ART Road trip from Calgary, AB to Montreal, QC

BeachBoy

Active Member
Mar 8, 2006
1,205
Calgary, AB
Disclaimer: I'm not really looking for comments on the pictures, as this was a trip where the main goal was to move our stuff and a secondary goal was to document the trip. So don't mind pictures taken through the windshield... I just wanted to share if you guys are interested (I know how the OT critics are quite harsh hehe)
p.s. for you OTers, I have a little more of the girlfriend pics...

This set was taken with the P&S, not the "big" camera so obviously the quality sucks.

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This is one of the few trips I've done in the past two years. I love driving, and thus I'd like to share with you my experience on a few roads and places.
p.s. the same text was posted on a few forums (car related or not) as it takes forever to write, so bear with me if it's not 100% suited to this particular forum.

Calgary, AB to Montreal, QC (US route)

We have decided to drive back to Quebec with a trailer, as it was much less expensive and more practical then renting a U-Haul. We chose the US route because we had done the Canadian one going to Calgary over a year earlier (I'll do another road trip report for that). The car traveled by train.

I decided to plan this trip the best I could because the road is quite long and boring otherwise. I have mostly used the website Roadside America to find every little place I could stop for a minute or two along the way.

First things first, we had to steal a Garden Gnome/Midget. I had to have him see the world and will try to send it back to the owner with pictures of him around:)

2010-YYC-YUL-01 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We took the road with the little family and a trailer weighing over 7000lbs (max the truck could take).

2010-YYC-YUL-02 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

First stop was the largest tepee in the world

2010-YYC-YUL-03 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-05 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-06 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Next, we drove to the border. We took a very strange road that led us through hunder of kilometers without any civilization. We even saw posts saying something like "if you run out of gaz, break down or other, there are no dwellings for 150km and you might not see anyone" The road led to the border and that's about it, and the border was not opened 24h/day. I could not take picture because with the trailer it's kinda hard to stop on a dime when you want to take a picture.

2010-YYC-YUL-07 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

I had to go talk to the officers in order to have the agent stamp my belongings list. This procedure speeds up the return into Canada process as they already know everything you carry. It's not a guaranteed pass, but helps a lot.

2010-YYC-YUL-08 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Second stop/attraction was the Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel in North Dakota

2010-YYC-YUL-11 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-13 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-15 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-17 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

At that point, our cat was ok with the drive.. at the beginning she was totally freaking out as she had never left the condo.

2010-YYC-YUL-24 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

The next step was a little bit out of our route, but finally it was totally worth it. It's the Paul Broste Rock Museum yes, a ROCK museum. It turns out this guy was a rock freak but collected an awesome collection over his life. His wife holds the place and she's very proud to show the stuff.

2010-YYC-YUL-37 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-38 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

You are greeted by a real Hard Rock guitar...

2010-YYC-YUL-36 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

and inside, there are rock tress (that I would love to own as decoration) where each rock is perfectly polished in a sphere.

2010-YYC-YUL-26 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-27 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-28 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

and natural glow-in-the-dark rocks which I didn't know existed.

2010-YYC-YUL-32 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-33 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Not far from there was another oddity called Earl Bunyon, it's a huge statue acting as the guy's tumbstone

2010-YYC-YUL-41 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-40 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

ASfter that we drove to see the Niewoehner Bell Tower but when we wanted to ring the bells, the owner got out and asked money for it and started telling us the whole story that took forever. No way I was paying just to ring a bell!

2010-YYC-YUL-42 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-44 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

At that point, we were at the geographical center of North America!

2010-YYC-YUL-45 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-47 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

The next attraction proved to be very challenging and stressful. It was a Lone Bank Vault, in a town that doesn't exist anymore, so we had no clear indication of the exact location.

The GPS had us go through a really weird road, it was the first time I saw a place with a half avenue.. 32½ Ave!!!

2010-YYC-YUL-48 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

It was raining and the gravel road was not traveled.. the trailer was sinking and even on 4wd with the tires, I was spinning and crawling forward. At that point, I was quite scared of getting stuck and we were very remote from the main roads.

2010-YYC-YUL-49 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-50 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We finally got the the stupid Vault, which was cool but simply a vault in the middle of nowhere as expected.

2010-YYC-YUL-51 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-53 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We then took the road for a little while and wanted to stop at a restaurant, the Fabulous Kegs Drive-In. Unfortunately, it was closed.

2010-YYC-YUL-54 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We entered Minnesota the next day and saw other attractions like this Big Fish Restaurant

2010-YYC-YUL-55 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

I must say I now despise Minnesota as we got a $178 ticket because our trailer did not have a automatic brake system in case the trailer would disconnect from the truck. Even though the trailer had been inspected and was legal where it's plated, Minnesota police parks troopers and pull over all the tourists trailers (a lot of fishermen) in order to give these bogus tickets over a local law. With a 7000# trailer, if the bumper was to break loose, it would dig into the ground right away.

Next state was Wisconsin and we once again stopped to see weird stuff, like this humongous twine ball. I bet there's nothing to do in this part of the world!!!

2010-YYC-YUL-57 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-58 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-60 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-61 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Then saw the World's largest corkscrew

2010-YYC-YUL-63 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr
 
TS
TS

BeachBoy

Active Member
Mar 8, 2006
1,205
Calgary, AB
and then entered Michigan with more "big things", this time a large ski guy statue

2010-YYC-YUL-64 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

I'm really sad we arrived too late for the next stop, it was very cool even when closed so I just wonder what other cool stuff there is around with daylight. It's called Da Yoopers Tourist Trap. It's funny because they call it tourist trap, but it's the less tourist trap of the bunch. It's just a collection of things... I'll elt you be the judge.

2010-YYC-YUL-65 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-67 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-68 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-69 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-70 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We stopped in a rest area for the night. In the morning, what a surprise... flat tire!
Had to pull out some stuff out in order to get to the spare

2010-YYC-YUL-72 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

changed the tire in my pj

2010-YYC-YUL-71 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-74 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-75 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

That's our bed setup with the essentials like food and clothing

2010-YYC-YUL-76 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

In Northern Michigan, we visited Oswald's Bear Ranch. It was nice to be able to have them very close.

2010-YYC-YUL-78 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-81 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-80 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

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2010-YYC-YUL-85 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Now for th emost random thing of the trip.. a shoe tree in the middle of nowhere. I just can<t believe this thing is there... it's called Strongs Shoe Tree

2010-YYC-YUL-86 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-87 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-88 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-90 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-91 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We stopped in a Walmart as we were approaching civilization. Catherine helped change the tire to a new one

2010-YYC-YUL-92 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

Now in Canada, we had some more stuff to see, like this World's Largest Baseball

2010-YYC-YUL-93 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-94 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

at that point, our cat was really in her element in the truck :)

2010-YYC-YUL-95 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

We drove in Ontario and it was the most boring road ever (worse than the northern route that you can use to cross Canada). The road had no rest area, we had to sleep in a little spot on the side of the road, it was damaged like war had been going on so it was very harsh on the back, brain and nerves. I hate ONtario.

We finally got into Quebec after a little 50hours and 19 minutes moving time... and over 3900km (2425 miles)

2010-YYC-YUL-96 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

2010-YYC-YUL-97 by the BeachBoy, on Flickr

The full set of pictures/video is available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebeachboy/sets/72157626549613437/

I hope you have enjoyed the read!

The next trip report will be the other way around (Montreal to Calgary).
 

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