Trans Canada trip

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  • Trans Canada trip

    Just wondering if anyone has any experience traversing Canada on an east to west route. I want to complete my quest to visit every one of the 50 states, lacking only N. and S. Dakota, Montanna and Idaho. Figured I do this in late August/early September and start off east to west through Canada and return via the States. I'll be starting in eastern Pennsylvania. Certainly any experience with touring through Canada would be quite valuable to me.

  • #2
    Can't help with Canada, but late August/early Sept. you may run into snow in any of the states you mentioned. Bring your warmies just in case, it can be very cold at elevation. Do you have a route planned yet?
    DS#1146 IBA#55800 50CC,BBG, BB1500 x2, SS2K, SS1Kx3 CERTIFIED ALL DS, PGR RC
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    • #3
      Some second-hand information - not intending this thread to take a political tangent, but...:


      If you are convicted of any of several offenses (including DUI) you will NOT be allowed into Canada.

      Here's the specifics from the source:

      Many other pages of information there.

      Ken (IBA #50030) & Grace (IBA #62768)Tucson, AZ"Get busy living, or get busy dying." -Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption 1994ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕMy blog

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pooch View Post
        Can't help with Canada, but late August/early Sept. you may run into snow in any of the states you mentioned. Bring your warmies just in case, it can be very cold at elevation. Do you have a route planned yet?
        No firm route planned as yet and not totally all in for the Canadian portion.

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        • #5
          In 2015, my wife and I visited Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Parks. We took the Trans-Canada Highway from Sault Ste. Marie, ON across Canada to Medicine Hat, AB. From there we departed the Trans-Canada Highway to reach Waterton Lakes. We enjoyed riding along the highway in Canada. The speeds are a bit slower than in the US and so is traffic. The eastern part of the highway was just 2 lanes as I remember it but traffic was very light. We blogged our trip. Our route may give you some ideas.

          Crossing the border into Canada has been pretty straight forward. We have found that the Canadian side doesn't have all the "fancy" cameras like the USA side so be prepared to be able to tell the guard what your plate number is. Key things to have a planned response for are where you live, what you do for a living, where you are going, why you are visiting, and how long you plan on being in the country. Keep the answers simple and short and you'll be just fine. I just ride up to the guard, turn the bike off and place it on the side stand so that I can remove my helmet and ear plugs and answer the guard's questions. We have always had more scrutiny getting back into the USA. Most of the USA border guards we have had seem to be in a perpetually bad mood. We did have one that was friendly. Turned out he rode a Goldwing :-) . Our experience with the people in Canada has always been exceptional. They have been friendly and courteous.

          We normally get a few hundred Canadian dollars in cash to have just in case the credit card doesn't work (some fueling stations didn't except our credit card). There is normally a Travel Information Center in the town near the border crossing in Canada that you can exchange US dollars for Canadian if you don't do it ahead of time. Also, you should get an insurance card for Canada from your bike insurance company. Proof of insurance cards are a bit different in Canada so you'll want to have that just in case. Also check with your health plan. Some policies require a travel rider when traveling in foreign countries. We didn't need one for our plan but a buddy we traveled with did. It was only about $20 for a few weeks to cover emergency services.

          Good luck and safe travels!

          [SIZE=12px][FONT=Arial]'10 NT700VA (Wife's)
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          • #6
            Trans Canadian Hiway 1980 I rode up the Canadian rockeys which were beautiful. I rode back to Michigan on the trans Canadian hiway.
            The eastern 1/3 of Alberta was dull prairie. All of Saskatchewan was dull prairie.. All of Manatoba was dull prairie Wouldn't do it again.

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            • #7
              Just a couple of thoughts about riding in Canada. Have your passports, drivers licenses, and registration handy at the checkpoint. As noted above they can run computer checks and if you have any felony convictions, DUI, or such, they might not allow entry. As far as cash, I also recommend exchanging some US cash for Canadian. You can do this at a bank before or after the crossing or at a travel info Center/portal.

              Credit cards, always let your credit card company know in advance when planning a long trip especially to a foreign country. Most cards will charge you a "conversion fee" of up to 3% on every credit card transaction. You might want to check your card/cards and even consider getting a different one. Unless the gas pumps are at an unmanned station you can normally go into the clerk and pay with credit card if the pumps will not accept your card. You can also use your debit card at bank atms but you get a better deal if you go to the teller.

              Also notify your insurance company that you will be taking this trip. Some companies issue special cards for travel in Canada. You may need this at the border.

              Like the US, Canada has that large area as you leave the mountains of the east till you hit the mountains of the west with somewhat flat roads. It is beautiful in its own way but can be boring riding. If you get as far east as Nova Scotia, do the Cabot Trail, Further west is the Gaspe Penninsula, and of course in Niagara, you have Niagara Falls. Riding along the various Great Lakes offers some beautiful sites. Calgary and points west offer some great riding and mountainous scenes.

              Remember thought when riding in Canada, you are a foreigner travelling in a foreign country. Their rules apply, and the roads are not marked in miles but in Kilometers just as the gas is sold by the liter. Some areas as in the province, the primary language is French and in and around Montreal it is the key language. Embrace it and enjoy it, as it is a wonderful country to visit.
              Ride Safe and Ride Often

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              • #8
                Originally posted by laj48 View Post
                .. All of Manatoba was dull prairie
                You obviously stuck to the 4 lane Trans-Canada highway.
                East of Winnipeg the topography turns to Canadian Shield. Lots of rock, small lakes, and forest.
                You must have been asleep from Rennie to the Ontario border.

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