We woke to a rain storm, but on the satellite it looked like it was going to pass by noon. When we set out at 1130 it was already pretty much stopped raining. The oil light on the 650 was briefly flashing on start up yesterday, but the dip stick level was “good”?! ( this has been an issue with difficulty reading the oil level since we had the oil pan off for repair in Malaysia). Today after 2 days sitting the light was on for longer. We rode over to the Coop and rechecked the oil and at a flatter location it was low and we added 250 cc. The light was still flashing very briefly on at start up only. Hoping to get home without having the bike on a truck.
We continued north and then west on the 41 for the 378 km to Kindersley.
It was warmer today at 16, but the cloud cover continued until 4 pm. We stopped south of Saskatoon for gas and to check the oil again and it was apparently good.
We has a rest and a snack in Rosetown at 4 and this was when the sun was finally out and it was now 26.
We had 85 km to Kindersley. Checking the oil again it was still an issue and in the end we added another 250 cc. There are a few hotels here and we checked into one on the main drag. The bike is running better, but the oil thing is stressful. It is burning a bit for sure with the huge mileage and I think we got fooled by the level of the dip stick. We are wondering if the guys in Malaysia did not reinstall the oil pan/gasket properly after it was repaired.
This morning it is 10 degrees and after warming the bike we topped it up with another 250 cc and the fuel light is no longer flashing at start up. That said we had also put 250 cc in the 800 and were happy there was a Walmart just up the road to get another liter of oil. We have 1200 km to go and as long as we keep the oil topped up we are sure we can make it home. Luckily today it is just 321 km to Brooks Alberta.
We continued west on the 7 to the Alberta border after 63 km and it changes to the 9.
We then turned south on the 36 just before Hanna. It hits the TransCanada just 10 km west of Brooks.
We got to Brooks at 3 after 321 km. There are a lot of hotel choices here. but we settled on a small motel with a kitchenette. They are calling for snow later this week, but it is still 4-5 degrees at night now.
We rode north to the 544 and then east to the Dinosaur Provincial park. This is an active dig site for Tyrell archaeologists. It is a chilly 9 degrees this afternoon and we are happy to head back to the motel and snuggle in for the rest of the day.
We had a nice late start today so it would warm up a bit and was 11 degrees when we left for Calgary at 10am.
We got on the TransCanada west until Gleichen and then veered south towards High River. There are several First nations settlements, but no where for lunch and so we diverted back to the highway at Strathmore on the #1 to hit the Husky Station for a hearty real Canadian meal. We then rode south off the 1 on the 24 to arrived to Kevin (who we met in 2017 in Kazakhstan) and Lisa’s by 130.
We had a great evening with them and Carrie (also fro 2017 in Kazakhstan) as well. The guys regaled us with the trials and tribulation of their second attempt to get to Mongolia. Last year their group of 5 dropped to 2 by the time we met them on the way to Almaty. We are feeling pretty lucky that we all made it on our planned route with all 4 bikes.
It was 6 degrees when we left Kevin’s this morning for the short ride to Dan’s childhood haunt Peter’s drive in for burgers and milkshakes when it is 8 degrees?! Trevor was working nearby and joined us and then set us up at his place for the evening. For dinner we all met at a local Uzbek restaurant for dinner.
We have a detour from our trip for the next 2 days we are flying to Vancouver for an event and then arriving back to Calgary. It is a good thing as snow is forecast for the weekend and it is supposed to warm up Monday for our last 700 km!!! It was a quick 90 min to Vancouver by plane! We managed to get party outfits as riding clothes would not do, sim cards, pedicures, and a quick visit to Dan’s parents who were in town for a surprise visit before we headed to the party.
The flight back is another quick 90 min and Trevor picked us up. We headed into the city for a bit of a walk along the river and then went to pick up Guðmundur. You might remember him as the rider from Iceland that we knew on line, but met randomly on the way to Ushguli Georgia and then again in Ulan Ude Russia. He saw our post about Peter’s drive in with Trevor and messaged us that he will arrive today to Calgary on his way back from Alaska. He is shipping his bike from there to Frankfurt on Tuesday. We had a nice dinner out and heard all about his trip.
We have been obsessively checking out the forecast as we are trying to “thread the needle” to get thru the rockies with the best conditions and it looks like tomorrow is the day. This means today we will ride to see a few folks even thought it is 3 degrees and drizzling.
We set out west on the #1 first to Bowness to see Dan’s Aunt Annamieka . We had learned that his Uncle was very sick when we were in Toronto and decided to speed up our trip to try and see him. He unfortunately passed away just after we left Toronto. We were sad to miss him, but still happy to be able to visit with the family.
It is now 2 degrees and we rode further west to the #22 and then south to Bragg Creek and west again to Pridis. On the way here it was 1.5 degrees!! We arrived to the home of Blaine and Lenka, who had a nice wood fire stove stoked up for us. Blaine we first met in Banos Ecuador in 2013 and then again in Ushuaia in 2014. He has been to SA and even Ushuaia several times and the last in 2017 with Lenka. It was so nice to finally meet her. She even knows Orvar as they were on the Stahlratte together in 2013. She prepared us a very delicious lunch and Blaine talked with “word gusts” up to 15 words per second. Actually we had a great time hearing telling and listening to each others stories.
It is now 430 pm and about 2 degrees. We have a back track to the 22 and then the Springbank road to the home of Dan’s aunt and uncle Ruth and Gordon. They warmly welcomed us with an open garage to park the bike and a delicious meal. We had a lovely evening to visit them.
Looking at the weather, the highway cams, and pavement thermometers along our route today look like it will be optimal as predicted. This is a 24 hour window of warmer weather.
Setting out from Springbank it was 6 degrees, but it warmed up to 8 by the time we got to the Banff National Park.
This is where we “connected the lines” when we passed under the Icefields parkway overpass.
It was a bit colder between Banff and lake Louise down to 4, but when we got stopped for 30 min for blasting 15 km from Field it was 3 and we had to do some jumping jacks. In total we had 4 traffic delayed for construction of the twinning of the highway and today this cost us over an hour.
WE MADE IT HOME TO BC!!
We made it to Golden to the Husky for lunch and it was 12 degrees. We are now on the down hill of the rockies with temps 10-12 all the way to Revelstoke thru Rogers Pass.
In Revi we found a decent place and it is 600 m from our favorite bar with a great steak dinner.
We are finally on the last day of our epic adventure. We have 248 km to go to Kamloops and we will take the scenic route via Armstrong.
We headed west on the #1 to Sicamous and then south on the 97 A to just past Armstrong.
From there we went on the 97 North to just past Monte Creek, where we did a small detour on Duck Range Road.
This is where we started from on June 22. 2012 and we wanted to “end here” and get some photos. This is where we stored our old Dodge truck for the last 18 months and where we will store the bikes in our barn later this week after their oil change.
From here we headed into the city to an amazing welcome home at Dan’s parents.
Thats all folks.