Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The thing about an adventure is....

It's not reeeaaally an adventure until something doesn't go quite as planned.

Yesterday morning in Montreal James and I took a bit of time seeing some of the city before hitting the road. It was going to make for a late night, but we figured we could do it and still make our destination. Enter the rain. We rode in the rain for almost 3 hours yesterday. Big, heavy rain drops that stung when they hit. At one point we pulled over to a Walmart to get some Rainex because it was getting hard to see in the rain as it was getting darker. You know you are in a small town when Walmart closes at 5 on Sunday.

Huddled under a gas station we decided to keep going for a while longer. As 8:00 rolled around we passed a sign for a camp site. I pulled in front of James so I could hail him over. I told him I would either set up camp in the rain or in the dark but not both (I have my standards!) and that we should stop and make camp for the night.

Side note: If there are any couples out there that are wondering whether they are with the right person and if they should get married, I have some advice for you. If you want to find out if you have the kind of relationship that could last, get on two motorcycles, ride all day with 3 hours of it in the rain. Then stop to make camp in the rain, while it's getting dark, and you are getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. IF, and I do mean IF, you can get through that then you're golden.

Back to the story.... It rained all night and into late morning. It took forever to pack up everything that was wet but the rain finally broke. We put on our wet riding gear - uck - and headed out with what we thought was clear skies and a nice clean day of riding.

We were making good time even though we stopped at every over-sized obnoxious animal statue we ran across. There was a small town every 30 miles or so and things were going well. We hit a town called Hearst. Hearst is a logging town and incidentally had not one, but a gaggle of over-sized animal statues. We just had to stop. We took the picture and not wanting to slow things down any more (priorities people!) we opted to wait till the next town for gas. We had gone about 50 miles when we started to get worried. My gauge was reading 20 miles till empty. Pull out the map - 80 miles to the next town - 50 miles back.

Nothing makes you feel like a bigger jerk than running out of gas with two empty gas cans strapped to your motorcycle.

So there we were, on the side of the road. I had the bright idea of splitting up. One person stay with the bikes and one person go back for gas. Looking back we should have stayed together. The bikes are just bikes. Soooo, (Mom, close your ears)I hitched a ride the 50 miles back, both gas cans in hand. The person that drove me to the gas station offered to take me back up as far as the next rest area - 10 miles past the town. How hard could it be to hitch a ride while carrying 4 gallons of gas??? Well, 2 miles into the walk, shoulders burning under the weight of the gas cans, 38 miles to go and after the only 6 vehicles that had come down the road had pulled as far away from me as possible, I got to thinking.... What if I couldn't get a ride? What if I was stuck in moose-land walking all night with 4 gallons of gas and no cell phone coverage? Aside from the obvious concern about getting picked up by a crazy or not getting picked up at all, the mosquitoes were becoming a real issue. If I HAD to sleep on the side of the road, would I have any blood left in the morning? Luckily (or is it the guardian angel coin my aunt gave me?), a police officer looking for speeders happened by. I hitched a ride back to James in the safety of the back of a cop car.

Once back with James, who had busied himself playing with camera equipment to stave off the panic and regret at having let me drive off with a complete stranger, we fueled up and headed back to Hearst to get a hotel room for the night and regroup.

Did I mention it was raining again as soon as we ran out of gas?

Anyway, we are okay and about to get a good night sleep so we can catch up tomorrow. Send some sunshine our way!

Pictures of obnoxious animal statues to come.


  1. What a great post. I know it must've been awful while you were in the middle of things, but you really WILL look back one day and laugh.

    Thanks for updating from the road. It's inspiring to see people following their dreams!
    Take Care- Fuzzy

  2. Girl I wanna be just like you when I grow up!Remember your vows,for better or for worse, yadda yadda yadda, yeah, yeah, yeah...

  3. Holy Cow! What an exciting story...you win toughest chick of the year award! You are like the golden wife :)

  4. Funny as hell, great write up Shana. What's funny is that you guys stop to take a picture of James being a dork in front of a bear but you don't stop for something like gas. Something tells me your trip is going to be very interesting. You didn't say if your "Golden" by having selected James and put yourselves through the litmus test of 3 hours of rain, mosquitoes and poor fueling decisions, are you gonna trade him in on a can of bug spray or what?


  5. Hi Shana and James,
    I just found your blog today, and it's great following your trip. James, you might remember Zook's brother-in-law, "Bildo." Well, seeing the picture of the bear made me think of something that happened last week to him. He was at the family cabin at Tahoe and heard a noise at the community dumpster. Thinking it was a racoon or something he went to look and as he peered in a great big bear head raised up and peered right back. He backed away and the bear looked away, but Bill saw an old man comming and warned him away. At the sound of his voice the bear looked up again and didn't seem pleased - at which point both men ran for cover! Watch out for the wildlife! We couldn't bear to hear something happened to either of you!
    Continue to have a great time on your trip!
    Love, Uncle Stan

  6. OMG- Shana NUNEZ!! I wish I kknew your middle name so I could say the whole thing out loud in a firm tone and then you'd REALLY know you were in trouble! Hitchhiking young lady?? You're lucky you didn't get murdered or I would have killed you! ;)

    BTW- a great designer, video editor, friend, and now add WRITER to the list- sheesh, anything you CAN'T do AWESOMELY well young lady?