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Old 07-18-2014, 05:16 PM   #76
moe50
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:04 PM   #77
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This trip was almost a full year of obsession and preparation. Hard to believe this is my last evening in Banff. I will cross over into the land of the free some time tomorrow around midday. Will be interstating it to Great Falls Montana looking for a good campsite and then heading towards Spearfish Sunday, which happens to be my 50th birthday. I'm doing a little side trip to Devils Tower in Wyoming and May camp thereabouts if it gets late on me. If not Sunday night, I will meet up with Amber and spend a couple of nights in Spearfish South Dakota so she can show me her old stomping grounds. You'll notice there has been very little posting regarding fishing. The fish are winning. I have only landed the one little guy I posted a picture of a few days ago, and hooked a couple of others. I opted out of hiring a guide because they are about 4 times as expensive here than they are in other places I've hired guides. No biggy but it proves that a good guide is indispensable when fishing unfamiliar territory. Gonna give it one last shot tonight.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:06 PM   #78
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Should have held my tongue about the fishing. I went out one last time this evening and landed this little guy. Had tons more strikes but couldn't hook and land them. A cold front came through last night, and the winds really kicked up changing the behavior of the fish. They would get aggressive for short periods and then disappear.

Tonight's wind concerns me for the long ride tomorrow. It could be a difficult ride. I'll just have to be prepared for delays.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:07 PM   #79
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Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

I just keep rolling along.



419 miles today. As predicted, the crosswinds were brutal. I was relieved to wait in line at the border crossing to escape the wind and was glad it was over. Then I remembered the weather does not respect international boundaries and the pummeling continued. It was like going 12 with Ali.

Check out the beast in front of me.

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Old 07-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #80
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Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

With a name like Fort Whoop Up, you know the Americans were involved.











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Old 07-20-2014, 07:35 PM   #81
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He pointed his beak at my beak and I won.



The magpies of Alberta and Montana have a death wish. I involuntarily granted this one's wish.

That was this morning. This was yesterday.



I made it to belt Montana and camped at this little Lions Club picnic area. It was a beautiful starry night but lots of mosquitoes and close to the road so lots of traffic as well. And cold. I did not sleep well.



Population 319. Triple that if you include horses. The rodeo is in town. Waitress tells me there's a lot of liability with rodeo now so they've really toned it down.



The Coyote Creek cafe is where it's at.



As you can tell from the signage, they have everything you need.



We pressed on through southeast Montana past Little Big Horn. I skipped visiting the monument because in all honesty it's simply a monument in the middle of hills that look-alike for miles and miles and miles.



Finally, after Billings and Little Big Horn the landscape changed from miles and miles of boring and redundant open prairie to the painted rocks and fractured Earth. Riding through the Custer national Forest was great with lots of nice wide sweeping turns and lots of scenery.
No pictures because the wind was still trying to kill me. But the GoPro's were running and there will be video later.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:45 PM   #82
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Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

And then it happened…

Today happened to be my 50th birthday. The plan was to meet up with my girlfriend at the Devils Tower and celebrate my birthday that night with some friends of hers from Sundance. She drove up from Texas to Spearfish to meet me and show me her old stomping grounds.

While fueling up in Broadus Montana I noticed a problem with the rear tire, there was cord showing.

That's 3000 miles premature since the tires only have about 7000 miles on them. I cleaned and lubed the chain yesterday morning before I left Banff and inspected both tires. They both had plenty of tread left. I'm still processing it but I believe it is possible that much treadwear could've occurred in the last two days since I've ridden about 700 hard aggressive miles at high-speed loaded down. I rechecked the tire pressure and it was fine. It's quite possible that the premature wear is the result of one of the n00b things that I may have done in the process of fixing my last flat, using the wrong kind of tube to cause it to overheat or something along those lines. I'm not above suspecting one of my amateur mistakes could have led to the problem.


So I haven't made it to the Devils Tower, and I am spending my 50th birthday alone in a cheap motel in Broadus.

The plan is for my girlfriend to rent a U-Haul trailer in Spearfish, come up and trailer the bike back to Spearfish where I will find a motorcycle tire dealer to replace the tire.

I might even let the dealer install it, and forgo the rugged individualist macho act of installing it myself on the side of the road like I did back in Texas on day one.

50th birthdays should be interesting. And this 50th birthday was "interesting".

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Old 07-21-2014, 11:14 AM   #83
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Dang, that magpie did have a death wish! Looks like you could use a headlight guard (http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=987509). A little higher and you'd have lost the lights.

This has been a fantastic RR. I grew up in Southern Alberta, so I know the area well. I've been wanting to ride from Austin to Banff and this has got me thinking next year is the year!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:04 PM   #84
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I had a glancing blow with a buzzard last week! Thankfully, it was a glancing blow, at about 45 mph. Smelly situation, to say the least!

Great report!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:44 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by ElJefeATX View Post

Great shot!
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:56 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaen View Post
Not many know this but travel btw the US/Canada does not require a passport. You can get through with enhanced drivers license, nexus card, birth certificate/etc. You just have to prove whom you are.

Granted it is better to go with a passport but it is not required. Call up both the Canadian and Us border stations and talk to them directly to verify this. My buddy did this today and has done it numerous times over the past year.


Regards

Steve
I did it last year enroute to Nova Scotia. A brain seizure caused my passport to remain at home. What the US border folks said (I checked on my own side before I tried to cross) was that "they" (the Canadians) would probably let me in, but there would be "a problem" coming home. The "problem" might result in my detention, possibly for 24 hours or more, depending on how long it took to verify my ID. Indeed, the friendly Canadian officer let me in on the basis of my drivers license. Fortunately, my good wife overnighted my passport to me & I didn't have to spend my golden years camping on Cape Breton Island., as I only have a three season tent.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:10 PM   #87
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Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

Some pictures from yesterday's tire change. Thanks to J&S Tire in Broadus MT for the assist. We didn't trailer the bike. My gf was in Spearfish, went to RApid City, picked up a Heidenau K 60 then brought it to Broadus. She had driven up from Texas to meet me in Spearfish to spend a few days, so that was fortunate with the tire debacle. As a surprise she had also brought our dog Harlan, whom I thought was going to stay in Texas in a kennel. So that was a nice surprise.









We convoyed to Spearfish, got rained on a little bit and took in the sunset.

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Old 07-22-2014, 10:19 PM   #88
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Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

Riding shotgun as a tourista around the black hills today. Harlan was upset that he has been relegated to the back seat.



Stopped by Wild Bill Hickocks grave at Boot Hill then did a Griswold drive-by at Mount Rushmore.





We were headed over the Needles highway to go to Custer State Park, but a bus load of Japanese tourists high-centered on a hairpin turn, closing the road.



So we took Harlan out to climb and sniff on the rocks.





We were all exhausted after the nearly mile-long hike.


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Old 07-22-2014, 10:22 PM   #89
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One more day as a tourists and then I'll be back on the bike headed into Wyoming and points south.

Had a great steak dinner at the Buffalo Jump saloon in Beulah WY tonight. Highly recommended.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:46 AM   #90
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Quick crazy person story...

I was looking for a campsite at the end of the day and saw a sign for the Fort Ponderosa campground and RV park in Belt, Montana. I turned in and rode through the campground to see the tent spaces and decide whether it would suffice for the night. There were lots of people and Mosquitos, as well as a sign beside the tent spaces that said "pet potty area", so I was not enthusiastic about staying there, but it was getting late. I was indecisive. As I rounded the loop toward the office a lady came marching, literally marching, down the middle of the road and thrusted out an open palm demanding that I stop.

"Would you mind telling me what you are doing?"

"Yeah, I was riding through to decide if I wanted to camp here tonight."

"You do NOT just ride through our campground deciding if you want camp."

"Well OK but I'm not going to pay for a campsite without seeing the place first. "

She opened her hand gesturing toward the highway... "At this time I'm going to have you exit the campground?"

I'm usually not this way but I couldn't help myself... "Well the tent sites are pretty nasty so I'll be more than happy to exit at this time."

I ended up putting up my hammock in a Lions Club picnic shelter down the road. Had the place all to myself with a beautiful starry sky to gaze into.

Later on I had a hunch that Yelp reviews of the Fort Ponderosa Campground and RV Park might be enlightening and entertaining. Sure enough, several reviews had titles like " the manager lady is a psychopath."

Be sure to make yourself at home and ride through if you're ever I'm the area.
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