Saturday, August 25, 2012

Horizons Unlimited unravelled...

For the past couple of days I have been camped with two hundred other moto enthusiasts in the Municipal campgrounds of Nakusp, B.C.

The Western Canada meeting of Horizons Unlimited is meeting this weekend, and the turnout is phenominal and the participation and enthusiasm about moto travel is catching.  Right now, as I write, we are skyping with the local organizers, who are currently in Lake Bakail, in eastern Russia, I think.  They are describing to the audience about their travels and experiences as they have been travelling in Eastern Europe for the past month.  It is interesting to see the increase in the use of technology by the travellers as trips are presented and planned.

I attended a presentation this afernoon by an former pilot who discussed the ins and outs of mapping software and GPS systems.  He identifed some great sites where open source software is available, and i was joined with a young fellow from Seattle who helped me download maps of Mexico and Guatemala.  This session was extremely useful and interesting.

Yesterday, a family from Calgary presented  on their year long trip to South America and back, and their stories were interesting in that in addition to their discussions of the their moto routes, they discussed the events and activities which they attended as they travelled. It was interesting to see the perspective of the 10 year old son, who fully participated in the presentation, and provided an interesting insight into the trip.

I have met some very interesting people at this gathering.  One person from Seattle has just completed a trip down east Africa and left his bike in Johannesburg.  He is planning on heading back very soon to continue his trip up to Ethiopia and beyond.  He has a very interesting perspective on travel and the role of the moto traveller.  He is travelling on  a F800GS, and I have had some very useful discussions about the pros and cons of this bike.  I have had some significant help with computer issues from a young man from Seattle who is coming down from Alaska, and as soon as he sells his truck and motorcycle will be heading South as well.  It is very refreshing to attend these kinds of meetings and discuss motorcycle travel with some many different folks.  This young man has an incredibly refreshing take on life, and I am very impressed by his views and outlook on life   We talked about father and son travel, and he too has travelled with his Dad up to Alaska.  Out discussion brought out some of my favourite feelings about travelling with my own Sons.

Right now, I am watching a trip presentation by two old dudes and the title is "Humbled by South America"  Many of their pictures showed roads that remind me of the Nickleplate Road near Hedley.  The dudes are in their late 60's and spent over two months in South America.   Their blog is:  and I am recommending that it be read as a precusssor to my eventual travels down south.

The final presenter of the conference is a young guy from Canmore, Jeremy Kroeker, and he has published a book entitled "Motorcycle Therapy".  I am looking forward to hearing about his journey to Central America.  His description can be found at:

I have a soft spot in my heart for yellow bikes and lots of stuff...

This side car took two Calgarians safe and secure on their ride to South America  and back....

There were two TransAlps here, and each of them were on a Round the World trip,as their stickers demonstrate.   One was for sale.  I have always admired the Trans Alp, and the brand was only available in Canada for two years.   I think everyone should have at least three bikes in their stable.

My friend Dave W. from the North Island, who has let many North Island rides over the years, came to Nakusp via the Chilcotin.

A bike identical to mine, which is ownd by a Calgary fellow, has a blown stator. Fortunately his wife has an identical bike, and they will share a battery on their long ride back to Calgary.

 This bike is out of 100 mile and the fellow is familiar to a lot of BC riders

 This bike was on the BC Big Trailie last year, and I understand that he will be attending again in a couple of weeks.

I heard a very informative and interesting presentation on Baja.

A new Triumph

 Brand new BMW 700 cc, probably the first in Western Canada

Not all orange bikes are KTMs: a fancy Triumph

This bike is owned by an older Australian couple who have been on the road for 15 years.

 A young Sri Lankan man presented on his travels. He has been on the road for two years.  His photography was incredible, and he truly had a unique story to tell.