Day 34: Jasper to Edmonton – The Final Leg!

On the home stretch!

After 34 days on the road, it was time to head home!

After enjoying the breakfast buffet at our hotel in Jasper, we gassed up, and made our way out of beautiful Jasper National Park towards Edson. As with the last few weeks of the ride, the weather was great, and we cruised along nicely through Hinton and into Edson.

Once in Edson we met up with members of the Blue Knights Edmonton Metro Chapter, and our 6 man wolf pack had now exploded into a 19 man pack! We had a quick lunch and coordinated the game plan, and we began the BK escorted 200km home stretch into Edmonton.

Just outside of Edmonton we met up with our police escort, which was provided by Edmonton Police Service West Division members. Erin was lucky enough to be able to ride in one of the cars, so she snapped a few photos of us as we we’re escorted through the city:

Garry Crawford of the Blue Knights leading the escort

Proud dad rolling into town

Adrian rolling into town

Blue Knights Edmonton Metro President, The BEEEEEEEEEG

Being escorted into the city by the Blue Knights and EPS

The escort from a different angle – good photography Erin!

Pretty impressive!

Crossing 111av on Groat Rd

Almost to the finish line!

I drive a police car for a living, but was still blown away by the police escort that we had into the city. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Adrian or some of the other riders who aren’t police officers or who have been retired for many years.

Once we got close to the Legislature grounds, we made a brief stop off at the bottom of the hill by the Royal Glenora so that Erin could be taken up to the gounds prior to our arrival. Once she was there, we we’re given the green light to head up the hill…

Being saluted in by EPS members

We also got piped in!

I’m glad that I was wearing dark glasses as I rode up that hill because as soon as I heard the bagpipes and saw the salute I got pretty emotional. The successful ride coming to an end, combined with the salute, pipes, and seeing my family and friends again made this something that that I’ll never forget.

The final few feet of the ride!

Being welcomed back by C-Bear!

My little nephew C-Bear was first to come and give me a hug. Sorry buddy if I squished you a little bit as I picked you up! haha

Shortly after getting off the bikes the media frenzy started…

Pretty popular guy hey?

Erin joined in on the media festivities

I think every TV station and newspaper was there to greet us and hear the story of the ride. I’m glad that I’ve received so much coverage:

CTV Edmonton: Edmonton father, son complete cross-country ride to raise MS awareness

It was a ride that took them across the country raising money and awareness for multiple sclerosis and on Sunday, an Edmonton police constable and his dad rode back into Edmonton: mission accomplished.

Edmonton Journal: Edmonton father, son complete summer road trip for MS

A family road trip for a good cause came to an end Sunday, when an Edmonton police officer and his dad were welcomed home at the legislature.

Global Edmonton: Edmonton police officer rides across country for M.S.

An Edmonton police constable is back home after riding across Canada, fundraising for multiple sclerosis.

Global TV Edmonton: MS Rider Back Home (Video)

Edmonton Metro: Edmonton police officer cruises cross-country for a cause

Upon arriving home from a 34-day motorcycle trip across the country, Edmonton Police Service Const. Christ Anderson was greeted by a police escort, officer salute and much appreciation Sunday.

Our HomeTown: Edmonton’s Finest Cruising for a Cause

On Sunday, Aug. 19, an EPS constable will roll into Edmonton after riding for 34 days and nearly 12,000 kilometres across Canada on a fundraising tour for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

St. Albert Gazette: Motorcyclist on final leg of cross-country ride for MS

Every year the MS Society of Alberta hosts several popular fundraising bike tours, all somewhere between 150 and 200 kilometres. Chris Anderson must have thought that they didn’t go far enough to help fight the debilitating disease of the central nervous system. So he got on his motorcycle and embarked on a ride from sea to sea, and back home again.

Hahahahaha

Once we finished the interviews, we had a chance to say hi and see our friends and family that we had missed while on the road. We also had another 50/50 draw, and the winner “ONAWING” was nice enough to donate his winnings back to the MS Society!

Now for some stats:

MS Ride Stats – That top speed CAN’T be right! (Thanks for the GPS unit, GPS Central!)

Total distance travelled: 12,695km / 7888 miles!
Total money raised for the MS Society of Canada: $20,870
Total out of pocket cost to me and dad: ~$9,253

I’m very happy with this because we raised more than we spent to do this. We had some people question along the way if we were spending the money raised on this to fund our trip, and the answer is no. That $9,253 came out of our own pockets, and the $21,070 raised went directly to the MS Society of Canada. $9,253 is a lot to spend, but the return on investment, both monetary and in awareness, is invaluable.

I’d like to thank everyone that made this event what it was. I can’t name everyone as I’d need another 50 pages for this post alone, but most importantly I’d like to thank my dad Dave for joining me from coast to coast, Adrian for tackling the final third of the ride, Erin for being the inspiration for the ride and for all the funny texts along the way, and my mom Sharon for all the work she put in to coordinate the finish line event! Couldn’t have done it without you!

This is the final blog entry for the MS Ride. I’ve met some wonderful people, seen our beautiful country from coast to coast, and have hopefully made a difference in the fight against MS.

Thank you for following along, and stay strong.

Chris

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Day 33: Banff to Jasper

Thanks to Robyn at the Rocky Mountain B&B for putting us up last night, and then feeding us in the morning. Hopefully your new business goes well for you! And thanks for the low hanging pipes between the rooms which gave us endless entertainment as dad banged his head again a few times. HAHA

I planned on getting my rear brakes fixed this morning, but once I sat on the bike and tested them they sorta worked. I still hit up the repair shops in town, but they were all closed, even though their signs said that they were open every day… I guess every day doesn’t include Saturday. Anyway, it’s good enough to limp back to Edmonton.

Bow Lake for a quick photo op! Look at the weather!

We stopped off at Bow Lake, a usual stop along the way from Banff to Jasper, and the weather was unreal. A little crisp leaving Banff, but sunny and no wind. The jackets stayed on until Saskatchewan Crossing were they were promptly whipped into the bag.

Speaking of Saskatchewan Crossing, we set a new record for gas prices. 179.9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, that many exclamation marks… just blown away by that robbery, but nothing you can do when you’re in need of gas. At least the station attendants had a sense of humor about it.

Our 3 man wolfpack is now a 6 man!

We picked up Jack, Mike, and Dasha in Saskatchewan Crossing, and our three man wolf pack is now a six man (well, 5 man and 1 woman) wolfpack. Thanks for joining us for the last two days of the ride!

WTF?

I can’t tell if Adrian is happy about our new additions or not… sweet pose, but stone cold facial expression. Anyone care to comment on this?

Awesome scenery and roads along the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway was world class, and was a great second last day of the ride. Zero bugs, a few picnics, light traffic, and just dynamite weather. Met a few interesting drivers just as we were rolling into Jasper, but otherwise the ride was smooth and went by too fast. Once we rolled into Jasper and it was a shocking 34 degrees.

Looking forward to meeting the Blue Knights in Edson tomorrow for the ride back in to Edmonton, finishing off at the Alberta Legislature.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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MS Ride Finish Line

After over 12,000km on the road, we’re almost home! Please join us at the finish line on the south grounds of the Alberta Legislature near the concert shell. We’ll bee arriving at 4pm on Sunday August 19th, so please come down at 3:30 to scoop up some 50/50 tickets and practice your cheers! The last 50/50 netted someone almost 300 bucks, so be sure to enter, and be there to welcome us back from this journey to raise funds and awareness for MS.

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Day 32: Vernon to Banff

This morning was a repeat of yesterday as dad woke up and took off early, and left poor Adrian and I to fend for ourselves in the hotel. Unfortunately our sleeping in plan didn’t work out that well as there was far too much yelling and door slamming going on in the hallway. Aside from the door slamming, the hotel was great, and we’d like to thank the Prestige Hotel and Conference Center in Vernon for putting us up for the right price last night. I’d definitely stay at that hotel again.

Breakfast at the hotel was great, and upon getting gas we hit the highway. Traffic was pretty heavy on the way up to Sicamous, and we got stuck behind some side by side semis for a while… “Kind sir, please move over!”

Speaking of that, being that it was a Friday, apparently all rules of the road went out the window as people were driving slower in the passing lane, and we even had a few vehicles deliberately attempt to pinch us off at the end of passing lane opportunities. It was just ridiculous!

Rogers Pass on a beautiful day!

As you can see from this picture at Rogers Pass, the weather was dynamite again today, and we didn’t even have to consider putting our jackets on. The temperature was hot, but tolerable and didn’t feel like we were riding on the sun like we were yesterday.

The tunnels were also a good time today. Traffic was heavy again, and we ended up slowing down to about 50 at one point while inside a tunnel… of course I dropped er down to 2nd gear, and I’ve never heard so much hilarious backfiring since I’ve had the bike. I turned to smile at Adrian and all I saw was him buckling over in laughter. Thought the poor guy was going to crash!

Just outside of Banff we passed the 12,000km mark! My initial estimate of just under 12k for the entire trip is obviously a little bit off.

Once we got to Banff I had a little surprise as my rear brakes were gone… I don’t know what happened to them, but it’s a little bit different riding around without a rear brake. I’m going to see if I can take care of it tomorrow before we leave (maybe just bleed the lines or something as the pads are ok), but if not I’m sure I’ll be able to make it back to Edmonton with just a front brake. Going to have to adjust the riding style a little bit to compensate.

Tonight is the 2nd last night of the trip. Looking forward to being able to sleep in my own bed again on Sunday night when we’re back.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 31: Whistler to Vernon

Adrian and I slept in until the early hour of 8:57am when housekeeping busted into the room in attempt to get us going. Seriously, what hotel starts cleaning the rooms at that hour when checkout isn’t until 11?

My Harley at Green Lake

Anyway, dad got up early and started making his way to Vernon before us as he didn’t want to ride in the heat. As we slept in and didn’t start making our way until after 11, we rode right through the harshest heat of the day. Just a mild 37 degrees as we rode through terrain that was something out of an old western.

What kind of McDonald’s is this?

Starting the western theme to the ride off right is this interesting McDonalds in Pemberton.

Adrian being awesome near Duffey Lake

We decided to strike some sweet poses at Duffey Lake…

Check out that windmill!

We were quite entertaining for the other people that stopped off at Duffey Lake for photos with our air guitar playing… who knows how this idea came up, but it did and the pictures are forever proof.

Anyway, the heat was compared to “riding on the sun” according to Adrian, and we had pretty much 7 hours on the road as the roads were so twisty and speeds were so slow. At 20-40km/h for almost 200km, it took us forever to cover off a fairly short distance.

The roads that we took today, combined with the weather, made for one of the best riding days that we’ve had throughout the whole trip. The scenery was phenomenal, and the omnidirectional terrain was out of this world. There were probably 20 different occasions that I wished I still had my GoPro camera on my bike, as there were no places to stop to take photos, but the mounted camera would have been able to capture it.

Good news is that GoPro is going to replace the camera that broke off my bike and ended up smashing down the highway on Vancouver Island. Thanks for the great customer support, but too bad I wont be able to capture footage for the entire ride. I’m really missing a lot of good footage right now…

Anyway, we continued the ride on the sun in the 37 degree heat and arrived in Vernon as a pair of sweaty messes. Was a fun ride, a little hot, but still pretty fun. Dad had gone down to Turtle Bay between Vernon and Kelowna to meet some friends from Edmonton, so Adrian and I went to the Irish pub near the hotel for some dinner.

Tomorrow we have another similar distance day as we head over to Banff. Cascades today, and Rockies tomorrow!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 30: Nanaimo to Whistler

The ferry leaving Departure Bay for Horseshoe Bay

Thank you so much to Anthea at Bayview Terrace B&B in Nanaimo for taking care of our accommodations last night, and for the nice fresh breakfast to start the day off with. The house was very nice, and the view out the back was stellar!

We took the 5 minute trip down to the ferry and caught the 10:40 with ease. The guy behind us in the motorcycle lineup said he showed up 15 minutes prior to the previous departure and they wouldn’t let him on, so it was a good thing that we showed up early.

The view leaving Departure Bay in Nanaimo

On the ferry we enjoyed some white spot burgers which were probably the best burgers that we’ve had on this trip… and yeah we’ve had a lot!

We also met a few other motorcyclists on the ferry that were very interested in what we were doing as one of their relatives is currently being tested for MS. Hopefully you get the news that you’re looking for from the doctors!

Vancouver Skyline in the distance as we arrived in Horseshoe Bay

Once we got off the ferry we got on the Sea to Sky Highway and opened er right up! The weather was stellar, and traffic was fairly light, making for a pretty smooth ride up to Whistler. The first part of the highway had incredible scenery, but that died off after a while. Had it stayed that way for the whole ride, Sea to Sky would have been one of the top roads we we’re on, but unfortunately it was just too short! And sorry, no photos due to the GoPro camera breaking off the bike a few days ago now :(

They’ve done studies you know. 66% of the time, it works every time.

Today, Adrian declared that he’s good luck on these motorcycle trips, as in 2009 we had the most sunshine on record when we ripped about 3500km of BC, Montana, and Idaho up. This year since he joined the trip has been the same, but I reminded him of 2010 when his parked bike got hit by a dumb dumb and his trailer, which quickly put an end to our ride. 66% success rate I guess?

Unfortunately upon arrival and a little time in the AC, I had to shut er down for a while. The whole length of the trip, heat, waking up early, etc etc is taking it’s toll on me, and I needed my beauty sleep. Woke up, still ugly, but felt way better so now it’s time to go check out the town.

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 29: Tofino to Nanaimo

Today marks the start of the home stretch as there are no more westbound shots for us on this trip. Amazing to think that we traveled almost 11,000km in one direction across the country and continent over the past 28 days!

This morning in Tofino was overcast and chilly, and we pretty much froze during the first part of the ride. Once we got closer to Port Alberni the weather straightened out and we shed the gloves and jackets after a quick stop for gas and a refreshment. The ride out of Tofino wasn’t as fun as the ride in as the traffic was heavy, and we barely got anywhere near the speed limit.

Just outside of Port Alberni we hit the 11,000km mark!

Massive tree forest somewhere between Port Alberni and Nanaimo

Along the highway we came across MacMillan Provincial Park, a spot where several cars had stopped, so we decided to stop too and venture into the forest. The trees were ancient and massive, and it had a Jurassic Park feel to it… Seemed like at any moment we were going to become Velociraptor meat…

We didn’t…

But what we did find was a massive garden gnome near Parksville!

The lucky garden gnome

Check out the size of that thing! Adrian swore the gnome was good luck, so he popped inside the gas station to buy a Lotto Max ticket. He then said something like “Let’s go spend these millions!” but so far we haven’t seen anything… likely not as confident as he initially thought about the win.

Upon arrival at the B&B, dad quickly found a place to crack his head on… he’s now done it twice… I’ll keep updating the count as the night goes on here. Yeah, we are having such an action packed evening that the “dad hitting his head on the roof” game is the height of our entertainment.

Tomorrow we take the ferry to the mainland and head up to Whistler. Can’t wait!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 28: Victoria to Tofino

Keeping up with our visits to all of the Terry Fox monuments across the country…

Terry Fox and Monst in Victoria

Monst demanded that we visit the third and final Terry Fox monument at “mile 0″ in Victoria, so we made our way out there at 9am for a quick meeting. Our good family friend, Anne, happened to be in Victoria so she joined us for our quick stop over at the 3 for 3 monument.

Yep we made it from Mile 1 in Newfoundland to Mile 0 in Victoria!

Quite a good feeling knowing that we made it all the way from Mile 1 in Newfoundland to Mile 0 in Victoria. This isn’t the end of the ride, but it’s a definite milestone in the MS Ride!

Look closely and see who we almost left behind…

Oh man if we had forgotten the Monst in Victoria, Erin would have kicked our butts when we get back to Edmonton… Thankfully Adrian had his eyes on and saw the little fella still hanging out there with Terry before we rode off! Thanks for saving the Monst’s life today Adrian, and you’re welcome for me saving your life later in the ride today.

Having breakfast with the awesome people at the Victoria MS Society

After our quick stop off at Mile 0, we headed over to A&W for breakfast with the Victoria MS Society. Thank’s so much to Sukhi Tomana for organizing this event where we got to meet members of the chapter, and people in the community that are living with MS. Thank you all for hosting us in Victoria and for being so supportive! We really appreciate it, and hope that you’ll continue to follow us as we finish up the last leg of our journey.

My GoPro broke off it’s mount…

Somehow as we made our way north from Victoria towards Nanaimo my GoPro camera broke off it’s mount and went smashing down the highway. The mount somehow snapped, and the camera is GONZO… which is a real shame as I had almost recorded the whole ride from coast to coast, and then this happens… I think I may have seen it as it broke off, but I couldn’t be sure, and we were on a stretch of walled highway where there was nowhere to stop anyway so I couldn’t even go back and get the camera if I wanted to… not like it would have survived falling off the bike at 100km/h anyway.

I contacted GoPro about it, and once I’m back in Edmonton and can get my receipts together it looks like I can get a replacement camera. Still a pain in the butt as it shouldn’t have broke in the first place, but as you know it’s not the first thing that’s broken or lost on this trip. Just hope that GoPro comes through and warranties their product!

Scenic shot on the way from Port Alberni to Tofino

The ride to Tofino was DYNAMITE! We’ve seen stretches of great roads, but I haven’t had to test my riding and bike as I did on these roads today. The hairpin turns and twisties for what felt like hours were beyond what I had ever hoped this stretch of the ride would be! It was a little rough during the transitions from sun to shade, but I continued the peg scraping pretty much the whole way from Port Alberni to Tofino and had a great time. Definitely not roads for new riders (as we discovered from the 30km/h rider in front the white mini van), but definitely a road to behold for more experienced riders. LOVED IT!

Tofino!

The coastline of Tofino was pretty mediocre… don’t really care for it here ;) Seriously though it is really nice here, and we had a good sushi dinner upstairs in the hotel. Service was a little slow, and I may have asked if they were still out there catching the fish (therefore causing the delay), but once the food came it was great! Dad must have mumbled during his order and got some Saba instead of Salmon… how was that “fishy” piece dad? haha

Ps, I think someone just went through a whole roll of TP in one sitting… I’m sure we’re going to get charged fro that tomorrow morning at checkout… Just to clarify, it’s not someone who’s name rhymes with schmadrian or schmriss.

Pss, we also had a few more people recognize us today. The first being at the Terry Fox monument, second being a relatives sister who knew we were coming through and happened to see us on the highway, and thirdly the lady that was waving hard on the highway in Port Alberni. Thanks everyone!

We’ve now travelled as far west as we are going to go on this trip, and tomorrow we start heading back east towards our finale in Edmonton. Amazing to think that we’ve now riden coast to coast, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 27: Vancouver to Victoria

Adrian woke up super early this morning so that he could get down to Victoria and hang out with one of his friends. I on the other hand slept in till the last second… Dad and Erin were also up early so that Erin could get out to the airport. She absolutely loved the trip and we were glad that she could join us for those 4 beautiful days of riding!

The ride out of downtown Vancouver to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal was easy, and the weather was perfect. Once on the ferry I caught up with yesterday’s post, and enjoyed the view as we sailed toward Swartz Bay.

Beautiful Victoria BC

The weather on the island was great, and we had a great time in the downtown and bay area taking the water taxis around for fish and chips, ice cream, and all kinds of goodness. This is the first time I’ve been in the city, and I quite like it here.

You too can live in one of these little houses at Fisherman’s Wharf for a mere $385,000.

Our three man wolfpack is really looking forward to meeting the Victoria MS Society tomorrow morning, and then the ride up to Tofino. Fingers crossed this weather sticks around!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 26: Kelowna to Vancouver

There was a little logistical problem with the laptop being at a different hotel last night, so thats why this update didn’t happen last night…

In Kelowna we stayed at the Siesta Suites, and I’d definitely recommend that hotel to anyone going to Kelowna. We were provided the largest room that we’ve had so far on this trip, and it was close to everything that we wanted in the city.

It was another scorcher in the morning, but once we got on the Okanagan Connecter Highway, we cooled down to the point of goose bumps due to all of the altitude gain. That was my first time on that highway, and the scenery was dynamite. Actually the whole rip from Kelowna to Vancouver was great as we passed by Merritt and stopped in Hope for lunch.

Erin filming us ride from the back of dad’s bike

We also got to enjoy the Abbotsford Air Show from the highway. Quite the sight and sound when seen from a motorcycle!

The only bad part was the bridge construction just east of Burnaby… it was almost painfully hot, and we were stuck in first gear for almost an hour. The bridge looks like it’ll be a gooder though once they finish it!

With the construction slow down we barely had time to drop our stuff off at the hotel before heading over to The Eatery for some of the most interesting sushi that I’ve ever had. Excellent ordering by Adrian, Toby, and Laura!

Adrian leading the way for a little while

Post dinner we headed over to Doolin’s where Shane took care of us nicely. It was great to see him again after all these years, and also good of Brent, Toby & James to show up and have a beer with us. Oh yeah, I won an Avengers comic book as a door prize for successfully popping a balloon… you had to be there!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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