The IKEA Mattress Road Trip

glasseye

Well-known member
My mattress was toast and if there's one thing I learned from a $12 motel in Tucumcari NM, it's that a crap bed makes for a crap sleep.
IKEA has mattresses that come rolled up, thus enabling Frito to transport one from the nearest IKEA in Calgary, six hours east.

It's the first few days of October and the roads are empty and beautiful. Rather than go straight to CowTown, I decided to divert via Jasper, AB. Several hundred miles out of my way.

My first overnight stop was in Radium Hot Springs, where I latched on to some public WiFi and watched the entire Trump/Biden debate, live. I should have known better. Worse, there was nowhere to take a shower after.

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The iPad proved an effective comms device. My supper wasn't ruined, but it certainly wasn't enhanced much by the political antics.

I slept in downtown Radium, fueled up, got a coffee, cleaned my windshield, and moved out.

My National Park entry fee. Two nights, three of the world's best, most-visited National Parks: seventeen bucks. Hell of a deal.
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Less than an hour later, I was here, in Kootenay National Park.
Sometimes, you just have to laff at yourself. Here I am in one of Canada's most scenic locations and all I have is my phone. I sold my Nikon D800 last week. (long story) All the images in this thread are from my Google Pixel 3.

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake were on my "if possible" list, but their parking lots were closed. I moved on.
I stopped at Bow Lake where this group was having a world class picnic.
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You can see them here at extreme left.

I can only attach five files per post, so to be continued...
 
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glasseye

Well-known member
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This is Peyto Lake, I think. Albertans, help me out here. I wasn't paying attention.

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This impressive array of RVs graced the parking lot at the lake. Is this a "Unity"? Whatever. It was YUGE.

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My timing was perfect. Gorgeous weather and few travellers. I had the roads nearly to myself.

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Somewhere along the road. I dunno. It's so scenic, you lose track. One day I'll have to do this trip properly with good location references.

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Saskatchewan Crossing. The crossroads of the fur trade, this pass is one of the few offering access to British Columbia from the prairies.
The Saskatchewan River exits this valley at left, bound for Hudson Bay via Lake Winnipeg.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
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Supper was my usual fare. Kokanee beer is horrid stuff, but I acquired it more or less by accident. The only alternative to tossing it out was to actually, inexplicably, drink it.



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The fence is to keep wildlife off the highway, not to keep travellers from entering wilderness.


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The parking lot at the Columbia Icefields. I hiked up to the glacier.

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Signs indicated the recession of the glacier over the years. It's quite sobering. I'm still twenty minutes away from the glacier face.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
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Even after the hike, you can't actually touch the glacier. That river is fast-moving, and icy cold. You'd die.

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Dawn on day two, a little south of Jasper, AB. Quiet, dark and level, this spot offered quality accommodations.

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I absolutely adore driving through the dawn. Watching the day begin through Frito's windshield is a treasure beyond measure.

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My LED H7 have endured for several years now. They're a substantial improvement over the stock bulbs, which burned out regularly. Their beam pattern is poorly controlled, but in all those years, not one oncoming driver has flashed me. Either they're extremely tolerant or they're not as bad as I think they are.

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Soon the light improved enough that my headlights weren't an issue any longer. I seldom drive at night. One errant deer would write Frito off.

More later...
 
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tinman

Well-known member
You're in my stomping grounds, and I'm glad you're enjoying it. My dad loved fishing, and with six kids and not much spare cash, our holidays were camping trips to Jasper and Banff. As a young guy, I can't say I enjoyed those 5:00 a.m. hikes into remote lakes where the fish were allegedly biting, but I can appreciate them now and am very happy with the memories of the days when there weren't quite so many people stomping around. In the '50's the Columbia Icefields came down to within spitting distance of the highway. As a remnant of the last ice age the glaciers have been mostly receding, but the rate has measurably accelerated in recent years. The meltwaters that we used to happily drink back then have become less safe, with the spread of organisms like giardia and cryptosporidium into quite high elevations, but all in all, there's never a bad day in the mountains.

Happy travels.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
It's very accommodating of the birds in Canada to place themselves in those plastic tub containers. It must save quite a bit of hiking around and hunting.

Thanks for the pics! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Our plan was to do another Out West trip October 2020. Covid-19 altered our plans. As great as your pictures are, there's nothing like being there.

:cheers: vic
 

tinman

Well-known member
It's very accommodating of the birds in Canada to place themselves in those plastic tub containers. It must save quite a bit of hiking around and hunting.
:cheers: vic
i'm guessing that's a feature of a van called "Frito".
 

RVBarry

Well-known member
Looks like a great trip!

Is the mattress for the van or for home?
If the van, how is it?
 

45Kevin

Active member
Great pics and it's always a good day in the mountains.
I'm already gearing up for ski season.

My wife and I have slept on an IKEA mattress with an IKEA topper for five years in our previous van.
We liked it so much we got the same setup for our house bed.

We will be doing the same for our new van.
And, I think I will use this IKEA setup for the mattress platform.

I has 1x1 angle on each side and an IKEA beam running down the center.


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glasseye

Well-known member
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On the way back down the Icefields Parkway, I encountered this young Quebecois. His girlfriend was still asleep in the Plymouth while he made a huge salad. I was delighted to meet someone so young already experiencing the pleasures of van travel.

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At IKEA, Calgary, I received my mattress. They promised me "touch free pickup" and online instructions cautioned me to "remain in your vehicle". So, other than opening Frito's rear doors, that's exactly what I did. A young woman pushed the cart up to the doors and left me to load it myself.
Those black handling straps are fantastic. They're super-strong webbing and they close with velcro, so they're excellent candidates for re-purposing.

I Googled "mattress rolling machine" on YouTube and learned how they perform this magic.

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A ranch access road on the open prairie under a full moon provided a boondock site for my last night out. Quiet and dark, it fulfilled two of my standard requirements. It wasn't quite level, so my usual perfect night's sleep in Frito was marred slightly by my (thankfully head-high) sleeping position.

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Less than an hour from home, surface fog on Moyie Lake showed clear signs of autumn. Another successful run completed. However did I exist before Frito arrived in my life?
 
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glasseye

Well-known member
Looks like a great trip!

Is the mattress for the van or for home?
If the van, how is it?
Home mattress. Frito's mattress is the highest quality, most expensive foam I could find. It's served perfectly for over ten years.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
It's very accommodating of the birds in Canada to place themselves in those plastic tub containers. It must save quite a bit of hiking around and hunting.
:cheers: vic
The only problem with our accommodating plastic tub birds is during migration season. The NOISE!
 

mtncrawler

Active member
Saskatchewan Crossing. The crossroads of the fur trade, this pass is one of the few offering access to British Columbia from the prairies.
The Saskatchewan River exits this valley at left, bound for Hudson Bay via Lake Winnipeg.
Awesome trip/post GE! Been through Icefields Parkway a few times (moto and vehicle) and the surrounding areas. It's been too long though - really like Canmore area - I'm sure it's all grown up over the past 10-15 years. Your mentioning the SC above brought back memories of one the best days outdoors for me some years back when we climbed Two O'Clock falls (ice climb) just up the David Thompson Hwy from the crossing. Gorgeous day, mild temps, no wind, and great ice! Need to get back there soon.
 

tinman

Well-known member
Awesome trip/post GE! Been through Icefields Parkway a few times (moto and vehicle) and the surrounding areas. It's been too long though - really like Canmore area - I'm sure it's all grown up over the past 10-15 years. Your mentioning the SC above brought back memories of one the best days outdoors for me some years back when we climbed Two O'Clock falls (ice climb) just up the David Thompson Hwy from the crossing. Gorgeous day, mild temps, no wind, and great ice! Need to get back there soon.
We camped a couple of times this year at Thompson Creek provincial campground, between Two O'clock Creek and Saskatchewan Crossing. Lovely spot, lots of nearby trails, and they don't take reservations which meant we could get a site if we showed up by early afternoon. This year was especially challenging for campground space, and there were far too many people in the accessible free-camping areas. For any runners in the crowd, for some years starting in about 1978 there was a Jasper-Banff relay race down the Icefields Highway. 17 stages, 183 miles, ran through the night, some hills. One of my seared-in memories is the first time I ran stage 11, Bow Summit. Saw a light in the sky, first thought "oh, a star", second thought " but it's a heavily clouded dark night". The dots connected when I came to the discouraging realization that it was car headlights on my running track, waaay up. Some things are better left in the dark. Lots of good memories and enduring friendships from that event. Have biked it a few times as well, but the traffic has gotten quite heavy even in what used to be shoulder seasons.
 

glasseye

Well-known member
Have biked it a few times as well, but the traffic has gotten quite heavy even in what used to be shoulder seasons.
I considered taking my ebike on this run, but the rapid schedule and the size of the cargo didn't mesh. I carry the ebike inside Frito.

Compared to a similar trip two years ago, traffic was non-existent. Near-empty pullouts and viewpoints. A sad reflection on the results of COVID.

Still, an amazingly beautiful part of the world. Reinforces my probably controversial opinion that "We got the best Rockies". :dance:
 

mtncrawler

Active member
For any runners in the crowd, for some years starting in about 1978 there was a Jasper-Banff relay race down the Icefields Highway. 17 stages, 183 miles, ran through the night, some hills. One of my seared-in memories is the first time I ran stage 11, Bow Summit. Saw a light in the sky, first thought "oh, a star", second thought " but it's a heavily clouded dark night". The dots connected when I came to the discouraging realization that it was car headlights on my running track, waaay up. Some things are better left in the dark. Lots of good memories and enduring friendships from that event. Have biked it a few times as well, but the traffic has gotten quite heavy even in what used to be shoulder seasons.
Sounds awesome...I've done a number of 24hour bike/adventure racing type events and the middle of the night (or morning!) is my favorite time. Could imagine that route/area being a special place for such an event.

Still, an amazingly beautiful part of the world. Reinforces my probably controversial opinion that "We got the best Rockies". :dance:
You'd have a pretty good argument..👍 It is indeed a beautiful - and rugged place.
 

tinman

Well-known member
Sounds awesome...I've done a number of 24hour bike/adventure racing type events and the middle of the night (or morning!) is my favorite time. Could imagine that route/area being a special place for such an event.



You'd have a pretty good argument..👍 It is indeed a beautiful - and rugged place.
As with all such beautiful places on public lands, the challenge is finding and maintaining the appropriate balance between public access and protection, so as not to "love it to death". At one time our local population was sparse enough, and the mountain national parks were far enough (especially Jasper) off the beaten track that the pressures weren't bad. The,population of Alberta has roughly quadrupiled in the last fifty years, and international tourism has really grown. The Banff townsite got away and grew a bit too quickly, Jasper has been managed a bit better. For quite a few years now we've had to book back country campsites, and that has limited the traffic and wear and tear. Wildlife management is always challenging, maintaining habitat and minimizing the highway and railway critter deaths. It was recently announced that one small herd of very threatened mountain caribou is pretty much finished, with too few breeding females to sustain it. They are very particular about their diet. With other species the challenge is minimizing human interaction. (During the last years of the J-B Relay, runners on some night legs had to be accompanied by a support vehicle because of bears. I hated it!) Of course, many tourists visit the parks especially to see the wildlife. Covid helps, in that regard. Many tourist areas in Canada that didn't open up as usual in the spring found that once they did, convincing the bears that they should relocate was a major effort.

I could go on. Winter's coming. Thanks for posting the pics, Glasseye.
 

dawgprimo

New member
Always enjoy your adventures!
The Rockies here in Canada are spectacular!
As a kid I was always spent my weekends with my parents in the Kananaskis or Banff or Lake Louis or on longer road trips Jasper. Amazing area!
I saw pictures of the Columbia Ice fields and I was Shocked how it had receded considering I was first there in the mid 70’s as a 10 year old........
I have not been there for a long time since I moved out to the Coast......
I have to get out back to the area for mountain biking and camping!
Thanks
Kevin

I have heard good reports about the mattress from Ikea!
😴
 

bcislander

'07 Mercedes-badged Dodge
I must have missed seeing your original posts nearly 2 weeks ago, but great pics. Reminds me of my trip through the region in the Spring/early Summer of 2017 (free National Parks annual pass that year). I was able to hike onto the glacier then.

Oh, yes, that's not Peyto Lake. You cannot drive right up to Peyto, which requires a short hike up to an overlook. Your pic should provide GPS coordinates to help you find out the name of the lake.
 

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