Brian Passmore

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From the Apollo in Thunder Bay we headed along the shores of lake Superior once more to Sault Ste Marie. We camped out at the same campground where we had spent our very first night of the tour. It was a nice way to bookend the trip. Until this tour, I had never really travelled by car so extensively. It was a great experience. Seeing so much of the country has given me a new appreciation and understanding of Canada. Just getting a sense of how big this country is has in a strange way made it feel smaller. I don’t think going to Kingston will ever feel like a long drive again. One of the things I love about travelling to new places is the constant flow of new experiences. It has a way of slowing down time while it’s happening and at the same time, once it’s over it seems to have passed by in the blink of an eye.

The people along the way were wonderful. Thank you to everyone who came to the shows, gave us a meal or a place to sleep for the night, to old friends and new friends who made the trip the amazing experience it was.

Finally, thank you to my travelling companion and band mate Rob Webster. I came up with the idea to drive to Dawson City and across Canada last winter and he was the one who made it happen. His tireless work of booking shows, planning routes and drive times, and finding places to eat or crash for the night made things go off without a hitch. All the while he restrained from punching me in the mouth for 14,000Km of my clueless questions: Where are we? What highway is this again? How do you spell the name of that lake we camped at last night? What time are we playing tonight? When do we have to get up tomorrow? And on and on and on. It’s been a blast.

Thanks for reading,

Brian

The Apollo

It was a pleasure returning to the Apollo to end our tour away from home where it started.

Two more days of driving and we’ll be back in Toronto.

Brian

Winnipeg Part Two

Sometimes a city is just a place to stop for the night and recharge. That’s what Winnipeg has been to me the second time passing through. I feel as though I’m coming down with my second cold of the trip so I just ended up sleeping at the hotel as soon as we arrived. I’ve included a pic of the view from the hotel window. They can’t all be awe inspiring. It would have been nice to check out the city a bit, but I’m definitely not regretting the 10 hours of sleep I got. The drive from Saskatoon was a long one and I’ve seen all the prairie landscape I need to see for a while. The final gig is back in Thunder Bay tonight and I’m excited for it. It was our first gig outside of Toronto on our way out and I feel our performances as a duo have improved quite a bit since then.

Brian

Saskatoon Part Two

Last night we returned to play Saskatoon two weeks after we initially passed through on our way up to Dawson City. Upon our arrival we headed over to the radio station and played a couple of songs on the air and did a short interview. We’ve felt right at home here and had one of our best shows of the tour at Lydia’s. The gremlins in my amp seem to still be hanging around and I had to borrow the house amp for the show. I’m hoping it will manage to get through the last couple of gigs in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. Today will be another long drive as we pass through another time zone. I’m getting excited to be back home as we creep further east. It’s been an amazing trip so far and I’m looking forward to what the last three nights have in store.

Brian

Calgary

Our originally scheduled gig in Cowtown got cancelled but the booker was good enough to put us on another bill at the Ship and Anchor with three great bands. It was a cool bar with a fantastic sound guy. I caught up with an old friend that I met six years ago while travelling in London. She was a big part of us even being able to book a gig in Calgary. Thanks Shandi! This marks the last destination that is new to us on our tour. Tomorrow we hit Saskatoon, which we passed through on our way out west. The difference will be that we’re playing a show at Lydia’s this time through. I’m looking forward to it. And what would a post about this tour be without mentioning the drive. Golden to Calgary was an easy three hours or so. We stopped at lake Moraine in Banff National park and the mountain scenery was some of the best we’ve seen all tour.

Brian

Golden BC

Most of today was spent in the car. We’re now officially headed back towards Toronto since we left Vancouver this morning. We stopped in Kamloops to restock the cooler and made it as far as Golden before we decided to stop at a hostel for the night due to low light and rainy weather. In Sicamous the trip odometer reset to 0 when we reached the 10,000 kilometer mark of our trip.

Brian

Vancouver

Our luck with just catching ferries ran out on the way back to Vancouver. The 4pm ferry we were aiming for was full so we ended up on the 5pm. No problem though, we made it to the Railway Club in time for our gig. It was a quiet Sunday night but a good show none-the-less. Some old friends were there to say hello and make us feel at home. Seeing familiar faces on a long trip always does well to restore some energy and enthusiasm to the long drives ahead of us. We had a rare day off today and spent it on the shores of the pacific ocean on wreck beach. The water was cold but I jumped in for a minute since it will likely be a while before I have the chance to jump in the ocean again. I also managed to catch the sunset from Stanley Park. Tomorrow we’ll start heading back east towards Banff to camp out and then onto our next gig in Calgary.

Brian

Vancouver Island

My amp was an easy fix. We picked it up in the morning and made our way for the 3pm ferry to Vancouver Island. As seen here:

The gig at Duncan Garage Showroom went well tonight. Longevity John was a great host. Also, we picked up two sexless innkeepers, who are also temporary visitors from Toronto.

Brian

Kamloops

We played at The Art We Are in Kamloops. It’s a café and a local art gallery with really friendly staff and delicious food. The audience was very appreciative and kind. Our tip jar was filled with enough donations by the end of the night for us to get to Vancouver Island. Our public plea from the stage for a place to crash for the night was also answered by a kind gentleman by the name of Kevin. I slept well and we’ve gotten an early start to the day. I have to hit the Long and McQuade before we leave town because my amp has be giving me trouble since we left Toronto. Hopefully it will be an easy fix. Kamloops itself is a beautiful city. The dry mountainous landscape reminds me of California, even though I’ve never been there.

Brian

Lake Kinaskan and Highway 37

Since leaving Dawson it’s been two days of working our way south towards our next gig in Kamloops on Friday. We camped out for a night in Whitehorse and then decided to take highway 37 instead of the Alaska highway, which is the only other way to get in or out of Yukon, as far as I know. It started out with a few kilometres of burned out forest and slowly grew into spectacular mountain views. We stopped for a night and camped on the shores of Kinaskan Lake. The weather was good and we managed a couple of beers and acoustic songs by the campfire before turning in. It started to rain overnight and continued pretty steadily through the day. We ended today’s journey in Prince George at a motel with gross chinese food and old bugs bunny cartoons on the television. Highlights from the drive included seeing a black bear by the side of the highway. We also changed the oil in a town called Smithers and got some gas at Burns Lake, which led to some Simpsons quotes in the car.

Brian

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