WeSTOC Day 1 – Calgary to Nelson

20110621-172431.jpgI didn’t get a chance to update the blog last night – there was too much going on then I hit the bed early.

So now that I have some time, I’ll write up the blog from yesterday. I managed to leave the house at about 845am or so, then gassed up before heading south on Deerfoot Trail. Traffic was pretty quiet all the way south to Nanton, then over to highway 22 south.

The only traffic jam was a bit of a wait for a cattle drive! Some cowboys were driving about 100 head across the highway from a field on the east side of the highway to the west side of the highway. They were pretty well-behaved cattle, except for one calf who got separated from it’s mother and wandered down the ditch a bit before a cowboy on horseback shooed it back through the gate.

The last few times through the Crowsnest Pass, that might have been it for wildlife, but this time I saw a number of deer in the woods near the edge of the highway. None were looking like they wanted to attempt a road crossing, so they were all pretty benign sightings.

The rain started just east of Fernie and it rained pretty hard for a few kilometers. The good thing about the rain was that it washed much of the bug guts off the windscreen and visor. Just west of Cranbrook, Guy Metcalfe, a fellow FJR rider and also headed to WeSTOC, caught up to me and we rode the rest of the trip together. It was better riding with someone than riding alone, but It’s nothing like riding with Louise.

It’s still pretty early in the season yet, Kootenay Pass between Creston and Salmo still had lots of snow in the ditches and up the sides of the mountains. The passing lanes up the summit and down the other side were pretty treacherous for the bikes, they were almost totally sand-covered from the winter sanding.

Guy and I made it Nelson just after 3pm, parked the bikes, checked in and I had a quick shower. After registering and taking care of entering draws and signing this and that, I took advantage of a 20 minute shoulder and neck massage that had been arranged for incoming riders – as you might imagine, that felt great!

I sat down with Guy and some folks that he knew for a couple of beers, then we had BBQ burgers in the parking lot. After the burger, I had a hankering for a Starbucks latte. There is one in Nelson – down the road at the Safeway!
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Coincidentally, there is the last remaining streetcar that has it’s tracks right in front of the hotel. They were offering rides for a “loonie”. So I rode the streetcar up the line to close to the Safeway, got my latte and walked back.

After that, I retired to my room, chilled for a bit, then off to bed.

Here’s some other pictures from Day 1

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Stopped for a quick drink of water in Nanton.

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My FJR parked at the hotel

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Line up of Honda ST1300s at the hotel – hey that’s a white Burgman 650 Exec in the foreground, with a black FJR next to it!

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Cycleport/Motoport are on hand showing off their line of Kevlar riding suits.

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