A year ago I made a swing into Canada and back down into Montana to log the final cache of the Montana State Counties Challenge. As it turned out the Canada portion of the trip was very stressful. The stator (generator) on my motorcycle went out and I was stranded in Fernie, B.C., for about three days while trying to get a part from the states up to a dealer in Fernie who was trying to get me back on the road. While I enjoyed my stay in a hostel there as much as one could under the circumstances it was not an experience I would like to repeat.
With some trepidation I decided I would go back up (get back on the horse that throws you) and extend my trip across the prairies to the east all the way into Manitoba. I left early Saturday, June 20th. I wanted to get to Fernie in time to see my friend, Paul, owner of Ghostrider Motorsports who played such a big part in getting me back on the road the previous year. I took a different route this time, turning east at Bonners Ferry and down to Libby, MT. From there I rode along the east side of beautiful Lake Kookanusa formed by the damming of the Kootenai River. It begins in Canada and extends into Montana. As usual I stopped for half a dozen geocaches along the way.
I did get into Fernie in time to see my friend, Paul, and had a nice visit. I checked in to the Raging Elk Hostel and found I would be having two roommates. I met the first one in the parking lot as I was unloading my motorcycle. He was on a motorcycle (a Honda cruiser model) too and we struck up a conversation not knowing that we would be roommates. He was a single, junior high school teacher in his late 20’s or early 30’s from Calgary. He seemed like a really nice fellow and had done a lot of traveling over the world. After checking in I did some hiking around Fernie and got three more caches. Upon returning I met my other roommate who was into hiking. He was probably in his early 60’s and said he hadn’t worked in 11 years as he had made enough money in the stock market that he didn’t need to. I didn’t like him as much as the younger fellow but he was alright – just kind of smug.
Fernie is kind of a tourist place for skiers, mountain bikers, hikers and white water enthusiasts. I walked along the main drag consisting of a lot of little specialty shops and such and ended up at a Subway where I had my dinner.
After returning to the motel I was about ready to hit the sack as I would be getting another early start the next morning. My older roommate was getting ready to head down town for some kind of concert and the younger one was ready to hit the bar downstairs. I declined the invitation to join him and was soon in bed. My older roommate returned first and was soon snoring away. Along about midnight the younger one staggers (literally) in and begins crashing about. Eventually he climbs into his upper bunk and begins some serious snoring. After a while he climbs back down, staggers around the room and goes out to the balcony type walkway of our 2nd story room. After a while he returns. This scenario was repeated several times and on one he climbed into the bunk above me which was not his. I gave him a few kicks to try to subdue his snoring a bit and eventually he returned to his own bunk after one of his trips outside. What a night! Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep. (To be continued) M/W