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Sun Aug 05 2012: Tattooed in Vancouver!

From Jasper, we rode Hwy 5 through Kamloops with a quick detour through 5A, the Princeton-Kamloops Highway, a very scenic twisty ride past a series of pretty lakes in the valley, to end up in Merritt. We met Veronica, another ADVer outside the Starbucks at Merritt. She was covered head to toe in dust, and with her dirtbike gear and astride her Suzuki DR, she looked completely hardcore. We talked for a while and on her map, she showed us some great dual-sport roads in the area. We hope to visit them in the next few days.

Princeton-Kamloops Highway

We had made arrangements to meet Kevin and Manon in Vancouver for the long weekend. Yes, Kevin and Manon from Ottawa (from our very first blog entry) are now Kevin and Manon from Vancouver! They've moved clear across the country just to provide us with a place to stay for the weekend!

Beating the heatwave in Vancouver with Kevin and Manon

It was so nice having a real bed to sleep in, and a couch, and a wide-screen TV, and a fridge, etc. We caught up with all the MotoGP races we had missed and ate pizza and drank Cherry Pepsi and it was all so decadent! K&M spoiled us to bits and we let them! Vancouver was having a heatwave, so we spent some time in the park next to their new condo to cool down.

Thanks Manon for the picture!

We spent an (extra) long weekend with them, parking the bikes for a few days and doing nothing but watch the Olympics on TV, eating and sleeping. It was amazing to spend time relaxing with good friends after being on the road for only just a few weeks.

Sasha Koop from Funhouse Tattoo

So, to commemorate traveling all the way from the east coast to the west coast of Canada, Neda decides to get inked! Actually, she had been planning this for quite some time, having had to change tattoo artists from Toronto because of timing, and arranging an appointment with a Vancouver artist while we were on the road. Sasha Koop from Funhouse Tattoo came highly recommended and we all came to watch the action and provide support.

A future tattoo artist looks on while Neda gets inked

"Take the road less travelled"

Neda explains the meaning behind the tattoo:

"The blue heron feathers are a style mash-up. The inside of the feathers is done in Haida First Nations-style, and the outside is a more realistic feather to soften the design. The beads represent Gene and I. Blue is Gene, red is me, and yellow represents my bike and the sun."

Personally, I'm not into tattoos for myself (more into making new holes in my body), but I think the design is cool and the tattoo turned out awesome. Neda was ecstatic!

Suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon

Because everyone knows how much I *love* hiking (not), Kevin, Manon and Neda drag me out to Lynn Canyon. Since K&M are still new to Vancouver, they had to TripAdvisor where to take us. Right now, they're still "Kevin-and-Manon-*IN*-Vancouver", and they've got a long way to go before they become "Kevin-and-Manon-*FROM*-Vancouver"...

Lynn Canyon

Hikers in Lynn Canyon

So, seeing how I've probably visited Vancouver more often than K&M, I lead "Kevin-in-Vancouver" to the Gastown district downtown to take some touristy shots of the area.

A gaggle of GSes stop traffic in Gastown...

Gastown Steamclock

I was dismayed to find out recently that the Gastown Steamclock does not run entirely on steam! It is actually electrically powered and the only time steam is utilized is every 15 minutes when the clock gives a little show and plays a tune. Felt *so* totally ripped off...

Walking around Gastown

And of course, rain in Vancouver

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