***edit: I finally finished this, on Nov. 15th. the last half of the trip is on page three.*** I hadn't ridden a curvy road in exactly a year. That realization was hugely depressing. To add to the frustration, I'd lived within 2 days of the best street riding in Canada for 4 years and never been there. My expatriate assignment up here could end any time now, and I decided that leaving Canada without having ridden the Kootenays is unacceptable. So I posted a thread in Regionals and got started planning my trip to southeastern British Columbia. Lots of good advice was given, rooms were offered, and I was ready to get on with it. That thread is a good preview to the trip. Plan was to leave Friday morning to make the short 5-hour trek to Edmonton to stay with curbjumper and catch up with some people there. I got fairly wasted at our last slowpitch game of the year Thursday night and had to pack everything while hungover Friday morning. Eventually, I was ready to hit the road. I spent 45 minutes travelling the 30 minutes thru Lloydminster, AB road construction. Thank you, flip face helmet: I was able to eat the roast beef and provolone sandwich I packed for lunch while duckwalking the bike the length of town. I eventually made it to the Shell station just west of Elk Island park, got ahold of curbjumper, and headed to his place. The Anthony Henday highway that loops around Edmonton the south is a blessing. Made it to his place with plenty of time to relax, BS, go out for chinese, lube the chain, and drink beer. Rob1313 and aj226 stopped by for a bit. Everyone kept asking me when I was getting a new rear tire... It looked ok to me. I wasn't planning on using the middle for the rest of the trip anyway. Good to see you guys. Next morning had a quick breakfast and started the ride west. curbjumper let me ride his Ducati for a bit, and I had a hard time wiping the smile off my face. That literbike torque is addicting, even on a short ride. We switched back to our respective bikes, and I got an escort to the edge of town. Many thanks to curby and his wife for the hospitality - a short ride to a comfy destination to park in a garage is a great way to start a long road trip. That was the first of 9 days, and served only to whet my appetite for more and better riding.