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Old 09-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #46
Lornce OP
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Thanks for the kind words, Ronyx. Freeman Patterson was my hero when I was 16. Some of the finest, most poignant images I've ever seen created with a camera.

Antontrax, I've been using a Nikon D100 for a few years now. It's my first digital camera after years of mechanical film SLR's. I'm sort of an old school "Kodachrome and a Spotmatic" sorta guy, but I'm constantly amazed by the versatility of the digital medium.

I like this picture. The hues and shapes and low sun work together to capture the feeling of riding a small motorcycle in a big country on this gorgeous windy late summer prairie evening.




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Old 09-12-2007, 09:29 PM   #47
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I've been using a Nikon D100 for a few years now.
Ah, I'll bet that's why the Pelican case on the back, for rapid access!
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:41 PM   #48
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"eschew"
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:14 PM   #49
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gesundheit
Gutt von.

This place was nice, but they spelled Oilberta wrong...





I was originally planning to camp at Writing On Stone Provincial Park which was another 100+km to the west along a very deep and loose surfaced gravel road #501 when I saw the sign pointing north on the paved hwy41: "Cypress Hills Provincial Park 47km"

I went north.





Heading north on the mighty R-Five-O.









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Old 09-13-2007, 08:10 AM   #50
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Heading north on the mighty R-Five-O.





Now that's cycling at it's finest! really enjoying your report.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:06 AM   #51
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Great report and fantastic pics Lawrence. The old BMW really has a beautiful retro quality that sure fits in nice with the scenery you've photographed. I look forward to seeing it in real time up at Bellfountain some Sunday.

Can't wait to see more pics and the rest of the RR.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:38 AM   #52
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Great trip and awsome report, I always thought about the Prairies as a bit of a bore till I started travelling out there.
You describe it very well and I am popping some more corn and settling in for the next installment.

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Old 09-13-2007, 01:11 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornce
Heading north on the mighty R-Five-O.


absolutely fantastic shot!!



if you dont mind me asking, mr. L, whats the trick to shots like these (other than your genius skill ofcourse )? are you in aperture priority here? small aperture with a slow shutter?
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:30 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by kahoon
absolutely fantastic shot!!



if you dont mind me asking, mr. L, whats the trick to shots like these (other than your genius skill ofcourse )? are you in aperture priority here? small aperture with a slow shutter?

Auto-pilot.

If you want to create a sense of motion you need to choose a shutter speed that's slow enough to allow the road to blur past the film, errmn ccd. You can do it in manual, shutter priority or apperature priority. Just keep an eye on your shutter speed and use a setting that'll give you between 1/15 and 1/60 or so, depending on how much "motion" you want to create.

And don't try it ANYwhere near Southern Ontario! On Alta Hwy41 where I took this pic I think I saw 3 cars in 47kms.

fwiw,
Lornce


This was shot at 1/40 sec.


This frame was 1/15sec and while interesting and certainly "dynamic", a little too blurry for the effect I was seeking.

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Old 09-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by kahoon
absolutely fantastic shot!!



if you dont mind me asking, mr. L, whats the trick to shots like these (other than your genius skill ofcourse )? are you in aperture priority here? small aperture with a slow shutter?
Kudo's Lornce You just gave me the new desktop image for my 24" iMac at the office. Saaaawwweeeeeeeeeeeet! Sure looks good big. Keep 'em comming.

Fin

P.S. Any chance you could email me the high rez??? Huh? Please?
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:26 PM   #56
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Kudo's Lornce You just gave me the new desktop image for my 24" iMac at the office. Saaaawwweeeeeeeeeeeet! Sure looks good big. Keep 'em comming.

Fin

P.S. Any chance you could email me the high rez??? Huh? Please?
hey fin, how do you like that 24" iMac? i'm about to get one for home

are we going ridin' this weekend?
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:33 PM   #57
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Welcome back!

Glad to see you back safe, Lornce. Sounds like a fabulous trip. You do travel right, my good man! Very right.

Thanks for the pics so far... love the Prairie shots... a part of this country poo-poo'd by many... but if experienced properly... it truly is a spectacular place to ride through. There's something magical about the flowing waves of tall grasses greeting you as you roll past. Well done!











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Old 09-13-2007, 07:56 PM   #58
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Pit Bull, how was your trip west on the Monster? That's hard core, man. Looking forward to a coffee and a natter in Belfountain.

I hear you on the praries, Mike. They really are a dramatic backdrop. I hated to leave them, but had to keep moving west. The mountains were calling my name. Or maybe I was having a bad John Denver flashback. I dunno.

Anyhow, I found this nice gravel backroad from Cypress Hills to Medicine Hat and savoured every lonely mile as I knew I'd soon be droning up the TCH with all the monster trucks towards Calgary. Actually I was kind of interested to see Calgary again after having lived there in '80 and '81 when it's population was something less than half of it's current 1M+. Besides, I needed to find a big box store to buy some more camera memory. Best Buy here I come.

It was along that stretch of TCH signed at 110km/hr that I learned the little Beemer that thought it could... really Could. It used a little more fuel at those speeds but it was happy enough to rev it's little lungs out a little higher than it had to date. We still got passed by just about everything on the road except trucks towing really really big camping trailers. And VW micro-busses. VW micro-buses, bless their hearts. I couldn't remember when I last saw a VW micro-bus on the road in Ontario. Did my heart good to see them in traffic again. Meep meeeep.

The night before while rolling into Cypress Hills I was surprised to learn it's about the same elevation as Banff. Wow, we're starting to get Rocky Mountain high. Oh no, the flashbacks have started again!




Now, is it just me or does this gravel road look a lot nicer than gravel roads everywhere else in Canada? I've never seen such smooth, uniform aggregate on a gravel road before.

That's a Heritage Fund gravel road if I ever saw one.




Okay, I'm going to ask you to indulge me in a little nostalgia for a minute here. This is along the 1A, which is a much nicer two lane alternate for approaching the mountains from Calgary than Trans Canada Highway Hwy#1.

Anyhow, I was trying to recreate from memory a similar photo I'd taken in May of 1980 in exactly the same spot. It was my first ride on a motorcycle into the Rocky Mountains and I wanted to document it. I was a skinny 18yr old kid on a '78Yamaha SR500 with a Yashica TL Electro and a thread mount 28mm Image lens. Shooting Kodachrome 25, of course.

Kodachrome 25 always told the truth.



Here's another attempt to recreate a photo of an old pioneer church at the same spot.




This video was recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto on April 20, 1980. It was a great, great show.




Man, they don't call them the Rocky Mountains for nothing. But that weather coming through looks a little ominous. Time to batten down the hatches and suit up for some serious conditions.

The ride into Banff from here was pretty exciting with vicious wind and rain. Seriously. I nearly dropped the bike approaching the park gates with the wind ripping through the valley.


It was WILD.



In the town of Banff there was foliage from pine trees laying all over the place. Boughs and branches lay in the roadways where downed trees had been hustled off to clear the way for traffic. The sound of chain saws could be heard everywhere.

It was pretty exciting.

Oh yeah, and Banff was about 6 times larger than it was in '81 with shops and restaurants spreading west and north from the main drag I remembered. It seemed to be done tastefully, though. The Banff charm remained and the place was still kept pretty spotless. It was encouraging to see the inevitable development to accomodate growing numbers done so well.

Two thumbs up, Banff. Here's to you remaining a jewel of the Canadian Rockies.



And just as quickly as the storm arrived it seemed to blow over leaving crystal blue skies in it's wake. This view near the Tunnel Mountain campsites is typical of the scenery throughout the park.

Not bad, eh?



A friendly German tourist who watched me take the last pic insisted I stand near my bike and allow her to take a picture with my camera. She wouldn't be deterred. I indulged her and enjoyed the beginnings of a pleasant chat when her not so friendly German husband arrived and dragged her off to the next stop on their Canadian Rockies package holiday...

Oh well.

Thanks to an odd pairing of Teutons you can now identify your intrepid reporter.



I had a great night camped on Tunnel Mountain next door to a pair of keen young Kootenay rock climbers on KLR 650's. They told hilariously annimated stories of the storm from earlier in the day. Apparently a tree had actually landed across a tent in a site near ours. Nobody was hurt, but the tent was a write-off. We laughed and shared tales into the evening as we enjoyed libations and feasted on fresh olive loaf, spiced cheeses and bison. Those boys travel in a high fine style with their KLR ammo cans stuffed with goodies.

These guys were both fairly new to motorcycling after years of passionately chasing all over the Rockies to find challenging rock faces to conquer. They brought the same level of adventure and enthusiasm to motorcycling, having taken five weeks to ride through Baja and Copper Canyon the previous winter.

The next morning they blasted off to find some challenging gravel roads through the heart of Kananaskis country and I blasted off to find some good pancakes in Banff. Holidays are all about priorities.

I forgot to take their picture before we parted ways, so I'll have to show you some Rocky Mountain sheep from Mount Norquay instead. These guys were pretty good rock climbers, too, so it's not completely unrelated to the story.



Continuing along the 1A between Banff and Lake Louise there's evidence of recent forest fire activity and new growth below charred trees. Makes for a striking view of contrasts under overcast skies.



The next few hours took me up and over the Kicking Horse Pass in some very bone chilling rain. I was flirting with the early stages of hypothermia and I didn't stop to take pictures. It was spectacular, though. If you've been through the area, you know what I mean.

I did notice an aweful lot of Beemers heading in the other direction, though. A disproportionate number of beemers. Hmmmn, only Beemer guys are crazy enough to be out riding in this stuff? What's the deal?

Didn't take anymore pictures until later in the afternoon when I was heading south in the valley between the Kootenay Range and Purcell Mountains towards Canal Flats. These hoodoo rock formations, small stones sandwiched between layers of compressed sand, are located along Hwy 93/95 just north of Canal Flats.



From Canal Flats I headed east on a gravel cut road into the Kootenay's to find some hot springs along the Lussier River. I'd first been to these hot springs years ago after riding through a September snowstorm over the Continental Divide. This visit was to be similar as I was still chilled to the bone after the cold wet ride over Kicking Horse Pass and on again off again cold rain throughout the day.

It was going to be good to soak in the steaming water beside the Lussier River while basking in the view of spectacular mountainscapes on all sides.



I've been riding an airhead GS/PD for the last few years and while it's spoiled me with it's comfort and capability, I'd forgotten how well these standard old airheads work on broken surfaces and gravel roads. Those forks were way ahead of their time back in the early '70's with something like 6 or 7" of softly sprung travel. And the Konis just soaked up the road under the laden back end of the old boxer. What a sweet old peach of a bike this is.

Watch where you're going, mind. It's a long way down to the river below if you don't pay attention on the bends.



Sorry lads, I didn't take the camera down to the hot springs. Some things just aren't proper. Though the girls seemed pretty keen about photographing each other. Maybe they were preparing brochures?

I had to laugh, there's a sign at the top of the trail leading to the hot springs announcing "Nudity and Alcohol Prohibitted". Of course while I was packing my gear to leave a group of rock climbers piled out of their Subarus and debated enthusiastically about whether or not to pose by the sign - naked with beers in hand.

I'm sure it wouldn't have been the first time that sign's been photographed like that.

Tired from a long cold day's riding and a little heat exhausted from the hot springs, I headed into Cranbrook and grabbed the first motel room of the trip. It rained most of the night and in the morning I did some laundry and had breakfast with an old riding buddy from Ontario who now lives half an hour away in the Kootenay River valley. Mike wanted to join me for a day or two, but had just returned from four days of tripping in his cedar strip kayak in the West Kootenay lakes and had things he needed to attend to at home. And the weather was terrible. We rode together as far as Moyie and parted with a loose plan to do a little riding together on the return portion of the journey.

Then twenty miles down the road I ran into the Kootenay Kids on their KLR's again. It was good to see them and hear thier stories of gravel roads through the mountains, terrific rivers and a gorgeous cut throat trout caught on a fly for breakfast. Those lads sure do it in a great style. Good on them.

We rode together as far as Creston where we promised to chase each other around some gravel roads in the future and I headed north for one of the Kootenay Lakes Provincial Parks and they headed west for Castlegar.



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Old 09-13-2007, 09:41 PM   #59
Fin
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hey fin, how do you like that 24" iMac? i'm about to get one for home

are we going ridin' this weekend?
Love the 24. Absolutely sweet. Running parallels with XP too. Best of both worlds.

As for this weekend... I'll give you a call tomorrow.

Fin
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:58 PM   #60
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Love this thread Lornce. Wish I'd never sold my old 75/6.

The bike, the pics, the attitude all perfect.

Making me nostalgic.
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