From Isle to Isle on wheels

Published 12:32 pm Friday, September 27, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer 

Passing through the county last week, Nick Parry was used to being in Isle of Wight despite the fact that it was his first time here.

Born in the original Isle of Wight across the pond, the British nurse motorcycled through the American version on his way up to Nova Scotia, Canada on Sept. 16. 

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“It’s hotter here,” he said in an interview on Sept. 16, adding that the American Isle of Wight has no thatch cottages, unlike his birthplace, and a smaller population. The idea to visit Isle of Wight was always in the back of his mind, said Parry, but added that the choice to actually through with it was made in the moment along his travels. 

Parry started his weeks-long trek across North America up in Vancouver, Canada at the beginning of August before visiting the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and then crossing the border into the state of Washington.

“I just got on my bike and went,” he said. 

 Throughout his journey, he’s stayed at some hotels but typically prefers to set up at campsites each night, usually moving on after a day or two with his motorcycle loaded up on both sides with gear. 

On his way through Virginia, Parry noted several counties in Virginia that are named after localities back in England, such as Southampton County and the cities of Norfolk, Hampton and Portsmouth.  

Landing at Yellowstone National Park after cruising from Washington, across several states and into Wyoming, Parry said that he experienced a sleepless night at the park campground because of a rustling sound he heard outside of his tent. 

At the time he feared becoming a grizzly’s midnight snack, having been warned of bear activity at Yellowstone numerous times by park officials and warning signs. 

In hindsight, Parry thinks his fears may’ve been overblown. “It could’ve been a field mouse,” he said. 

After some buffalo spotting on the Wyoming horizon, Parry moved on to the “beautiful” Grand Teton National Park and then on to Idaho, where the “terracotta” mountains were so gorgeous that they “blew his mind.” 

So gorgeous, in fact, that Parry’s friends and family didn’t believe that the pictures he’d snapped of the mountains were his own. 

“The picture was so good it looked like I’d nicked a postcard,” he said. 

A few weeks ago, he arrived in the “four corners” — the geographical point where the states of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado touch — and chugged northeast. Having planned to visit Florida, Parry veered north because of the Hurricane Dorian heading in that direction, zipping through Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and Kentucky and into the Old Dominion.  

Once he hits Nova Scotia, Parry said he may fly back to Dorset, England where he lives and have his motorbike shipped, ride back to Vancouver from Nova Scotia or possibly even hit up Toronto. 

“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.