Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Sleepless in Seattle

November 2nd, 2011

"..exciting new Central Library" was foremost amongst the Clipper magazine’s spread on offerings from Seattle. In-flight – of sorts – publication on the late evening fast ferry into the city. I was sure they’d overlooked Microsoft, Amazon. And Nirvana. Never mind Meg Ryan.

But none of this much mattered, for I was to meet up with an old school friend I’d not seen in over twenty years. Now settled in West Seattle. We’d chatted a little on the phone, his distinctive chuckle I’d remembered from childhood still errr… distinctive.

We’d ridden a lot together as teenagers, around Pembrokeshire. Plans to do so once more, but with far greater aspirations this time. South towards California. About twice the length of Wales.

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Sticks and stones

November 2nd, 2011

"MC Hammer was a while ago" suggested old school friend Giles. Dry wit I’d always remembered. And a remark I’d chose to ignore. Rather fond of my comfortable, if loosely cut trousers. Baggy. True, I’d had them a while. Perhaps since the early nineties. Hard wearing. Besides, seemed a bit rich from someone who’d admitted to owning a cycling cape. Yellow one at that.

We’d met up at a large outdoor pursuits store in the centre of Seattle. A few purchases for our push south together towards the California border. I’d been a bit nervous, not least because I’d driven in. Rush hour. Dark and unfamiliar. First time driving in close on two years. In the family car. But at least it had a stick, which I much prefer to automatics. And all the time on the road, alone, unprotected, means spotting stupid isn’t exactly difficult.

A small bag would suffice for my riding companion. For he’d no aspirations to camp. Ever. Quite clear on this point, an honesty I admired. I’d stay with carrying all my own kit, if only because it’d be the easiest thing to do. Besides, I was used to it.

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Swift passage to Seattle

October 23rd, 2011

Swift passage to Seattle from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Ken parts company with Canada, making a swift passage by fast catamaran from Victoria into Seattle, Washington State, USA. And there are postcards to write..

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Into Seattle

October 23rd, 2011

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It was late. Gone ten pm by the time I’d cleared US Customs at the ferry terminal in Seattle. My luggage – four panniers, one large dry bag stuffed with bottles and the handlebar bag, one tent and my trusty steed – retrieved and my bicycle laden for the short journey – a few miles – to meet up with an old school friend.

I’d taken the fast catamaran from Victoria, on Canada’s Vancouver Island, directly into Seattle, Washington State. A little shy of three hours. Turning up ridiculously early for check-in had paid dividends. In spades. Arriving prepared to lash panniers together to minimise excess baggage charges, only to find my early arrival being rewarded with some sensible discretion. My luggage treated as equivalent to the normal inclusive allowance of two larger items.

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On air in Canada

October 3rd, 2011

radio

Courtesy of friends at my local community radio station in Somerset, England – www.10radio.orgyou can catch up with my regular monthly on-air chats with good friend and neighbour Jon.

In the latest episode Ken talks about his arrival into North America, the search for wild bears and plans for the road ahead. Click on the link below to download the interview.

Download MP3

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