You won't have any trouble in Western canada.Except that the prevailing wind is against you going west.If you are stopping over in Winnipeg,let me know if you would like to stay at my sister's.
Are you coming all the way to Vancouver before heading to Spokane?If not,let me know when / where you are turning south.My friend from Michigan is coming to my place for a visit and then we are going to Spokane,so we could go south from Vancouver then east or east to the borders of BC and Idaho then south.Would be cool to gather up a gang.
From all the posts on the need to carry a passport I guess I have been cavorting with the legal system up there as I have been there about 15 times over the past 20 years and have never carried any ID but the driver's license and a voters reg. card. Perhaps am a little soft on this issue as I never had an occassion to produce either. They get a little humpy about the"another country issue". Maybe could stem from a few various incidents; I well remember a number of years ago when we were building the Alaska oil pipe line south, well they had passed construction some 75 miles south through the Canadian border- never received permission from the Maple Leaf government. I do think some noses were rightfully out of joint. All in all my impression of the place is clean but not as much now as 15 years ago and very accomodating folks. Just a note here the Montreal police can be a pain in the A... much more so than Toronto/ottawa etc. They are accomodating but would prefer that tourist s took a dive. Great country with very nice folks who are suffering the results of a give away socialized system which is now straining and beginning to be much less efficient therefore costly therefore highertaxes and resentment is raising its head. Have a great trip.
We Canadians are generally quite hospitable to our American neighbors (and their tourist dollars). I will be at the Lunatic Fringe rally too as it's my local club. You will also be in Calgary just in time to take in the Stampede if you are so inclined. Bring your cowboy hat and western garb, Yeehaw! Be forewarned that if you plan to arrive here early, accomodations will be at a premium.
To cross the border, as long as you are an American citizen, a birth certificate and photo ID are good enough, or a passport is good on its own. I've never crossed over south of Winnipeg, but unless it is a major highway crossing point, the waits are usually minimal or non existant.
Highway #1, the TrashCan, I mean the Trans Canada, is a mixed bag for conditions, Most of it that you will be on is decent. Manitoba's part is good, then the quality falls off somewhat through Saskatchewan. They were working on it last year in areas twinning it, so some of that may be open now. The speed limit once you hit Saskatchewan jumps from 100 Km/h (60 mph) up to 110 Km/h (70 mph). Usually an extra 10 - 15 Km/h is acceptable (expected?). Once you cross into Alberta the road condition is a bit better again. The ride across the prairies is rather dull for the most part. There is little variation in the straight line of the road, and the scenery is monotonous. Once you get close to Calgary though, the mountains appear on the horizon to warm the heart of any motorcycle rider with the promise of twisty roads to come.
If you plan to head directly to the rally site, you won't have to deal with too much of the city congestion here. Just stay on the #1 until you get to Deerfoot Trail (hwy #2), and then head south on it to High River where the rally is being held. Just try to avoid rush hour while the Deerfoot 500 is being held daily. The morning rush will be less trouble than the afternoon as the traffic is mainly headed north into downtown in the morning. Unless you have a really new map, it will not show the new Deerfoot extension on the south end of Calgary. It extends from Hwy 22X down to Okotoks where it rejoins the original highway. This just opened late last year, and makes the trip south out of Calgary much easier.
To exchange your money, any financial institution will handle it. Most retailers will take US currency, but the exchange rate is usually not the best. Most will not take large denonminations (over $20, and not even that sometimes) due to the widespread counterfit bills that tend to arrive during Stampede week.
Gas prices here are currently around 82 cents per Litre for regular, with premium at about 92. Alberta usually has a bit lower prices than most other parts of the country too, so it will likely be higher than this in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. There are 3.78 litres per US gallon, so with the dollar exchange factored in it works out to.... well, lots!
Looking forward to seeing you here. If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them.
BG-Don't worry, it's a lovely place and the folks are great. You'll probably have much more trouble getting BACK into the US than going to Canada. I always do. Use your ATM, they calculate it (at least my Bank of America Visa does) at the lowest exchange for the 24 hour period you used it.
Most vendors, especially close to the border, will take US money (although at a lower exchange rate as previously mentioned).
Spend some time in the .[URL=http://www.city.nelson.bc.ca/html/how_to_get_here.html]Nelson[/URL] area if you can, some phenomenal riding. As is any road on Mike's [URL=http://rockymtnmoto.com/]maps[/URL] .
Don't forget to hide the radar detector!
[QUOTE][i]Originally posted by GSAnderson [/i]
Don't forget to hide the radar detector! [/QUOTE]
No need to do that in Alberta or BC. They're legal here. Not sure about Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but the odds of seeing a cop out on the bald a** prairies is less likely anyway.
>>Originally posted by GSAnderson
Don't forget to hide the radar detector! <<
As commented above. Legal in Alberta and B.C. but illegal anywhere east.
In Manitoba, police have radar sensing units, so they will know if you have one switched on. Fine was $75.00 in '98, supposedly a lot more in Ontario.