01-08-2013, 07:53 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Location: Colstrip, Montana
Day 3 7/9/12 1781 miles on the odometer. Its time to leave the country!
Got up about 7 the next day packed up quick, had a snack and hit the road with demeanor of gleeful anticipation. Stopped for some gas while I could get it cheap ($3.48). And hit the border a little after 8am. I only had to wait for 1 car to get through customs. The border patrol lady was cool. She asked me about 8 questions, wished me luck , and I was on my was north. Good thing I didn't have my AR or one of my glocks. Might not have gone so smooth then.
Stopped in the first town I came into British Columbia. There was a visitor centre there on the outskirts of town I swung into to check out when I came into town. They had some neat info about the area around there and the mountains, but what I found intriguing was the 'First Nation' history. I live by 2 reservations in montana, so I know plenty of Indians. But that must simply be an American term. Anyway, I spent probably the better part of an hour in there, then hit the bank up. The exchange rate was 99.99, so for $200 American I got $199.98 Canadian. I tried to give them 3 pennies to make up the difference, but evidently they didn't accept American coins. Weird, but not the end of the world. Plus they charged me a $5 fee because I wasn't a member. I really should have had like $800 exchanged, but oh well. Gas was about 1.30/liter or so. Which is approximately $5.20/ gal. Not very cheap. Might be a big deal if i was in my cummins, but I have averaged 48 mpg so far with the bike.
Drove north after that until I hit radium hot springs, where I turned my direction east into Kootenay National Park. The first few miles in are really neat. The road goes through a very narrow col which may or may not be natural. Seemed like the rock face went up at least 300 or 400 feet maybe more. Might have very well been drilled and shot for the road. It's hard to tell. I had to pay a fee to get in which was around $20 methinks. Nothing too outrageous, it's $20 to get into Rocky Mountain NP in Colorado. I usually drive over trail ridge every year. Got 64 mpg with my FLSTC driving over it back on 09.
Drove through the park. Stopped by the overpass on highway 1 to take some pics. The northern Rockies are reeeeasally nice. Not a 100 million people here either.
Headed north to lake Louise after that. Finally found some parking after driving around for a bit. I took a leisurely stroll through the downtown area then sat down for a double cheeseburger at one of the better sit-down restaurants. There were two bikes parked next to mine when I walked by, then they left when I was eating. I left a few minutes after that heading north again on 1.
Driving north towards Jasper I stopped here and there for some pics here and there. A little while later a same the same two gentlemen who had parked next to me earlier at lake Louise. Since this was day 3 of being the lonely rider I figured it wouldnt hurt to stop and bs with them for a bit. They were probably in there upper 40s from Ohio. One had a GS 1200, which I mistook for a 1150(I'm not a Beamer expert), and the other had a modified ninja 1200. He built a bracket for a taller windshield, made some different pegs, and had some engine mods if I remember right. They had around 5 weeks off from work and were going up to jasper then heading back east on the way back to Ohio. Took a few more pics then hit the road again. I stopped at a pull off about an hour from jasper on 93. Walked down to the Athabasca river, removed my boots, and took a little siesta for half an hour or so. Dangled my feet down in the water, but had to take them out due to freezing cold water temperatures. Continuing on north I drove right by Jasper. Too many trees for me. Montana is very open, you can see a gas station 5 miles away. After I got turned around, I drove into town got some petroleum. The gas station had bottled water under lock and key for some reason beyond me . Must be a hot commodity up there. I think I bought a pop or something there. There were a fair amount of people there for a Monday afternoon. I made a loop through town to check things out before I left. Went out of town on 16 towards Edmonton, but jumped off on 40 at the junction,
Highway 40 in Alberta was really quite nice. Looking at the map I assumed it would be some little podunk highway out in the middle of nowhere with mediocre scenery. It was rather desolate as far as people are concerned but the landscape was really nice. Halfway to Grand Prairie there was some type of mine or something similar. Didn't stop to ask so I can say for sure, but it looked like some type of underground operation. I work at a surface coal mine, so I find such things more intriguing than the average person. Towards the end of the highway the mountains flattened out and turned to rolling prairie the last 5-10 miles before Grand Prairie.
Arriving in Grand Prairie about 10:30ish, i found the first gas staion in town and pulled in for a fill up. Went inside and bought a sandwich and a bottle of water. One thing that really stood out in Canada was the prices of just about every food item in the convenient stores. Bottles of pop were $2 or more, candy bars, chips were $1.50-$2.50. I picked a liter bottle of water, which didnt have a price label on it, and almost took it back when it rang up at $3.73! Talk about highway robbery here. At just about every gas station in the US, you can find a liter bottle of water for under $1.50, sometimes $1. But i was thirsty so bought it anyway. The sun didnt set until around 10:45 MST and it was quite light out until after 11. After walking around for a few minutes to stretch my legs, i jumped back on the bike and headed west on 43. About halfway to Dawson Creek i pulled off the road and turned at a campground sign, but it was like 15km from the highway. Wasnt looking for more miles than necessary at this point, so i just rode into Dawson Creek and found a campground in town to camp at. Got the tent set up after midnight and slept for 6 hours.
The next set of pics is from Jasper National Park.
The Ohio Guys in the right corner.
735 miles today.
Live free and ride hard.