Tuesday, July 28, 2009 (Day 2)
Written in the morning before the ride.
This morning we will be riding through the Jasper National Park. The weather forecast is going to be torrential rain following us all the way to Grande Prairie.
I have always been an early riser. I am ready to hit the road since the weather seems to have a clear opening. Other riders are advising me to go later. There is something that I had not thought about before. There will be lots of deer on the road. So let the cars go ahead first and create traffic and noise to warn the deer away from the roads. Good idea.
We may be going on the road even later. A couple of riders are interested in joining a river safari from Blue River. I am not interested mainly to see grizzly bears.
Oh well, I may again ride alone and take my time.
Written at the end of the day
I am now at Room 417, Sandman Hotel at Grande Prairie, Alberta.
There is WiFi Internet. (Gracie, Yes, I could have done all that with my iPhone, but it would have hurt my fingers and eyes in moving the little screen.) I brought my Sony laptop. Good choice.
We were lucky in the sense that we had one hour of sunshine, exactly when we were near Jasper. I took a picture of Mount Robson. The rest of the time…….. pouring rain, at 6C temperature at 1100m elevation. Even though I had all the right gear, the rain still came through after 7 hours of dumping. It was so good to have the hot shower at the hotel. The rain even soaked through my tanktop bag and dissolved Alex Tilley’s autograph on my Tilley hat. Once again, the little credit card wallet was soaked, and the “secret” money inside turned to orange colour again. HaHa. But it is a good proof that the Garmin Zumo 660 GPS is truly motorcycle friendly and waterproof.
The weather forecast is that there is still another 40mm of rain tonight, with lightening and thunder and likelihood of “little” tornados. Tomorrow, it is going to be better and better.
The rain was so heavy and the visibility was so bad that for about 1 hour today that my helmet shield was all fogged up. There was nowhere to pull over, no shoulders, no pull-outs, and no rest areas. I was so intent in following a Papa Winnabago ahead of me with a big silhouette and lights, and that was tough. It should be much easier starting tomorrow.
This Sandman Hotel is right in the middle of a mall. It has, just by eyesight, restaurants nearby — Earls, Shark Club, Denny’s, etc. There is another Chinese guy, Dan Lee, riding a 1999 Honda VFR, at least 15 years younger than I, an electrical engineer with Ericsson. I went to the hotel’s bar, and had dinner. I had the steak sandwich (6 oz of Alberta Sirloin). I resisted the 13oz T-bone steak. Good boy, eh? That way, we didn’t have to get wet in the rain.
Talk to you tomorrow.
My room had the heater going full blast and over 30C. The maintenance guy fixed it now. It has dropped to 27C, and hopefully some more.
The Alberta time zone is 1 hour ahead of us. I am not going to sleep early tonight because most riders want to leave at about 8:30amish. So there is no point getting started earlier than that. Remember there are wild animals on the road. (We only saw one Bambi today.)
Rain, rain, rain. For a while I thought of trading in my motorcycle for a boat. HeeHee.