Back to Canada

Nice evening at Camp Gonzo, spending the evening with the guys and a whole other set of people was fun but it’s time to get on the road again. Heading north towards Canada now and I’ve got a bit of a gamble ahead of me. It’s late in the summer and I hope not to meet any snow, snow and motorbike are not the best of friends. To start with I have elected to avoid the Glacier National Park in north Montana, the Going-to-the-sun road would have been great to ride, but I’m fairly sure it’s beyond the weather conditions.

The long road north
It look like it was a good idea not to go, looks like it’s stormy up there.

First stop in Canada is in Kimberly with a friend, Jenny. I met her in the HI in Halifax and she’s now in British Columbia for a few months, working as well as looking forward to the ski season.

Jenny and Mel on my off day, relaxing in front of the laptop.

The time spent in Kimberley was so badly needed. I had a lot of fun in the last fortnight in the states but, between the Burning Man, the parks and the rafting it rather took my mental energy level to 0.

I’m leaving for the north again and the Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper leg of the Rocky exploration with a bit of trepidation. It’s rather cold and I am wrapped into many layers of clothing but the real worry is precipitation, if there is any it most certainly will be snow.


The Canadian Rockys are as superb as I expected.
But the tops are already covered in snow.
The trees have lost their leaves.
And the water is a rather glacier milk colour
Nonetheless I get to Alberta, the 7th and second last province of Canada I will cross.

I get to Banff not a minute too soon, I’m freezing. The hostel is really nice and the weather turning for the better so I go down to the village for a walk. Banff feels a little bit like aspen and Jackson Hole, it looks like the place where people with money go, well, to spend it I guess.

Cascade Mountain
Could be South Tirol really.
Bow river and Sundance Peak.
The clouds are nevertheless gathering.

I enjoy the easy going life of the hostel in the evening and even watch a movie, I seem to live constantly behind in my effort to keep the blog up to date so I do a bit of that and then it’s time to turn in to bed.

When I wake up in the morning I am greeted with some excitement by a young lady with whom I shared the room who informs me, wearing a big smile, that it’s snowing outside. I think I replied with a four letter word and then proceeded to look out of the window. It’s snowing all right, and my motorbike is well covered in the white stuff.

After some mental arithmetic and a bit of soul searching I elect to turn west and abandon the plan to visit Jasper. I might stop in Lake Louise if the weather improves but otherwise, it will be for another time.

Somebody commented on FB: “Christmas bike”
The back of the hostel as seen by me
The back of the hostel as seen by Google.
A long cold day riding

It was a good call, I did not stop in Lake Louise in the end, it was snowing too much and I just wanted to get over the mountain to a better climate. The plan had seen a radical change and, as well as an unexpected stop in Kelowna, I had gained one day which I am planning to spend on Vancouver Island.

The hostel in Kelowna is rather cool, the hippest I’ve been so far. I spend the evening conversing with mostly Canadians and spend some time admiring the total wisdom of some of the writings on the wall left by passing travellers like me.

If I open an hostel I’ll have colour lights everywhere.
Wall wisdom.

Which only leaves me one rather short day to get to the west coast. This day however includes another of my novelty places, Hope. Hope is a small town in the British Columbia Rocky Mountains which claim to fame is to have been the set for the 1982 immortal masterpiece of modern cinematography which is Rambo: First Blood.

I can still remember a Saturday afternoon back then when I was 13 when, with a bunch of friend from the swimming team, we went to the Cinema Raffaello in Modena to see this quintessential Cold War epic.

The place has not changed radically, they have an information centre that sells a bunch of Rambo memorabilia, they also have a visiting Hope magazine which offers a self guided around town tour of Rambo locations.

Self guided tour.
Had I had someone to take the picture…
Main street mostly as it was in the movie
The original police station, relocated and donated to a veteran club.
And then west all the way to Vancouver

I am glad to have come back to Canada, I did not get to do the things I wanted to but I saw Jenny, Hope and, here on the west coast, the weather seems to be a lot kinder. I still have Vancouver and Vancouver Island to see and I will try and get in touch with a couple of Spaniards I met in Uruguay, they told me they were thinking of coming to Canada after South America.

I’m here

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