Brian Passmore

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

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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

Dawson City

The idea of driving to Dawson City got into my head sometime last winter. It was that idea that served as the catalyst for this entire northwestern tour. We spent the last two days there and it has been our favourite stop on the tour so far. The staff at the Midnight Sun Hotel played a big part in our experience being such a great one.

We caught the tail end of the discovery days long weekend and played the hotel lounge on Sunday and then hosted the open jam on Monday night. We caught the live show at Gertie’s casino and took full advantage of having a day off that didn’t involve a long drive to a new destination.

Even after a couple of days I can see how Dawson’s picturesque beauty and charm seduces so many people to travel that far north into the wilderness.

We’re back in Whitehorse now, doing laundry and figuring out where to stay for the night before heading back into BC tomorrow.

Brian

Whitehorse

We left Muncho Lake Provincial Park in the morning but not before we took a dip in the natural hot springs there. It was very relaxing and beautiful. We had to stop while a heard of wild bison crossed the highway on our way out. We also saw some wild horses on the side of the road on our way into the Yukon. Whitehorse is a picturesque town with friendly locals. The gig went well. The bar was full of a rowdy drinking crowd and we made some good money to put some more gas in the tank. We camped out on the edge of town under some of the brightest stars I’ve ever seen. Today we head further north to Dawson City.

Brian

The Alaska Highway

A lot of these posts have been about driving. But, that’s how we’ve been spending a lot of our time. Yesterday we went from Edmonton to Muncho Lake Provincial Park in northern BC. It took us fifteen hours and we killed thousands of insects with the car but we got here in one piece. Instead of camping we booked a well earned night at a lodge for a more comfortable sleep. Here’s a video with some highlights of the drive:

Edmonton

After a great breakfast in Saskatoon we made the easy five hour drive to Edmonton. It was scenic and flat but followed the river valley and was beautiful. We stopped in Vegreville to see the largest Pysanka in the world. We’ve been filming each other busking in front of roadside attractions along the way. More video of that to come. For now here is a pic. The show at the Haven Social Club in Edmonton was to a small crowd but we played a good set. The owner and staff here are fantastic. We’ll sleep in a campground on the edge of town tonight and hit the highway early tomorrow as we start the long, two day trek to Whitehorse. Depending on the wifi situation it may be a couple of days before I check in again. I’m looking forward to the Alaskan Highway.

Brian

Saskatoon

Unwinding with friends in Saskatoon:

Winnipeg

The seagulls are louder in Thunder Bay. They woke me up around sunrise, which I managed to see from my third storey room above the Apollo. I’m glad I saw the early daylight over lake Superior before falling back asleep for a while.

Today we finally made it out of Ontario and onto the flat part of Manitoba. Winnipeg! My tolerance for long drives is increasing. We played the park theatre with Miss Quincey. The venue is an old movie theatre that has been converted into a music venue. While sitting at the merch table after our set Fred Penner walked in! I grew up watching his show and was legitimately star struck.

For the second night in a row we have had the pleasure of an amazing sounding room. We also managed to find two couches to crash on for the night courtesy of a friend of a friend of Justin Lacroix, who we met last night in Thunder Bay. The generosity and kindness of strangers on the road continues to amaze me.

Brian

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