Uncharted Territory – by Larry Pynn

Read part Two of writer Larry Pynn’s Cycle Canada article about his 2500 -km motorcycle journey in the backwoods of British Columbia.  A stop at Bear Camp is an integral part of any backcountry experience in Western Canada.  Talk about immersing yourself in the “real” Canada versus hanging out in carbon copy resorts.

Cycle Canada Article by Larry Pynn

If you like the idea of charting your own destiny, take a good look at ROAM’s self drive, Overland Jeep trips in Southern Patagonia.  We take care of all of the arrangements and let you do the exploring on your own pace.

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2017 Adventure Lineup with Ashley and Brian

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Looking back, and moving forward.

Wow, Time flies is right!  Here we are, nearing the end of 2016 and planning the incredible line up for 2017!

Ashley Scanlan and Brian McCutcheon rolled “home” to Nelson this November with trucks and trailers packed to the top, a few thousand more miles on the odometer, and with more air miles than we care to remember. But what a season it was!

I am not shy to proclaim this year as our best season yet (measured by our fun-o-meter)! With a motley crew of fantastic guides, a safari camp that gets more delicious flavor with each passing year, high water, full moons, friends, musicians, and THREE new exploratory trips, we really kept ourselves busy!   I could go through and list all the amazing trips we did, but let’s look forward…

Check out our 2017 line-up so far:

New YearsGalapagos TripSOLD OUT!

New Years – Surf Trip in Mompiche, Ecuador – SOLD OUT!

January 19th – Brian’s birthday in (Nelson, BC?)

Feb 19 –26 Argentina Yoga Retreat in Bariloche (space still available)

March 2 – Party at Ashley & Brian’s new home in Chile! All welcome!

March 3-11 – Mini Trip on the Futaleufu in Chile (space still available)

March 10-18Rafting Trip on the Futaleufu (space still available)

April 10-21Brian and Jorge lead our new premium Costa Rica trip!

April 22-27 – ROAM launches our more wallet-friendly Costa Rica trip

June- August – The Chilko River Expeditions (with new camp and itinerary!) & Bear Camp Multi-Sport Trips are at a premium!

SeptemberBear Viewing is on! Photographers get your spot!

October 3-13 – Africa bound! Zambezi River Explorer (almost sold out)

October 28- November 8Zambezi River explorer

November (6 days) – NEW Capetown Multi-sport & Culture

November (4 Days) – NEW South Africa Safari and Multi-sport

November 20-30 – Office work….. it has to happen sometime

December – Get tropical surf again!

Being Chuck

Over the last 2 years a very strange phenomenon has been occurring.  It’s not something totally foreign to me as it was pointed by my grandmother 20 years ago, however, it has resurfaced with a vengeance.  It’s not something I embraced initially but I have begun to understand it better over time.

Apparently I look like Chuck Norris…

I couldn’t be lucky enough to look like Brad Pitt or George Clooney.  No, instead it’s the martial arts movie man also known as Walker, Texas Ranger.  I would have been OK with it if it stopped at a cameo fight appearance in “Return of the Dragon” or B-grade cult classic “Delta Force” but really…Texas Ranger? 

Don’t even get me started about “Lone Wolf McQuade”

As stated earlier, almost 2 decades ago I was visiting my grandmother donning a beard (me, not my grandmother) when she told me to shave as I looked like that “hoodlum” Chuck Norris.  The reference didn’t sink in nor did I really see the resemblance at that time but I was impressed grandma even knew who Chuck was.  I once was accused of looking like the Honeycomb Kid (on the cereal box) but Chuck is a lot shorter and a frankly older than yours truly.

In 2009, it reared its ugly head again – in a diner in Kamloops, British Columbia.  Predominantly a mill town, the diner was a place where it was plausible the patrons owned Chuck Norris VHS box sets.  Our waitress told me her co-workers thought I looked like Chuck Norris.  Without hesitation, and for those who know me you will not be surprised, I told her I was Chuck Norris.  She fist pumped and enthusiastically shouted “I knew it”.  After signing a menu for the diner wall, we enjoyed our complimentary meal and left the restaurant with a good chuckle. 

Perhaps knowing that you look like Chuck Norris leads one to carry his subconscious persona?  Nah just kidding… but the recognition did start to escalate soon after as Ashley and I made our way to Africa to run the Zambezi and climb Kilimanjaro.  In our first airport, a few security people joked that I looked like Chuck and we moved through unencumbered.  It wasn’t until  Victoria Falls trying to catch a charter flight to Hwange National Park that dividends stared to flow.  We had recovered the lost bags of another guest and were trying to get the overweight load through a backlog at the check-in desk. 

I was told that one bag was allowed and there were no exceptions.  I tried to explain the additional bags belonged to a 70-year old woman but was not making headway.  This is when “Being Chuck” became very helpful.  One of the intervening supervisors was convinced I had traveled with them before.  I assured him that I had not but was scouting the region for future business.  He was persistent and asked me why I looked so familiar?  Seizing the opportunity, I told him I was Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger and reached across the counter with a firm handshake.

He was so pleased to have a Chuck flying with his airline that we were escorted past security and straight out on to the tarmac.  The excess bag issues were as far behind us as the rest of the tourists waiting in the massive line up.  Being Chuck certainly had some advantages (although I’d still rather look like George Clooney). 

 Two weeks later on Kilimanjaro, the porters would fight each morning over who would carry my bags.  We also noticed our tent was pitched in prime locations at every camp.  I realized that this could present a problem for our paying guests and tried to get our lead trekking guide, Festo, to break it to them gently that I was not Chuck Norris.  The porters refused to believe him as they had been bragging to other groups of porters and would not retreat.  The word is that Chuck Norris films and shows are the rage these days on buses in Zimbabwe.  Who knew?

Later in early 2010, I was also identified as Chuck when traveling through Argentina.  We became further beneficiaries by not being hassled in markets or late-night on the streets Buenos Aires as well as special treatment in hotels, restaurants and shops.  New arrivals to our Futaleufu trip were skeptical of our claims until they all received 25% off their purchases at a local leather shop. 
  
In Mendoza, I made a comment to Ashley about a group of men who were ogling her in high heels and shorts as we were headed out for dinner.  Much to both of our surprise, they yelled “Hey Chuck” and were all very pleased when I waved in acknowledgment (Ashley also wishes I looked like George Clooney or Brad Pitt!).  That aside,  the ultimate success in this phenomenon was when I missed a connection in Buenos Aires recently.  The nice folks at American Airlines rescheduled me on a Miami flight a few hours later but warned me it was oversold and unlikely I would get on.  When asked if I get told I look like Chuck Norris, I said I was Chuck.  Despite having a Canadian passport with my name on it, I was immediately confirmed and upgraded. 

The benefits of Being Chuck are growing everyday.  So much… I feel obligated to purchase a Total Gym in Chuck’s honour.   With no assembly required, easy storage, convenient payment plans and a money back guarantee how could I go wrong?

Cheers,
Canuck Norris