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Having taken a motorcycle I was only able to pack a backpack-worth of gear for the duration of the trip, including the conference. This was an interesting challenge because after my suit, shoes and laptop, I only really had room for a basic wardrobe and only one water bottle at a time. I didn't have room for food or snacks and didn't bother bringing a bathing suit or a book. It was an interesting exercise in what I really NEED to enjoy a vacation. Turns out, it is mostly just eyeballs

The evening after the conference was dedicated to getting myself to Drumheller. By the time I got to the hotel it was dark, I was hungry and the clock was running 2 hours slow, so I just ate and went to bed. As a result, I was up before the crack of dawn and decided to get a bit of an adventure in before breakfast. This took me East down scenic Highway 10 which supposedly has the best view of the Hoodoos and other geographic weirdness.

These run for several kilometers and after about 20 minutes I decided to turn back. On the way back through I took a detour down 11 Bridges Rd. which is the home to various historic landmarks and reminders of the Old West. As the name suggests, the road features a series of iron and wood brides not much wider than a single lane as it winds over the Rosebud river. The road eventually turned to gravel and so I again turned back and headed back into town.

It was an interesting experiencing riding past old, wooden buildings, coal mines and dismantled buggies while riding a modern motorcycle and listening to Reply All, a podcast about the internet.

While I wish I could have stopped more frequently on my way across the entire province, my hotel for the next night was in Rocky Mountain House, AB, so I rode straight through. Only stopping in Red Deer for lunch and then walking around the town when I arrived. The scenery is gorgeous, but my the time I was there I realized that I was getting more value out of just putting my phone away and enjoying it. Likewise, as I continued through the mountains, to Lake Louise, just at the border and then to Radium Hot Springs, BC and finally Invermere, BC, I realized that a million better photographers than I have made a similar journey, so I kept the phone away. You should certainly make the trip if you can, or seek out other photography of the area.

Many years back, my dad had spent a summer in Invermere helping a distant relative. I visited some of the places that he had talked about for a day and just hung our by the water. Having only ever lived near farming communities, or cities where wildlife has been thoroughly pushed out, I was pleased by a few deer hanging out in a local park, so here are a few pictures of that I did take to show the cozy spot in the valley and my new friends.

My flight how was in Calgary the next evening, so it was an early ride back with a short stop in Banff, AB. By the time I got back to the city I was happy to trade dozens of hours on a dual sport motorcycle for the rather short flight back to Ottawa. I've got a couple of upcoming trips to the US. So keep an eye out for episode 2.