The van was loaded with the two bikes and Highway 1 beckoned as my destination was some 14122kms away according to Tom Tom it was time to put some Km's behind us.
The Deerfoot Trail was an option to 16th Ave then again Crowfoot and Stoney all offered alternatives so having directed the travel up to now I sat back and took the route offered by the GPS as The Rockies became a massive mountain range in front of me.
Traffic on this Wednesday morning was light and soon discussions centred around the Calgary bid for the Winter Olympics as we passed COP (Canada Olympic Park) site of the 1988 Winter Olympics.
We noted again the massive waste of money, in a manner similiar to the wastage by Clover Moore, in Sydney as the great sculpture on Hwy 1 was passed again commenting on how could 4 pieces of rusted steel RSJ sections holding some natural rock slabs be worth $500,000.
Further out I reminded the Kawasaki H2 how it too had for a time called this Trail home but no tears were shed as it seeks the warmth again of the Australian sunshine 12 months of the year.
The town of Canmore was our first stop. The meal there a grilled cheese sanwich was not worth the effort and one wonders how a business that cant even get a grilled cheese sandwich correct can survive in the dog eat dog atmosphere of this tourist dominated town. The scenery brings the people in both summer and winter but there is immense choice of food and accommodation so to survive only the best can.
The plan was to visit Kamloops perhaps even stay the night as last year on my Indian Scout I had come across the Rockies on a totally different road and stopped in very small hamlets that served as winter ski resorts.
Golden and the Kicking Horse resort was a stop last year so as we were close I did visit and I always find it unique to be able to remember even small details such as a leaning signpost or an incorrect billboard while revisiting and this time Golden was remembered in vivid details even down to the Chinese food I ate at the local restaurant.
The town of Revelstroke was the nights stop and after a swim and soak in the motels hot tub a good family style meal was eaten at the local Denny's.
Later the next day in the afternoon my path did intersect again at The Dream Cycle Motorcycle Museum so naturally a visit was in order. I remet Mark the owner and as promised last year I showed him the Kawasaki H2 and saw the new exhibits he had this year. It also gave me the opportunity to personally thank him for the introduction he had arranged to a very private collection that not only was I allowed to see last year but I also accepted the opportunity this year to revisit and see the Crown in that collection a 1919 Indian Board Track Racer (genuine).
I was aware of the likelyhood of bad weather across the Rockies and Mark said snow was likely overnight on the main road known as The Highway Thru Hell as it contains both Rodgers Pass and the Coquihalla.
With local knowledge we pushed on to get over the mountains before nightfall. The advice received was soon a reality as snow began to fall after a long time of rain. Ideal conditions to form that dreaded Black Ice.
Kamloops was left to another visit and the day ended at Hope in British Colombia at The Heritage Inn.
Fortunately the snow didnt decend the pass and we awoke to a sunny morning and the opportunity after breakfast to visit 63011 Flood Hope Road Hope BC. I guess some of you will be asking what is important at that addresss? Well its the home to Jamie Davis Towing, the real life company from the Discovery Channel TV series Highway thru Hell. Jamie wasnt at home but a wreck was plus one of his heavy tow trucks and the businesses head office offered a personal nsite into the real life of a tow truck operator keeping these roads opened during the harsh Canadian winters.
The rain soon returned and followed us most of the remaning journey to Vancouver.
The drop off point for the two motorcycles had changed but was conveniently in the same direction as the airport. It was located with out incident and soon two motorcycles had a new temporary home as they await crating and then shipping back to Ausralia to be reunited with my other world travellers and the Triumph as it too is headed back home from Europe to Australia.
The bikes dropped it was time to return the Discount Car & Truck rental Ford Transit Hi Roof after refuelling. Fuel I thought was dear reaching 149.9c for 94 no ethanol rubbish even in hire vehicles. I had seen it as low as 129.9 however jumping ahead what a shock back here in Australia even if available 91 is around 165.9.
The van refuelled with a total cross Canada bill of $260 I was happy. The return depot was literally 600m away and after some delay, as they didnt know I was returning to that location, we were in their courtsey bus and delivered to the Vancouver International Airport ready for a 15hr 12500km flight to Sydney Australia.
With plenty of time between our 4pm arrival and our 11.50pm flight we had a leisurely check in and clearance of immigration and a golf cart ride to D52 the usual Air Canada lounge for A034 to Australia.
The flight had very little turbance and with generally good meals the flight was soon arriving (late) in Sydney but this was of no concern as our connecting flight was 4 hrs away so again a very leisurely cusoms & immigration clearing a rescreening for domestic (the only time on the trip an objectible official was encounted) before a free shuttle bus to the Sydney Domestic terminal, morning tea and a smooth flight to Armidale of 1hr 20m duration to reach the Highest City in Australia the starting point six months ago for this trip.