Alexander & Butterfly


I met a couple hitchhikers, named Alexander & Butterfly at a local Tim Horton’s here in North Bay.  They are from Montreal and have just spent the last two and a half months touring around British Columbia, and are now on their way home.  They told me stories from their adventures on the road, and some of the places they’ve been to…From camping in the mountains of Jasper (and having to dodge the Park Rangers), to snorkeling off of Hornby Island to see the marine life of the Pacific Ocean.

I hitchhiked a lot when I was younger, so it was great to talk to them about that, and some of the experiences they have had…I asked them about that way of traveling…what their feelings were about it.

They told me that it was a great way to meet people, and that often they would get to hear very personal stories from the people that picked them up.  They felt that because they were strangers, people would open up and discuss things with them very freely, knowing that they would never see them again.  Of course, most everyone they met while hitchhiking were very kind, and generous; and on a couple occasions they were invited into people’s homes for a meal and a place to stay.

Alexander:  “Hitchhiking is all about perspective.  You meet people, and have fun.”

Butterfly:  “And sometimes when people see us with our big backpacks, they just stop and talk to us.”

– Any advice or insight about hitchhiking to share?

Alexander: “The best passport, is a smile…It is international.  Everybody recognizes a smile…it opens doors.”

Butterfly: “Be open…And just go with the flow.”


Bonne route Alexander & Butterfly!!

Sam & Bryan


Bryan:  “I was living in Victoria, BC, playing in a band there, and just left & came across the country to go to Rock Fest in Montebello, Quebec…I went to Montreal, and then went to Ottawa where I met Sam…and we kinda just ended up here.”

– Any interesting traveling stories?

Sam:  “It’s always a new adventure every time…at the end of the day you know, you sleep, you eat, you do what you can to live every day, and you’re always consistently meeting new awesome people.”

Etienne & Marine


I crossed paths with these two travelers from France at the Anasazi State Park Museum, in Boulder City, Utah.

Etienne:  “So we are traveling by bike across the US from Washington DC to San Francisco.”

Marine: “We have five months to do it, & so we take our time and visit places we think are interesting.”

Etienne:  “We are following some bike routes, mapped by the adventure cycling association, and currently we are following the Western Express, from Pueblo (Colorado), to San Francisco.”

Marine:  “When it is too hot, we try to wake up around 3am, and go around 4-4:30, and ride until 10-11am, otherwise its too hot.”

You can check out their cross country adventure on their blog:

Bonne route Etienne & Marine!!!




I met Rex  at the Hole-In-The-Rock museum in Escalante, Utah.  He told us many stories about the area, where he had grown up… About grazing sheep across the land, of Anasazi sites hidden in the hills around us, and many more.  One of them was quite funny…

– So you were going to tell us a little something?

“About a horse that used to get drunk on me…I was taking care of this horse and they had this big apple orchard and we used to take the horse in to let him eat the grass down; you know that orchard grass is pretty good for him.  The horses, they’d run in there and they would make some big holes, you could fill ’em up with water…And so the apples would fall in it, the sun would shine on it, and pretty soon you had Apple Jack…And then this stupid horse would go around and handle all this water, and then you couldn’t hardly get it over to the pen.”



I met Daigo while staying in Escalante, Utah at Escalante Outfitters (awesome place, great cabins, camping, and delicious food!).

“I’m from the University of Arkansas, I’m doing some research around here, especially in the Kaiparowits Formation, that is really famous for dinosaur bones.  My part is more like a geology side, so I’m trying to figure out the paleoclimate; the climate in the past… just figuring out what kind of climatic setting it was, so I can interpret why dinosaurs were so rapidly evolving.”



I met Lawrence in Bryce Canyon, Utah, where we both were waiting in line for Huckleberry ice cream.  I asked him how he was doing, and this is what he told me:
“I choose happiness, and happiness sometimes, is a harder journey.”



You’re a painter?

“Yeah I like to make clothing and sew.  I make a lot of clothing and a paint a lot of pictures.  When I was younger I liked to draw with pencil…faces are my favourite thing to do.  Then I discovered oil paint.  I really love oil paint.  I like to paint faces, and animals.  I have a five foot by six foot canvas of a toad.  Just a giant toad.  It’s f**king cool.  Painting is the passion; and sewing….My mom taught me to sew when I was really young, and I’ve been sewing ever since.  I can make pretty much anything without a pattern.”



“I ride motorcycle all summer.  The club I ride with is Independent Motorcycle Corporation, IMC.  We do a charity run August 15th this year; we raise money for a child in Sick Kids Hospital.  This year it’s a little girl named Olivia, and she’s got some serious special needs, and a few years ago we got her a van to go back and forth, and now we’ll be able to hand ’em over another big fat cheque this year to help along the way.”

So what is it about riding that you like?

“Just freedom.  Highway freedom.  The wind in your hair, in your face…in your beard…I don’t know what it is, once it’s in you, it’s hard to shake.  If you’ve got gas money & a few wrenches you’re good to go on two wheels.”

So you got your first tattoo when you were eighteen?
“Yeah in an apartment on Oak st., from some shady dude on a couch…dogs and stuff running around, everything we tell you not to do.”

(Here is the link for Olivia’s fundraisder:  Ride For A Friend)



What is it about skateboarding?

“Basically to me, the lifestyle…I mean, I love it too.  I can’t really go a day without it.  It’s kind of like my anti-depressant sort of thing, you know…If I don’t skateboard I feel horrible.  I take skateboarding more as an art form than a sport…You can choose your own style.  I’ve just been gravitated to it since I was a little kid.”

Harley & Co.


“This is my dog Harley…I bought him this sidecar ‘cuz he was always looking sad everytime I was going for a ride…now he comes with me all the time.”

Dave & Vince


“I’ve had Vince since he was an egg.  He’s 22 now; he’s an Indian Ringneck Parrot, they live about 40 years.  I get stopped every day; a lot of people want to pet him…I’m single, & we’re out looking for girls every day…Everybody wants his picture, nobody wants mine.”

Well today we got both.



“I work here; I pretty much live here because I love books.”

“I think there are ghosts in this store…I think that they’ve thrown books at me before…”



“Money isn’t the goal.  Life.  I don’t need a mansion, I need a house.  I’ve got a family; someone to wake up next to…That’s what life is.”



“I joined Odd Fellows.  I got recruited by a butcher at my old job, and his pitch was there was a curling team, lots of barbeques, and snacks…And everyone was going to die soon, so they needed young people.”

“It’s kind of an interesting secretive fraternal organization with money to spend on doing good things for the community….and they have cool costumes.”

What are their costumes like?

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you that…”



“I’ve been playing music for 27 years now.  I’ve played with about ten, maybe fifteen bands.  Divorced & married four times.  It’s been a lot of fun.  I just want to keep going.  I love playin’ music.”

“Five years ago I fell, head first, three stories.  You know the balcony inside the church?  I fell from there.  I busted a pew right to hell with my head.  I ended up in Toronto in a coma…two and a half years in hospital.  When I first got out…I couldn’t learn nothin’.  Nothing would stay upstairs.  I had a real nice guitar back then…I sold it.  And now, it’s all coming back.  Jeez…as usual you know?”



Let’s get back to photography…Now you were doing some very artistic things & creative things…What kind of stuff were you into?

“It’s kind of hard to explain, because a lot of the things I was photographing were things that most people would walk right past on the street.  I found myself somehow being attracted to a particular little scenario, and it took me a long time to learn what to do with that…What is it about this scene that is really drawing me in.  I would spend a long time trying to isolate that one particular thing.  I would walk around, look at it from all different angles…If I found out what it was, then I took my camera out.  Like I say; it’s stuff most people would just walk right past, but for some reason it attracts me.”



So tell me something interesting about yourself…

“I have a dimple, and it’s a feature that everybody really likes on me…but I wasn’t born with it, I actually slammed my face into a coffee table when I was four, and there was a bruise & it healed over as a dimple.”

…You said you live in Montreal now, so what are some of the cool things you’ve seen there?

“I find the homeless people there really interesting.  They all seem to come from different parts of the country.  They like to race their electric wheelchairs down the bike lanes.  My friend is doing a homeless people of Montreal project, so he’s taking pictures, and they have a lot of interesting stories.”