"Eat the frog first!" is what Ilma told me today on the phone while I was whining about my delay on the blog. Last night I slept 16 hours [it was raining from afternoon till 8AM in the morning]. I could have easily eaten the frog in that time, and all the other times in the past weeks when I had plenty of time...

Alright, today I eat it. I don't have frogs but I take a bag of chips with me in the tent [it's my first night out of bear country, yippie]. I lay under a beautiful but frosty star sky in my cozy sleeping bag [also the first night out of rainy pacific climate, yippieyayeh] on my way to Idaho.

So what happend? I owe you an explaination.

Actually no, I don't. I still aspire to write the blog mainly for myself. You guys are there to keep me accountable and you really tried hard in the last weeks [in a friendly way]. Good on you!

So let's document what happend for my own memory [let me keep telling this to me] and you simply get to read it, too. Deal?

My arrival in Vancouver mid-October was immediately followed by the long-awaited visit of Ilma. Sure thing I had better stuff to do, than worrying about reviving my memories... During her visit the US border opening was announced for the 8th November which left me with another 3 weeks to kill after she left. Generally, incredibly good news. No doubt! Still, I lost it a bit in these 3 weeks. Not the motivation, but the proper "tension" how I would call it, which I blame for the delay in the blog.

"Pause ist nicht gut für den Körper" is a slightly ironic German saying but I really felt like this. While it was sure that I would not sit around for 3 weeks, it was also sure that I will not make any progress south. Progress, goals... what a travel beginner you may think. Just beeing transparent here, don't give me a hard time! Thanks!

So this is it! Long story, short answer. Not enough tension to write [and ride in the downpour rain of Vancouver].

To make the frog a little bit smaller but still capture some bits and pieces of the last weeks I'll stick to a [very, very] loose agglomeration of thoughts. Will be enough to revive MY memory :-p


Day 70-80 Ilma visiting

-Very grateful that Canada announced their plans for loosening travel restrictions already at the beginning of my journey [flight was actually booked when I was cycling my first miles on the Dalton Highway]. So we both had a date we were looking forward to for months

-1000 times more grateful to have a partner that motivates and supports me to do what I do!

-We are fine! [probably the #1 question I get all the time] We are certainly long distance approved. However, with one person in the remote north who is sometimes out of cell service for weeks [yep, that's me] it was also a bit of a rough start. Hence, a lot to catch up on.

-In contrast to my 100% selfish adventure, she almost simultaneously started into her own [ad]venture as a co-founder giving used EV batteries a second life as energy storage systems. Believe me, the more exciting adventure from the two of us!

-we spend two nights in Vancouver, after that rent an RV for 8 more days and drive to Jasper National Park - incredible! The pictures give a great impression, check them out in the Canada folder

-Croffels as culinary discovery of the trip!

-Next idea for visit hatched! Next time in a much more pleasant climate [she loves the heat]!! Next time 4 weeks!!! Next time with bike!!!! Fingers crossed!!!!!

Day 80 - 85 Fat and lazy in Vancouver

-warmshowers host Polina has friends as guest, so I have to relocate, after picking up Klaus I "move in" with Dorothy and Sven in their beautiful house in North Vancouver

-both avid mountain bikers and great folks

-Klaus needs some proper attention: oil change of the Rohloff seems to have solved the leakage issue, I rewire the shifting [turns out the other shifting cable was about to rip as well, hence the imbalance of tension because I only replaced the ripped one in the Chilcotins], brakes get properly cleaned in a bike shop [calipers where completely stuck, luckily no brake bleed necessary], missing bolt in my click pedal that I lost in Denali a whopping 5000km ago replaced with an organ donation from Ilmas bike [after riding Klaus on a trip she decided to buy the same bike]

-otherwise as described above, a bit loss of tension in the comfort of Dorothy's and Svens house while a so called bomb cyclone let's it rain for almost a week, getting fat [figuratively] and lazy [literally], I do some exploring of Vancouver [liked East Vancouver the most] and go on a nice bike ride with Sven in the adjacent mountains

Day 85 - 96 Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island

-a good weather window of three days finally kicks me out and back on the bike again, about 10 days to kill until the land border opening, cycle the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island

-ride out of Vancouver again through West Vancouver trying to guess how many billions of real estate value I am passing by on Marine Drive alone [pretty sure double digit billions]

-take a lot of ferries on the Sunshine Coast and over to Vancouver Island [sometimes requires some racing to catch the right ferries, enjoy the racing and keeping the legs spinning], beautiful coastal rain forest and riding along the coast line, Sunshine Coast delivers a lot sunshine however, quite populated

-first stop on Vancouver Island in Comox in the beautiful home of Stephanie, who just moved here from Seattle, and serves me delicous Lasagne for dinner

-Vancouver Island suprises me with its snow capped high mountains [up to 2000m]

-while having a break in Courtenay before heading on the backroads of Vancouver Island my back tire pops out of the blue, I am riding usually the maximum pressure and apparently the air expanded while Klaus was standing in the sun, fortunately the self sealing tubes do their job again [add another 0.5 to an overall 2.0 flat tire count]

-Ride the forest service roads to Port Alberni along beautiful Comox Lake, don't worry much about progress, there is no real progress to be made, likely to kick it into high gear again once in the US

-After the three sunny days, flat out rain for more or less the whole week, I cross off Tofino and Bamfield off my list which would be amazing places to visit but both have a daily 100mm of rain and 100km/h winds forecasted [people go there for storm watching], no warmshowers hosts and thus I see no point in "stormwatching" out of a soaking wet tent

-instead I sit out three days in Port Alberni with Sue and Graham, despite the fact they have the house full with private visitors are happy to have me join their gathering, I am also able to help with some house renovations in return, have a great hike with Graham [who is just a fantastic person to be around with his calm but curious personality] through the lush coastal rain forests, I enjoy the wide array of homemade food made from Sues incredibly rich garden

-two day push to Victoria, with one pitstop in Crofton where I stay in the lovely garden house of Laura and Michael

-unable to find a host in Victoria first, so I treat myself to a hotel room for the first night [and the first time of the trip, it's my 3 month anniversary that day so a nice way to celebrate]

-the other two nights I am lucky to stay at Nicholas place with fellow cyclist Jean Francois from Quebec cycling from Whitehorse to California, we have a great time biking around Victoria and enjoying a nice evening of cooking and board games with some of Nicholas' and Natalias [his girlfriend] friends

-8th November, border opening, I intend to take the ferry from Victoria to Port Angeles, I am fairly nervous since it is unsure wheter I will get new 90 days granted for the US or wheter they will deny my entry, so nervous that I even keep Nicholas keys and have to cycle back from the ferry terminal, border officers don't see an issue with giving me new 90 days, however, their computer do, nerve recking... I enter immigration almost as the first person [which is in Victoria], but bord the ship last because it takes so long to figure everything out

-on the ship, all is well, USA here I come [again]

-best Canadian farewell ever with Natalia and Nicholas waiving from the port and holding up signs with "Bon voyage, Jean Francois" and "Gute Reise, Jonas", you are legends!

Day 96 - 98 Border Crossing and Seattle

-very emotional reception in Port Angeles, goose bumps, almost tears, I am guessing around 100 people came out, holding signs "welcome", "we missed you", waving Canadian flags once the passengers disembark the ferry, what a great moment to witness

-about 80km to my warmshowers host Lou and his wife who serve me delicous food and a very pleasant stay

-it feels incredible to ride again, finally I am back on track, the "tension" is back

-ride to Seattle short by intense, first have to wait for two hours at a ponton bridge while a military submarine is passing through, just before the bridge opens the push message on my phone "Tornado warning, immediately search shelter in a sturdy building"... through heavy rain, wind and moderate hail I push over the bridge once open again and make it to a 5km away gas station to sit it out [5 minutes after my arrival, the lights go out at the gas station, at least I am inside], 30 minutes later all is well again and I proceed to Seattle

-staying with Alegra and Gabriel in their beautiful apartment in Belltown, great talks and dinners are shared, great location to explore the city, very modern and progressive, wealthy [Microsoft, Amazon, Boing...]

Day 99 - 103 Let it rain, Seattle to Portland

-phew, what an incredibly rainy 4 day push to Portland, I could have chosen the direct way but wanted to give the Pacific Coast another chance, it's beautiful, wild, wet... I decide it's best to part ways with the Pacific for a while... Hope to be friends again in Central America

-amazing entering into Oregon via the 5km long Astoria Megler bridge

-quite happy to pull out three 160km days, feel very good and energized on the bike, however, with the short days this also means riding all day and partially in the darkness [nothing else to do in the rain anyway], scary moment when my headlamp dies while riding through very thick fog in the night close to Cannon Bay, Oregon

-Due to the weather, I travel from warmshowers host to host: Marnie/John in Cosmopolis [more than 200 cyclist hosted, true legends, incredibly grateful for their service to the community]; Paige and Hugh in Bay Center [having an amazing little farm]; Maria and Brian in Nehalem [feeding me with all you can eat ice cream, both work for Tillamook a famous cheese and diary producer of the region] and Kristen/Ville in Portland [also cycled from Alaska to Argentina and are just about to go on their next adventure in Spain]