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The following article was published in

CMR

 

The Goat, the Bull, and the Muskox - A Canadian Tale of Adventure

Thu, Jan 6 2011 04:59 | Adventure, BMW, Scott

"We received an email from Scott - one half of the "Goat and the Bull" and decided that we needed to post a story about these Canadian motorcycle adventurers with you!

The plan was to buy a BMW and do a trans-Canadian trip in the summer of 2011. Those plans changed when health concerns arose with Wanda; they moved the trip up to the summer of 2010.

They've got a message for you!

Get Out and Do It!

 

The Goat, the Bull, and the Muskox.


On July 1, 2010 we locked the door to the house, saddled up the Muskox, and took off for Cape Spear. Everyone has a bucket list, and a trip across Canada had been on ours for quite some time. One hundred and fourteen days, 22,855 kms, and six time zones later we returned home to Gabriola Island, British Columbia. It had been a sweet blast for Wanda and myself that gave us a true insight into just how great and beautiful this country is.

We often hear folks discuss travel destinations to 'exotic' places abroad...and yet we, as Canadians, probably possess one of the greatest, most exotic travel destinations on the planet.

goat, bull muskox  A good road trip requires 3 basic ingredients, roads that  beg for more right wrist, scenery that pries your eyes  from where they’re supposed to be, and folks that relish  swapping stories at the end of the day over a cold beer.

 The roads we covered, and there were quite a few, equal  anything anywhere, from winding black top through mountain  and vineyard in the west, all the way to ancient trails  that connect fishing villages in the east. There is a road  here for every taste, every level of experience and every  notch of commitment, from the weekend affair, to the long distance relationship. One simply chooses the kind of riding they want, then consult the map.

As for scenery, a thousand people snapping photos of Lake Louise can’t be wrong, and if the throngs crowd in on you, there’s always a camp site at the edge of the world at Meat Cove on Cape Breton Island where you can watch the sun rise in a Zen like state. Somewhere in between are ethereal lakes in Ontario, UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Quebec City and Lunenburg, or the peace offered by the wide open Prairies. This is truly a stunning country and there is a landscape for every appetite.

At the end of the day new friends can easily be made, we are Canadian after all. Whether it be in the longest running bar in Western Canada (according to the locals) such as the Woodbine Hotel in Winnipeg where patrons run for cover at the sight of a camera. “You don’t know who’s with who’s wife,” a man explained to me after I put the offending piece of equipment away, or a camp site in Bakers Narrows where the couple across the access trail offered us their axe, paper, and kindling to get our fire going.

Canadians are indeed friendly by nature, and though we may be mocked by others for that, we quite enjoyed the fact we didn’t feel any apprehension in approaching others, or in turn being approached by them to share an amusing anecdote or find directions to the nearest Tim Hortons. That is a beautiful thing.

Throw in fascinating history, unpredictable weather, beautiful beaches, good food, cold beer, and relatively tolerant police officers during our times of indiscretion, and this is, in our humble opinion, the 'chosen land'!

On that note, Wanda and myself would love to invite you to our site, www.transcanadianmuskox.com to share in some of our stories, photos, and videos from our trip this past summer.

Most of all, we encourage you to 'get out and do it'!

Scott and Wanda, aka the Bull and Goat....and yes, our beemer is the Muskox!

P.S. Keep an eye out for the book, ‘Trans Canadian Muskox. A special journey with The Goat, The Bull and The Muskox’.

Here's a few of the fantastic photo's taken on the journey across Canada followed by a video clip!

muskox at work         tenting         signal hill

 

        bay of fundy              prairie

 

 

sounder tales

Tales from the road:

The following tales were written while on the road and submitted

and published in our local paper, 'The Gabriola Sounder'.

The stories begin with the most recent and track back

to the beginning on JULY 5th 2010.

 

Aticle published November 1,2010.                  

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox. Home sweet home

n   Fellow Gabriolans.

   Before we get on to this week's final chapter of our tale, we want to mention we're going to be presenting photos and tales of our trek this Thursday, Nov.4, at 7p.m. at the Roxy.

   How Much Cheese Can A Muskox Eat?

   Come on out and join us this Thursday. Admission by cheddar cheese donation please. All cheese will be given to our local community food bank. Roxy doors open at 6:45p.m.

On to the last chapter.

   Weather, sunny. Spirits...fulfilled, and the road, time to turn around!
   Thatʼs right, time to turn around. After 96 days on the road the Goat, the Bull, and the Muskox rolled into St. Johnʼs Newfoundland. The day before had been miserable, and we'd logged over 500kms. Today as we rolled in it was beautiful, and now there was nowhere to go. This was the end of the road.
   It is hard to describe the feelings that washed over us as we stood at Cape Spear. We had never been there before, may never go back....but we were there for a time, and what better place to reflect on our journey.
   For the Goat, this had been a dream since she was 17, and as she stood at Cape Spear she was quite emotional. It was hard for her to come to grips that the journey had come to an end. It had been a fantastic 3 months, but there had been times when all was not so easy. Recovering from her battle with Leukemia, and diagnosed shortly before the trip with a brain tumour, she was on a daily diet of pills, and there were bloodtests and MRIʼs along the way to keep track of things. There were days when it was hard for her. To physically climb on the bike and remain there for the better part of that day required huge strength and determination. And there she was, against the odds at Cape Spear, what a special moment that was.
   As for the Bull, this too had been a dream of his. For the past decade he had wanted to cross Canada on his old Beemer and write a book about the journey. He had always loved the rythem and flow of motorcycle over country roads. He had travelled on many in other lands, but now it was time for his own. There is something very special
about attaining a goal that has been so long in the waiting, and watching the sun rise at Cape Spear was as blissful a moment as he had ever experienced.
   That brings us to the Muskox. If there were times along the road when we experienced some discomfort or doubt, the Muskox charged through. Every morning she took off as though it were her first. She behaved beautifully in the different landscapes, never complained when loaded down, never shook her head in the corners, and brought us up sharp when the situation required. The Muskox is indeed a noble beast, and a fitting companion for such an adventure.
   As for those we met along the way. As large a country as Canada is, we felt a common thread running through those that we met. There was a genuine interest in our story which at times translated into a common desire to explore our great country in more detail. It became evident that the trip we made is a trip that many Canadians wish to make, and there was an appreciation that we were making our dream come true. We can create a thousand reasons why we shouldnʼt do something, all we need is one good one to do it. We had our good reason, and four days before we departed we approached the Gabriola Sounder to see if they would be interested in following our story. Well, what a reception. Sarah and Derek were very enthusiastic and we must confess they added a positive element to the trip as we submitted our weekly stories, not always on time I might add! And look at the result. We slid down to the Skol on Monday night for something to eat and to listen to the music. Kelly, behind the bar, asked us where weʼd been for the last while and Wanda told him about the trip.

  "You were the couple in the paper!" he exclaimed.

   There were similar reactions from three other groups, and in their words was excitement about the trip, and a greeting for our return. Fantastic! It just goes to show the written word is still a means of communication. Thank you very much Sarah and Derek at the Sounder, keep up the excellent work!
   We would also love to thank those we met along the way for sharing our dream. Thank them for listening, for their encouraging words, for their laughter, their hospitality, their passion as they explained their own world, and lastly, thank them for their help in the many different situations we found ourselves.
   We arrived back on Gabriola on October the 22nd. Weʼd covered ten provinces and 22,855kms. It was a bitter sweet moment, as even though we knew the journey had
to end, we wanted to keep going.

   At home with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

   PS. we will continue to post new stories, photos and videos at
www.transcanadianmuskox.com so drop on by and say hi!!

 

 

Article published October 18,2010.

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: St. John's

cape spear   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather, cold. Spirits...outstanding, and the  road, long.
   The road to St. Johnʼs is a wild commitment.  Itʼs at the end of the road, only one way in, and  one way out. After five hours on the  water from  North Sydney, Nova Scotia, the skipper slid the  600 foot ferry into Port aux  Basques. There were  marker buoys, rocks, and an island between us and  the jetty  which seemed further away due to the
 mist. The skipper made it all seem easy, it was a  very impressive display of seamanship. It was  late when we disembarked and  due to the numerous  warnings of moose on the road we pitched our tent  next to a church in the centre of town.
   The next day we headed out on the Trans Canada and waded into some of the
most scenic landscapes we had yet witnessed. Newfoundland is a jem of rugged
beauty. It is raw and wild, and riding up through Wreckhouse we were battered by winds
that at times nearly drove us off the highway.
   After a day and a half of riding we rolled into St. Johnʼs. We instantly took a shine to the small city. It is nestled around a natural port protected by rugged hills. It is old, the buildings colourful, the bars varied, the people friendly, and most importantly, it is the end of the road. We rode up Signal Hill and watched the sun set, went to George Street, had a couple of drinks, and the next morning watched the sun rise at the most easterly point in North America, Cape Spear. What a way to start the day!

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published October 11,2010                       

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: On The Cabot Trail

   Fellow Gabriolans.stat tracker for tumblr
   Weather, sunny with a chill. Spirits..skookum, and the road, meandering.
   We arrived in Halifax and made a beeline for a bar called the Lower deck in the Historic Properties. Some military chaps in Digby steered us there and they werenʼt wrong! A bar in a Privateers warehouse built in 1813 is a good start, throw in a maritime band and the fixxins are in for a sweet night. We tromped around the city for two days and when thirst overcame us we signed up for the Alexander Keiths brewery tour. What a blast, period costumes, a couple of pints, a history lesson, and an hours entertainment for 15 bucks. Did you know, a soldier back in the day was given a gallon of beer a day as part of his rations!!! What better place to start a brewery.
   We rode out of Halifax and at midnight pitched our tent next to a beautiful pebbled beach. The next morning fog had laid down a heavy coating of water on the tent. It was very wet and cold, yet very peaceful. The fog remained with us for most of the day while we headed for Baddeck to see the Alexander Graham Bell museum. All we can say is that if you are in the area, donʼt miss it! The man was much much more than just a story of the phone. Next up was the Cabot trail, we had a couple of good days forecast so seized them for the road and the views. The trail did not disappoint.
Riding a motorcycle is fun to start with, add a road with a great surface that carves its way along a rugged coastline bathed in golden sunlight with watering holes such as the Keltic Lodge and the experience approaches nirvana. After the trail we hit Wandaʼs hometown of North Sydney. We visited all the old spots that were special to her, her home where she grew up, her grand parents home, her old school and the arena where she first strapped on a pair of skates. It was a lovely couple of days and her Aunt provided us with some great maritime hospitality and humour. From there it was time to board another ferry, this time to Newfoundland. Cape Spear has been calling for close on three months, and we were almost there!

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Arcticle published October 4,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: PEI and Nova Scotia

   Fellow Gabriolan.digby
   Weather, wet with a dash of mist. Spirits..excellent, and the road, beautiful.
   It has been a fantastic week. We are in Wandaʼs province and what a province it is. Nova Scotia has it all. We started off in Truro where we watched the tidal bore. It was quite surreal, a group of us standing on a floodlit riverbank at ten in the evening speaking in hushed tones as we waited for the first signs of the tide pushing its way upriver.
   From there we headed down the Annapolis Valley and soaked up some history. We were fortunate with the weather and the roads were amongst the nicest we have ridden to date. There are so many things to do one would need a month to explore. We stopped in Annapolis Royal and took in Fort Anne, rested in Digby and treated ourselves to some world famous Digby scallops before moving on to the lighthouse at Cape Forchu, described as an apple core lighthouse due to itʼs appearance. From there we headed down the South shore toward Lunenburg, a Unesco World heritage sight. We happened upon Paulette who ran the Dockside and secured a room for the night, and whatpeggy's a view. There was a Dutch tall shit in port for repairs, the Europa. It sat in the water in front of us like it was sitting on our coffee table in the front room.
   We pulled anchor and headed down the coast and stopped off at Peggyʼs cove. The skies were moody which seemed appropriate for such a desolate landscape. We paused at the Swiss Air flight 111 Memorial for a moment of silence before heading over to the light house. What a beautiful place it is. The waves battered the huge rocks as time slid by, over and over and over again while the lighthouse sat there alone and defiant. So much to see, so much to do, and so little time.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published September 20,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Shediac

   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather...wet and windy. Spirits...soaked, and the road...where is it!
   Another eventful week has passed. We rolled into beautiful Quebec City with
high expectations, what with its status as a ʻUnesco World Heritage Siteʼ and all. We
toured the old town, took a look at the Citadel and had a drink at the Chateau
vingt deau Frontenac. The city really does deliver, but at a price.  It is without a doubt the most expensive place we have  stopped at so far. European chic is great but 8.00$ beers
 along with non stop rain persuaded us to hit the road. We  headed for the Gaspe Peninsula and cut into New Brunswick.  The weather has been  wicked, the aftermath of Hurricane  Earl pummeled us with cold rain and the Muskox  was pushed  around by the wind as though we were backdrafting a  jetliner on take  off.
   We decided to take the ʻAcadian Coastal Driveʼ down the  East coast and headed for the Miscou lighthouse at the tip  of Miscou Island at the end of the Acadia Peninsula. The  woman in the tourist office said it was very scenic, that  there were a couple of great pubs, a country store and  beautiful camping. We arrived there as the sun was setting  and werenʼt sure what to do. Beautiful lighthouse, no pub,  no store and a bitterlobster wind  that could cut granite. I  think sheʼs still laughing!
   Yesterday we arrived at the seaside town of Shediac and upon entering the town drove past the worlds largest lobster. Itʼs a beauty at 35 feet long with a very lively paint job to cover 50 tonnes of steel reinforced concrete. It definitely sets a theme. That night we went to the local bar and had the special, four pieces of Boston blue fish and six scallops heaped onto a two inch thick bed of fries for the outrageous price of 11.99$. It may not be a ʻUnesco World Heritage Siteʼ but Shediac New Brunswick is definitely good enough for us.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published September 13,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Highway of Heroes

  hh
   As we headed out of Toronto toward Ottawa we noticed a large Canadian flag at half mast at a gas station. It has been hard to follow the news on the road but a second flag, then a third just down the road told us that Canada had lost another soldier in Afghanistan. As we approached Oshawa we came across an overpass that had on it 2 firetrucks with a number of stopped vehicles and a large number of people waving flags. We were traveling on the Highway of Heroes, a stretch of the 401 from Trenton to Toronto.
   We passed another 3 overpasses with even more people waving flags. We stopped at the next and joined the people on the bridge. There was a solemn mood in the air, but also a solidarity amongst those there and their support of our troops overseas. We talked to the firefighters and were informed that the body of Cpl. Brian Pinksen would be taken along the highway to the coroners office in Toronto. A few minutes passed then a firefighter with a walkie talkie said that it wouldnʼt be long.
   An eerie silence settled over the bridge. A lull in traffic coming toward us and then in the distance a lone OPP police cruiser, his lights flashing approached in the left lane. Two lanes over and a couple of hundred feet behind was the procession.
   At 4:19pm Cpl. Brian Pinksen passed under the overpass. He had joined the military, been posted to Afghanistan and was injured by an improvised explosive device while on routine patrol southwest of Kandahar on August 22nd. He later passed away in a US military hospital in Germany and was then flown back to CFB Trenton and then taken to the coroners in Toronto by way of the Highway of Heroes.
   On Friday morning we were escorted off a maximum security correctional facility
in Millhaven Bath, by some very serious people after we thought weʼd take a couple of
happy snaps. We were there less then 5 minutes when we were flanked by 2 officers in
2 pick up trucks, their rifles clearly visible at their sides. A third joined us on foot, a little irate that he might be in one of our photos. Questions were asked, digital photos deleted and we were led to the front gate by one guard who watched us to make sure that we did indeed carry on our merry way.
   On Friday evening we came across an RCMP officer on the steps of the Chateau
Laurier in Ottawa. He was in fact in charge of the detail looking after the G20 summit, the second part, as it is still going on. He had 15 years in the service, 11 on the East coast and now here he was in Ottawa. We chatted for 10 minutes, he spoke fast and his eyes continually worked the street and I could tell he was thinking of other things. He gave us directions and wished us a great trip.
   On Saturday morning we went to the Parliament buildings for a tour of the Central Block. The ʻHillʼ was patrolled by numerous RCMP in cruisers that remained in
one place for 10 to 15 minutes, lights on, engines running before moving to the next.
We talked to one, he had been on this detail for 2 years. He was friendly and during our conversation he mentioned that though it was their job to guard the Capital, he made it clear it was to be done as unobtrusively as possible so the public could continue to enjoy the buildings and grounds as in times past. The Hill was to remain accessible, it was a Canadian tradition.
hh1   We toured the Central Block after  going through security similar to that at the  airport. As the tour wound down and I was  leaving the building I talked to a Peace officer  who was posted by the doors leading out under the  Peace Tower. She had been stationed there 3 and a  half years, had met the PM and loved her job.  She stood there at the top of the steps proud  and serious of who she was and where she stood.
   It was still early so we strolled across to  the war memorial and the tomb of the Unknown  soldier. Two red roses graced the tomb and 4  wreathes leaned against the memorial. There were  other tourists there and the conversation was  muted. To one side were a couple of small plaques that explained what I was looking at. The memorial was  dedicated in May of 1939 by King George VI for those that had fought in the 1st WW. The memorial was called ʻThe Response,ʼ signifying Canadaʼs unhesitant response to the call of duty. In May 1982 it was rededicated to honour those that had fought in the 2nd WW and the Korean war.
   The plaque also explained that 1 in 10 Canadianʼs answered the call during the
1st WW, the 2nd WW and the Korean war and more than 116,000 never returned.
   Guards at Millhaven, RCMP on the hill, Peace officers inside, firefighters on the
overpass and soldiers a world away in Afghanistan. Different jobs, same sense of
honour, same sense of duty, same conviction and dedication to their individual and
collective roles. These men and women were, and are what the memorial ʻThe Response,ʼ is all about.
   The last 3 days have been very powerful for this tourist. I am in awe of our men
and women who make the decision to serve our country. I believe they should be
honoured, they should be celebrated and most importantly, they should be supported
unflinchingly in the roles that they take on overseas and at home.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published September 6,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox

   Fellow Gabriolans.lookout
   Weather...hot and cold. Spirits...excellent, and the road, varied.
   Our stay in Ontario is drawing to a close. We spent a whole month here as I had my son and without a sidecar for the motorbike it is hard to rip around with 3.
   It has been a great month with a huge emphasis on reconnecting with family, and what better place to do that then by the shores of a shimmering blue lake. Ontario has many and we finished off our month on the shores of Lake Manitouwabing.
   The dance of light on water from a full moon and the call of a Loon are hypnotic and perhaps a little cliche....but that is what it was, and something more soothing to the soul is hard to find. Being on the water again was nice and I took Wanda for her first Kayak. We went to a backwater on the lake where the boats canʼt go for lack of depth. It is a beautiful sensation, taking a couple of strokes with your paddle then sliding it across the beam and letting your hands trail in the water. We saw 3 turtles, 2 in the water and one sunning on a log. He clocked us as we slid by and when we approached a little too close gave a little push with his rear legs and was off as though he was never there.
   On our last day we climbed the scenic look out tower in Parry Sound for a view of
the 30,000 islands and it occurred to me that it doesnʼt matter where one lives in this beautiful country, you are never far from water. How great is that!

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published August 30,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Toronto   

   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather...fickle...blue and black. Spirits...excellent, and the road,
interesting!
   Well, if last week was a week of water then this week was a week in the big
smog...Toronto that is. I know I know I know, as dutiful British Columbians weʼre not
supposed to embrace things from Ontario, but Toronto is quite an amazing city. There
was so much to see and do but as our time was limited we picked a couple of safe bets,
the hockey hall of fame and the CN Tower.
stanley   The hall of fame is a must do. Pucks, masks,  Stanley cup rings and Olympic medals all on  display in fancy booths that direct you toward  the stairs that lead up into the old bank where  the cups are on display with Stanley taking  centre stage. It was a pretty exciting experience  having our picture taken with the cup that means  so much to so many Canadians.
   After our fill of hockey nostalgia we took the  58 second elevator ride up the CN Tower for a  different view of the city. It was very busy,  peak season and one of the attendants informed us  that the week prior a new  record had been set  when 10,500 people went up the tower in a day!
   We finished the day off with a wheat ale in the Library Bar at the Royal York. We were lucky enough to run into Rex Murphy from the CBC who didnʼt give us an opinion but instead allowed us to take a happy snap with him and in return we gave him a Trans Canadian Muskox business card.

   On the road with the Goat, Bull Junior, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published August 23,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Algonquin Park

   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather...thunderstorms and blue skies. Spirits...excellent, and the road,
crowded.
   We decided to head into cottage country and visit some relatives near Algonquin
park. It is interesting to see how the landscape of southern Ontario has changed from
planted fields of corn, soya bean and tobacco, to stands of pine on sheets of rock
interlaced with beautiful blue lakes. There are road signs warning of moose everywhere
but they are elusive which is fine by us, as apparently theyʼve been known to mistakebig chair
the sound of a motorcycles horn with that of a mating call.
   The scenery is spectacular and the small towns that dot the landscape have much character with many having a similar feel to Gabriola. We passed through the Muskoka region and came across a fair share of Muskoka chairs for sale but the one in Gravenhurst stopped us in our tracks as we tried to figure out how big the pick up truck would have to be to carry the yellow beauty back to the dock!
   All in all, it has been a week of water. When the thunderstorms have moved on, there is a soft scent in the air and the lakes beckon from all directions. We have swum, snorkeled, water skied....or tried to, tubed, fished and hot tubbed. We love the water and beaches of Gabriola with their marine life and rock formations, but the lakes here are considerably warmer which is a pleasant change!
   There seems to be no shortage of beauty in each of the provinces we have passed through and Ontario is no different.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published August 16,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Ontario

   Fellow Gabriolans.lake boat
   Weather...stickier with thunderstorms. Sprits...excellent, and the road, varied.
   It has been a hot, sticky and wet week. A day or two as the humidity builds until finally the clouds roll in and the skies open.
   We have spent the week at my brothers house in Sparta, south Ontario. It has been a great family visit with daily explorations. They live not far from Port Stanley on Lake Erie so many of our outings were to the small towns on the shores of the lake. We swam in the big water, explored the varied towns and ate lots of fish. We had Halibut at my brothers pub, the Manx arms in St. Thomas and Lake Erie Perch from the
Lighthouse Restaurant in Port Burwell. Two distinctly different fish, two distinctly
different tastes, both excellent. The perch is caught in the big lake by unusual looking fishing boats and it was very nice to see a healthy fleet in both Port Stanley and Port Dover, which is home to the largest inland fresh water fishing fleet in the world. It is very interesting to note the differences between a Lake boat and a west coast shrimp trawler, both used for fishing but of completely different design.
   It has also been interesting to note that even though many people say Ontario is
very expensive, a litre of gas is only 98c and 24 beer are 29.00$ and it cost 299.00$ to have the Muskox serviced in London whereas they wanted 650.00$ in Victoria. Until
next week.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published August 9,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Ontario to the Maritimes

   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather...sticky. Spirits...excellent, and the road, jolly fine.
   The further south we descend into Ontario the stickier it gets, weʼd take the BC
weather any day. Being from Gabriola we began to miss the ferry so decided to take
one from South Baymouth to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula. We hustled with the
manx wind all the way through Manitoulin Island, it  was so strong that we were leaning the wrong way  going around left handers! We arrived at South  Baymouth just as the Chi-Cheemaun or the Big  Canoe as the locals call it was rounding the  point. It is a beautiful vessel that plies the  route from May to October. We managed to corner  the Captain in the gift shop and coerce a visit  to the bridge out of him. What a blast and what a  crew, mostly from the East Coast, in fact one  went to school with Wandaʼs sister in North  Sydney, Nova Scotia. The rest were, as they put  it, fresh water Newfies! There was a decidedly  more laid back atmosphere on board, and yes,  there was a bar!
   We arrived in Tobermory with a nail in the back  tire, first one, not bad since we have covered  8,500 kms to date.
   So now we are in St. Thomas visiting family. The picture was taken in the Manx Arms, my brotherʼs pub and the mural was painted by my niece, Kelly, to Wandaʼs left. To the right is my boy Cole.

   Happy days are here again.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published August 2,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Winnipeg to Kenora

   Fellow Gabriolans.magna carta
   Weather...hail! Spirits...excellent, and the road...we have bends again.
   Today was a weather day. Started off sunny with a swim at Whiteshell Provinvial park in Manitoba. Then on to Ontario and our first stop for some English style chips from a chip van in Kenora. The sky turned black and ten minutes later it was coming down by the bucket. Within 20 minutes the streets were flooded and Wanda and myself shrugged and hit the road, it was either that or build an Arc. The rain didnʼt let up and then the hail started. It was coming down so hard that cars were pulling off the road. It didnʼt make any sense for us to do the same as there was no cover so we plowed on and before we arrived at our destination we were basking in sunshine again.
   The prairies were fantastic and we especially enjoyed a couple of days in Winnipeg. We toured a lot of the sites and spent a couple of hours in the Legislature building and were rewarded with a tour of the Magna Carta, the English Charter of Liberties dating back to the 13th century which is on loan until October. I studied it in history and there it was, and we just walked in off the street!
   Bit of trivia, the 2 giant bronze statues that flank the grand staircase inside were so heavy that they had to flood the floor, let it freeze then slide them in to place.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published July 26,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox: Whistler to Flin Flon

   Fellow Gabriolans.
   Weather...undecided, spirits...great, and the road.....superb!
   Another great week on the road.

   Week 2: From Whistler to Sicamous to Kelowna to Banff and on to Calgary and Drumheller to check out Black Beauty, a Tyrannosaurus unearthed in the crows nest area and on display at the Royal Tyrell Museum.
   Our journey has been varied as well as the weather with temperatures reaching
38.5C in Vernon and a wet 7C at Rogers pass two days later. Riding through the
mountains with unsettled weather showed us a moody side to the Rockies and after
talking to a local in Golden BC, we decided on a side trip to Emerald Lake in Yoho
National Park. The lake, a very light opaque blue in colour, with lodges nestled amongst the trees had a sublime quality that left us conversing in whispers. It epitomizes the Canadian Rockies sense of space, grandeur and rugged beauty.
   Today we were at the Royal Tyrell museum in Drumheller. We love museums, and as far as museums go, this is definitely one of the best. We spent 3 hours meandering through the displays. It truly is spectacular, for old and young, there is something for everyone.
   We finished off our day at a small bar called the LongBranch Saloon which has
been around for many a year and started its life off as a miners kitchen. Thereʼs nothing like old plank floors, out of square walls, and lively local characters to accompany a cold beer at the end of the day.

Week 3: Weather...excellent, spirits...great, and the road...a little straiter!
   It has been another great week and if one thing stands out above the rest, are the parks we have frequented, both Provincial and National. At this very moment, as I write this, I am sitting at a picnic table with a fire crackling 5 feet away at the Bakers narrows Provincial campsite just outside of Flin Flon, Manitoba. There has been
sunshine, hotdogs, children ripping around on bicycles, anglers out fishing and yes, the fire. What a beautiful day it has been.soldiers
   Since last week we have camped at Elk Island National Park followed by a visit to the Fort Battleford National Historic site, then on to Prince Albert National Park and now here to Bakers Narrows. The parks are incredible! There was a time I used to turn my nose up at the sub par displays and old fashioned layout, but not anymore.
   We spent 3 hours at the Battleford site and the staff, dressed in period costume were a treat as they filled us in on the locale and its trappings..
   For instance, a horse hoof on the seargents desk....yes, a horse hoof. In 1885 a
horse was worth 150.00$ and a NWMP officer made a dollar a day. Each officer was assigned a horse and a serial number was stamped on its hoof. If the horse died then the officer cut the hoof off and returned with it to prove he hadnʼt sold it! Not much need for a 3 legged horse.
   Check out our latest photos and videos at www.transcanadianmuskox.com and
stop in and say Hi!.

   On the road with the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox.

 

 

Article published July 12,2010

The Goat, Bull, and Muskox make a cool stop

ice room   Fellow Gabriolans,
   Weather...sunny, spirits...great, and the  road........superb!!
   So, a week has passed and what a week. We  started with a bang at the potatoe canon contest  at brickyard beach and here we are now in  Sicamous. When we tell people weʼre from  Gabriola, those that donʼt know about it are  interested. Those that do, their eyes light up,  we indeed live in a special place.
   After Canada day we headed to Abbotsford for  Wandaʼs mothers wedding. It was a beautiful  ceremony with lots of friends and family present.
   After that we headed up to Whistler and stumbled  upon the Listel hotel. Great people,
great value. Zack, at the front desk was a huge help as he pointed us in the right
direction. Lots of Ozzies, Brits and Americans, all very friendly and all having fun.
  During our second night there we found ourselves in the Belvedere Room at the
Listel. It is about 10ʼ by 10ʼ, the size of our bunky. It is a cool room, really cool, -24C to be exact and the walls are ice with cutouts holding different bottles of Vodka. We donned our Canada Goose Arctic parkas and hats provided by the hotel and headed in for a taster of four shots each. Our host gave us the rundown, and then the Vodkas went down, very smoothly I might add. Only room like it in Canada....worth a gander.
   Well, weʼre heading into the sun and look forward to next weeks adventures. See you
soon, the Goat, the Bull....and the Muskox!

 

 

Article published July 5,2010

The Bull, the Goat, and the Muskox depart Gabriola, headed to St. John's

   When the Bull and Goat first met they talked and talked and talked, and when they were done talking they talked some more! All sorts of things were shared and together they discovered many very important things about each other. Such as the fact they don't like pickles!!!

   However, they both loved the water, chocolate ice cream, being big kids and playing in the sandbox. During those times in the sandbox they learned to share their toys, and their very favorite toy was a Muskox.

   There is no doubt the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox hit it off, big time! In case you're wondering the Goat is Wanda, born in January, the Bull is Scott, born in May, and the Muskox is their motorcycle. Dreams were shared together and one of the things they had in common was their passion for a trip across Canada on a motorcycle. Their favorite toy, the Muskox was getting old and tired so the search was on for a younger sibling. On October 2nd 2009 their search ended and the new Muskox was delivered and they brought their baby home with very much excitement!

   More talking took place and then the 'doing' happened. They planned for a cross country trip to be put into action during the summer of 2011. However, a few obstacles, you could say, came forth with the Goat, who faced the challenge of a battle with Leukemia. The reality of how precious time can be knocked them both on the head, so the trip was pulled ahead to this summer.

   Okay, enough of the serious stuff. They're here because they want to share their sandbox with you. They want to encourage you to stir the pot, get the juices flowing, make some plans and get out there and do it!

   They look forward to you following them on their journey, you can do this by finding them on Facebook and on Youtube. Who knows, maybe you'll get out there and meet them along the way!

   Happy summer from the Goat, the Bull and the Muskox!!

Get out and do it!!!

 

 

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