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  1. #1
    Member daavq's Avatar
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    Cross-Canada Stops?

    So I am going to be cycling across Canada this summer (solo) and I am completely, if not overly, prepared. However I wanted to ask for advice on where to go. I'm not in any particular hurry, so I don't mind meandering around. And I am thinking there are some great gems out there like a great place to camp, or some really cool site, or maybe a great restaurant.

    So...where to?

    BTW - if anyone is looking for free quality maps of Canada contact the tourism boards of each province. So far Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, NewFoundland, and PEI have sent great maps. BC, Alberta and Quebec sent brochures but didn't have any maps. Still the brochures are cool.
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    What's your planned route? Approximately. And how much time do you have? It's just that if I were to suggest seeing something in northern Alberta, it could add 2000 miles and probably a few weeks to your trip. But if you were planning to head up there anyway .....


    And you can get great maps of all the provinces, as well as all the states in the US from CAA. You might check with AAA to see if they've got maps of the Canadian provinces.

  3. #3
    Hooked on Touring
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    Have you considered Hwy 16 out of Prince Rupert or, even more remote, Hwy 20 out of Bella Coola? Don't know if you're planning east to west or west to east - Heckman Pass on Hwy 20 would be a wake-up call - but they have far, far less traffic than the TransCanada or the Crowsnest. For either route you'd connect with the BC Ferry which would give you a cruise on both ends of the journey like the Newfoundland Ferry in the east. Then a cruise down Vancouver Island.

    The Lower Skeena is stupendous - very light traffic and a road that follows river level for 250 km. There's a new lodge/campground at Kwinitsa that breaks up the 150 km stretch between PR and Terrace. K'san Village at Old Hazelton is fantastic. Stop by the BC Forest office or write them - there are rustic campsites throughout BC. No matter which way you go, I would hope that you take the Icefields Parkway all the way to Jasper rather than cutting off at Lake Louise. It's the best of the Rockies. If you do go thru Jasper, make sure to stop at Mount Robson just across the border in BC - Kinney Lake is 5 km in on a trail which permits bikes. The backcountry campsite is stunning - plus you should give yourself an extra day to hike to Berg Lake.

    Have fun - - J

  4. #4
    Member daavq's Avatar
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    Good Suggestion.

    I'm going West to East and really I have only a few stops I need to make. I am starting in Victoria. Would like to stop in Osoyoos, BC (hometown), Linacre Sask (family homestead), Toronto (current residence). Other than that the rest is open.
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  5. #5
    Hooked on Touring
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    Well -

    It took me a while, but I found Linacre. Combined with Osoyoos, I guess you'll be taking the Crowsnest or - if you have a mountain bike - the Kettle Valley? If you want to get a little extra of the Rockies, you can take the Elk Valley forest road (unpaved after Elkford) up from Sparwood, spend some time at Elk Lakes Prov Park - superb and remote - then cross over to Kananaskis on the Telephone Rd (unpaved).
    From there you could take Highwood Pass Road to Longview and out onto the Prairies.
    Crowsnest is OK, but you don't get much of the Rockies.

    I biked western Sask a number of years back. Grasslands Natl Park is quite nice - esp early in the summer before it dries up. The roads south of the TransCanada are quite lovely and have very little traffic - but the towns, as you probably know, are also drying up.

  6. #6
    Faster than a SwiftTurtle
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    I tooke the Crowsnest Highway last year, taking the easier route through Nelson and along Kootenay Lake. It was a pretty hard route, but well worth it. 3 major climbs (Alison, Anarchist and Blueberry-Paulson). I found the last to be the worst, others curse Anarchist the most. The easiest was the Crowsnest Pass, its hardly there at all. I'm sure living in the area at one time you already know all of this

    Eitherway.. I have a web directory of all journals i could find, a few of them might apply to your planned route. http://xcanada.roosmachine.com . Sorry for pimping it so often around here, i feel guilty. I see your currently in toronto so if you wanna get to gether to ride/chat about the trip i'm always up for social interaction. I need more cycling friends!

    Great camping sites i visited, Deer Mule Campground in Manning park, a friendly rv campground on Lake Kootenay in Grey Creek, Food memories of the Hostel in Regina.

    roopurt




    QUOTE=daavq]Good Suggestion.

    I'm going West to East and really I have only a few stops I need to make. I am starting in Victoria. Would like to stop in Osoyoos, BC (hometown), Linacre Sask (family homestead), Toronto (current residence). Other than that the rest is open.[/QUOTE]

  7. #7
    Senior Member kamoke's Avatar
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    make sure you go to newfoundland. So many people only go as far as Halifax, and then say they've gone across canada. I won't say much more on that

    if you like things that are big and random then here is a good directory for ontario http://www.roadsideattractions.ca/ontario.htm

  8. #8
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    Highly recommend a stay in Nelson BC, where I happen to be visiting now. I went across in 1990 and fell in love with this town and surrounding area. The bad news is you might not want to leave. If you have time, bring your walking shows since the hikes around here are awesome.

    Like Kamoke said, it's worth going all the way to Newfoundland. I stopped at PEI and regretted it so went to Newfoundland last year for to complete the trip. Liked the area and people so much that I am going again this year.

    Enjoy your trip. It certainly changed who I am and what my priorities are.

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    When crossing Sask, the Qu'apelle (sp) valley is a lot more interesting than the TCan, and less traffic

  10. #10
    Hooked on Touring
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    At the end of a cross-country trip in 1989, I happened upon the 75th anniversary celebration of the Canadian Scottish Regiment in Victoria. Princess Alexandra represented the Crown in a formal ceremony in front of Parliament. I sat on some bleachers and watched. What impressed me then and still to this day were the three WWI veterans who stood at attention as Princess Alexandra honoured them for service to Queen and country. The three men were in their 90s. I am sure they are gone now. But it did serve to remind me that - as alike as the U.S. and Canada are at times - still they remain so very different.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In Manitoba, I would strongly recommend Riding Mountain National Park. http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/mb/riding/index_e.asp
    Spruce Woods Provincial Park http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pa.../spruce_woods/ , and the Lake of the Woods area (Falcon Lake, West Hawk Lake) http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pa...ell/index.html are also nice.

    I would also strongly recommend avoiding the TransCanada across Manitoba as much as possible. There are no shoulders ... you're just out there with all the traffic.


    In Alberta, take in as much of the mountains as you can. Once you get out of the mountains, Drumheller http://www.tyrrellmuseum.com/ , http://www.dinosaurvalley.com/ is interesting.

    And the place I would avoid in Alberta would be Hobema.

  12. #12
    Member daavq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roosmachine
    3 major climbs (Alison, Anarchist and Blueberry-Paulson). I found the last to be the worst, others curse Anarchist the most.
    HA! Tell me about it. I grew up looking at that mountain every morning and in all those years I only once climbed it on a bike. And it was just me and the bike, no gear. Believe it or not the climb in places is the same gradient as a plane taking off, just to put it in perspective.

    Machka - Why should I avoid Hobema?
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daavq
    Machka - Why should I avoid Hobema?
    Were you planning to go through there???

    I don't know if it would have hit the news outside Alberta, but last year, for several months through the summer, someone was killed or injured there practically every weekend. Some weekends there were several people killed or injured. It is (or was) a very disturbed community.

  14. #14
    Hooked on Touring
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    Why would you avoid Hobbema? Perhaps, rather, it should be a place to go. First Nations and Metis do have higher rates of alcoholism and violence - but that is true of most poor. marginalized groups. I seem to remember there was a shoot-out at a trailer park in Edmonton last summer while I was biking thru Alberta.

    And here's some info:
    "The icy, impassive City of Edmonton, which is a little more than one-quarter the size of Toronto, had 37 homicides in 2005." http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:...s&ct=clnk&cd=3

    The point is that people like the Oklahoma State University basketball coach can wreck a car with a blood alcohol level nearly 3 times the legal limit and go to the Betty Ford Clinic. Native peoples get picked up for public intox and thrown in jail.

    I've spent time with native/ First Nations peoples from the Southwest to the Mackenzie. From North Carolina to the BC coast. I have always been treated well.
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  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Why would you avoid Hobbema? Perhaps, rather, it should be a place to go. First Nations and Metis do have higher rates of alcoholism and violence - but that is true of most poor. marginalized groups. I seem to remember there was a shoot-out at a trailer park in Edmonton last summer while I was biking thru Alberta.

    And here's some info:
    "The icy, impassive City of Edmonton, which is a little more than one-quarter the size of Toronto, had 37 homicides in 2005." http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:...s&ct=clnk&cd=3

    The point is that people like the Oklahoma State University basketball coach can wreck a car with a blood alcohol level nearly 3 times the legal limit and go to the Betty Ford Clinic. Native peoples get picked up for public intox and thrown in jail.

    I've spent time with native/ First Nations peoples from the Southwest to the Mackenzie. From North Carolina to the BC coast. I have always been treated well.


    Well ... Hobbema isn't exactly a great tourist spot, and while you may be well treated there, I don't think I would have stayed overnight there last summer. They are working on the situation and it definitely hasn't been as bad as it was. I was going to say it had settled right down recently, but the very last link I posted indicates it hasn't. I really think it is sad when a community goes to pieces like that, and I hope that they can do something to heal the situation.


    The first two articles tell about the worst week there over the summer, and the article I quoted gives an overview of the situation.


    http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/009332.asp
    http://english.epochtimes.com/news/5-11-24/34944.html
    http://www.youthone.com/speak/readst...m?story_ID=994

    "Hobbema is the community center of four aboriginal reserves located approximately 45 minutes south of Edmonton. It is has a total population of around 11,500 and, like many other native communities, though traditionally rich in oil money, Hobbema suffers from very high rates of poverty, unemployment, and family problems. While crime and violence of all kinds has always been high in this small community, recently, however, the situation has gotten much, much worse.

    Within this small rural community, five different gangs currently operate, three of which could be called the major players. Though these gangs are by no means a new phenomenon, never before has their activity and violence been so disruptive. The cause of this recent bloodshed has been a turf war over drugs, especially cocaine. Hobbema is a major supplier of cocaine for much of central Alberta, and the recent battles has made violence a cold fact of reserve life and caused violent crime rates to reach unprecedented levels. Beatings, assaults, murders, and other violent offences have all occurred with alarming frequency. Between the months of May and October 2005, 16 drive-by shootings took place or, to put it simpler, there has been a shooting every week and a half. And the response of Edmontonís media to this nearby eruption of gang violence and conflict? Almost nothing."



    http://pipestoneflyer.com/police.html


    BTW - Hobbema is just 70 kms north of where I live, so it's basically in my neighborhood.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skin flute's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm doing a cross-Canada tour this summer as well; flying from Toronto to Vancouver, then east.

    May I ask which carrier you're flying out with?

  17. #17
    sth
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    Hey daavq,

    I stumbled onto this online journal a few months ago. I found it quite enjoyable and interesting. It is by a young fellow from Ontario that did a X-Canada trip last summer.

    I am really eager to do this cross country thing but I cant get the time off work for a few years yet.

    http://beauchamp.relyon.ca/crosscanada/

    Good luck on your trip and enjoy.

    sth

  18. #18
    Macro Geek
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    BC - Alberta:

    Consider planning your route through the Rockies so you pass through the town of Sylvan Lake, Alberta. It's a pleasant place on a beautiful little lake about halfway between Edmonton and Calgary.

    Toronto - Kingston

    Take the Lakefront Trail. The route is about 90% on bike paths, paved cycle lanes, backroads, and quiet highways. You will need detailed and up-to-date maps to find your way. Prince Edward County (the region east of Napanee and south of Belleville) is worth meandering through. Don't miss Sandbanks Provincial Park with its brilliant white beaches and dunes.

    Quebec City and east:

    You can follow either the north or the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, and take a ferry to the other side from several places. I have only ridden a little on the south shore, so I cannot comment. The north shore route is spectacular. From Quebec City, follow av. Royale for about 50 km to Charlevoix, the region where the Laurentian Mountains meet the St. Lawrence River. This is one of the most beautiful areas I have ever biked through, but be prepared for hills. There are a few 20% grade monsters, although the steepest I encountered were "only" 18%. (With a granny gear, I had no problems with the more common 12% - 15% grades.) In eastern Charlevoix, in towns like Baie St. Paul, St. Simeone, and Tadoussac, the whale watching is great.

  19. #19
    Member daavq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skin flute
    Hey, I'm doing a cross-Canada tour this summer as well; flying from Toronto to Vancouver, then east.
    May I ask which carrier you're flying out with?
    Probably Westjet. I collect their points and probably have enough for the flight. But really I will go with whoever is cheapest.

    Sth - Thanks for the link. I have been through it before. I loved his rigger camera.

    A great link for other cross country journals is http://xcanada.roosmachine.com/ which actually got me asking my other post about sponsorship and raising money for charities...but that's another thread.
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daavq
    Good Suggestion.

    I'm going West to East and really I have only a few stops I need to make. I am starting in Victoria. Would like to stop in Osoyoos, BC (hometown), Linacre Sask (family homestead), Toronto (current residence). Other than that the rest is open.
    Well, Linacre is close to the Great Sand Dunes. However, the road to them is terrible. I barely made it in a car, so I don't think I'd try it on a bike. If you head south from Linacre to Eastend, you can check out the T.Rex Discovery Centre, home of Scotty the T.Rex, and various other dinosaurs. Saskatchewan has the best pizza in the world, so go to Western Pizza or Houton Pizza.

  21. #21
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    so is everyone in agreement that the TCan should be avoided if all possible?

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwbell888
    so is everyone in agreement that the TCan should be avoided if all possible?
    Yes! Although there are a few places where it is pretty hard to avoid.

    Through Alberta it isn't bad ... boring ... but it has very wide shoulders so cycling on it isn't completely terrifying.

    In Saskatchewan there are also shoulders but of questionable condition, and you have to be careful not to fall asleep over your handlebars. You can probably find a better route through Saskatchewan.

    In Manitoba the shoulders are gravel (when they exist at all). I've ridden the TransCanada there and it is a terrifying experience. Also, partway along the police pulled us all over and told us to ride somewhere else. I would DEFINITELY try to avoid the TransCanada in Manitoba. There are better routes!!

  23. #23
    Member daavq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2
    Saskatchewan has the best pizza in the world, so go to Western Pizza or Houton Pizza.
    BOO-YAY! That's what I'm taking about! Okay tell me more about this pizza.
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indominatable will." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by daavq
    BOO-YAY! That's what I'm taking about! Okay tell me more about this pizza.
    Western Pizza and Houston Pizza are chains that can be found in most cities in Saskatchewan. They make similar pizzas. What makes them so great is they are thick. Not thick because they have a thick crust, but thick because they have lots and lots of topping on them. They are a meal, rather than a snack.

  25. #25
    Hooked on Touring
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    I guess some of you are unaware that there are New Yorkers who were BORN with the ability to make pizza. All others are just imitations - sometimes pretty good - but still imitations.

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