A page for the ramblings of Zack Sherman, the lead wanderer at Expedition recovery. This blog will include my travelog as well as more concise and targeted written pieces. Reviews and how to's on topics of adventure motorcycle and overland travel will be forthcoming as well.
Sammy the Salmon from Terminal
City takes a lap on one of her skaters
Zero miles ridden.
Got up and got all my laundry folded and prepped. I
had my Thai food left overs for breakfast and then got Bex's Harley and my bike into
her garage. Bex's bike had a totally dead battery so I ended up having to
push it to her garage at the front of her complex, I should probably be making
some sort of Harley joke here but I think it speaks for itself…
I did some computer work for the Facebook page and the
blog until Shelly, her partner Chris, and Rex arrived for the drive to
Vancouver for the WFTDA playoffs.
The drive went well and we had a good lunch at a place
off the google maps places locals eat suggestions where the food was pretty
good for a place in the parking lot of a shopping center.
We got into Vancouver area with no issues and got signed
into the event. It was great to see so many amazing officials and even
better to be asked when I got added to the ref roster. Since I am not certified I couldn’t even
apply but everyone seemed to think it would be normal for me to be added to the
roster which made me feel pretty good. The officials meeting started a little
after we arrived and I sat down by myself for a late dinner at the lounge there
at the Sheraton. Eating out alone has never been a strong suit of mine but I am getting better at it.
We came back to the house we were staying at and I get
prepped for bed and turned in after writing.
9/16/16 Vancouver, BC
No miles ridden
Got up and showered
before eating and catching a ride to the Olympic Oval where the games were
being held for Division 1 Playoffs.
I was able to have a
super relaxed day and just watch a bunch of derby as well as get this week’s
blog post up for Expedition Recovery. This was a big change from doing every
other game’s write-up like I did in Lansing for the WFTDA D2’s.
Mini never made it to
site but Gory from Yukon Roller Girls did and I got to watch a full game with her, which was
fun because of how new to derby she is. I got to work on explaining strategy
again with someone super interested. I
remember what it was like to be so excited and not yet jaded at all.
Being at a playoff meant
that I was able to catch up with many friends and derby associates that I
normally only get to see a few times a year. I love how much roller derby is a
family that really cares for one another. In the world that most of us from the
USA live in there is rarely a lot of genuine connection, and yet in derby makes
this rarity a regular reality.
The wonderful and
amazing proprietor of Pivotstar, Lulu, was able to give me a ride back to the
house when I was the last one of our group on site so that no one had to come
back and get me. I am super grateful for the ride and for how amazing Lulu has
been to know and work with.
Once at the house I was
able to finish my last recap and call it for the night. Day one of my second
playoffs as a writer is officially in the books.
Zero miles ridden.
The last three days have
been intense and amazing. I put up five new bylines on Derby Central and got
the new blog pushed out as well.
The games I worked as a
writer were a great experience and I think I am getting better at doing recaps.
I am looking forward to hearing some feedback after the weekend from the Derby Central editors
I have gotten to see
many friends and familiar faces as well as make some new ones. As I realize I
am not super comfortable in my roll and can feel myself slipping into old
habits of false bravado and brash humor and jibes at people rather than just
keeping quiet and waiting.
Saturday was two more
recaps and some good derby. Mini had arrived and I got to chat with Skimo who
seems like a really nice guy. I got the last recap again and once again didn't
finish till very late. I should have then gone to bed but instead stayed up
almost another hour and a half talking with Rex.
Luz Chaos being her amazing self!
Sunday morning was a
rough wake up as I had to work the first game between Naptown and Arizona.
It was a great game and Luz Chaos was amazing in it. I then took care of some
errands and decided to break my rule and go and grab bite to eat alone. I
decided to go to a genuine Chinese restaurant near the venue. It was so
authentic that the menu was in Chinese with some English subtitles that only
told part of the story. The dumplings were good but the chicken I got seemed to
be the extra bits left over from trimming the meat for other dishes.
Rather than be silly and disgusted I just ate in anyway. Was
interesting, not something I would get again, and a very fatty for what it was
but ate it with only a little bluing around the gills.
After eating it was back
to writing and watching derby. This time I got to watch the final game
between Victoria and Angel City. It was an intense game with really high
penalty counts for Victoria's jammers. The game was so much closer than
expected that the whole of the section I was in ended up on our feet cheering
for the last few jams. It was an unexpected nail bitter of a game.
Following the last
whistle I hung out with a few friends and watched all the medal shenanigans at
the Olympic bobsled. Made a few introductions between skaters I knew who didn't
know each other and then went to dinner with the officials. I am still
amazed at the level of acceptance I get from officials at tournaments even when
I am working as a writer instead of officiating. As a non-certified official I am amazed at the level of welcome I receive.
It was another late
night talking with Rex before bed but well worth it.
Vancouver, BC to
This morning began in
Vancouver where I would pack my bags and leave with Josh, Shelly, Chris, and
Tim to drive back to where the bike was parked in Lacey Washington.
The drive was nice and
we all chatted the whole way and talked derby and larger scale officiating
issues as well as general life stuff. We made a fuel stop where Chris went
to the Foxy Lady coffee stand in the parking lot. When I came out from the gas station the
whole group save me was laughing at the front of the stand. If I would have thought it ok I would have
taken a picture, as backed up to the access door of the stand was a uniform
company truck delivering linens. I didn’t get the joke till the barista came
back to the window in a pair of purple-glitter heart shaped pasties and a g
string bottom. We all jested that it
must be the smallest garment bag delivery on the route…..
I was dropped off back
at Bex's but she was at work and had not left the garage key for me so I was
trapped for a bit. I ended up showering and doing laundry before heading out
late after doing a bit of a scramble for the garage key before the condo office
closed as Bex was unexpectedly stuck late at work.
I left Lacey. WA at near
6 pm and rode the few hours into Portland to get my track jacket picked up from Shelly and
Chris and then up to another derby friend’s who had recently moved from
Anchorage to Portland.
I had to forgo any tasty
dinner and settle for Arby’s since it was on the way and already late. Once at
the house we decided it would be best to pull the bike up into the locking
porch so I got to take the CB up it’s first 9"+ tall step and in to the
space. As I pulled in there was a freshly killed bunny with its face ripped off
and its brains eaten laying in the porch, kind of a surprise.
Kendra and John showed
me in and I got a tour of their very cool house while enjoying a yummy cider
they gave me. The house had sat vacant
for some time and it was really cool to see all she was doing and hear the
story of the place. I know she will make
For those interested in reading the recaps I wrote for the playoffs, here you go:
12/16/16 San Ignacio, Belize. 106.6 kilometers ridden. Woke up and got in a quick bit of relaxing before
it was time to start getting ready to ride. Ed, Aaron, and I would be heading
out to Big Rock Falls and 1000 Foot Falls on the bikes. I got most of the prep
done and found out that Aaron had already eaten breakfast so I walked around to
the bar and restaurant combo we had been drinking at the night before. I got an
omelet with bacon, cheese and veggies and a side of "toast bread".
The toast bread was more like fry bread and was very good. I went back to the hotel and Ed had arrived. We
finished prepping the bikes but Ed and Aaron then want to go for a few things
so we ended up at a smoothie shop where the guys grabbed wraps and I had a
smoothie. Service took the usual forever I have come to expect in Belize but
the smoothie was good. We went and geared up before setting off from the hotel
Tropicool. The ride out was spectacular and full of both
twisty canyon type passes o…
12/17/16 San Ignacio, Bel. 108.5 kilometers ridden. Morning started off with a trip up the street for the cheap breakfast Christine had told me
about, it was a breakfast burrito and a large lime juice for the equivalent of about $2.50 US. The burrito was basic but tasty and the lime juice was a refreshing start to the day. After the beating the rough road gave the little C90, I went on a walkabout with Ed and Aaron to go get
the exhaust on Ninty fixed. It took most of the morning but we ended up getting some clues and finding a
Canadian welder who had emigrated to Belize. He did a great job TIG welding the exhaust and it came out looking better than new.
We managed to get a little twisted up on the route before walking across the low wooden bridge that had carried us into town. Along the way we wandered through a market with
lots of hand crafts and cheap Chinese products. I could tell I was in a more tourist oriented town than most I had stayed in so far. I wasn't interested in an…
12/18/16 San Ignacio, Belize to
Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. 19.6 kilometers ridden. I started out slowly
getting ready before taking a final shower in the small bathroom by my room.
The ability to get the water temperature to something other than arctic blast
or surface of the sun seems to be getting worse each day. We went out for
breakfast at a place called pops. It was the most western place I had been too
in weeks. It had vinyl diner booths in a deep red color that would be at home in any greasy spoon in the US. I ate a bacon and cheese omelet with pancakes but paid more for it
than I would have at a less Americanized place. We went back to our
hotel and Aaron, Ed, and I sat around exchanging digital files of our photos
and videos so we each had copies of everyone’s media from Belize. It took a
long time so as each of us finished we set off separately to be ready to leave.
I was the last one out at past 12:30 but when I got up to Ed's hostel he and
Aaron were both still there. W…