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Archive for the ‘Trains’ Category

A kool and krisp morning in Kalispell !!  It’s a given now that all our cold weather gear is required for the first few hours of riding.

I’m not sure exactly where we were when we started smelling smoke and the sky got hazy. There is fire activity right now in Montana, Idaho & Washington. And the word is there is a campfire ban back in Port McNeill.

Our breakfast stop this morning was Libby, Montana, “City of Eagles.”  The extra wide main road is framed by beautiful hanging baskets and one shop caught my eye with a poster about one of the presidential candidates.image.jpeg

When Chris asked the gas station attendant for a recommendation for breakfast there was no hesitation — Libby Cafe !!

From the young lady who seated us we found out Libby once relied on logging and mining but that’s all gone now.  Tourism is playing a bigger role in the economy.  A senior in high school this lively teen will have her welding ticket by the time she graduates and has a job waiting for her in Alaska.

When we placed our order – eggs Benny for Chris, Denver omelet for me – our server asked if we’d ever had a huckleberry flapjack?  When we replied no we haven’t she said we should at least try one since the cafe is well known for them.  She brought us one to try and it was DELICIOUS !!  A huckleberry flapjack with butter & homemade huckleberry syrup on top was a most amazing appetizer !! Chit chatting back and forth we learned our server lived in Oregon working a high pressure job and is happy to live on two acres just outside Libby raising chickens & turkeys and soon some goats.

It was great to meet the chef and thank her for making our breakfast.  One of the favourite parts of this trip is connecting with people.  Finding out what keeps them busy and why they choose to call a certain place home.

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With very full bellies we headed north.

It happened so fast I missed the welcome sign but we spent about an hour in Idaho heading to the border crossing.  One more state to mark on the map of where we’ve been this summer.

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This was the second time we crossed the border back into Canada on this trip.  The Porthill, Idaho crossing is tiny with no wait time.  And in the “it’s a small world” department the border agent knew exactly where Port McNeill is because he worked there years ago.  We answered a few questions and badda bing badda boom we were back in British Columbia.
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It may have just been my imagination but once we crossed the border back into BC the temperature got cooler !!  The skies darkened and we actually got a few spits of rain. Tonight we’re tucked into our very comfortable motel room in Trail, BC.  The last time change puts us back into the Pacific Time Zone.  Somehow I’ll try to stay awake until at least 9pm 😀

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Tomorrow will be a long day because we want to get all the way to Hope which is north east of Vancouver.  The plan is to be home on Tuesday.  Today a friend texted me we’ll be suffering from traveller’s hangover and will have to get used to making our beds and making our own meals.

We’ll miss the spontaneity of life on the road — we’re already talking about next year’s trip.

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Love & hugs from Trail…

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Yesterday we had no plans until meeting up with my brother Dan for lunch so we had time to sleep in, organize the trailer and spend some time on the water in Parry Sound.  Just down the road from our motel we got stopped at the train tracks so we sat in the warm sunshine enjoying the 10 minutes of clickety-clack of cars carrying important cargo across the country.  The beautiful weather is perfect for all of us visiting or living in cottage country.  A leisurely water view lunch and catch up with Dan was followed by a meandering ride on mostly secondary roads.

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We stopped in Gravenhurst to have a look at Segwun, the oldest coal-powered steamship in North America.  The Segwun and Wenonah II are busy all summer long with dinner/wine & sightseeing cruises.  We sat on the porch at Muskokabilly’s with a cold drink enjoying the view.  I haven’t been to this part of Ontario since I was a kid.  Family friends had a cottage on the lake and I remember going into Bala to buy treats.image

Arriving at Dan & Sue’s 40 acre riverfront property we were welcomed warmly by Freeway and Sophie.  Freeway is the older dog and much more mellow than Sophie who is a retired explosives & weapons sniffing police dog.  We quickly shed all our bike gear, grabbed another cold drink and headed to the screen house.  An outdoor living room overlooking the river with lots of comfortable furniture.  The screens are very important being on a wooded property with water.  There are lots AND LOTS of mosquitoes, black flies and other winged insects that all want to bite.  Our 16-year-old niece Vivian and sister-in-law Sue both got home from work and after bbq burgers we went downtown to a waterfront park to watch Dan and his fellow Haliburton Highlanders Pipe Band practice.  This is Dan’s informal piper attire — we’ll get to see him in all his finery in a few weeks.  One more night in Haliburton and we’re off to the Niagara Peninsula for a few days with my Mom & family and the bike will go into the shop for a quick tune-up before we head to the east coast.

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Love & hugs from the road…

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This morning we left the badlands of Alberta (that’s the world’s tallest tipi in Medicine Hat by the way) and crossed the border into the flatlands.  We had a beautiful warm, sunny day and had to actually wear sunscreen after many days of cloud.  Our first stop was Grandma’s Home Cooking Cafe for breakfast.  Homemade bread, bacon, eggs and pan-fried potatoes and lots of hot coffee.  We wished the couple the best of luck in their new endeavour.

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One song stuck in my head today was “Home on the Range.”  More cows, more ranches and trains that were more than 100 cars long.  This conductor gave me a honk when I waved which OF COURSE pleased me to no end.  After two nights of super economy motel rooms we decided to splurge for a room with more than 2 pillows and an air-conditioner that actually blows cool air.

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This is Moose Jaw — not much foliage here on the prairies but lots of history.  Al Capone spent time here and looking for cold beer we found the train station has been repurposed into the liquor store.

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We are not “iron butt” riders and today was about our limit of how many kilometres we want to travel in a day.  Tomorrow I get to finally see RCMP Depot in Regina where Chris got his police training.  It’s been almost 40 years since he marched in the square.  Tomorrow night we’re not sure where we’ll be — maybe Brandon, Manitoba before heading into Ontario.  We are enjoying every moment of the journey !!!

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Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

 

 

 

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Ominous clouds surrounded us most of the day and there’s still a bite in the air as we travel down the highway.  Surprisingly we haven’t hit hot weather yet and we are not complaining.  We just poked along again today stopping frequently.  The staff at the Chase Info Centre recommended their downtown bakery for our mid morning coffee and we bought some fresh out of the oven rye bread.   The harbour park in Salmon Arm was our dining room for lunch.  Our “picnic” tote has plates, cups, glasses, cutlery, cutting board & table cloth so we can make our own simple meals.  Like today’s cheddar & local tomato sandwich.

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Our next stop was a historical site that we shared with bus loads of visitors from around the world.  Craigellachie is called the “The Last Spike” where the CP Railway connected west to east.  And when I saw other people doing it there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to miss an opportunity to climb up onto a rail car.

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Coming into Revelstoke we laughed when we realized we stayed at Swiss Chalet Inn the last time we were here.  Neither one of us recognized the name when we made the reservation a few days ago.  And following on the theme of trains we had also forgotten the train track is right across the road and it is a very busy one. Nothing like clackety-clack noises to lull us to sleep.

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Tomorrow we cross the border into Alberta.

Love & hugs from the road…

 

 

 

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