dice. In the end I left in the direction I was heading but would stop the next couple F-350's and ask them to stop - perhaps their trucks' kit would have the needed tool. I hope things went well - I've never received an e-mail from the folks as to the outcome.
Haines Junction, AB: Fr. Tom and Dirk. Chatted at a fuel stop. They gave some tips on Anchorage.
Beaver Creek, YT: Brian, the helicopter pilot. Nice helicopter - landed / parked in the back lot of the motel / gas station / convenience store / restaurant. He described the work the crew was doing - staking mineral claims.
Chatanika, AK: Heidi and Arlie. Heidi seemed to be the 'front line' person in the ownership of the Gold Camp. Arlie is a gold miner who was pitching in and working about the complex. They made me feel comfortable and fed me well. I'd certainly enjoy a return trip.
Chatanika, AK: While at the Gold Camp a couple, Don and Doris, arrived for some desert. Short story - they are from New York state but know George Parsons. George and Beth are married - Beth used to work for Dad back home / Rockford IL.
Chatanika, AK: Another couple, Richard and Terry, stopped in for dinner and noted the laptop sitting at the corner table. We started chatting. They are colorful folks. The next day I stopped over at their western cowboy shootout.
Yukon River crossing, AK: I passed a couple - white pickup sitting at the roadside - several miles before this fuel stop. They pulled into the lot about the time I finished fueling. I asked what they were doing back there - picking wild berries. They live farther up the road, I think in Wiseman. A different life that what I'm used to.
Yukon River crossing, AK: While tending to the plugged radiator on the bike I rode it down to the river so I would be near some water to wash the radiator off. At the water was a guy, with a friend's dog, who has been coming down the river for the past several weeks. He offered a pail so that I might reduce the number of trips between the water and the bike. He also gave me a piece of smoked salmon (was GREAT). To hear some tales of what life had been like the past several weeks - wow - the solitude must be relaxing.
Arctic Circle / Dalton Hwy, AK: William and the film crew from France. I noticed their vehicles at the Yukon River fuel stop so when I pulled into the Arctic Circle milepost sign I wasn't too surprised. We had a nice time. They filmed portions of the bike and I rode in / around / stopped as they wanted me to. All said and done William e-mailed some still photos he had taken of me (Thanks!). If I recall correctly there were working on a television documentary of Alaska - a "Discovery" type of show.
Talkeetna, AK: The day was late - it was now after dark. I was looking for a hotel. None found in Talkeetna I asked the folks at the fuel stop. The gal at the counter didn't know of any but she didn't stop at that. Pulling out the phone book she called two or three places to the south. Finding one that was open she told me where it was and what to look for. Thanks! (the place also had good cheesecake in the adjoining restaurant / bar)
Anchorage, AK: Pat at the bookstore (way prior Internet cafe). Drew a nice map for me to find another wireless hot spot.
Anchorage, AK: Sitting down by the water, near the airport, I met a couple other folks. It was a park setting and I was sitting in the parking lot doing something with the bike. Vicki lived in Champaign / Urbana IL and another gent was from Wisconsin.
Anchorage, AK: Butch and his two girls. Point Campbell Military Reservation / park. Butch I think worked at the DMV / driver training. He commented that the Alaska drivers were bad - I had NO complaints with them though - other states - Florida and California - YES. He was gracious enough to send a few pictures to me.
Anchorage, AK: John, a hostel guest, chatted as I was leaving the area. He has interest in doing a motorcycle tour.
Homer, AK: Caroline and Leif. The start of the "postcard run". When Leif heard that I would be visiting Key West, FL he asked if I would "make a delivery" for him. Certainly! A bit of spice for the trip. He pulled out a postcard and jotted some notes - Emmanuel, Awful Arthurs, Key West, FL. I'm on a mission.
Seward, AK: Marcel. Seward hostel (where I picked up the Hostel Handbook) interested in the Headline Deals and Slick Deals websites along with the "Cap'n Ron's and Pirate John's Florida Keys Adventure Guide" PDF.
Seward, AK: Gary and his wife, from Austrailia, out on a world tour. A 12 month airplane ticket for an around-the-world travel. They were "30 something" I guess and both decided to get out and see some sights. They saved their funds and when things were sufficient they quit their jobs and headed out. Since this was near the start of my hostelling experience this "world ticket" was new to me - upcoming hostels would prove this to be somewhat common.
Seward, AK: The three generations from Minnesota. The daughter is in town working and here brother, mother and grandmother came to visit.
Seward, AK: Met Paul at the Exit Glacier. He's visiting from North Carolina - his first time to Alaska - a longtime desire. We traded cameras so that we could get pictures of ourselves near the deep blue ice cubes. I also gave him my "Milepost" book. I was on the way out of the area - heading down towards Seattle - and he had never heard of it. Perhaps he found some tidbit to make his trip more interesting.
Anchorage, AK: While checking into a hotel another guest and I started chatting. He was interested in a nice dinner and asked if I would join in. I was interested in the hotel's wireless Internet to get some items posted so I declined his offer. In the end I should have joined in - the hotel's Internet connection was slower than dialup. We exchanged cards.
Tok, AK: Larry who works at Prudhoe Bay. He was on a bike - out riding around for his two weeks off.
Beaver Creek, YT: Dan and Michelle from Ottowa. They were stuck at the side of the road - at the customs checkpoint - waiting for a tow truck. I stopped for some water and granola bar and Dan walked over. On a $20 bet between two others that they wouldn't make it to Alaska they decided to trek up there and see the place. The mini-van was customized for some time on the road. Unfortunately the transmission was having fits which caused a tow trip down to Whitehorse.
Whitehorse, YT: More hostel guests. One gent from Montreal who is out traveling the northwest and another from Japan? who is traveling extensively.
Watson Lake, YT: Dinner table shared with Jim from Victoria BC.
Edmonds, WA: Time off with long time friends.
Seattle, WA: Claude and family. When I was looking for one of the local hostels I had a wrong address. Seeing folks inside I decided to knock anyway. After a few minutes talking with the good folks there Claude offered to ride with me to the proper hostel address - with a few comments as we passed by items of interest in Seattle. A welcome assist in the nights goal.
Neah Bay, WA / Makah Nation: When heading out to Cape Flattery you are asked to purchase a permit (IIRC it is $7.00 US and is good for the vehicle for the year - inexpensive). While you can purchase the permit from any of several shops in town I ended up buying it at the Nation's headquarters. The folks there were warm, welcoming and willing to assist - made an impression. If you visit - do pony up for the permit.
Neah Bay, WA / Makah Nation: Out at the Cape Flattery viewpoint I met several folks - the first day it was the family from the Seattle area. The second day it was a couple out at the viewing stands along with the college student and another couple at the parking lot. An enjoyable place.
Neah Bay, WA / Makah Nation: While traveling about the roads I kept passing or meeting one particular RV. At the campground they also stopped for the night. I ended up spending the evening with David and Jenny (from England). Several hours of time compressed down to what seemed like one.
Sequim, WA: At the hotel the maintenance guy also rides. When I was checking out we ened up in the parking lot for a bit - farkles, roads, weather, past rides.
Sequim, WA: Stopping by a fast food joint for a quick bite as I head west - the fast food experience often isn't fast on this trip. I think I was there about 45 minutes. Nine of those were standing in a short line at the counter and then eating while standing next to the bike (water in the Camelbak). The front counter gal came out for a smoke and was talking about how to get out for a trip (sleep in the car, eat inexpensively - it is doable). Another gent came across the parking lot - a rider of various bikes. Someone in a car parked close by sat listening in for several minutes. Contact cards do come in handy.
Elma, WA: Jay at the hostel. He and his wife ride various bikes. I spent the evening watching an Iceland DVD - riding bikes around Iceland
Kalama, WA: Outside a local burger joint a group of four or fives bikes were parked. When I was riding up they were getting ready to head out. A quick chat - we all had the same destination - Mt. St. Helens.
Morton, WA: Fuel and map stop. Several folks stopping to talk bikes and trips.
Seaside, OR: Stopping downtown for some dinner the waitress and I started to chat. She enjoys horses - and the area is a good one for them. Her horses are "One Horsepower" each and are perhaps a tad more versatile in where they can travel. Outside of that the have similar fuel and exhaust issues.
Seaside, OR: I spent a day or so there. Raf from Belgium. John from somewhere not too far away. I could have spent a few more days there but things were prepp'd and ready for the road.
Florence, OR: Kurt and Georgeanne from ST.N. A first meeting - we had been in contact via the Internet for a couple weeks. Only a short evening spent together. 'hope to see them again.
Crater Lake National Park, OR: While talking with the visitor center lady I had commented about the snow in the area (she realized I was on two wheels). With that she asked if I would be interested in a short video on how they clear the roads from the winter snowpack. Sure! It was interesting to see the process.
Eureka, CA: Gil and Rebecka from ST.N. Another first meeting of some foks I've been in contact for a sort while. A few days spent kicking back, relaxing, playing computer doctor - good times.
San Francisco, CA: Cathy, down by the fort at the Golden Gate Bridge. I was out taking some photos and she came over and offered to take one of me. The spot, with her boyfriend over in the car, was a favorite of theirs.
San Francisco, CA: Don, out with his Dogs by the beach. Stopped to chat for a few minutes. Several miles down the road I stopped at the Fort Funston park - Don stopped in there as well. He sells KVM switches.
San Francisco, CA: Ramone, one of the hang gliders, at Fort Funster. Since he was the closest to the walkway I started to watch his setup routine and later we started talking about the flying conditions and his wing.
San Jose, CA: Mrs. Scoffone. I stopped by to visit the folks that I had purchased a vehicle from many years ago.
Sky Londa / Redwood City, CA: Lunch at Alice's with Sabrina and friend from Curveunit.com.
San Jose, CA: Overnight with long time family friends.
San Jose, CA: Monarch grove - chatted with on family at one of the viewing stands. Another family stopped to talk as I was getting on the bike ready to head out.
Midpines, CA: Felix from Switzerland. Over here traveling and visiting for a few months.
Yosemite, CA: Nick out riding his bicycle on the Glacier Point road.
Monterey, CA: Hostel guests. I don't recall either name but one was from London (?). He talked about the daily commute (sounded terrible) and life in general over there (and the smook-free bars here in CA).
Lompoc, CA: A group of guys at a Subway shop talking airplanes. I gave the conversation some attention as I ate. Before I headed out I walked over and chatted for a moment or two.
Westminster, CA: Leaving the hotel a guest walked over to me - an older gent. His comment was of the "Do it" type - he was out there for his sister's funeral - you just never know WHEN....
San Diego, CA: A quick visit with long time friends.
San Diego, CA: Stop over at an Internet acquaintance for a couple nights.
Tehachapi, CA: While watching trains roll around the loop another visitor, Don from Los Angeles, and I started chatting when no train was present. IIRC he has a BMW 650. He is retired and is now in the "check the list" mode - visiting things he had on his list.
Parker, AZ: Another couple eating lunch - leaving when I was - started to talk as I was heading out. "Where ya go'in / Where ya 'been"
Prescott, AZ: Tim on the blue motorcycle - we joined up for a few miles of twisties.
Chambers, AZ: Pete walked over to talk at a vista point in the Petrified Forest N.P. - even though I was a "biker". He ended up giving me his address and phone number along with an offer of a place to sleep when I pass near his place in eastern Texas - quite nice of him to offer.
Trinidad, CO: A gent at a restaurant who came over to see what I was up to - traveling from where / to where. Ride safe.
Raton, NM: Sako (sp?) introduced himself while I was readying the bike for the days travels. He remembered me from passing them on the road yesterday - I shall remember him for a while - wood carvings - not a 9-to-5'er.
Big Bend N.P., TX: The couple in the red pickup who canoe'd up the Rio Grande river in the Santa Elena Canyon.
South Padre Island, TX: One of the hotel owners, Anne, and I enjoyed talking for some time - travels, travels, travels.
Clearwater Beach, FL: A hostel guest that talked about the change from a monetary/material lifestyle to a lower cost, travelers lifestyle.
Sarasota, FL: Stay with old family neighbors
Key West, FL: Postcard delivery - Emmanuell @ Awful Arthurs.
Vero Beach, FL: A quick stop to say high to relatives.
St. Augustine, FL: Ari, a hostel guest, that was passing through on his Bandit.
Kingsland, GA: Vincent and the the boardwalk story!
Santee, SC: While fueling up an employee stopped out to chat - he'd love to take a long trip but even with his two weeks of vacation they can't be taken back to back.
Virginia Beach, VA: Meet up with relatives for a short mid-day visit.
Dover, DE: Stopping for a doughnut and some hot chocolate at a Dunki'n Doughnus (in addition to some laptop work) one customer, who has a couple different bikes, called me the real deal - a true biker (just for being crazy enough to dress and ride). Nice guy! When he left and the store cleared out the owner/manager stopped out to talk about wireless Internet access.
Philadelphia, PA: Dead battery, flat tire - assorted folks to help out...
Boston, PA: Meet up with Nate from ST.N. Good conversation - time flew.
Bar Harbor, ME: Hostel manager, Nova, and hostel guests. Spice of life.
Bar Harbor, ME: Terry who was driving by the hostel. Stopped to talk. Offered to take a few days off work and show me the area - when I return in better riding weather.
Camden, ME: Helpful service station folks
Damariscotta, ME: Jason from ST.N, some pictures, some warm food.
Hawleyville, CT: Adam, Suzanne (and family). Over and above roadside assistance. Full story on the 12-30 trip entry.
West Haven, CT: Gregg and Melonie - owners of Cycle Salvage - all sorts of good stuff for the bike.
Hagerstown, MD: Pilot fuel stop - a couple in a pickup on their way out of the station - had to stop and find out what's up.
Jacksontown, OH: Greg pulled over to help me with a quick lift to the fuel station.
Darien, IL: Say 'hi' to friends.
Streamwood, IL: Stopped by Ken's place
Rockford, IL: Home - family