Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Once In A Blue Moon: Review of RUDE BIKER CHICK, Lessons From My Daddy by Sash Walker

A short time ago 'Sash' Walker asked if I’d be willing to read and review her newly published autobiography: RUDE BIKER CHICK: Lessons From My Daddy. Sash is a popular Motoblogger on the web and now rides a 650 VStar. For a fellow Star Lady and blogger I was honored. Her story demonstrates that once in a blue moon an abused child can grow into a woman who fights to put her demons behind her, forgive her abusers and start over.

Reading the introduction gave me trepidation about the rest of the book. I have to admit I love comedy, fluff and stories with happiness galore. I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was an insight into what has made her who she is today, Sash Walker, Rude Biker Chick. Something within the first few pages made me like Sash. I think it was her connection to her Daddy. Although affiliated with motorcycle gangs and drugs Sash’s father was the one constant in her life. She has carried his many tidbits of wisdom with her and now shares them in her story.

Sash writes with an easy, familiar style. She just wants to tell her story matter of fact with a little rudeness thrown in because that’s who she is. You can see the scars she carries but as she puts it, she is trying “to figure out how to be at home with herself" and, I expect, publishing her story has been part of the process. Sash spent six months riding the USA. The journey required more physical strength than she knew she had, but she finished it with a sense of accomplishment. Sash’s story of abuse as a child and as a young adult is not a unique a one; all too many children are scarred from abuse. Like Sash, they often turn to drugs either becoming abusers or victims the rest of their lives. It’s a common cycle, a cycle that Sash shows can be broken.

Sash almost let life kill her, it could have killed her but instead it has made her stronger. Once in a blue moon a woman can share her pain and in that sharing start to forgive and even respect those from her past. Once in a blue moon a woman can leave her past behind ready to take charge of her future as a survivor. That’s ‘Sash’ Walker’s story.

Tonight we are under a Blue Moon.

Promotional pictures of Sash and her book are published here with permission.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

So, Who Sent Out The Bat Signal?

Sometimes your offspring send you the weirdest text messages, "Mom, we just passed the Batmobile on the 401!"
Luckily, they attach a picture, otherwise ... well ...

(I see Batman had to have a temporary plate attached to the rear window to travel in Ontario. Really, it's Batman!)

Thanks Justin, that picture made my day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Not Off The Grid … Just Flying Under The Radar

Even though I consider my last little adventure to be quite a short trip I'm amazed at how long it has taken me to get back into the groove of being a home body. Maybe it was the 13 ½ hour ride home or maybe it has was going from 12C to 32C in one day ... but I’ve not gone off the grid, I’ve just been flying under the radar.
Incredible how many weeds and how much dust can appear in just 15 days, but I think, finally, just maybe, I’ve got it under control ... well almost.
The Star is sleeping soundly, enjoying a well-deserved rest after performing flawlessly once again in her 6th year - not counting the hick up we encountered before we started, (but that has long been forgiven.) We’ve been in the midst of a heat wave so it’s probably good to rest up a bit, but dam July is just about over!
Tonight, I’m sitting on my front porch (OMG, how old does that make me feel) by the light of the Off Mosquito Foggers and a near full moon. I sat here last night reading Sash’s (Rude Biker Chick) new autobiography. Sash has asked if I would post a review. I’m honored and will sit here putting my thoughts together until I hear the coyotes, then I’m gone!
Look what bloomed while I was away. I love my front porch ... until I hear the coyotes start playing.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Rows And Flows Of Angels Hair..."

When you were a little kid did you ever lay down on the cool, sweet smelling, summer grass just to watch for pictures in the clouds?
(This shot taken through the lens of my sunglasses.)
Well, look what followed me home. Clouds, lots and lots of clouds; but it still isn’t raining. I hear the clouds that came from the east with me are a welcome relief. I hear it’s been near 40⁰ some days last week.
Today, with no need to run from the clouds, whatever they might bring … I went cloud gazing. I saw my mother’s face and it quickly turned into a little girl. I saw a mermaid playing with a beach ball and a dragon and a giant sea turtle. I watched an entire battle story unfold until, no one the victor, it ascended like a puff of smoke into Joni Mitchell's feather canyon. (And I also saw a lot of turkeys ready to be stuffed and roasted, then again I was hungry?)
Today, “they only blocked the sun.” Today that was a good thing. I heard a jet somewhere in the clouds and I wondered what they looked like from their side.
Already I was wishing I was back on the road, even if it was only to run from the clouds ... but then my granddaughter asked me if I liked seeing the pictures in the clouds and I'm glad I'm home too.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
(Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell)

Where ever you are ... I hope the clouds did not get in your way today, but instead you had a chance to enjoy their pictures.
Safe Travels.

WTF ... Rated PG 13 (Coarse Language)

The weather apps all agreed, today was going to be a fine day for a motorbike ride. I looked out the door, the fog had lifted. For the first time I could see the island, but WTF the sky was black!
I left anyway. WTF!
I was looking forward to riding highway 132. It’s a great ride, but today was all about the sky. I watched the tutorial on the weather network this morning … I may not remember what the storm cloud formations were called, but I’m convinced I saw every one, save the funnel cloud and you can be sure I was watching for those too! But it wasn’t raining so I kept riding. WTF!  No time to stop for the artistic photos. Just keep riding!
Around noon it still wasn’t raining but just the same I thought it prudent to plan where I was going to stop …. keeping in mind my new view on life, you know … slow down and enjoy the ride. So with a little help from Google I picked a spot in Tracy QC. Awesome, it had good reviews, was cheap and I’d be checking in by 3:30. I didn't feel like tenting.
Check in … WTF … the smoke drenched, dirty shag carpeted room with overhead mirrors was screaming rent me by the hour. “Do you have another room?” “No, we’re all booked.”” Well, it’s a bit too freaky for me, thanks, yes I’d like to cancel. Thanks.” (In the back of my mind I’m thinking there has to be something else along the way.)
WTF, there wasn’t! Just keep riding! Dan says sunset will happen at 8:24 and I will be home at 8:25, close enough. Just keep riding!
43 km from home, for the first time in days I see clear skies ahead and WTF, it starts raining! I arrived home after a 12 and a half hour, 754 km ride … and they tell me it’s been sunny and hot all week long, WTF!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Yup ....

The sky is clearing ... it is, it really is!

I Would Have Invited Him In ....

Something woke me up very early, around 4:45. I knew the sun was coming up and I opened the curtain, just a crack, to check the weather ... that's when I saw him for the first time, slinking quietly past my window. It was still grey and foggy. I went back to bed and forgot all about him.

Six o'clock arrived. I started preparations. I hadn't checked the tire pressure in a couple of days. It was time. Just as I finished, before I even had the gauge put away, the clouds opened and the rain arrived.

That's when I saw him again ... and I had to smile. Only a cat would consider a cushion on a porch swing a harbor in a storm. I would have invited him in but for the look he gave me. It said, "Go away, can't you see I am napping?" I went back inside and made coffee. I booked another day.
It's been raining on and off all day. The fog has lifted and that seems to have helped the temperature. The radar shows severe weather along my entire route until at least tomorrow when it should hit the east coast.
I took advantage of a break in the weather. When I got back from my walk he came to say hello.
Now it's thundering and I am trying to write this post on my tablet. Something has happened to my ultrabook charger - it's not. This is not fun! Arrrgh! Rain or shine - I've got to get outta Dodge!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Serendipity: the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for

When did I stop looking out the door before making a decision? I was watching the weather channel and checking my three weather apps this morning early and made the call to stay put. This morning started cold and grey like yesterday but it wasn’t raining like they said it would. I coulda’ left, maybe I shoulda’ left but I’d already signed on for another day.

What to do? I made coffee with my Jetboil, found the hardboiled eggs I bought yesterday had frozen in the fridge so I ate the croissant and cheese (thawed in the microwave) that came with them. I caught up on reading some blogs I’ve been neglecting, read the news online and … still not raining.
What now? Head back over to river’s edge. I had noticed the trail along the river’s edge went west so I decided to follow it and serendipitously I chanced upon a spectacular walking trail that I’d recommend you come see if you have the chance.
The manicured trail follows the top of a berm, obviously made to protect the village from high-water damage with drainage on both sides.
I got to this western trail entrance where beyond the trail was a bit less cared for but still easily passable.
The sky had blue patches but I watched the fog begin to roll in.
The wind picked up and it had storm on its breath so I decided to head back to my little cabin not wanting to be caught in a storm like the one that ripped through last night with cabin rocking thunder. I don't know how far the trail goes, but I went 13 kilometers.
The blue sky showed through for a bit but the clouds are looming overhead once again, the weather network is still talking about big systems moving in ... but it's still not raining.
For serious hikers, wearing the right kind of shoes ... oh, the places you could go!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Like Riding Into A Cloud ...

I left Grand Falls bundled once again in the long underwear and wearing the heated vest and winter gloves; grips on high. It wasn’t really raining yet, just misty - more like riding into a cloud. The rain came and went and the temperature dropped as I headed north on the Trans-Canada. I was actually fairly dry and warm. (I remembered that last year I had sprayed my tent fly with a weather proofing spray and used up the can on my riding jacket and pants. It really seemed to do the job, but it may also explain the extreme dirt factor on the jacket.) And the fog got heavier and the forecast began calling for thunder storms.
Visibility became very limited and I was glad I had chosen the 4 lane where there would be little cross traffic, but the fun factor was lessening so I called a short day. I remembered passing through St. Andre with BobSkoot two years ago on his epic eastern journey and headed there for a warm haven. I guessed at the address and I guessed wrong which lead me to a dirt road. Not this time! I stopped, got out the phone, found an address, and turned around to find the pavement again. (TGFSPs)
Now with severe storm warnings and possible tornadoes between me and home I’ve hunkered down for a day or two to wait out the weather, dry and warm. I took a little walk-about the pretty little town on the shore of the St. Lawrence and my feet became numb with cold. (Dam, I wish I had heated sandals!) Temperature at present 11 C – bit of a change for sure.
I could have gone further but highway 132 along the St.Lawrence is such a beautiful ride I didn't want to miss it.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Decisions, Decisions …

This morning’s sun did not rise with its usual blaze of glory over the bay, instead it stayed hidden behind a veil of grey – today's forecast foreboding.

I’ve decided, for this reason and that, to cut this trip a bit short and head for home. Decisions, decisions! Do I stay another day in Pocologan and hope the storms pass or do I make a run for it? I could have stayed for days but instead, I made a run for it.

I thought I could make it to Hartland NB before having to stop for the weather...On that note I was packed early (well, early for this trip,) dressed for the suddenly very cool weather (heated vest and underarmor) and heading west by eight. I really didn’t need gas and thought I’d stop after an hour or so for a break and fuel.

I traveled west on highway 1 until St. Stephen then took highway 3 north. The first few kilometers on 3 were iffy, really rough pavement through the bush and just as I was second guessing the choice (I hate rough deserted roads, especially in the rain) the road widened and was covered with fresh pavement. The great pavement lasted for another 150 km, meandering through the forested hills, dotted by houses here and there with very little traffic and only one little Bambi standing quietly beside the road.

Little did I know that route 3 had no gas stations. 160 km and just when I thought I might soon have to walk I saw a man coming out of a bakery; yes the road had numerous bakeries, schools, cafes, fire stations – just no gas. I pulled over to ask how far to the next gas station and he told me about 4 miles. Awesome! He asked if I was low and I said, “Yes, probably on fumes by now.” He said, "I'll follow you to the station just in case." New Brunswick is full of wonderful people. I made it. He pulled in behind me to say he was glad and waved good-bye.

Had I not been running from the storm and hoping the fumes in my tank would get me to the next gas stop I would have enjoyed this road so much more.

It wasn’t raining by the time I got to Hartland so I decided to push it a little further … 10 k and the sprinkles started. I stopped for gas and the lady (another friendly New Brunswicker) suggested a great place to stay just past Grand Falls about 40 km away.
I stopped early today and on her recommendation here I sit, inside, dry and warm in Saint Leonard in a little cabin (obviously the old part of the Pres du Lac Inn) off the old Trans Canada.
It’s been on and off pissin’ with rain … but these two don’t seem to mind.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Today's Little Gad About Along The Bay ...

175W to 176; Black's Harbour and the ferry terminal. Then to the 778 mountain loop past Deadman's Harbour, no place for photos. Back to 175E to 790 another loop past Macey Bay, Dipper Harbour, Chance Harbour and up to Musquash, again no photo opportunities. Back to 175 and back to the grocery store in Pennfield before heading 'home.'
The ferry to Grand Manan arrives.
An amazing parking job by the captain as he pulls a bit of a donut before backing into the dock.
 I waited until it left again.
Lepreau covered bridge. Google maps shows it having a road going through it - not! (Barely even a footpath, that is if you'd trust it on foot.)
And the tide came in ...
High tide in front of the Clipper Ship, note that little patch of sea weed looking stuff in the water ...
 And the tide went out ... remember the little patch of sea weed... 
Low tide in front of the Clipper Ship. A huge mountain of rock covered by the Fundy tide - highest in the world. Truly amazing.
After a half day of riding the Fundy Trail a shortish 8 km hike was in order where I had...
another 'Bambi' encounter!