I've had a standing invite from my Canadian amigo Tony T up in Banff, Alberta to come up for a fly fishing expedition. Then I bought a Triumph Tiger 800XC back in December. No-brainer...
Gonna camp and rough it along the way. Target Departure date: July 1, 2014. 30 days to ride up west of the Rockies, fish and explore the Canadian Rockies, head back south east of the Rockies, zip over and meet my girlfriend for a few days in Spearfish SD where she grew up, and try to get lost on a few Colorado Rockies backroads on the way home.
The north route
All subject to change on my whims...
Across north Texas to Taos, Chama and Shiprock New Mexico through the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests on hwy 64. Up to Cortez Colorado and across into south Utah on a a road that follows the river west recommended by Butler maps, up to Arches National Park. I might take a day to explore Moab and Arches NP. Next is Salt Lake City where I will at least roll past that gigantic temple. Up into Idaho and the Bitterroot National Forest with a nice twisty stretch of hwy 93 I'm really looking forward to. Then to Glacier National Park MT and hopefully across Going to the Sun Road which is still mostly closed because they haven't completely plowed it yet. Cross into Canada at Chief Mountain and it's on to destination Banff!
Gonna head back through Calgary and SE through Montana. Custer National Forest, Devil's Tower in Wyoming, then some R&R in Spearfish SD where the GF is going to meet me for a couple of days. Deadwood, Mt. Rushmore, then back over into Montana and south to Colorado where it might get crazy depending on how much time I have left. Trail Ridge Rd. through Rocky Mountains National Park, possibly a little off-road stint down the continental divide ride for a few hundred miles. Royal Gorge, and if there's time, hanging out with my buddy Bawb in Colorado Springs. After that it gets pretty boring heading into North Texas. Caddilac ranch, 72 ounce steak challenge (probably not really) and home through the hill country to Austin.
So here's the first big plot twist: I applied for my passport back a few months ago. The process takes 4-6 weeks normally. I should have had 2 weeks to spare. Without getting into deep detail, there was a glitch, and my passport is now MIA in the system and I may not get to cross the border! Yay.
My plan is to take off for Canada anyway, and have my GF overnight the passport to a UPS store in Montana IF it arrives after I leave, but in time for me to spend an adequate amount of time in Canada. If that doesn't happen this becomes "Austin to Glacier National Park, Montana and tooling around the American Rockies on a Triumph Tiger 800 XC."
There's a thread about the passport thing in trip planning if you really want to know more. But it's not going to get here by the time I leave, so screw it.
One cool thing I'm going to attempt, technology gods willing, is to occasionally broadcast live streaming video while riding. Benefit of having an unlimited data plan. Could be cool while riding through some twisties and stuff.
You can sign up for e-mail alerts for when I'm streaming live by creating an account at www.Ustream.tv
and subscribing to my channel:
Also, if you click the "like" thing on the channel page the live streams will show up on your facebook page.
I'll post updates here when I can but most of it will be after the fact.
The link in my sig is to a facebook page I set up just for this trip. Those updates will be in real time.
If you decide to ride along, hope you enjoy my trip.
And I'll take advice on things to do and see along my route if you have them.