Monday, September 27th - Day 86 - Home Sweet Home

Fort McMurray Travel Blog

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The ride from Calgary to Edmonton was a nice one. Well, after the speeding ticket at least. It was absolute discrimination, disgusting. I was in behind a pack of vehicles, about 5 of us, and we were doing about 140. We crested a hill and there was a cruiser in a U-turn facing away from us with his door open. We all slowed down, I pulled over into the slow lane, now doing about 120 with another car. The other 3 were farther ahead. Finally he pulled up and came up behind me. Followed me for about 3 minutes waiting for me to do something retarded, probably running my plates "Oh lucky day! This guy has lots of speeding tickets! He won't argue!" I didn't. I didn't feel like it. "What's the problem officer?" "You're doing 32 over" I could have asked why I was singled out from the other vehicles, but I just didn't have it in me. He didn't even drop it down. 142 in a 110. I believe in justice, I believe in the law, I beleive in order, but I also believe in equality, and fair treatment. I served for those ideals. And here I was being picked because of my motorcycle.

Don't beleive me? We both took off and continued on. Two packs of cars were ahead of us. I was in behind the rear pack, he spead up to the front pack... behind a guy riding a sportbike. He followed him for 4 minutes too. Then finally the cherries came on. The guy did nothing wrong. I was so angry. It didn't make it better that the guy was totally nervous talking to me. He knew what he was doing.

In 3 years my abstract will be clean again. In the meantime I may lose my license for a month come this court date in March. That won't have any implication on my job, and I can go a month without a vehicle, as I catch a charter bus to the mines, and I live within running distance to my gym, and anything else I need. But the demerits might impact my insurance.

So for 3 years, no more speeding. Man oh man will travelling be long, and riding be boring. Just have to enjoy the scenery for longer!

The trees thickened in spots to protect farmers fields from the wind that often drives across the flat prairies, golden and yellow against the overcast skies. Just lovely. Riding into Edmonton, it really dawned on me how gorgeous that city is. Calgarians always say it's so dirty there. But the river valley that the large city sprawls along was rich with colour. Striking.

Met up with my cousin for some lunch and to catch up on everything. Ate at Joey Tomatoes. One of her new friends joined us. I'd wanted to see all of my family, but I didn't have a lot of time. I'd emailed my last coffeehost to let them know that I was going to be in town a day early and couldn't get together. They replied that a day early was even more convenient, so after getting checked into my hostel, GO Backpacker, I met up with them for a fun evening of sushi on Whyte ave, a tour of the Legislature grounds where I got to experience Purple City (A must-try! lol), and drinks at some nice pub downtown, while talking about music and sharing laughs.

The next morning I awoke to use the washroom in my dorm room at the hostel. I'd heard my solitary room mate get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, but remember nothing else. He'd been kind enough to not flush to avoid awakening me... So a family of turds resided in the bottom of the bowl. I dare not stir water with a morning pee for fear of an attrocious smell expelling from the sealed, still, water. Ya know, I just remember, there was no toilet paper in there either. Kinda sad, I mean, he was a little slow, I gathered from a brief chat as I was leaving. But I wasn't going to make fun, I actually thought it was cool that he was out travelling on his lonesome despite his condition.

I went and got my new front tire put on at Argyll. They seemed to try their best to appease me after their massive screwup over my recall items. But they were really sticky about the broken autoshifter. "Well, how do we know you didn't have 7 of your friends jumping on the thing?" I was kind of offended. Especially because they lose no money when they do a warranty repair. BMW takes the heat. As far as I know anyway. They might lose on the servicing, but it'd take an hour to change.

I left for home, Fort McMurray. The poplars and the birch trees with their yellow, gold leaves were so beautiful. I'd been riding for an hour, with the flow of traffic, no longer speeding, and I realized I'd forgotten to go meet my little cousin who'd just been married. I had missed the wedding because of my tight intinerary, and missed congratulating him in person. I'd call him later. I did, and he was fine with that.

As I got farther north, more spruce were springing up, and the interspersed shades of green added to it.

Finally coming into Fort McMurray, I felt the bitter sweetness. One really does have to 'make the best of it' here. But I thought back to my tour. All the experiences, the people,the places, the sites, the realizations, the epiphanies, the lessons, I was thankful for it all. And I knew it had profoundly shaped the rest of my life.

Thank you to everyone I met who made my time so wonderful. And thank you even to the wierdo in Bakersfield who gave me a funny story to tell (but don't set people up for mugging anymore thaaaanksss). Thank you to all of you who supported me by reading my blogs, keeping in touch, or thinking of me. I will write a book to retell the story, details may be altered, alternative names used, but it will hold true to my thoughts, my feelings, and tell a real account of 3 months on the road.

It truly was, a trip of a lifetime.

Take care, Ride safe.

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Fort McMurray
photo by: RealBackpacker