Day 13

Into Canada 🍁

The motorbike outside a big old blue-green building at Coleman, Alberta, Canada
The motorbike outside a big old blue-green building at Coleman, Alberta, Canada

Dunn Creek Campground to Bragg Creek Campground


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I took a backroad out of Dunn Creek through the Kootenai National Forest. I must’ve got into a habit of setting up camp and leaving because I don’t remember anything of it. I rode along a service road for a railway track. It was flat and boring. The woods of the forest were nice. The smoke haze followed me with the fires from Glacier National Park.

I got to a town of Eureka. It was the last one before I entered Canada. I had coffee at a store before I joined the queue to cross. I was nervous about crossing as I didn’t know what to expect. I got to the front. The American guard greeted me. “Where are you headed?”, he asked “I don’t know” He looked at me puzzled. “How long are you going to Canada for?” “Ah, 3-4 days maybe” “What are you doing there?” “Travelling, I’m going to work it out as I go, then come back” “This your bike?” “Yep” “Where are you from?”, he had my passport. “Australia” “When did you enter?” “August 6th” “When are you leaving?” “90-days after” He handed my passport back. “Go ahead”.

The Canadian side was faster. They just said hello and off I went. I couldn’t believe I was in Cananda! Not much changed on the other side. It wasn’t until I got deeper that I noticed the mountains began to change. They got bigger and large sheer rocks protuded from them. I suppose it’s from the ice that slides against them. The country was beautiful. I could certainly see myself living here.

I moved my way up to Calgary. I stopped at Frank before I made my way north. There was a memorial for a landslide there. The entire side of the mountain came down on top of the town. You could still see the rocks.

I rode up the side of the rockies. It was vast green plains. There were plenty of tourists. I remember sitting behind a large RV. It was brand new and must’ve cost a million dollars. It sat on 75 mph on the straights. It slowed to 60 when it came to a short incline. This annoyed the driver behind it in a truck pulling a large camper trailer. I suspect jealousy because it kept veering to the left to see if it was safe to overtake. The RV was travelling at quite a speed through. Eventually, the truck pulled out. It buffeted in the wind as it came out of the slipstream of the RV. The truck struggled to pass it as the threat of oncoming traffic got higher. The truck pulled infront of the RV with little space left. I think the RV honked their horn. They barely made it. It was so dangerous for such little gain.

I intended to camp at Bragg Creek. A guy said it it was a good place to go while I was having lunch in a park. I met a ranger there who told me there was another place called North Fork 18km up the road. I found it and setup camp. I did my usual trick of grabbing the payment envelope, filling it out and leaving it on my picnic table. I would tell the ranger ‘I was just setting up camp before dark and forgot to post it’ if the need arose.

This time it did. Two people in a truck came to the camps collecting payment. They were the camp hosts. I told them I intended to pay. They seemed strict. I tried to lowball them. “I only have a $20 note”. It was $25 (which was probably true as I’d just entered the country and hadn’t found a currency exchange). “That’s okay we take card”, the man replied, “you can use my wife’s pen” He called her over. She watched me as I reluctantly filled out the form.

The campsite was nice.


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Day 13 - I made it to Canada 🇨🇦 I rode from Dunn Creek via a small railway access road to the border town of Eureka for a quaint coffee with only me and the waitress. I dodged questions at the border and moved into the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains. In awe of the giants I witnessed Franks Slide before taking the Hwy 2 through the cool green plains. I saw RV road rage and wished I had the time to take the dirt road of Hwy 42 through mountains to Calgary. I failed to find camp at Bragg Creek on the advice of a family man until a ranger offered his secret of North Fork - 18km up a dirt road. As the sky and my fuel dropped, I was relieved to find camp where the campground host parried my attempts at low-balling the fee.

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