Coast to Coast to Coast in Canada

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
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581
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Lotusland
Really this post should be titled "Across Canada for a beer with the old man". But for some reason I didn't want to call it that. :)

This trip has been a long time coming, starting with a general interest to see Atlantic Canada, being cemented reading Lorne's excellent thread of heading West in 2007, to a friend of mine riding across Canada shortly after and finally my father and his wife moving to New Brunswick in 2021.

My goal is to take some of the smallest roads, see the little town's and places and explore Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick once I get to the other side of the continent.

The cold spring and some personal commitments have delayed my departure to the end of May, but I'm finally on the road.

Prep:

The bike's got new tires front and rear





The 80,000 km service is done (had all exhaust and 1/2 of the intake valves tight) and the SuperT is running well.

Now it's just a matter of getting things packed, and seeing how things work out on the road.

My goal is to camp and use Bunk-a-Biker when possible, to meet more folks and hopefully share some stories along the way. I'll be updating as I go, internet access depending of course :)

Once I get to New Brunswick I'll be staying with my father and his wife who moved out there last year, so I'll have a base to explore from

So the route will look a little like this on the way out before the east coast exploring starts



There is some new urgency on the way out there as my father is not doing very well, he's in his 80's and well, I'm going east to have a beer with the him knowing it could be the last time I see him. Hopefully everything will work out well.

Once I get to the coast and we spent some time together, I plan to use NB as a bit of a 'home base' and explore the area, i.e. NB, NS, PEI.

With some luck I'll spend time in Montreal and some other notable places on the way back, including visiting some folks I know (and have ridden with over the years) in Calgary.


I know there's supposed to be this super AR picture of all the gear neatly laid out, but I tend to work off lists and tick things off when packed, so it's a bit of chaos to start


I'm not sure of the timing yet, 4 - 8 weeks seems reasonable, I'm not required to be back on any specific date.

Next post: Day 1
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
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Lotusland
Day 1:

You can't pick the weather. I woke up and it was wet outside, which given how this spring has been wasn't unexpected.

The goal today was to get to Salmo and get a decent sized first day out of the way (of course, plans change). It wasn't raining when I got outside and was setting up, so that was a bonus. The rain gear was handy and my goal was to be riding before 9 am.



The highway stretch leaving the Lowermainland was fine, with just wet patches. No rain, even in Hope (which almost always catches the clouds, being at the end of a long valley).

But boy, was it ever cold going through Manning park on highway 3. At the top of the first pass, before the lodge, there was still 1 - 2 feet of snow in the woods. And since I was dressed reasonably warm, I hadn't turned on the heated vest before heading up. Which was a mistake.

Thank goodness for heated grips, they got a workout today.

I took a quick break in Keremeos to have a granola bar and wave at a couple of sport-bikes that were also headed east.



That's rain on the mountain to the left, I just dodged it :) I kept telling myself that I would only go a bit further before finally having a bit of a break, but it wasn't until I was outside of Greenwood, at an abandoned tunnel that I finally pulled the earplugs out and stretched a bit



I don't know how many times over the years I've ridden or driving past without stopping, and always meant to. It's right on the Trans-Canada-Trail





Crossing the next mountain chain outside of Christina Lake brought more snow on the side of the road and by the time I reached Castlegar the clouds ahead were black. I checked the radar and the next 50 km to Salmo looked very wet. I decided to find a hotel in Castlegar instead of getting a soaking at the end of the day.

Unloaded and resting


Day totals
Wildlife: 4 deer mid-day, 1 woodpecked I had to dodge and some cool birds of prey playing in the updrafts
KM: 606 - about 50 less than I wanted to do, but that's how it goes
6.5 hours moving on the bike, 93.7 km/h average speed.

Route:

Tomorrow: Through the Rockies and into Alberta
 
Last edited:

Boris

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Dec 21, 2013
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midlands. UK
Sounds like you have a wonderful trip ahead of you. Have a great time fella!

I’ll look forward to the updates…………….nice touch detailing wildlife encounters along the way.
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
Messages
581
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Lotusland
Day 2: When everything comes to a stop

The day started well enough, I checked over the bike and tires are good, no loss in air, oil level is good, everything else looks ship shape. Then off to have a quick McDonald's breakfast (don't judge ;) ), and on the road by 8:30. Which wasn't bad.

I was looking forward to taking a break on Kootney Pass, but didn't take into consideration the early season. Normally I get up there in July or August.

Well, it looked a bit different on the last day in May:


And


So I didn't hang out and take photos of the marmots, because well there weren't any visible, and it was just a touch cold (the snow probably gave that away ;) )

I was glad to get down the mountain and saw a momma black bear with cub feeding right next to the road.

Then through more of the Kootneys. The views of the Rockies around Kimberly were great to see again, though I could not find a good place to pull over and get a photo (had the same problem years ago on a car road trip)

Got gas and motored on, only to get stopped outside of Elko, I mean, everyone stopped, there was a sign that said that there were some delays...


Well, I stretched, had a snack, took some antihistamine (the cottonwood is starting to be an issue) had some Advil for my back, finally searched and ... the road was closed for 3 hours! So, I got there 2 hours after it was closed.

I took some photos of the scenery (what there was)




But the overall feeling was ...


Turns out they were doing blasting. I wanted to meet up with my Bunk-a-Biker host before 5:45 MT and it took me 1 hour and 45 minutes to get past the blast site. On the other side there was a 7 km lineup of cars, and they had been alternating and a lot of westbound cars already went.

Wow.

But, soon enough through Fernie and ...


Hello Alberta. One province crossed.


The views from the other side of the Crowsnest are great as well




Then, shortly after, the Frank slide. Tragic part of the area's history


Even though I was trying to make some time, I had to wait for this train to come into the frame, and man, they were moving slow :)


In the end, I was right on time. To the point where Nancy's first question was, would you like some supper? So I had some spaghetti and meat sauce, drank a beer, got my tent setup.

We talked bikes and roads for hours, until finally at 9 pm I realize I hadn't called Michelle (my wife) so I got on that. No ride report that night because, we'll I was busy. Apparently to busy to get any photos, whoops.

Anyway here was the update for the day


I thought for a while if I should reset daily, but decided just to keep things counting up :)

Some stats
Wildlife: 2 deer, mama black bear and cub, 3 sheep (one was at least 3/4 curl) one coyote with a deathwish
Distance: 550 km
Overall sprits: High
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
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581
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Lotusland
What tire do you have on the front?

Looks like a wonderful trip - stay safe and have a great time!
Front is the Dunlop Trailmax Mission. I frequently mix front and rears. I'm fine with the rear sliding on gravel etc, but I want a decent tire for GS type roads. My past go-to was the K60 Scout front (paired with various rears). For this trip, since it's a lot of pavement, the Anakee III rear should do the trick. Plus, I had it in storage just sitting there ;)

So far the Trailmax Mission is good, handles the twisties well. Not enough gravel to comment :)
 

Alphalfa

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Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Beautiful ride, done that ride many times. The weather is always so unpredictable in the passes. I live in Regina, SK and planning a coast to coast next summer. Thanks for posting your trip.
 

lund

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Jul 8, 2019
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363
Location
Okanagan Valley, Canada.
Well, I stretched, had a snack, took some antihistamine (the cottonwood is starting to be an issue) had some Advil for my back, finally searched and ... the road was closed for 3 hours! So, I got there 2 hours after it was closed.
Dude, ditch the pack, especially a water pack those are the worst. It's not like you need that on your back, let the bike carry the weight.
1- water taste like crap in a camel pack
2-its unnecessary, your not riding remote, there are 7/11 and Tim Hortons everywhere.
3-its painful
My recommendation is carry a nice insolated water bottle with fresh water in it.
 

Pdrhound

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Mar 26, 2017
Messages
295
Location
High desert
I love the tire set up. Probably well thought out if even on accident. My new tenere has the missions and they are gravel approved!!!! That rear will definitely make it home.

Drove Moosejaw to Nova Scotia once with my dad. Your gonna watch grain elevators grow bigger for a million miles.

Platypus water bladders have zero taste, but for long highway trips, if my back was sore at all, I would lose it. Only time I ever rode with pack on tenere was my BB1500

Honk at my family when you pass Oshawa.
 

jeckyll

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May 11, 2016
Messages
581
Location
Lotusland
Quick update:

2 days of 30 - 50 km/h crosswinds (the guy at the hotel in SK yesterday said it gusted up to 80 km/h). I'm not going to be posting an day update today, probably combine a couple of days to summarize crossing the prairies.

Should be in Ontario tomorrow. Hopefully a 'calmer' day and I'll be around in time to post a proper update
 

jeckyll

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Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
581
Location
Lotusland
Dude, ditch the pack, especially a water pack those are the worst. It's not like you need that on your back, let the bike carry the weight.
1- water taste like crap in a camel pack
2-its unnecessary, your not riding remote, there are 7/11 and Tim Hortons everywhere.
3-its painful
My recommendation is carry a nice insolated water bottle with fresh water in it.
I've ridden in temps of 42 C multiple times, 37 C most years, and the record is 46. Water bladders are key to hydration. They other key is a good waist belt so that the weight sits on the hips, not the shoulders.

Clean you camelback, I've used the same bladder for over 8 years. Regular draining and drying are key.

You do you, I know what's worked for me for a decade and a half :)
 
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