Monday, August 20, 2007

Update - Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
For Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness

Living liver donor Robert E. Crawford and sister-in-law recipient Marilyn Olivo-Crawford motorcycled across Canada July 21st to August 16th and I’m pleased to support this initiative to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.

Robert says that access to the internet was difficult to find at times but he did his best to keep us updated. His most recent report is below. For a day-to-day update of the ride from start to finish click here.

August 13
The weather man must know we don’t like wind because the day started very windy. We left Medicine Hat about 8:30AM (right on schedule). We were reluctant to say good-bye to the monster water-slide at the hotel. Maybe the hostel in Banff will have another one. Not likely!

The temperature was about 9 degrees C. We had all our sweaters on and rain gear to keep warm. I thought my hand grip warmers were a waste when I got the bike but they have been turned on for much of the few days. Thank you Sean for installing them!

Going west out of Medicine Hat we saw the flattest part of the prairies yet. They were still very cool to look at. We saw some huge hay bales that looked like large loaves of bread all stacked up. These things were about 15 feet long and 6 feet high! There were some tiny prairie dogs sitting on the side of the road looking around and flocks of small ducks splashing in the ponds. I liked the prairies much more than I thought.

The scenery was flat and then all of a sudden comes the rolling hills. Everything turns very green. We ate lunch just outside of Calgary and it was very expensive. Soup was $3.30 a bowl and a glass of milk was $2.50. This was a truck stop. I guess the truckers are rich out west. Leaving after lunch the drizzle started. It never got raining very hard and then tapered off as we neared Banff.

The mountains rose up so quickly and it was a shock after the prairies. On the way into Banff we didn’t “rubber-neck” too much or you would drive off the road. We were staying at a hostel for 2 nights and I was just imagining what it would look like. When we arrived it was very nice. The rooms were clean and they had a full kitchen and laundry for us to use. There was free Internet access and a great lounge to sit in. I think this hostel is not reflective of the usual type found around the world.
We ate dinner at a local spot and then headed to bed. We wanted to get an early start the next day to cram in as much tourist stuff as possible.

August 14
Our “Rest Day” started at 7:30AM when we drove up to Lake Louise. It was a nice drive and we took the scenic route. As we rounded a bend we saw a large elk eating in the woods. We stopped and took some pictures while he was joined by another large elk. They were about 20 feet away and didn’t seem to mind us. An RCMP officer drove by and smiled at us as he “encouraged” us to move along. There was no more wildlife seen on the way to Lake Louise. It is well worth the drive up to Lake Louise! The lake is quite spectacular. We walked around and took some photos of the scenery.

Once done at Lake Louise we drove back to Banff and to the hot springs. Marilyn, Ernie & Terri all had massages booked. I am not a touchy-feely kind of guy and didn’t want to join them. Before the massages we all went into the hot springs and cooked in the water. It was 41 degrees C. It felt great once you were out and showered off. Afterwards, Jacob & I went exploring while the others went to be “kneaded”. We all meet back up and drove into downtown Banff and did some walking around. In our exploring we found a supermarket where Ernie & Terri purchased our inner ingredients that they made for us back at the hostel. All of us ate more than expected and we offered our extras to other hostel guests. It was a great way to meet other people staying at the hostel.

The next day we head to Kamloops and it is over 500kms. We went to bed early and all slept very well.

I hope you have enjoyed following us during our cross country adventure. We have appreciated all the E-Mails of encouragement you have sent.
Robert E. Crawford
Cross Canada Motorcycle Ride
for Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness
Email Robert

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