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1955 Trip Across Canada on a Douglas

1, Leaving Hardwick, about 5 miles from Cambridge, middle of April 1955. We went to London for the night, then Graeme Brown's shop in  Godalming, where we met some friends from the Club, who came to say goodbye, including one from Southampton, who lead the way to his parents' house and then the next morning we boarded the Greek Line ship "Neptunia", an old former Dutch coastal steamer. The boat came form Hamburg, loaded with German emigrants, picked up a few of us in S. then across to Cherbourg where a lighter brought out some French. Then to Cobh, Ireland, where another lighter brought out a few. 10 days at sea to Montreal. Very enjoyable journey, excellent food. Apart from the top officers, most of the crew were Germans.

 2. Unloading the bike in Montreal, on April 28. Stayed in town for a couple of days then went visiting some friends in Pembroke and Peterborough, Ontario, down to Niagara, then North to Cochrane, much of it on gravel after leaving North Bay.

3. Snowed up at Cochrane and stayed for an extra day, then off to Hearst.

4. The Hearst-Longlac road.

5. At some places the sand was so deep I couldn't keep the bike upright with two up and Marta had to walk long distances.

6. Camping at Helen Lake, near Nipigon. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed spending time by the lake, watching some large fish sunning themselves between the rocks, but woke up at 4 am, bitterly cold. Made a fire in the fireplace and warmed up, but we never camped again. There were these "cabin courts" at the time, all over the country, at gas stations and farms, where we could stay for $2 to 5 per night and food was also very cheap. The whole trip of exactly 4 weeks and almost 4,000 m, cost us $206, including good food and beds every night. I crossed 5 more times in rally cars with the Shell 4000 Car Rally, in the 60s, in 66, 67 and 68, when we went from Calgary to Halifax, as captain of the Nissan Canada rally team. You can look up the rallies on Google under "Shell 4000 Car Rallies", edited by a good friend in Edmonton, Marcel Chichak.

7. The halfway, 2,000 m. stop approaching Winnipeg.

8. The Trans Canada Highway in Saskatchewan.

9. Marta had to walk long distances, as I couldn't keep the bike upright.

10. Finally paved to Calgary. No traffic to speak of, long distances without meeting any vehicles.

11. The Rockies past Banff. It was Victoria Day and a miserable weather, hardly could see anything.

12. We stopped at Vermilion Canyon. When we woke up the next morning, there were several inches of snow and more coming down. The road was slushy and we took the chance to turn South toward Cranbrook, then down to the US border, as there was no other road across.

13. There was no paved road between Rossland and Trail, BC. at the time and most people went down through the US. The only road across was the then infamous Cascades Road, and narrow gravel road of endless hairpins that covered 10 aerial miles in 40 road miles, over two mountains and a valley in between. ( I drove that road, as a navigator, in the 60s both in training and at least twice in the night, at racing speeds, as one of the "closed racing sections" in the Shell 4000 Car Rallies, as the captain of the Nissan Canada team)

14. The second mountain top on the Cascades Road, photo taken on May 26, 1955. two days before we reached Vancouver.

15. Columbia Lake, the origin of the Columbia River.

16. One of BC's 90,000 lakes, I think it is Moye Lake.

Cheers, Ed.