It's October 26th & I'm sitting in my livingroom, looking out the window at the first snowfall of the year. This most likely spells the end of another Ghost ride season. We may get a nice day here & there but for the most part, it's finished. Soon, I'll make the trip out to the shed to pull batteries, drain float bowls & cover up the trusty Ghost ride bikes for their winter slumber. I will however keep one bike ready to ride, just in case we have some unexpected good weather. Well, what can I say, this was an incredible year for us with some of last years bikes sold, new bikes aquired, lots of adventurous rides, plenty of new Ghost Houses discovered, getting my big GS stuck in the mud while attempting to reach a Ghost House in the middle of a soggy farmers field, finding homes that looked like they were simply abandoned & all the contents left behind, hunting down lots of old pioneer towns frozen in time, looking almost exactly like they did 100 years ago. Yes, it was a fine Ghost riding season indeed!
So, as the inclement weather sets in, our thoughts turn to writing & sharing some of what we experienced & discovered this season. We definitely expanded our rides to encompass a much larger area this year & were pleasantly suprised by the sheer number of new homesteads awaiting us. Some in better condition than others, some original pioneer homes, delapidated & decaying but still full of character. There were days when finding 5 or 6 Ghost houses wasn't uncommon & we'd just have to stop for the day & continue at a later date. Michael even found time in his busy schedule for a 3000 km ride but that's his story to tell. One of my favorite finds was a homestead on the Victoria Trail. We had to bushwak a ways in to reach it but we were stopped by a sheer drop off & could see the homestead but couldn't reach it. Upon further investigation, we saw where a bridge had once stood, with just the footings left & the remnants of an overgrown road meandering off over the horizon. There was something about the setting of this place that reminded me of my native BC, the smell of pine trees, the little stream bubbling by, the hilly terrain which resembled any one of 100 areas in the interior of BC. Definitely one of the highlights for me that day. We rode over 100 kms of gravel on that ride.... who says you can't take a heavy 35 year old street bike on gravel, it handled awsome?? Incidently, this was to be Michael & I's last ride together this season.
This also seemed a year of change for Michael & I in regards to our stable of motorcycles with Michael selling off 4 of his collection & aquiring a gravel friendly Kawasaki Versys which he loves & having ridden it myself, I like it alot as well. I also let go of 3 bikes including 2 XS 650's & my Kawi KZ650. New to my stable are an 83 Honda CX650E, another Suzuki GS850 & a 78 Yamaha XS750 Triple. I'm in love with the XS750 Triple & I believe it's the fastest bike in my posession, even beating the GS850's. It's also a great pleasure to ride & after 2 or 3 hours in the saddle, I'm not severely crippled & sore. It will get alot of miles put on it next year. The '79 GS was a late addition & was in need of some serious attention after sitting for 5 years. After a trip to my mechanic, it's running like a champ with only tires needed for it to be a daily rider. I love the big GS's & after putting 12k kms on my '82 GS, I thought I'd better get another one to spread the mileage around. So with that, we say goodbye to the 2014 Ghost Riding season & I'm already dreaming about all the new adventures & discoveries awaiting us in 2015. Stay tuned for more as we enter the deep dark dreadful winter season. Cheers!!