Tuesday 19th June.
We landed into the town of Brooks just 175km outside of Calgary. The day was spent battling through storm after storm. It was like entering into an abyss and hoping to come out the far side in one piece.One town in particular called Medicine hat was crazy, thunder lightening and pouring rain. Passing an eighteen wheeler in this is scary stuff, hold on and pray. Paddy's bike was booked in Blackfoot motorcycles to get the front fork seals fixed on Wednesday morning and we would easily be able to kick that into touch in the morning and be there for 11am.The motel was a welcome sight in Brooks as we were wet cold and tired.The lady at reception gave paddy a gift basket with all kinds of goodies in it and a reduction on the room, fair play. It all helps. Silver tongue Mullen. We hung up the gear to dried and went for a beer and some suicide hot sauce wings, Very very hot, but tasty as hell. Into bed and it was lights out, another big 545 mile day and we were shattered.
Waking up to sunshine and dry weather was amazing. The gear was fairly dry and would be sweet by the time we got to Calgary. Breakfast is the same in all these motels, bowl of bran, banana and a mug of coffee. Pretty plain Jane but does the job. Easy drive to Calgary and into the bike shop. It was amazing, one of those shops that has everything you could thing of. We carried out maintenance on my bike while paddy's was under the knife. Re packing gear and generally mucking around.We met another biker by the name of Dave from Wales at the garage and he gave us the run down on the bear situation, which was much appreciated. He has been over here for 35 years and was well in the know.
Richard Clarke my best mate from cavan had put me in touch with a friend of his in Calgary, by the name of John Gumley. John had kindly offered to put us up for the night. We headed to a cafe for some food and met a guy called Rob and he offered some great advise on travelling up north. We made it for John's house around 6 in the evening. John's flat mate Mark was on hand with a dozen cold beers in the fridge, and the run down on the washing machine which was well and truly needed. The lads could not have done more for us even organising to put the bike in the land Lady's garage, so they would be safe. We dropped off the bikes and met Rose and Orla, mother and daughter who have been in Canada for thirty plus years. They are originally from Cork and just might be the most hospitable people on the planet. On arriving, it was into the house for cheesecake and beer. A time was set for us to collect the bike in the morning and breakfast would be ready for nine in the morning. Thanks a million guys with all the help and contacts that you have provided on the rest of our journey. We when for drinks that night, with the guys and had a mighty bit of crack.
Thursady 21st June.
Orla collected us for breakfast and to collect the bikes. It was fantastic to get some home cooking. We said our goodbyes and brought the two Lady's for a spin on the bikes and then hit the road for the Rockies. We were complete blown away by the hospitality from the guys. They simply could not have done anymore. Thanks Rose for the baseball, it will make for great entertainment in the evenings.
Heading toward the Rockie's was unbelievable. Snow capped peaks and waterfalls kicking off in all directions. We were a little bit worst for wear after the beers last night and agreed to take it handy and just head to Banff and then camp in lake Louise. We cruised up the road stopping at random for photos. Into Mickey D's for the hangover cure in Banff and then to the campsite. The lady at the desk gave us a good talking and what to do about bears, with food etc. We made a big fire, had a few beers and had the bear spray on hand. It was magic to sit out under the stars, playing cards bedside the camp fire. Paddy got his first introduction to German rummy thanks to my dad Barry and Uncle Aiden. Thankfully no bears and we slept pretty well to boot. Today we spent the day crusing around some of the sights and then made a break for Jasper. Now to say we have entered into the world biggest outdoor zoo is an understatement. We must have seen a dozen beers today, deer and mountain goats. It is so alive it unbelievable. We crossed into BC this evening and are now in grizzy bear country. Black bears are pretty big, a grizzy is frekin huge. I hope are first encounters with them is from a safe distance and not ripping our tent open in the middle of the night.
The trip so far has been amazing and we are only 2 weeks in. Travelling by motorbike is by far the best way to see a country and meet people. So many people have just stopped us in the street and are eager to ask about the bikes, the trip and where we are going next. It simply would not happen on any other kind of transport. We have seen so many amazing things and met some truly lovely people. For now it is north to Alaska and see what our next adventure will bring.........
Great photo of the bear, tell me you had the camera at full zoom? You could always sleep with your helmets on, as a grizzley always rips its victims jaw off first. Looks like you’se are having a blast, Im jealous!
Rockie Mountain High is really very interesting outdoor activity! I am always to read about mountain theme. It’s another great blast of mountain entertainment in the evenings. Thanks and looking forward more!
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How beautiful it is! Impressed to see the thrilling pics shared here. The article is about the Rockie mountain high is also informative to me. Thanks Kieran for sharing such good one. Keep it up mate.
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Thanks everyone for the reelips.@CoffeeTims I agree that things have trended up recently, and I don’t expect a wide-spread deflationary environment, only real estate. The Bank of Canada will do everything possible to avoid widespread deflation, so I’m not worried about that.I keep hearing the interest rate argument, but I still believe that you will pay less in a variable rate mortgage than a fixed rate mortgage, so I’m not even paying attention to what happens in the fixed rate market. If you are going to go variable, all that matters is the spread vs. prime. People were saying in the fall that you needed to buy then because you could get prime. Then in Q1, I heard the same arguments about prime -.25. Last month I was hearing them about prime -.50. Now I’m hearing it about prime -.60. In 6 months, I’ll be hearing the same argument when we get back to prime -.75 like we saw previously before everyone entered crisis mode (I’m not holding out for the prime -.95 we saw 5 years ago). In short, you can’t fear of loss me into buying due to a mortgage rate argument.The where is the bottom argument is so interesting to me because I remember buying a 1300 sf 3 bedroom house in Citadel just over 5 years ago for less than $190k. At the time, I was worried that prices would come back. If the value of that house had grown at 10% per year since the time of purchase (more than twice inflation or changes in average wages), that house would be worth $278k today and yet it sold for more than 25% more than this number recently. I just think that there is more room to drop than people think. Prices of commodities tend to oscillate around fair value, and the longer and farther above fair value, the farther we tend to fall through it. It happened last year with oil prices when they hit something like $150 then crashed through the fair value to $35 before rising back through the previous trend line. The same thing happened to the Canadian dollar flying past even par and $1.15 a couple of years ago before crashing back below $0.90 and returning to the previous trend-line. Luckily, as Will mentions, Real Estate prices seem to be a bit sticky most people would rather hold onto a home for a year than take a loss. Why sell for a 20k loss when that is your mortgage payment and there is a chance the price rises back.In short, @CM, your number of 25% seems like a reasonable historical mean, but doesn’t account for the possibility of falling through that fundamental support level even if it just happens for a brief time.@Will I disagree about having seen an inventory peak. I know two people that agreed last year to build homes and the homes are not completed yet, and both will need to sell their current homes when the new ones are completed. I know a third person that is leaving the city, so he will need to sell. I’m just assume that the people I speak with are typical of many others in the city (but could certainly be wrong). In short, I know people that must list their homes over the upcoming months and I know nobody that is currently renting that is looking to buy I can’t remember a time previously where this was the case.Carrying costs are rising for people that own rental properties, vacancy rates are high, rental prices are dropping, unemployment is still high (and rising), net migration is negative, building permits were up most of last year, so supply is still increasing. I just can’t see inventory being lower at the end of the year than it is today. I agree that the rate of increase will slow over the summer and possibly level off, but the overall trend line between now and the end of the year is for higher inventories. I can’t imagine getting back to the times of 1000+ SFH monthly inventory change mark before the end of the year though.Interesting times.Mabus
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