Day 40: The Return

2008-08-17

05h30 Calgary
22h30 Grand Rapids (MN)
1645 km

Going Home.

Because my lucky girlfriend is returning home by plane at 06:00 AM, I have decided to leave early and try to cover the distance between Calgary and Montreal in 2 days. This will obviously, not be easy. It’s a race against the clock and 3700 km to cover!

I still have to plan this part of the trip. It’s imperative that weather is good because my tires are literally dead! Then I must make a few detours to try to shorten the road. My GPS, by default, makes me go through the States, but near Chicago (IL)with a return point to Canada in Sarnia, Ontario, but in assessing the mileage and time indicated, I doubt you can do in 2 days.

However, if I change the route to pass through Sault Ste Marie (ON), between Lake Superior and Michigan, I save more than 300 km and 3 hours of driving, so I can do 2 days of 18 hours driving and 1700 km each.

I think I might be able to meet the challenge.

Fortunately, it seems that all this part of America is under a ridge of high pressure and little or no precipitation is expected.

The morning is perfect and the crossing of Alberta is as a spectacle, as the orange sun and warm sun arises!

I am going as quickly as possible through Saskatchewan to enter the USA in North Dakota. Obviously, I get searched by U.S. Customs officers. What a pain in the …

The heat quickly becomes overwhelming and I’m suffering from severe cramps in the stomach. Driving becomes a real test and I have to stop often to take breaks lying on the ground to relieve my abdomen. This will last all day and I have to stop to 22:30 in Grand Rapids (MN), while my goal was Duluth (MN), 150 km away. I was just no able to endure the pain anymore. I’m often screaming because of the pain in my helmet.

Fortunately, today’s driving is easy. Major roads or highways, little traffic, few curves or intersections.Also, the lighting of my BMW is not strong enough to drive comfortably at night. I resolved to continuously follow a vehicle but the speed is relatively low and this will make it difficult to reach Montreal as planned in 2 days.

 

My bike is equipped with the original OEM lighting system, but I am not at ease because the beam does not cover enough distance and width. As I am in an area where the risk of collisions with animals seems high, I need again, to drive slowly. I will need to find a solution for this for future treks.
I quickly found a small motel for $ 45 (the big difference between traveling in the USA and Canada !!!), I fill up the machine and turn in.I fall asleep in second, which is perfect because the alarm is set for 05:00 tomorrow morning!
2008-08-17 Saskachewan 12008-08-17 Saskachewan 2
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