Kamloops to Banff

Getting to our Rendezvous Point! Kamloops to Banff

I recall looking out

over the local area, there was not much too see, whilst eating breakfast. The most important job of the day, to make contact with Hauke who should be in Calgary where he was to have secured the release of his and Frithelm’s bikes from the custom’s impound. The impound is where their bikes would have been taken upon unloading from the aircraft. That phone call needed to be made at one o’clock local time.

Jez and I set off from Kamloops for Calgary at about 09.30 and I thought that I could do this journey in about three and a half hours.

In my handwritten notes I  say this was optimistic – exclamation mark.

You see, Kamloops to Calgary, as anyone who regularly made that journey in 2002 will tell you, is at a distance of 384 miles, some say you can do this in just shy of seven hours, others suggest eight hours.

I had only allowed myself three and a half hours

Conjure with those names 

Bearing in mind the lead up to the MileMakerTour and all of the frustrations that I encountered trying and failing to bring my Triumph SprintExec motorcycle across from the UK, it felt really good to sit in the saddle of our Wing and fire up her motor to start day two of our adventure.

Read back the names on the map of the towns on Trans-Canadian Highway – Monte Creek, Pritchard, Chase, Sorrento, Tappen, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Malakwa, Craigellachie, Revelstoke, Canyon Hot Springs, Golde, Leancholi, Field, Lake Louise, Banff. They conjure ideas of the people that named them – Native American and Gaelic influences perhaps – but this gave me no sense of the huge size of this country. As we rode we discovered that fact!

The long, no, very long, Canadian Pacific trains that rumble along the rails which tend to run adjacent the highway do give scale to the place. Similarly the river that flows away from Sushwap Lake

image of a map
Trans Canadian Highway I1 Kamloops - Banff
Shuswap Lake and Mount Bastion

We passed timber yards, the Canadians call them lumber yards, where the felled pine trees are processed into the stock materials for manufacturing industry and building. As the machines cut away the bark and then section up the wood the scent of pine pitch is everywhere present at this time of year. 

I was intrigued to pass a Lafarge works and guessed that this is where they make plasterboard. I only knew of Lafarge from their plasterboard which I became acquainted with as a Fire Safety Officer specifying fire safety standards to be achieved in new builds and refurbishments of various property classes. British Gypsum was, in the 1980’s and 1990’s the reference standard for people like me. In the UK Lafarge was the new kid on the block. How little did I know?

Today, Lafarge North America is part of one of the largest and most diverse markets in the world. Lafarge North America began by offering customers high-quality Portland cement with excellent customer service. Since that time, Lafarge North America has expanded its role in cement as well as developed operations in aggregates, concrete, and asphalt. 

Lafarge North America includes approximately 900 locations in one of the world’s largest and most diverse markets. As the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada, our products are used in residential, commercial, and public works constructions projects.

In 1956, Paris-based Lafarge expanded its worldwide operations to North America by opening the Richmond Cement Plant in British Columbia.

Lafarge is committed to providing products using sustainable manufacturing practices and improving the environment in and around its plants. Through myriad projects at locations around North America, Lafarge has worked to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, restore wetlands for native plants and animals, and identify waste materials that can be recycled and used at Lafarge plants.

As it turns out, I knew very little about this global company! We drove on as I mused about plasterboard.

At Revelstoke we stopped at the Best Western where I phoned Hauke in Calgary using the free phone calls between BW hotels.

I’m now, in 2017, wondering whether in 2002 I owned a mobile phone of my own? After a little research in the Nokia museum I found my phone. Guess what – I still have it and if I charge it up it works! Good old Nokia.

When we were connected, Hauke told me that they had made good progress. They were now ready to get going. On reflection, they would probably have left already had they been able to let me know. to save time and unnecessary miles, we agreed to meet up in Banff allowing them to get moving. 

You can’t it seems travel anywhere without encountering MacDonalds and Jez spotted one and ordered up burgers for us both at Revelstoke where the trade was lunchtime busy. I wonder if this was where we saw the guy with the beautifully restored hot rod? Do you remember the car Jez?

The GL1200 brought the Gold Wing to the outer limits of the four-cylinder engine’s performance and sophistication. The added power and torque of the larger, 1182cc engine made this Gold Wing the king of its class in 1984, with a combination of smoothness and low-rpm acceleration that couldn’t be matched. The addition of hydraulic valve adjustment now made the Wing virtually maintenance-free. At the same time, chassis improvements made the big Wing feel amazingly agile, and open-road comfort was superlative.  

Read more on the excellent Honda pages


image contains a motorcycle

The road now takes us into Canada’s Glacier National Park and on to Golden. It was in Golden, whilst fuelling the Wing, that we met Maurice and Jeanette from Regina, Saskatchewan who were heading home on their GL1200 Goldwing, trailer towing, rig.  When we met they still had a ten hour, 635 mile drive ahead of them. 

I’m taking a break for today (well yesterday actually since it’s past midnight) Enjoy reading!