I am not a social creature by nature. Rather, it’s a forced reality that I interact with other people. It’s a skill that I have had to learn over the years, one that did not come naturally and one that to this day is still a bit of a forced endeavor. I like my peace and quiet, I like being away from the noise and the traffic and the crowds…or, if I’m in my city-dwelling mode, I like being invisible to the masses. I grew accustomed to the visions of the Southwest…the arid landscapes of Northern Arizona, the thunderstorms that came down from the Rocky Mountains in the afternoon in Colorado, the deep rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. Many times, I would disappear for a few days and just go be alone. It’s appealing in ways I can’t quite explain properly.
Empty spaces in Arizona are one thing. Empty spaces in Canada, another altogether. If you want expansive, you stay west of Ontario and don’t stop until you hit the Pacific Ocean to the west or your cold tolerance limit to the north. In this 2018 review of the Yamaha TW200, the goal is to work across the Okanagan Desert, a shrub-steppe section of British Columbia just north of the Washington State border crossing north of Oroville, Washington. Thick with large clumps of big sagebrush, filled with expansive landscapes that would make any misanthropic traveler weep with delight, it’s the perfect place to kind-of test a motorcycle and more like a dream to hop onto two wheels and take off for the north.