From Portland, OR the ride to Canada is about 5.5 hours. I'd like to say it's a scenic ride but trudging up I-5 and through Seattle traffic is a lot like going to the dentist and having a root canal. Nonstop traffic once you are outside of Seattle and all the way through town. By the time I was through it both my wrists were burning from the constant shifting and braking. My allergies and asthma were acting up due to the smog...cars bumper to bumper zipping in and out of lanes as if moving one over would accomplish some great feat.
Past Seattle the road narrows again and until you hit the Peace Arches at the border it's smooth riding with small towns and trees lining the way. And the border on a Saturday around 4:00 PM is a five minute wait. The questions are quick, "what is the reason for your trip? How long will you be here? Have anything on board you're selling? What's in the bag?" All for naught since clearly I could have brought in an army worth of guns and no one would have noticed. They did make me remove my sunglasses so they could "see if my picture matched" but frankly, on my passport my face shows an extra 15 pounds and make up that I never wear.
Riding into Surrey, my destination, my first stop is a liquor store where I buy two 4 packs of Mike's Hard Lemonade with Vodka. That's the reason I love Canada. I get back to my bike and realize I really don't have room for that much booze on the bike. I take them out of the boxes and shove them into whatever crevice is available in my sidebags. I'm ready to roll when I realize I'm parked on such a slant and the bike and gear weigh so much that I don't have the strength to push the bike upright. Great, another opportunity for failure. I get off, put the stand down, and slowly start pushing the bike backwards so I can get on more level ground. The kickstand is scraping along the asphalt and everyone is staring at me wondering what the heck I'm doing. I can almost hear them saying, "look at the dumb american who bought a bike that's too heavy."
Of course, I knew the trip wouldn't be complete without at least one episode of me being a dumbass. Last time I was here I asked if they were closed for Memorial Day. Um, the USA Memorial Day. Coincidentally that was also at a liquor store. Maybe I need to stay out of liquor stores, stay out of Canada, or just wise up. But, now that I ponder it, I'm glad I didn't disappoint.