Horizon’s Unlimited Canada West Meeting, 2011


August 25th through 27th, 2011

I don’t have enough good things to say about Horizon’s Unlimited. The people from there whom I have met, and the massive amount of information on their website have encouraged and allowed me to wander around on my motorcycle, like I have been doing now for awhile (though in the scale of most of the travelers on HU’s site I haven’t been on the road that long at all).

Despite this I have never been to one of the meets, which HU has all over the world at regular intervals. I came close once, planning to attend the one in Silverton last year. This year there wasn’t a Silverton meet, so maybe I should’ve tried harder. I have met people from the HU site, mostly at the Overland Expo back in March/April but also at local meets.

I had been aware of the HU meet in Nakusp when I left home, but had made no real plans to attend. My schedule was very flexible and I didn’t know where I would be when the days of the meets rolled around. Since it worked out I got to go I was excited to see what the meet would be like.

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The location was pretty nice. There was an area of the campground that was marked off for HU attendees, and in that area we could camp anywhere, ignoring the usual site markers. Even so the area filled up and people were forced into the overflow areas, which had a lot less shade.

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Like the Overland Expo the HU meet was centered around seminars given to help people travel, either eith managing money, or tales from the road, or dealing with borders. Unlike the expo there was just one room, and no need to choose between two things going on at the same time (With a couple exceptions).

Presentations weren’t supposed to start until the evening, so I went for a walk around Nakusp, mainly along their lakefront.

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Needless to say the area was nice. It is something of a tourist town, the only place around to get gas and, from what I was told, decent wireless signal. My phone didn’t work there (but the kindle did, of course). This last picture is of their war memorial, in a park right next to the campground. I don’t know what the deal is with the upside down torch…maybe it’s a rocket?

I didn’t take many pictures of the seminars, I will say most were excellent, expect the ‘managing your money on the road,’ presenter. If I listened to him I would still be at home and working right now. I could go on for a while about it, but I won’t, beside saying if you want to travel, you should. The money thing will work itself out.

The funniest presentation had to be on Bear Safety. I fancied myself leaving bear country, but went to it anyway. The presenter was a former guide and had lots of fun bear stories (and guide stories), and included a humorous little skit showing how to deal with a bear in your camp (first – get camera and a pic!)

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I didn’t get many good picsture of it, the guy in the white t-short is the presenter, and the other is someone picked from the crowd to act as the bear. He is putting on a bear hat (to look the part)

In the afternoon I had an hour to use up in between sessions (Wanting to get back in time for the managing money one, which was a waste and I could have ridden around more) so I left looking for ospreys.

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When we registered we were given (or, more accurately, had the option to take) little tourist maps of the area. Looking at the map it was clear there were several good osprey viewing areas nearby, so I decided to see if I could find any.

It was actually very simple. The double poles run along the road on the opposite side of the lake, and there were nests on about every other one.

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Simply parking on the side of the road, turning off the engine and waiting a few minutes resulted in several overhead.

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I don’t have a good camera for catching birds.

Time was short, and I headed back to catch the money seminar, then took a break before dinner (there was a ‘women’s only’ session)

After dinner Adrienne Denham gave her ride report after criusing around South America over our winter. She was hilarious, and it was cool to meet her in person finally, but I somehow failed to get a picture. I even had Blue with. Curses. I did get a picture of her trusty steed Dirk

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With what might becoming her famous suitcase on the back (clearly my camera was still having issues, but at least it was working again after the dunking it got back in Hyder).

Day three of the meet (Saturday) was full of presentations, but none of them really caught my eye (during the day, anyway) so I decided to try my first hot springs. I had been told there was one nearby that was actually inside of a cave, and I thought that sounded pretty cool.

The hot springs were in a town called Ainsworth, about an hour or so away. I unloaded the bike (it enjoyed not carrying all that stuff as much as I would I bet) and headed that way, following the little tourist map.

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The ride was beautiful the weather perfect, and the bike SOOO much lighter and fun to ride.

The hot springs were actually attached to a hotel/resort location, but you could pay just to use the springs, and the general swimming area. For an extra $2 they included a towel, which was good since I didn’t bring one.

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I asked how one partook of hot springs, since this was my first time. The swimming area had a pool, the hot springs, and a ‘cold plunge’ area. You first went into the plunge for a minute or two, then the springs for 10-15 minutes, then back into the plunge. You could them go back into the spring and plunge again and so on.

To get this into perspective, the hot springs were hot, 110f that day, and the cold plunge was cold, 60f (Which is chilly even without coming from water almost twice that). I wondered how many heart attacks they had at the resort in a given year. I managed two cycles through the hot springs, ate lunch in the restaurant, then looked to go a visit a provincial park called “Hidden Caves.” I couldn’t find it, and returned to the resort to ask for directions. There I found out the park had closed years ago and was now completely overgrown.

Still wanting to see something else before heading back, I tried a ghost town both on the map, and for which I had seen signs on the way to the hot springs. I’ve tried to go to hot springs before without much luck, and sadly this was no exception. I don’t really know what I am expecting from an abandoned town.

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This building, a general store, laid claim to still being open, but wasn’t. There were a lot of electric street cars around, with no sign of the electricity to run them. I thought I had taken a picture of them, but my camera’s memory card disagrees.

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The brothel wasn’t open either. There was a little informational sign in the window, explaining the house had once been one of ill repute, but nothing else.

I started back to Nakusp, enjoying a few roads along the way

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arriving in time for dinner and the evening presentations. The last of them were Shannon and Mike Mills, from Seattle, who I had met at the Overland Expo. They give talks on how to take super adventurous trips without selling all your stuff and quitting your job. They are also nice people, and offered me a bed in Seattle when I got there. You should go to their website (smboilerworks.com) and buy something. Well, they don’t actually sell anything on their site, you are all clever people and will figure something out.

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2 Responses to Horizon’s Unlimited Canada West Meeting, 2011

  1. I’m glad we missed the “how to manage your money” seminar… we’re having a hard enough trouble as it is without someone actually telling us not to go! lol! Though the more people I talk to on RTW trips say that things DO work out- and that quite often when the money runs out, more fun is had and the experiences better!

    The photo of the red bridge… was that in Nakusp? We’re planning on going for longer next time (I messed up on the start day and we showed up on Friday afternoon) and you’re right- Adrienne was hilarious! And, actually, she spoiled it for the rest as all the other presentations seemed very dull after her animated and fun stories!

    Look forward to the rest of your blogs!

    • traveling250 says:

      The red bridge was in Nakusp, there is a little walkway along the lake, parallel to the main street.

      There is always somewhere else to stop, or more to see in one area or another. It can drive you nuts if you aren’t careful.

      As for the money thing, I tell everyone just to go. Getting on the road is the hardest part, it’s so easy to plan and prepare and add more things to the ‘to do before leaving’ list, you have to just pick a date, tell everyone (cuz peer pressure is an awesome motivator), then hit the road.

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