Sunday, July 5, 2009

Princeton Motorcycle Camping

It never looks like we’ll get all we pack on the bike. All the gear starts spread out on the living room floor before being stuffed into bags to be hauled downstairs to be loaded on the motorcycle. At this point I’m certain I need an Electro glyde, ie a much bigger bike. Laura is already little so it’s really the tent and camping gear that may just have to go. Motels are the alternative. With that thought I somehow get it all loaded on.
We made it 10 blocks before it shifted and I had to unload and reload and use that many more bungie cords. Then we added gas and the maximum air the manual says the tires need for maximal weight.
“It’s shifted again,” Laura called forward to me as the kitchen sink began to crowd her forward. I pulled over on the Burnaby freeway and used my last bungee cords. Aha!
At the new incredible stupendous ecstactically wonderful Barnes Harley in Langley I coveted the 2009 Ultraglydes and bought 2 more bungee cords. “I’m trying to change my Harley Roadster into a dresser with bungee cords.” I told the clerk. “Here, try these 6 pronged bungee cargo packs.” After that, the load was not going anywhere now.
We lunched at Mohawk, bikers amongst truckers feeling increasing in our element. On the road it was hot and windy with blue sky and pine tree scent. Mountains and rivers and blues and greens. I got another folding fishing rod in the great Hope sport store.
Because of the heat, the Hope police came round and forced us to have wildberry milkshakes. Only because they had a gun to my head did I swallow the cold decadence. I was really impressed with Laura because she was sucking on her straw when the gun was at my head. Friends.
Manning Park was great. Winding roads. Some excitement changing lanes because of the winter road shifts. Despite our weight we were airbourne a few times and I just thought of moguls skiing and motorcycling took the pavement as it eventually came. I lost Laura a few times but she kept getting caught on a bungee cord and springing back down to her seeat in front of the kitchen sink, and biker equivalents of a motorchome behind her sissy bar.
Brown deer and happy brown marmots were in abundance.
Then we were beyond Manning Park headed up to Sunday Summit with all the hairpin turns and steep cliffs. To add to the excitement I had butt ache and began to squirm much to Laura’s horror. Imagine and adult male biker doing the rug like a dog does when the guest are over. That’s what she had in front of her. Not very inspiring.
Eventually, we drove into the Princeton Husky. A mere child on a Honda 550 Nighthawk pulled in beside us looking refreshed with youth and confessed that he too had ridden all the way from Vancouver. He was perky in comparison to my own human puddle of fatigue. Laura and I got a city block further, (how do they measure distance in the country), where she collapsed and sent me in to fetch her a cold A&W Root Beer. I brought her one and had a Root Beer Float in sympathy. Revived we drove a mile further where a sign said Princeton Municipal Campground.
It ‘s by the river. They had a spot. We unloaded the bike over the next week, slashing through a Gorgon’s knot of bungee cords and eventually finding the tent. I put it up finally remembering the poles go on the outside when they didn’t fit on the inside.
All the while, a cougar began to stalk Laura. The camp lady had told me about the cougar stalking the campground for the last 24 hours . It must have known Laura was coming. The camplady had had their friend killed by a cougar last year and when Laura asked what we talked about I tried to protect her wilderness innocence. She found out pretty quick though because everyone in the campsite gathered to take pictures of the cougar across the stream staring at Laura.
Soon the police and conservation were called. I showed Laura again how to use the bear banger. Insisted she carry with her and was thankful that the conservation officer opted to shoot the cougar.. “We’ve never had one come right into town like this one. It’s hunting too. “
The shooting caused a drunken city woman and city man without children in a fortified camper to shout obscenities at the police and conservation officer. I told Laura about the cougar which ate the kid who lived next to us in the country and made a point of thanking the police and conservation for protecting us all from what was clearly a rogue animal intent on eating Laura. The dozens of other campers were also thanking the conservation people and police so I assumed they too wanted Laura to live.
Cougar are themselves very tasty. Working with the Indians in the north I was honored to share their meals and cougar fondue was a favourite.
After that I was sent for cold drinks, got on the lightened Harley and drove down the street to town. After picking up pepsi I put in an order for Pizza Delivery. A girl brought it in her truck and it was delicious. I have a battery operated speakers and we listened the Corrs and the new Dylan album while we ate campsite delivered pizza.
Laura is in heaven because there’s a washroom with running water and a shower. She has told me several times about this feature of our ‘roughing it’ experience.
Now we must clean up our campsite so we can get into the tent and read novels by flashlight. I’d say this experience of camping is almost as much fun us kids put up a tent in the backyard in summer time. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Mom or Dad calling us in the morning for breakfast. Otherwise I’ll have to make expresso before taking Laura into town for a real breakfast.

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