July 27, 2003 GMT
Closing the circle
Gitte, which I've met at the hostel in Radium some two weeks ago, has written me an email that she and her brother will stay in downtown by some friends they met in the rockies.
So on the next day I walked around in the city alone and bought some stuff.
It was getting again a sunny day, after the morning was wet from rain in the night.
In the afternoon the temperature have been again over 30 degrees and I went to the beach.
Only a few hundreds meter beneath the hostel there was a big (so called) Folk Festival, but the music we could here good at the Hostel and the beach was anything else but no folk!
At eleven the music (or whatever) stopped and soon lot of people arrived at the hostel.
Just when I started my computer in the lounge in the hostel, Gitte and her brother Christian stood in front of me!
The are now for two nights in this hostel, and we talked until twelve about our trips.
Next morning was sunny again and it will be just as hot as it was in the Okanagan!
Christian wanted to stay in the hostel, because he want to play on his saxophon, later he wanted to play in downtown.
I took Gitte with me on my bike to the UBC, we were in the botanical gardens and then at the campus.
Back in the hostel we tried to get a helmet for rent, but we've got none.
So I gave her mine again and we went to Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Both were very touristic places and after that we were in West Vancouver at the Cypress P.Park, with a great scenic view over Vancouver!
Again we could see the Mt. Baker, but it was now too hot and we rode down to English Bay for a refreshing swim in the ocean.
A great idea!
In the evening we ate our diner and later we took a walk at the Locarno Beach, with a wonderful sundown!
Tomorrow I have to go to the Airport, to leave my bike at the airfreight station.
It was again hot and sunny when I went back to the city - in the morning I had to say goodbye to Gitte and Christian, they went to the hostel downtown.
I was the last time in the city to buy some gifts and for internet, in the afternoon I ate a good sandwich in "Hell's Kitchen", a great place in Kitsilano.
Back at the hostel it was too hot to stay inside and I needed a swim to refresh me.
Later I got my last diner in the cafe at the hostel and talked with Hans and some of his friends.
Before sleeping I fixed all my stuff in the roll and the backpack.
The night was short and I didn't sleep weel, so I went early in the morning to the cafe.
Hans gave my some apricots for the flight and I took a taxi to the airport.
I arrived there before a quarter to nine, more than 1.5 hours before my flight!
But I had to line up in one line for all canadian flights from Air Canada and when I finally got to the check in counter at ten, I've been told that I'm too late for my flight!!!
The next flight to Toronto at 11.30 a.m. should leave me not enough time to change planes!
So what now?!
I had to go to a ticketing counter to get a new flight back home.
At last I got one from Lufthansa, which would leave Vancouver at 4.15 p.m.!!
So I had to wait for more than 6 hours!
Finally I boarded a quarter to four and at ten in the morning I arrived at Frankfurt airport!
The flight to Munich was good and short and after 20 hours I arrived at least at my home in Munich!
Despite all the problems I had with my flights, the transport of my bike was absolutely easy to manage!
So what can I say now about this trip? - these have been wonderful, great six weeks with lots of new email addresses, sunshine, almost no rain and hundreds of pictures, I will never forget this journey through the beautiful western Canada!
Someday I'll be back again!!!
I hope you've enjoeyed with me this trip and these words I've written here, so write me, if you want to know more or make your comments on this page!
All the best for everyone!!
Posted by Horst Erntl at 08:55 PM
July 21, 2003 GMT
Back into the Mountains
Another hot morning and I took my time to pack all my stuff slowly on the bike.
Some of my neighbours (Germans and Welsh) were talking to me and finally I left to get into the Manning P.Park in the Csacade Mountains.
The day was hot again and also in the mountains it didn't cool down really!
In the Park I found a nice rustic campground and drove around a bit.
In the evening it cooled down a little bit and I enjoyed my campfire.
Next morning started sunny again and I had a wonderful trip through the park until I've arrived in Hope.
Here it was hot again (over 30 degrees!)
And I ate a little bit in a restaurant!
I saw here some good "chainsaw" cutted statues, looking really good!
In the afternoon I went on the Highway No. 1 up the Fraser River to Alexandra Bridge (a former roadbridge over the River) and then to Hell's Gate, where a famous suspension bridge goes over the river, which you can only reach with a short trip on a gondola!
It's a very touristic place, but worth to look on it!
Around six in the evening I've stopped in Lytton and it was still very hot!
The last 60 kilometres up to Lillooet were wonderful, no traffic and a good road for motorbikes to travel on, with the beautiful surrounding at the Fraser.
In Lillooet I've found a good campground for my tent and drove after fixing up my place, to the town to eat something in an greek restaurant.
Just standing in the front one biker stopped aside of me and we had together our diner.
After that he took me to his place to show me his truck (550 horsepowers and a V6 Zylinders).
After that we met us again for a drink in the Pub and finally I went down to the Campground to start my last fire in Canada!
The night is beautiful and I see a plenty of stars right above me.
At least I go around midnight in my sleeping bag and have my last night in my tent!
On another bright morning I started off for the last two days in the mountains;
The Highway 3 until Hope was wonderful and very scenic, but arriving at Hope with more than 32 degrees Celsius wasn't really a pleasure.
I visited the "Othello Quintette Tunnels" from the former "Kettle Valley Railway".
Amazing engineers have built these tunnels right beneath the river, in a straight line and with several bridges between in the early years of the last century!
Back in Hope I've seen the chainsaw carved statues and eaten a little bit, before leaving up north again, to Lytton.
The Highway 1 up the Fraser River is now a big stream and a touristic attraction, especially at Hell's Gate.
In Lytton I've left the Highway 1 again and headed northwest until Lillooet, still in the Valley of the Fraser.
Now almost no traffic was there and the surrounding spectacular and the road wonderful for motorbikes!
Arrived in Lillooet I've found a campground beneath the river and met a guy on a Harley (well, these are also humans) and after a beer in the pub I started my last campfire here in Canada.
It was a great night, lots of stars to see and not very loud.
On the next morning, sunny again, I took the road down to Pemberton and Whistler; this part of the highway is my favourite road now, one of the best of my whole trip!
At one rest place I've met some folks on bikes and in a RV (these were dutch). We talked and got a good tea / coffee from the Dutch, but then I had to go on.
In Pemberton I found a small restaurant and got a good sandwich and a shake for less then 8 Dollars
Later in Whistler there has been much more expensive places in the village, which was bustling with thousands of people around - too many for me!
So I drove down the Highway until Squamish, where I met the Pacific again in the evening.
Only half an hour later I stood in West Vancouver and looked down on the huge city, with a big mountain in the back, snowcapped - the Mt. Baker in Washington State, over 120 km away!!!
Around eight in the evening I checked in at the Jericho Beach Hostel again.
Posted by Horst Erntl at 05:12 PM
July 20, 2003 GMT
The hottest place in Canada!?
The morning in Nelson was again a sunny one and by packing my bike I've met two other Canadians on bikes who wanted to go up to Revelstoke but they didn't want to go over Kaslo.
In the morning I've decided to go back earlier to Germany despite the inflammation was getting a little better, but I didn't want to challenge!
So I phoned to "Motorcycleexpress" and about two hours later I should call them again to get a new departure date for my motorbike.
So I had much time to got to Kaslo back again and it was a wonderful ride along the Kootenay Lake with sunshine and about 28 degrees!
In Kaslo I saw one public phone but it didn't work, and I've stopped at a small pizza place for one slice and a beer.
Two guys where looking on my bike, of course they have been also bikers and they decided to take their lunch with me.
We talked long time and then Jerry invited me to his office to phone again motorcycleexpress.
This worked good and now I had the departure date: 24th of July, leaving it at the airport on 22nd.
After that I felt better and now I spent my time have a look on the S.S. Moyie, an old sternwheeler which have been running on the lake at least to 1956!
They've done a great job to renovate the ship and all the things inside!
But now the road to New Denver was waiting and today I've got the sunny weather to enjoy it!!!
It was really great, only a few cars and many curves!
Arriving in Nakusp I took the highway south to Fauqier where the ferry crossed the Lake again to Needles.
The monashee pass brought me then to the Okanagan valley, where I arrived around seven in the evening at Vernon, still 30 degrees hot!
I found one provincial park campground (no showers or washrooms) and got the last possible place for my tent!
The next days I've spent near Summerland on another provincial park campground, but this time with washrooms and showers.
It was all days hot there (above 35 degrees!) and so a swim in the Lake was very refreshing!
One day I've driven to Osoyoos, only five kilometres north of the US-Boundary.
There I've watched a forest-fire which was burning also the next day!
But this fire stopped me, because one highway has been closed and the clouds from it just hitted all the hills around, so I couldn't see anything from their top!
In Penticton I phoned to Air Canada and got a new flight back home on July 23rd.
So now this is it and I'll leave Vancouver in 10 days!!
Posted by Horst Erntl at 09:12 PM
Through the Rockies one last time
I've tried last night to meet the former owner of the Lodge, but unfortunately he hasn't been in his restaurant.
So on the next day I checked out at the lodge (wasn't really a cheap stay) and I've started to go on west on a beautiful morning!
First was a stop at the Lake Louise Ski Area; they had build a lot new houses there, but it reminded me to the skidays we had here a few years ago.
Then (with more clouds, but still warm) I went ot to the Yoho National Park.
One time when I'd stopped for picture, a black shadow was runnig right in front of me over the road - a black bear took the chance to cross, but it was too fast for me and my camera!
Coming nearer to Rogers Pass the weather changed dramatically and just about 30 km before the pass I've got one heavy thunderstorm hitting me.
At the pass it was dry for a few minutes, so I could make my pictures and then it started again to rain.
A few kilometers later all was gone and I've got it warm again, when I was travelling through the Glacier National Park.
Finally I've arrived in Revelstoke, where I took one night in the "same sun hostel".
I went to the Main Street where a small open air concert took place and after that I had one beer in a pub, next to the hostel.
Next day started with lots of clouds but still warm and I've decided to get up the Mt. Revelstoke Park to see the meadows up there.
The 25 km up have been wonderful, all the time sunny and a lot of curves to circle through!
After arriving on the upper parking lot I've taken the bus to the meadows, but right then I've had a new shower and it seemed to be a longer one!
So I rushed down to my bike, took the rain stuff on and drove carefully back down to the town.
Arriving there I've got it sunny again and the ride until the ferry to Nakusp was beautiful.
At the port I've meet two canadians on smaller Yamahas and they told me about the road from New Denver to Kaslo.
It should be a wonderful bike road and I decided to go on this one.
But today I had bad luck with the weather and it rained at least until my arriving in Nelson.
So I wanted to have a room and got one in the "New Grand Hotel", what costed me almost the same than one room in the hostel in Vancouver.
The evening was fine again and the weather forecast for the next day was good!
Posted by Horst Erntl at 08:49 PM
July 11, 2003 GMT
Montana and Kootenay + Banff
In the morning I've left Waterton after a good breakfast at the Northland Lodge, I had luck with the weather because it was really not good looking, especially when I've arrived at the Glacier Natinoal Park in Montana.
But It still kept dry and I've got the Logans Pass without rain.
It's really a pity that the weather wasn't as good as the landscape, but it is wonderful here.
In the afternoon I moved on to Whitefish and then Eureka near the border.
I drove finally up to Kimberley, which was a mining city, but mines were closed in the 60/70ies and so they build up "The Platzl" a mall with bavarian (or alpine) looking houses.
There I spent two nights at "Chef Bernards" with ORIGINAL SCHNEIDER WEISSE!!!
And I've also got here real Schnitzel and Spanferkel!!!
A good place!
On one day I made a short trip in the area, to Fort Steele, a rebuild town from the late 90ies of the 1800s.
But then I headed back north again and ended after a really hot day in Radium Hot Springs in the Hostel there.
Really nice people are running this place. Jeff (Aussie) and Gabi (German from Neuss) and I've met here Andreas from Zurich and Gitte from Nuernberg, but were for studies in Kingston, Ontario one year now.
We had a wonderful timer here and I took one relaxing day to wash my stuff.
The weather wasn't that good on this day, a lot of thunderstorms came through, but in the evening all was gone I could get a good meal at the Back Country Restaurant (looking very rustic).
Next day I went north through the Kootenay National Park, with lot of clouds, but no rain.
Finally I arrived again in Canmore and took the a few nights in the Rundle Mountain Lodge, which I know from my last visit here, seven years ago!
It's still looking the same but there are other people now running this Motel.
The former owner is right across the street running a restaurant.
I relaxed this day, because on thursday I wanted to drive to Calgary for the famous stampede there!
The started with blue sky and hot weather and so it was until the evening!
Within 1,5 hours I was in Calgary, took the ride up the tower and had a good overlook over the huge grown city and the Stampede Place.
After strolling around in the pedestrians mall (yes something like this is also existing here!!!), I went to the Stampede Place, paid quite a few dollars to get in, to eat and drink and to go to the chuckwagon races!
It's a kind of Octoberfest, but with less Beertents and in one building there has been "Little Las Vegas", crazy guys!!
Finally I've watched the races, and then I got back to Canmore at midnight.
Next day I came to Banff again, to buy some souvernirs and to take then a ride up to the Sulphur mountain with a gondola.
It was another hot day and in the afternoon I relaxed again a bit, because of some problems with my chronic inflammation.
I hope it will not take too long, to get over this, otherwise I have to return earlier than planned.
Posted by Horst Erntl at 10:11 PM
July 10, 2003 GMT
At the southeastern end
Here we go again - Whe I started in the morning from Banff Campground, I just got my stuff dry on the bike.
But then the thunderstorm started only a few kilometers later!
I was on the Highway #1 when the wind was pushing me almost from the road and the rain made it even worse to drive on.
So I've decided after fueling up, to go back in the mountains, because the thunderstorm was on its way around them.
In Canmore I got good stuff to eat at noon and one houer later I had wonderful weather, getting warm again in the sun!
So it was really a great drive over the Highwood pass, which is the highest pass in Canada with about 2200 m!
After returning to the plains I've went on with heavy and steadily wind, coming out of the mountains on my right side, until I've arrived after 500 km the Waterton Lakes Natinal Park in the evening.
There I got only for one night a bed in the hostel (camping would really not be good in this heavy wind!) and there I met Ncik from Oakland.
He is travelling around for a few months and we went to the village for a beer (or two) in one of the pubs.
The next two days I've got a wonderful room in the Northland Lodge and I took a ride on the lake to the US american side of it at Goat Haunt.
But they didn't allow me to hike a trail, because I had only one ID with me!!
So I got back to Waterton and drove up some of the smaller roads, like the one to Red Rock Canyon.
By coming back I've suddenly seen a few people standing around, because of - a moose with a young cub, just down in the creek!
The next day I've been travelling to the Crowsnest Pass and to Fort McLeod, where the "Head smashed in Buffalo Jump" is placed!
Also the Fort was very interesting for me.
More next time!
Posted by Horst Erntl at 09:00 PM
July 01, 2003 GMT
Banff National Park
When I started in Jasper, I had a wonderful weather, it seems to be better and better each day!
So I took my time and made a lot of pictures on the way to the Saskatchewan River Crossing, where turned of on Highway 11 until Nordegg.
There I wanted to travel on the "Foresty Trunk Road", but almost 300 km on this gravel road wouldn't be really good, so I turned back again and went on to the Columbian Icefields.
I slept on night on a rustical campground at the Moscito Creek and the next day I went on until Banff.
The weather is hotter than yesterday but much more windy!
Here in Banff I hade a wonderful evening at the Grizzlyhouse and a good night on the Tunnel Mountain Campground.
Now today, on July 1st, they are celebrating the "Canada-Day" and I've seen a big group of the RCMP, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police" and a few other fine things.
Tomorrow I'll leave for the Waterton Park.
The more to read here!
Posted by Horst Erntl at 08:11 PM