Tag archives for BC

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 25: Nakusp to Kelowna

With the unknown ferry crossing times and traffic, we had an early morning out of Nakusp to make sure we got to our 1:15pm meeting with the Kelowna MS Society.

Getting on the Needles Ferry

Riding across the Monashee

We had a great ride down to the ferry, and then the Monashee once again proved to be one of the best biking roads in western Canada. Traffic was light, and the peg scraping, while a little startling the first time it happened, was a blast!

With the Kelowna MS Society and Team Rona MS Riders

Once we finished tearing that awesome road apart, we stopped off for lunch in Lumby, and then made it in to Kelowna just in time to meet our motorcycle escort into the city! Traffic was heavy so it was a little rough at the start, but once we picked up the Rona cyclists, things went well and we had a nice little ride in to meet the reps from the Kelowna MS Society. Thank you to Miriam King for organizing the event and welcoming us to Kelowna! Check out the newspaper coverage we received here in Kelowna.

While riding in we passed the 10,000km mark on the ride!

It was so hot in Kelowna… I melted!

It was so hot in Kelowna that when I got to the hotel I pretty much melted… or at least that’s the visual that Erin was going for when she lined up my stuff on the couch like this. Success?

For dinner we headed back up to Turtle Bay Marina for a heart attack platter, while Erin debated taking a sea-doo out for a rip. Unfortunately once she finally decided to go, they were out of them and wouldn’t have one available till later… later as in when it wasn’t as sunny and awesome out anymore.

Anyway, the heart attack was good, and it was nice to meet Erin’s friends and see C.M. again!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Day 24: Banff to Nakusp

I finished up yesterday’s post saying that we had a quiet night in Banff, but after pressing the publish button, Adrian and I decided it was time to throw a pizza on top of all the sushi that we had for dinner. We got our usual Aardvark pizza creation, and demolished an extra large pie before finally hitting the sack.

The morning started off slower than most so far on the trip, as we leisurely got up and went for breakfast. Phil and Jack had to head back to Edmonton, so our temporary six man wolf pack was now back down to four.

You want the road to go where? Right through that mountain?

The weather was dynamite, possibly the best we’ve had so far as it was sunny and clear, and not disgustingly hot. Traffic also wasn’t too bad, and we had a great ride from Banff to Nakusp.

Stopping for a break

We found a nice little place to stop for a break along the Trans-Canada. We rode with our jackets on up to this point as it was still pretty chilly in a few areas, but after this break it was all short sleeves and lots of sunscreen.

We stopped for Lunch in Revelstoke, and ended up rushing a little bit as we wanted to try and catch the earliest ferry. We rode down to the ferry without hitting much traffic at all, but when we got there we found out that the schedule was all messed up and it wasn’t a sure thing to get a ferry on the hour anymore. We waited for 2 to go arrive, one of which basically got filled by a fuel truck that budded to the front of the line. Luckily the attendant on our end ushered us up to the front of the line for the second ferry so that we would get on for sure. Thanks for that!

The Trans-Canada Highway near Golden, BC

Being first on the ferry meant that we were also first off, and had a pretty clear ride down through the twisties towards Nakusp… other than running into that stupid fuel truck again for about 5 minutes before we could pass.

Once we got to the hotel, Adrian made me laugh by just blurting out, “Your face needs to see some soap.” I looked in the mirror and didn’t see much, but then once in the bathroom under stronger lights, I saw how grubby my face and neck was! The combo of sticky sunscreen and road dirt made for a hilariously dirty “this guy.”

We went out to the Leland Hotel patio for some dinner and drinks, but unfortunately they were sold out of everything that we wanted food and drink wise, so we moved over to a different pub for some dinner. They we’re kind enough to have everything on the menu available, and also the local honey beer in stock as well.

Today was a great day, and I think that Erin really enjoyed herself. She also took some video of the ride today, so hopefully I can edit it and upload the video here shortly!

Here are today’s points of interest:

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Route Planning: Not-So-Rough Draft #2

Ok I’ve tweaked the route quite a bit from what I had last time, and I think that this will work out better. Going to be in the bigger cities on nights when hopefully we can get together with the local MS Society chapters. The distance is about 500km shorter on this plan, but it still covers off everything nicely. The links below will bring up google maps with the route. Google broke it into 3 parts…

Total Distance: 11,940km

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Route Planning: Rough Draft #1

I’ve thrown together the first rough draft of the route, which will likely be modified as I look at it more. Right now I’ve just picked a basic route, and I’ll tweak it after discussing with dad and a few others who’s input I value. As the route stands, its 12136km give or take a bit. Anyway, have a look if you have some time, and let me know if you have any suggestions! Continue reading »

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