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Old 08-07-2010, 12:47 AM   #1
GISdood OP
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Location: Prince George, BC
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Anniversary road trip!

My wife and I celebrated our 4th anniversary yesterday, and today we packed up and headed out on the first of hopefully many two-wheeled road trips together.

Our recreational activities have always been outside and active, but nearly 3 years ago, my wife Brandi suffered a fractured T6 as a result of a car accident. Our outdoor activities like mountain biking and skiing/snowboarding have fallen by the wayside in the wake of her injuries.

We had purchased a 2002 DR650 about a year and a half prior to her accident, and it had primarily served as a trail bike. I insured the bike for commuter duty when she required daily use of our sole vehicle for her physiotherapy appointments.

I had ridden for years, but decided to take a refresher training course (seeing as I knew the owner of the school). I enjoyed the course a lot, and found myself helping some of my fellow students when the instructors were occasionally busy with other riders. Some time after the course, I was asked if I'd like to help out as an assistant instructor. That was 3 years ago.

Last summer, Brandi took the rider's training course and just recently acquired her full Class 6 BC rider's license! Yay!!!

So... enough background info, on to the trip!

I have one remaining grandparent - my dad's mother - who lives in a small town in Saskatchewan. Given her age, we try to get out and see her as often as possible. Now that Brandi has her full license, we decided to do the trip on bikes this year. Partly for the economics - much cheaper to ride than to drive our diesel-thirsty SUV - and partly for the 'adventure' aspect.

We plan to visit as many family members as possible along the route as well. Lots of riding and lots of visiting in a tight timeframe. 10 days, 3700 km. I started a 'ride prep' thread of sort in the Canadian section of the regional forums. The link for that thread is here.

Skipping ahead to today... I had intended for us to be on the road by noon. Getting shipped out of town for work for a week kinda sobtaged those good intentions, tho. It pushed back a bit of my maintenance and prep so much so that I was doing oil changes this morning before we left - while Brandi was sleeping in, I might add!

It was a little hectic trying to get everything in order, so I didn't take many pics. Hopefully I'll make up for that slow start in the days to follow. Here are the few shots I got today.

Finally... prep work all done and bike is loaded up and ready to go:

The weather sucked as we left town, so there were no departure photos. We found a bit of a dry spot east of Prince George at the Purden Lake Resort. We stopped in for a refreshment break and some snacks. If you happen stop in there, make sure to grab some of the homemade peanut butter cookies...OMG! Awesome! One bite will put a silly grin like this on your face:

Not long after that break, we caught up with the heavy part of the rain we'd been chasing east out of town and pulled over to don the rain gear:

Underway again, ready for anything. Well... anything wet, anyway:

Its been pretty hot and dry in the central interior of BC lately, and recent thunderstorms have sparked quite a few wildfires. The last count I saw on the BC Wildfire site was +600 active fires. You can see evidence of their numbers in the hazy vistas:

The stretch between PG and McBride is about as entertaining as chess match reruns. I got bored... started randomly snapping shots:

And an over-the-shoulder shot of Brandi following behind me:

Next rest/stretch break was Tete Jaune Cache. Mainly it was an exercise in bug scraping and visor cleaning. Also, it appears that the sugar in those peanut butter cookies has kicked in. Someone looks giddy!

And she of course insisted of getting a shot of me after I was mocking her for being on a sugar-high already this early in the trip:

That's the last of the pics for today, it got dark shortly thereafter. We rolled into Jasper as it got dark, filled up and followed a small string of cars using their headlights to see farther ahead and stayed with the leaders of that group until we arrived in Hinton for the night.

Tomorrow, Hinton to Edmonton - a short ride day for sure, but we'll be staying with family there, so it'll leave more time for visiting.

More to come tomorrow

GISdood screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 09:42 AM
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Old 08-07-2010, 10:01 AM   #2
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Looks like a great start. Enjoy the ride.
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:46 PM   #3
GISdood OP
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Day 2

Ack! My first ride report and I'm already days behind! Time for some catch-up!

Day 2 saw us leaving Hinton AB en route to my aunt & uncle's in Edmonton. A nice short ride for today.

Someone looks more than a little eager to hit the road:

Finally finished re-packing the DR - still playing around with load distribution at this point:

Group shot!

Helmet-head is "in", right?

The road east out of Hinton...rolling into greyish skies, but no rain so far.

Topping up in Edson:

Should be good for fuel all the way to Edmonton, now!

Snagged a shot of Brandi as I waved her ahead to take the lead:

Grey skies persisted, and the monotony of the freeway starts to set in:

And when the riding is boring, you find things to do to entertain yourself - like play with the camera!

Damn camera strap! This would have made a great shot, otherwise.

One last refreshment break by the roadside before we get into the Edmonton traffic.

Brandi's DRZ:

More messing around with the camera - it took me about 5 tries to get an in-focus shot that didn't cut off part of my helmet or show part of the camera in the reflection, too:

The taffic got heavy not long after this, so the camera got stashed as we wound through city traffic to our destination for the evening. More of the next day's photos coming shortly!

GISdood screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 09:51 AM
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:09 PM   #4
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Made it to Trail finally. We'll be here a couple days, so hopefully I can get caught up on the rr.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
GISdood OP
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Day 3

Well, we're in Hope tonight for Brandi's birthday - her 30th. She was born on a Friday the 13th, so staying with her family on a Friday seemed rather fitting. Happy birthday, sweetie!!!

The rest of her extended family here in Hope just left for the evening so I'm gonna try and get caught up on this RR...

Day 3 - Edmonton to Lloydminster

The original plan (hah! so much for that!) was to make it from Edmonton to Eston in a day. The late start and night riding combined with the miles we'd made so far were already taking their toll on Brandi's back so we decided to cut it short today and booked ahead to stay in Lloydminster for the night.

We managed a moderately early start out of Edmonton, and were fuelled up and on the road out of Edmonton before noon (ok.. so its early by OUR standards).

Bikes were fuelled... time for Brandi to refuel!

Caffeine FTW! (This one's for you, Amanda!)

My dad and stepmom were on their way back from visiting my grandmother in Eston while we were heading east, so we had received word from them that they were going to be spending a day camping in Mundare AB, so that's where we headed. Unfortunately, that meant staying on the the Yellowhead (Hwy 16). Whee. More boring 4-lane freeway riding.

We decided to pony up a few bucks and cut through Elk Island Park instead of staying on the main hwy to the junction north to Mundare. You can tell from the look on Brandi's face how exhilirating the ride has been so far today:

We found a bench on the beach and enjoyed some sunshine for a bit:

Then it was back out onto the parkway - BEAUTIFUL road... too bad the speed limit was 60km/h.

Some more of the parkway:

And one more for good measure:

We exited the park and got onto a secondary hwy to Mundare. Now I know a lot of you have seen some of the 'larger than life' landmarks that Canada has to offer, but this is by far the oddest one that I've seen so far. Apparently this is the world's largest sausage (no man-sausage jokes, please!)

I guess the original proprietor of the local butcher shop was a rather well-respected member of the community. Some years after his passing (and the original business still bears his name) the staff and present ownership erected this monument as a memorial.

Call me traditional or old-fashioned, but I think I'd prefer a nice headstone, thanks.

And some background info to the 'erection' of this 'huge sausage'

And then there was this oddity at the same site... a blue bison painted with Ukrainian easter eggs:

Seemed rather odd to me, but maybe meat isn't the only thing they smoke in Mundare.

And speaking of easter eggs - or pysankas for you hardcore Ukrainians - here's another of those larger-than-life Canadian landmarks. The largest pysanka in the world in Vegreville, Alberta:

Its fairly large, but it must be pretty light. It looked like Brandi could have held this thing up all day!

And another shot to show a little better size comparison:

After that, it was back out onto Hwy 16 to pound out some more freeway miles en route to Lloydminster:

After this shot, the weather turned ugly, so it was time to break out the rain gear and stash the camera. Day 4 update coming up shortly!

GISdood screwed with this post 11-06-2012 at 10:03 AM
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