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Old 09-19-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Going to the Sun - SkyScape Run

Last Sunday, the 12th I think, the sun was shining for a change so I packed up and headed out for a solo 2 or 3 day blast from Edmonton, Alberta, east to west over the Going to the Sun Highway, Glacier Park, Montana.
1500 Km round trip, the weather was (pretty) great, the roads were fun, the views, especially the the constantly changing sky, spectacular.
But, first things first.

AGTSWP - All good trips start with PANCAKES!

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I decided to divert myself from the boring ride on No. 2 to Calgary with some tunes to my Scala headset - big mistake! The sound was bad, and while slightly distracted thinking about how to fix it, I almost pulled into the fender of a rapidly passing Ford Mustang . I read Face Plant all the time and am struck by how little mistakes (trying to ride with an untested system, in this case) can combine with a random chance (car passing in passing land at high speed) can turn into disaster. It didn't in this case - just a a sphincter moment and a stern warning to concentrate on job one!

A stop in Red Deer for a Timmy's helped to get back on track.



About noon I made my way through the traffic nightmare that is Calgary, got a bite of lunch in Okatoks, and headed south for highway 22, the Cowboy Trail. The prairie sky started it's two day show as I made my way on some back roads to Longview.



I've always wanted to make one of these shots look cool - maybe next time



The pictures just don't do justice to the skyscape. Better photographer? Better camera



Rolling south past Chain Lakes, onward to Pincher Creek, with the foothills turning into mountains on my right. No traffic - I am in awe of the sky.















This is why I ride. I'm now singing in my helmet!

folknride screwed with this post 09-19-2010 at 10:39 PM
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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South of Pincher Creek, we get into the more mountainous terrain around the entrance to Waterton Park.





Cross into Montana on highway 6, after a nice chat with a very friendly American customs officer. He was a fellow rider, and his manner certainly didn't fit with the side arm he was carrying. They used to call the 49th parallel the "longest undefended border in the world". I guess it's defended now - kind of sad.

A couple more big skies, then on to St. Mary.




There are some funky little eateries in the St. Mary / Babb area.



Accommodation, on the other hand, is a bit scarce.

Not many!


Some of it looked a bit sketchy.



I think I got the last room, in the basement of the pricey resort. Can't remember ever paying more for less, but it served the purpose at the end of a long, terrific day.

At least I wasn't under canvas.



Evening brought more beautiful skies, and planets rising over the mountains.





Tomorrow, the pass.
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Old 09-20-2010, 11:14 AM   #3
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Day Two

Monday morning - beautiful day!



Good breakfast at The Park. Vintage eatery with a modern hippy vibe. I had eaten dinner there the night before - pretty good food - the burgers looked like the way to go, but as a celiac, they're off my list. It can sometimes be a pain to get road food I can eat, but usually no big deal.



I can't beliee my luck as I head out by St. Mary Lake. No traffic, great weather, and once again those stunning skyscapes. I clamped my little camera to the bars to try some road shots. Very few turned out due to motion blur (prbly used the wrong setting), but here are a couple that aren't bad.





Thousands have posted pictures of this ride, and there's realy not much more to say about the beauty of the place. I think it's a "must do" for every moto-traveler. These are my shots, without much comment, except that the mist and sky vistas were a special treat for me.



























There were several construction zones that bunched up what little trafic there was. I went through with the pilot car, then waited for a bit so I had the road to myself and got out of the diesel exhaust .




And so to the summit.










I look west - am I going to lose this great weather???
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Down the west side

Rolling down to West Glacier in rapidly changing weather and cloud conditions.














Construction delays give good opportunities for "KTM in Mountains" shots. The bike performed perfectly throughout.






























A fair bit of traffic eastbound. A bit premature on the shutter - missed it by THAT much




The road along Lake MacDonald is some of the most fun I've ever had on pavement. Brand spanking new paving job, smooth as a baby's butt, no traffic, and half an hours worth of serpentine bliss.
(Honest officer, I wasn't going that fast )










Twisties




Another self portrait attempt





Beautiful little creek.




Lake MacDonald, at West Glacier.
I stopped for a coffee and met some riders from Denver headed for Banff, Jasper, and Edmonton. One of them expressed some KTM Envy - well who wouldn't! I must apologize to them for the crappy weather I'm sure they ran into in my homeland. It's been a strange year.



I seriously considered turning around and riding back west to east, but instead headed for Whitefish and some 4 lane north.

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Old 09-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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Can I beat the weather home?

So far, so good!
Kind of a boring road shot - 93 north to Eureka.



But 93 becomes a great, winding two lane with very little traffic.

Rolling into Eureka for fuel - the idiot light had been on for 50km - Idiot!




I crossed the border at Roosville - another friendly customs official! - what's this world coming to . Around Grasmere this oasis of coffee excellence jumps up. "You had me at ESPRESSO"




Now I'm really moving (read buzzed) - Crowsnest Highway and Fernie ahead.




Fernie is a beautiful setting, but I feel the weather changing fast.




I'd like to check out the cool coffee house/church in Coleman, but I need another coffee like a hole in the head (GOOD ESPRESSO), and it's just too cold to stop.




This is all I saw of The Frank Slide (been there many times). Cannonshot has some wonderful material on this area here http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603076

Me, I'm headed home, north on 22 (the Cowboy trail) in steadily deteriorating weather (not that I'm a wimp, but I can kinda smell snow)



Farmers must be worried about getting the harvest done - it's late this year and weather is not their friend. Meeting these guys on the road at 140kph is pretty exciting - they take up their side and a good chunk of yours




This last (did I hear some one say "finally"?) shot is just before the rain hit, south of Longview. Hard, cold, wind driven, visor fogging - I hung out in the Longview Tavern until it slowed to a steady pitterpat, then headed north again. Decided against pushing another 300 km home, and imposed myself on my long suffering Calgary inlaws, and rode home Tuesday morning.



It was a wonderful trip, and from the looks of Meter Man's post, well timed (note the snow on the roadside).
Thanks for looking in!!!
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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Nice report! Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-20-2010, 08:17 PM   #7
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:11 AM   #8
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Excellent! I love 22 down to the Crowsnest. A number of us riding had breakfast on the deck at that cafe at St. Mary, Montana one time. Thanks for taking me back.
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #9
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The wife and I rode the Going To The Sun Road back in July. Lemme just say that traffic was significantly heavier...

We took some pictures at the exact same places that you took some of yours! Great minds...

Oh - and the portion of the Road around Logan Pass is closed due to snow right now!

Thanks for posting up!
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDogAlberta
Excellent! I love 22 down to the Crowsnest. A number of us riding had breakfast on the deck at that cafe at St. Mary, Montana one time. Thanks for taking me back.
It's a beautiful part of the world. Maybe in the spring some of us Alberta dual sport folk should organize a bit of a ride. Start around Lundbreck, up to Kananaskis, forestry trunk road to points north, Jasper, then BC backroads through Nelson and back over Crowsnest or Logan. Riders could meet at different stages on the loop, depending on whether they are Calgary and south based, Red Deer, or Edmonton North. ??

Reading and posting at 3AM - you are a true motorcyclist!
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerGeek99
The wife and I rode the Going To The Sun Road back in July. Lemme just say that traffic was significantly heavier...

We took some pictures at the exact same places that you took some of yours! Great minds...

Oh - and the portion of the Road around Logan Pass is closed due to snow right now!

Thanks for posting up!
My wife seriously wanted to go - it was going to be our 40th wedding anniversary trip, but she injured herself at the gym and couldn't do pillion, then didn't want to risk a cold weather ride. We'll do it together next year. Probably early to dodge as much traffic as possible. Three years ago we drove it in mid August - brutal traffic!
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