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Old 07-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
H-Jay OP
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Wandering Around Alaska and Northern Canada in June 2007


The road ended at the beginning of the road to Kananaskis Village and the mountain pass to Banff. Unfortunately the pass didn’t open till June 15. That caused us to take a 3 ½ hour ride to Banff vs. 1 ½ hours over the pass.

We stopped in Banff to eat. I found Banff too touristy for my taste. It was recommended that we get off the autobahn section of the Ice Parkway as soon as we leave Banff and take 1A. 1A is a great little 2 laner that runs parallel to the divided highway portion of the Parkway. It took us to the Johnson Canyon Campground where we spent the night. We found a spot next to a couple on a GS.

The couple on the GS was from Switzerland and, as it turns out, has been on the road for the past 26 months. We talked well in to the evening as they told us about their journey. They rode to Russia, Turkey, down though Iran, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Seattle and up to where we met them. Interestingly, Ivo said it was cheaper to fly his motorcycle across the oceans. They would just show up at the airport with their bike. Jacqueline had me rolling on the ground as she described riding through India beating on the hoods of cars with a stick to keep them back. Next up is South America. Their story would be familiar to others we would hear. “…Had the dream to do it, sold everything and went for it. Will figure out what’s next when we get to that bridge…”

Met Ivo and Jacqueline and their GS 80 with 120k + miles on the odo.

Continuing up the 1A.

Close enough to a bear for me....

And stopped at Lake Louise to take pictures of the tourist taking their obligatory Lake Louise photo.

GSNerd was an instant Asian chick magnet. They all wanted to climb aboard GS, the Motorcycle that is, for a photo opt.

Here’s another shot from the Ice Parkway as we headed up to Jasper and the start of the Alaska Highway

We saw our first bear at an appropriate distance of about 2 miles away.

Snow in June?

This puddle is not what you think….

This was the melting remains of a little parking lot excursion through a snow bank … in June!

On the Alaska Highway – finally!

We made it to Fort Nelson for the night and pulled in to the West End Campground. The Christmas lights on the PVC drain pipe should have been a warning. Caution: Venting to follow!

I made my self a promise that while on the trip I would not let anything bother me. But I gotta push the promise pause button for a second. Fort Nelson’s West End Campground was the absolute worse campground and dinner experience of the entire trip.

Here is GSNerd trying to set up his tent and get in to it without exposing any skin.

The Mosquitoes were atrocious because of the campground’s lack of ground maintenance, including regular grass cutting and adequate drainage. We might as well have stayed in a swamp. The overgrown grass was freshly cut and laid there in large moisture holding clumps.

The campground had a restaurant/bar on the grounds that advertised a dinner special. We decided to treat ourselves to a big dinner indoors.

Here is the saloon restaurant where we ate.

I had an unbelievably, overpriced Prime Rib and lousy service at this restaurant. It was advertised as the “Not Ready for Prime Time Prime Rib Special” and I should have believed them.

Here are the 2 Paris Nicol wannabes that need help on bar tending and waiting tables. Looks can only make up for so much.

When the cashier asked how was everything I bit my lip and calmly explained that I didn’t think beef rind qualified as prime rib. A little jerk sitting on the bar stool next to the cashier offered that they gave me the best part. Again with blood running down my bit lip and remembering my promise, I told him calmly I had 2 words for him and they aren’t “happy motoring!”. He just looked at me with a stupid looking grin.

Enough venting …. I’d will avoid this place at all cost in the future.

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