Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on April 26, 2011
Purchase From: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or The Book Depository
The trip began quite innocently. All they wanted was a simple, week-long vacation to celebrate their new freedom. How hard could that be? With their last child pushed out the door, it was now 'their' time. Time to travel, to explore, to visit uncharted territories. Time for them to sample strange new cultures with strange new customs and strange new languages. But where to go? And once the destination was decided, how to get there? Not content with doing things the 'easy way', they first bought a motorcycle. A futuristic behemoth of a touring bike with a design ripped straight from the pages of Buck Rogers that proved to be a topic of conversation at each and every stop - whether they wanted to talk or not. Armed with poor planning, poor judgment, laughter, love, and an optimism usually reserved for the perilously insane, our daring duo cast caution to the wind and headed straight into the heart of the deepest, darkest continent known to man: Canada. In the days to come they would have ample time to reconsider the wisdom of their choices as they encounter torrential rains, stomach-churning mountain roads, Canadians, Grizzlies, creepy motel owners, moose, hidden tombs, cloned Vikings, more Grizzlies, starvation, dehydration, beavers, gourmet food, Karelian Bear Dogs, more Grizzlies, ferries, frog swarms and witchcraft all before reaching their final destination at a Lodge in the mountains of Banff National Park. Would they survive? More importantly, would their 30-year marriage survive? And why is it exactly that in Canada milk comes in bags, the metric system rules, and every word has an extra 'u'? These answers and more await inside. So pick a comfy chair and climb on board. It's a heck of a ride.
Today, I’m doing something a little different – reviewing a book I first read five years ago.
Back then, I was a rider who was starting to gather the gear to go on my own motorcycle adventures with my husband, and David And Suzanne’s Big Frickin’ Canadian Motorcycle Adventure was a timely recommendation. Hubby read it first and didn’t finish nearly fast enough, teasing me terribly with his raucous laughter the whole way through. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! And when I did, I’m sure I kept him awake with my own chortles.
Five years on, I have all the gear and have done more than a few 1000+ mile motorcycle trips. You would think that practice makes perfect, but we still debate logistics and necessities when it comes to packing two motorcycles for the road.
The story is David’s, and we’re enticed by his humor as he recalls conversations and letters shared with his daughter and discussions with his wife while planning his dream adventure – a huge motorcycle trip to Canada. He spends a lot of time on reality vs need and his wife’s incompatibility with the concept. She wants every home comfort despite the limited space, and David must coax, cajole, and at times, downright deceive as he pares down the packing to the available space.
And then, comes the trip …
David’s narration is a constant source of amusement, and every situation they find themselves in is easy to relate to. It feels familiar, and I suspected at the time that we would be likely to find ourselves in the same sort of crazy situations. I wasn’t wrong! While not everyone is likely to find themselves sitting on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere staring down a bear* (while their spouse sits on the back saying “Where bear?!”), anyone who’s tried to mastermind an epic road trip with the family will find some parallels here.
Five years after it’s first reading, David And Suzanne’s Big Frickin’ Canadian Motorcycle Adventure still gets mentioned. Just recently, we were purchasing a new tour packs for my bike and the first question asked was “But is it 100% more waterproof?”.
* We haven’t met a bear on the road – but we did have to stop and hope that the huge bison strolling down the middle of the road in Yellowstone didn’t pay us too much mind. Well, my husband hoped that. Somewhere in the back of my mind was the irrational need for a photo op, and if a big red Yamaha had to be harmed in the creation of that opportunity, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad … 🙂