This Canadian Indian Riders board has been hiding under my nose the entire time, I had no idea it was here. I will take this opportunity, as indianrider.net's current Chief (without a Chief) of Canada, to present to you some of the most glorious scenery I have ever experienced in this marvelous province. You may as well grab yourself a drink and a snack, this'll be a long one. So long in fact that I'm going to be doing this in multiple parts, separating each day into it's own post. I simply don't have the time to share this all in one sitting, nor am I sure if the forum rules allow such a high image count per post anyway. Bear with me, the story gets better each day, culminating with a risky & rewarding evening on Day 3 that I'll never forget. Each year I make at least one trip over to Vancouver Island to visit the numerous friends of mine that have fallen for the allure and moved there over the years. Last year I did it on my KLX250S, and while the destinations were equally or more ambitious and I enjoyed every minute of it, this time around was magic. There is something about travelling solo with your dream motorcycle that is simply intoxicating, where every single time you lean it over onto the kickstand, walk away, and turn your head you have to stop and pinch yourself to make sure you're not dreaming. Turns out I'm not dreaming and that the last 10,000 km I've spent with the Scout have been everything I had hoped for and more. But anyway, enough gushing, there's a story to tell. This year I found a way to turn a business trip into an all-inclusive paid vacation. I'm not sure if it has come up here before but I'm a wireless communications technician by trade, that means industrial radio systems, cellular communications networks, remote monitoring systems, public safety and emergency response systems etc etc. Part of the fun of this job is being flown around the country to set up specialized custom systems or to train, or be trained, on new technologies or specific applications. This month our customer was the BC Coast Guard and I was to travel to Vancouver Island to attend a 2-day training session at their facility. As soon as I got the memo the real plan became clear: work some overtime and bank the hours, book off the days between the weekend and the training, tell my colleague that I'll meet him there, leave on the weekend, and turn 2-days of job training into an all inclusive 4-day coastal road trip (excluding fuel costs). So I fired up Google Maps, did some Googleometry, and this is what I came up with: After accounting for numerous detours, wrong turns, and impulsive nightly outings I ended up clocking in somewhere between 1800 and 2000 km in total by the time I made it home. About 500 a day, not bad considering how often I stop to snoop around, take photos, top up my gas WAY before empty, bullshit with locals, and sit down for a bite to eat. Throughout the entire trip I made sure to continually remind myself of a word of advice passed down by our own @Papa Lar: Do not let the route take over your trip, let the trip decide the route. And that, I believe, played a central role in making this one of my greatest trips to date. Day 1: Sunday morning I've packed my backpack, devoured some leftovers, fired up the Sixty, and have hit the road by 5:30 AM, determined to catch the first ferry out of Vancouver to a series of islands called the Sunshine Coast, giving myself as much time as possible to meander my way north across each island toward the beautiful coastal town of Campbell River. I arrive at the Horseshoe Bay terminal in Vancouver with half an hour to spare. There is a single Street Glide (or Electra... or Ultra... still haven't figured out H-D baggers) parked at the front of the motorcycle lane, no rider in sight. By the time I've got my helmet and backpack off the owner has walked over to investigate the new arrival. "A new Indian, interesting bike." My default response to Harley riders is always the same, "Yeah it's a lot of fun and a great daily bike, I also have an '81 Shovelhead rigid". It seems to be my ace in the hole, once they know I'm not there to play hardball for Team Indian they tend to relax and allow the conversation to move beyond brand preferences. Turns out he has 6... yes... six Shovelheads in various states of construction at his shop back home on the Sunshine Coast and is a friend of the man who built the frame that my father used in my Shovelhead, a notorious "Gus Tail" conversion that is very popular among chopper builders in BC. We hit it off, shoot the shit for 15 minutes, a GS1200 and what appeared to be some sort of custom Dyna show up, we all board the ferry, and off we go to the Sunshine Coast. GS guy and I hang around the bikes and chat for a while, he's very intrigued by the Scout and immediately dives into a game of 20 questions. I make sure to inform him, as I do all BMW riders, that we've stolen back their lead motorcycle designer with the intention of developing Indian beyond the cruiser market. He's glad to hear it and believes that there is a bright future ahead for American motorcycles. 20 odd minutes later we arrive at the Langdale terminal, the ramp drops, and we all hit the road. Dyna guy, a whippersnapper about my age who hadn't said a single word to anyone the entire boat ride over, cranks his throttle wide open, spins the back tire, veers over into a vacant car lane, and peels ahead of all of us, clearly intent on provoking a race, I don't take the bait, I've already gotten my first speeding ticket on the Sixty (kept that one quiet, happened about a month and a half ago) and would prefer to keep my insurance rates from breaching the upper stratosphere. We all ride our separate ways and I quickly realize that I'm on my own and appear to be the only motorcycle getting an early start riding the full length of the Sunshine Coast Highway. It starts raining lightly, I barely notice, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and time has slowed to a stand still. An hour passes, though I've seen so many lakes, rivers, and quaint villages along the way that it feels like several, and I arrive at the next terminal in Earls Cove. The government runs much smaller ships between the less populated archipelagos of the Sunshine Coast, these ships are free to travel on with much fewer sailings per day. If you miss one, you'll be waiting multiple hours for the next. A family is tossing around a football at the front of the line, a young girl is doodling on a sketch pad in the waiting room, a lady and her husband are walking their corgi in the picnic area, a staff member rear ends a colleagues car while attempting to reverse stall park their service truck, they talk it over and shrug it off. We hear the bellow of the ferry horn in the distance. It pulls into the harbor and the cars begin to unload. The first four vehicles to drive off are a series of identical vintage coupes, looooooong and stylish with massive trunks and exaggerated wheel arches, probably 1930s, each one beautifully restored, near showroom quality. 3/4 of them double-take as they drive past my Scout, I think about how many Scout 60s each of their vehicles must be worth and chuckle to myself. We board the ship, this time there are no other motorcyclists to chat with. I arrive at Saltery Bay and depart toward Powell River. The window between the arriving and departing ferries on this island is narrow, not much time to explore unless you're willing to allocate 5 hours before the next ship arrives. I only managed to snap a single photo on the way to Powell River: I made it onto the ferry to Comox with 5 minutes to spare, the last vehicle on board. One of the many perks of travelling coastal BC by motorcycle is that you NEVER have to wait in line. You pay less than half the price of a car, you are redirected around the entire lineup, whether it's 5 vehicles or 100, and are ushered onto the ship immediately upon arrival and tucked into a corner away from the cages. I arrive in Comox and begin travelling north along the coast, an absolutely gorgeous stretch of highway with countless public beaches loaded with driftwood, small and tidy public fire pits, and curious landmarks... ... like this massive rock sitting in the middle of a roadside beach in downtown Campbell River: I'm ahead of schedule by a few hours and decide to detour west, inland along the actual Campbell River, the town's namesake, toward the tiny village of Gold River. The views are vast and the roads are twisty, paradise. I pull into Gold River to gas up and grab a bite to eat, gas station pizza and a bottle of cola. There's a printed note on the gas station door warning of recent cougar sightings downtown. While sitting on the curb outside, stuffing my face with an unusually delicious pizza for a gas station, a couple of older employees walk outside and start asking about the Scout. "I heard they were makin' these again, that's liquid cooled, eh? Very cool.". I give em the spiel, they love it and joke about being unable to ride motorcycles for long without crashing. I finish my dinner, hop back on, and begin heading back the way I came toward Campbell River to meet up with my friend. About halfway back to Campbell River the weather takes a bizarre turn for the worse and I find myself caught right in the middle of a violent hail storm. It lasts all of ~5 km before I shoot out the other side of it. Of course the poor Sixty is now absolutely filthy, covered in road mud head to toe. I pull off the highway and follow a steep trail down to the edge of the river. I pull off my backpack, open er up, pull out two emergency microfiber cloths, and begin bathing my filthy Scout in the clear blue waters of Upper Campbell. I can see a group of people leaned up against a Tacoma in the distance watching me, surely bewildered by the sight of a lone stranger polishing his street motorcycle off-road with lake water in the middle of nowhere. My buddy has been itching to see a Scout in person for years, there are no Indian dealerships on Vancouver Island and any Indians he has seen on the road since 2015 have been 111 models only. I owe it to him to show up shiny, 15 minutes later she was spotless. I pull into his driveway just before sundown, him and his wife greet me with a bottle of homemade wine and dinner, I tuck the Scout into his garage for bed, we head out to his backyard and shoot the shit about racing, motorcycles, and music until it's dark and cold. Day 1 down, 3 to go.