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VACATION 99

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We rode south from Nanaimo about 100 miles to the World Renowned Butchart Gardens. Although interesting, the gardens were not as impressive as I had been led to believe, but it would have been senseless to have been this close and not have seen them.

Butchart Gardens


More of the Gardens

After the gardens we rode to Swartz Bay and took another ferry back to Tsawwassen, just south of Vancouver, and called it a day.

MOTEL TO STAY AWAY FROM

The ELDORADO on Kingsway in Vancouver.

We recommend the Quality Inn on Kingsway. Secure motorcycle parking, laundry onsite, and a great restaurant and attached Pub (say hi to Luk the waiter).

Tuesday July 6

T-shirt weather all day!! We stopped at Trev Deeley Harley Davidson in Vancouver and met a very friendly and helpful staff. Lauren bought T-shirts and I was impressed with the inventory of bikes they had on the floor. Lauren got a copy of all the dealerships in B.C. and Alberta, so as not to miss any T-shirt purchasing opportunities! We decided to take Route 5, the Okanagan Super Highway, across B.C. (the highest speed limit in Canada 110 KM or about 70 MPH). Our next stop was Kamloops Harley Davidson (more T-shirts) and again we were greeted by a friendly and helpful staff. We called it a day in Clearwater, B.C. and checked into the Clearwater Lodge. This was by far the best lodging we experienced on our entire trip, and it is located right on the highway.

Wednesday July 7

We awoke to a heavy, steady rain. Fortunately, the Lodge had a nice indoor pool and hot tub, so we decided to sit out the storm there. I met Ron Scott, the foreman of a crew of pavement stripers. These guys work 7 months straight, 5 days a week (unless it rains) and then get 5 months paid vacation. He has been doing this for 20 years, (gee I wonder why?). He was rained in also, so we took off in his truck and found a job skill center that allowed us the use of their computers to play on the internet for a couple hours (FREE). Lauren and Talena spent the day at the pool and hot tub, watching movies, and in the gift shop. The restaurant on site is EDITH'S BISTRO and served great food. Edith does all the cooking.

Thursday July 8

Weather still threatening, but it was time to travel. We had to change our travel plans as the storm we sat out on Wednesday dropped a lot of fresh snow on Banff, so we decided to ride straight to Jasper and then Edmunton and give it a couple of days for them to get the roads clear and then backtrack to Banff. Pulled out about 8:00 am. The roads were dry, but there was no doubt we were going to get wet, and we did. About three hours into our day, we came across our first wildlife. A mother black bear and her two cubs were feeding about 30 feet off the highway. They were so busy working their way through a berry patch, that they didn't pay us much attention. We got some great video, but by the time we got the 35mm unpacked they had moved up the canyon, we were hopeful that some of the snapshots would come out good enough for posting, but no such luck.

Mama Black Bear

CONTINUE