Friday, July 29, 2011

Day One

Ted & I packed the trailer and said goodbye to our 2 kitties, heading to meet John & Marietta just blocks away. 
 Once the four of us left Westlock, we waited for Emile & Lucy at the Picardville corner.  The pair driving the white trike, had a bit of mud to slog through getting to us, but off we went.  Whoohooo!
 We heard on the radio that there had been an accident  on Hwy 44 between Villeneuve and hwy 37, resulting in a slight detour on our way to meet the bigger part of the gang at the White Spot in Leduc. We made it only 5 minutes overtime.
 Wow!  What a group!  Not every one will follow with us on the Top Ten, but we had to divide the 16 Goldwings into three groups!  Al was our illustrious leader and led us on the un-direct way, visiting a vast number of correction lines as we meandered through Calmar, Mulhurst, Pigeon Lake, and eventually stopping in Bentley for a potty break and top up with gasoline, which incidently went up 5 cents a litre for the long weekend!
Can you imagine the heart palpatations for the station clerks when 16 Goldwings pulled in to gas up and use the one single bathroom??  We stood in line for quite some time before we resumed our ride to Cochrane.
 The day started out beautifully in 14 C weather, clear skies with a few puffy white clouds.  I had never seen some of the odd cloud formations, then later someone mentioned over the CB that there were Severe Thunderstorms expected west of Rocky Mountain House all the way to southern Alberta.  We were heading right into it . . .  Rocky Mountain House was 69 km ahead.  I’m sure many were about to panic when Al announced we were finally heading south and soon the black clouds were in the rear view mirror!  Whew!
 But we continued in the zig zag pattern and just outside of Cochrane we could no longer avoid the nasty clouds and ran through about 5 minutes of heavy rain & hail.  How happy we all were to stop at Tim Horton’s in Cochrane to warm up with coffee and dry out with the hand dryers in the washroom!!
It was amazing how fast the storm was moving. The sky was black when we rolled into the Tim’s parking lot, and a few minutes later they were gone. Hopefully that’s the last we see of rain & lightening this whole trip!
On to the Rally! Just outside Calgary we quickly turned into the parking lot, just in time to register and enjoy a roast pork feast on a bun. The hall was decorated country style with antiques, red checks, sunflowers and bluewear!
Back to the hotel for the day.  Tomorrow there are several rides and activities.  We have to decide what we are going to do!