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Old 07-26-2009, 06:38 PM   #16
waterlilly
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great pics Steve, really enjoying the updates.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:54 AM   #17
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Day 5 Video Clips

Here are a couple of crudely edited video clips from Day 5, one is of riding I-90 on the Wyoming plains with the Rockies in the distance and the other, a bit longer clip (may take some time to load if you have a slow internet connection) of riding over Beartooth pass.

Enjoy!

Rockies in the Distance from Twistn'Roads on Vimeo.



Riding Over Beartooth Pass from Twistn'Roads on Vimeo.


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Old 07-27-2009, 04:56 AM   #18
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Day 6

"When I was very young and the urge to be someplace was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured that greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. . . In other words, I don't improve, in further words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable."


~ John Steinbeck



Day 6 – June 17
Red Lodge, Montana > St Mary, Montana (KOA)
Today’s mileage: 762.4 km, Trip to date: 4105.1 km



I was up early today. Both Mike and I had fairly long distances planned. I was headed to the east side Glacier National Park, and Mike, somewhere to the west. Les had checked the National park Service website the night before to see if Going to the Sun Highway was open and unfortunately it was still closed at Logan Pass. I would have to alter my planned route a bit but not before we had a tasty plate of pancakes and eggs!

I was headed north today, following the edge of the Rocky Mountains. We left Red Lodge on SR-78. What a fun twisty road this was, although you had to keep your eyes open for deer. They were everywhere this morning. Mike and I followed 78 up to I-90 that we then took for about 100 km to the west. From there we headed north again on 89. I would pretty much follow 89 all the way up to St Mary, the eastern gate to Glacier NP. Mike and I rode together to the junction of 89 & 12 where we pulled off to the side of the road, shook hands and wished each other safe journey. I enjoyed riding with Mike and hoped to stay in contact when I got home.

I found the roadways here to be quite desolate with very little traffic. This was very much to my liking. I did encounter some very strong cross winds as I was getting closer to Great Falls that did have me somewhat frazzled. I could not imagine trying to ride a motorcycle in this all day!

I decided to camp at the KOA in St Mary primarily to use their wifi to update my picture site and email my family. It sucked! It was very slow with piss poor connectivity. It must have been all the other “kampers” using it at the same time! I should have just camped in the National Park. Oh well, at least their showers were warm and clean! After setting up camp I did go up Going To The Sun highway at least as far as I could, maybe around 13 miles. It is very scenic and I imagine more so further up. I guess this is good reason to come back one day to see the rest!



The “cook” fabin’ up a batch of pancakes and eggs!




And Mike and I eatin’ it up!












Farewell Mike
















































I did have a nice camp site




Painted sky to end the day

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Old 07-27-2009, 05:00 AM   #19
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Great pics TR,

Nothing like a long trip to reset your mind.
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #20
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Day 7

"Too often. . .I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen."

~ Louis L'Amour



Day 7 – June 18
St Mary, Montana > Balfour, British Columbia (Toad Rock Campground)
Today’s mileage: 535.3 km, Trip to date: 4640.5 km



I woke early again today. I’m starting to get into a travel rhythm now. I find I cannot sleep in due to the early rising sun and chirping birds, even as comfortable as my down sleeping bag and Exped mattress are! Also, I like the early starts because there is little traffic if any and plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities. The sky was overcast and there was a cold wind blowing. I was concerned that maybe the decent weather I had been traveling in the last few days was about to change. That was not the case. As I packed up camp and cooked up some coffee and oatmeal, the sky cleared. It would be another great day!

I traveled north up to the Canadian border on Chief Mountain International Highway. There was not a soul on this road nor at the Customs barricades. After a couple of quick questions by the border official I entered back into Canada and was greeted by a wonderful scenic view of Waterton NP, Alberta. I continued north through the park on Highway 6 up to Highway 3, Crowsnest Highway, where I would head west again towards British Columbia. Everything changed at this point. Traffic became busy with a barrage of transport trucks, campers and RVs. I was not impressed. Perhaps I was just getting used to the desolate highways I had being traveling only days prior. I had wanted to visit Crowsnest Pass but at this point I hardly felt it was worth it. Once I got west of Cranbrook, there was a definite improvement. The real “gem” of the day was Highway 3A between Creston and the Kootenay Lake ferry. This road was very twisty, scenic as it followed the lakeshore and blessed with new pavement!

After the very enjoyable, scenic, “free” ferry crossing to Balfour, I gassed up and picked up some supplies at the local general store. I went up the road a little ways to camp at the Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground >

http://www.toadrockcampground.com/

This place was a hoot! It’s not quite like any campground I’ve stayed at before. Mary, the owner, is a very cheerful and colourful character who made me feel very welcome. The offer of an ice cold beer when I first rolled in was a nice touch! She was quite busy preparing for an upcoming rally but always had time to chat or answer any questions I had. The shower facilities were actually some of the best I’d encounter on this trip.

A funny thing happened while I was setting up my tent. I pretty much had the campground to myself. Mary came back on her golf cart with two other passengers joyfully sipping on beers. Low and behold, one these dudes was Mike! He was still on his way to the FJR gathering just up the road a ways. I’m sorry; I’ve forgotten the other fellows’ name. I’m pretty sure he said he frequents this site. We BS’ed for a while, comparing notes on our routes from the previous day. I would frequently meet other riders on my trip that I would keep bumping into as I headed north. I guess it’s inevitable because there are only so many roads and gas stations the farther north you go.

Later that evening as I was wrapping up my shower, a trio of Harleys rumbled into the campground. I struck up a conversation with these guys as they were trying to set up their tents and learned that they (Phil, John and Dean) were headed to Alaska as well. Actually they were headed to Phil’s home in Wasilla, Alaska. No kidding and I was going there too! I talked Phil’s ear off over the course of the evening after learning this and I’m sure they all thought there might not be something quite right about me! We shared some drinks and laughs at TR’s common area late into the night. As my trip progressed we would become good friends.































Killing time waiting for the ferry





Kootenay Lake





Crossing Kootenay Lake





Ferry on Kootenay Lake





Coming into Balfour, BC





Mike shows up









My home for the night





Hmmmmm, meatballs ala Toad Rock





Dinner guest





Easy date!





Mary of Toad Rock



Twistn'roads screwed with this post 07-27-2009 at 03:46 PM
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:33 PM   #21
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Day 8

"Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things - air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it."

~ Cesare Pavese


Day 8 – June 19
Balfour, British Columbia > Saskatchewan River Crossing, Banff NP, Alberta
Today’s mileage: 528.6 km, Trip to date: 5168.9 km



Again, I was up with the birds. While I boiled water for coffee and oatmeal, I tried to quietly pack up my gear. Phil, John and Dean were camped close by and I did not want to wake them. Later on they would tell me that my stove was friggin’ loud! I used an Optimus Nova stove on this trip because I could burn unleaded gasoline in it. It roared like a jet engine! Phil eventually got up and was wondering around the campground. I waved goodbye as I left. We would meet up again later.

My plan today was to head up to Kaslo then over to New Denver, then north to the Galena - Shelter Bay ferry. I had heard that this area has some of the best motorcycling roads in BC. Unfortunately shortly after leaving Toad Rock it started to rain, and rain and RAIN! This would be the theme of the day. Within an hour of riding, my so called “waterproof” riding gloves began to leak, shit. 31A from Kaslo to new Denver was slick due to the rain and every bend I came around surprised another forest rat off the road. There were deer everywhere. As well, I saw my first elk of the trip. I had to take it easy but I could certainly appreciate the entertainment factor of this road, especially in dryer conditions.

After the ferry, I gassed up in Revelstoke and took the Trans Canada Highway east towards Rogers Pass. Traffic sucked. The rain continued to get heavier without let up. My hands were starting to get cold even with my heated grips on. At least my jacket and riding pants kept me dry. If there was anything scenic, I couldn’t see it for low cloud cover. At one point I got stopped at a road block due to an accident clean up. I struck up a conversation with another motorcyclist ahead. He was on a cross Canada trip and was headed to New Brunswick. We agreed to meet up ahead at a Tim Horton’s in Golden for a coffee. I got there ahead of him, gassed up and went inside to get out of the rain. Across the room I hear someone call my name! It turns out it’s my friends Warren & Michelle from home! What are the chances? Just how small is the world?

Traffic continued to be a problem for me until I got to the Ice Fields Parkway in Banff NP. There was a continuous parade of RV’s and campers. I was beginning to think that every other inhabitant in the Province of Alberta owned one of these things! My spirits were pretty deflated at this point. I had planned to camp near Columbia Icefields but really didn’t have the motivation to set up camp. I decided that I would stay at a motel up ahead near Saskatchewan River Crossing. Yes it was pricy at $170 a night but I was on vacation! After a warm shower, a couple of Rickard’s Whites and a steak dinner at the pub, I was a new man. Tomorrow held promise of sunshine and clear skies.







A wet highway 31A









Galena - Shelter Bay ferry crossing













“The Crossing”, Banff NP





The pub at “The Crossing”, Banff NP





The $170 view from my room, and the sky is clearing!


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Old 07-28-2009, 05:10 AM   #22
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Day 9

"There are certain scenes that would awe an atheist into belief, without the help of other argument."

~ Thomas Gray (1739) on viewing the Alps



Day 9 – June 20
Saskatchewan River Crossing, Banff NP, Alberta > Burns Lake, British Columbia
Today’s mileage: 770.4 km, Trip to date: 5939.3 km



“An excellent day of riding” was the first sentence in my journal for this day.

The nice thing about staying in a motel rather than a tent is that it affords you a very early start to your ride because you don’t have to pack up all your camping crap! Don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy camping, especially when the alternative is $170 per night! I took advantage of the early start and headed north up the Icefields Parkway. The scenery was absolutely spectacular. Banff / Jasper NP is truly a Canadian gem. It does become a bit of a circus with all the tourists, RV’s & campers, and buses but for now, this morning, I had the road all to myself. I found it hard to get any kind of consistent forward progression. Around every bend was another majestic mountain view. I was constantly stopping to snap a photo. I was in heaven!

I did ride into some rain showers north of Jasper that stayed with me until I stopped for gas in McBride, BC. The temperature was dropping to the point that I was getting uncomfortably cold. Eventually I stopped at the side of the road to don my heated jacket liner.

Later in the day as I was getting close to my planned destination, Burns Lake, BC, I pulled off for a quick break at a roadside rest area and came across a couple of “resting” motorcyclists. They were having a nap, laying on top of the concrete picnic tables and I’m afraid I woke them out of their slumber when I rode in. It turns out this is fellow ADV inmate “bush pilot”, Alex & his son Albert. They are on quite the epic trip of North America and had been on the road for some time. We chatted for a while and bid each other safe journey. I continued on up to the Burns Lake Campground for the night.

This night would be the first of the trip where I would feel the affects of lengthening daylight hours. Tomorrow was the summer solstice and even at this latitude, it wasn’t getting dark at night. I found it hard to fall asleep for the first time. Might have also had something to do with the Molson Canadian and KFC hot wings I picked up for dinner doing the “River Dance” in my gut!


Note: I hope you don’t grow tired of all the mountain scenery I have photographed and included in this RR. Where I live I don’t see this every day and must admit that I was having a bit of sensory overload at this stage of my trip. It was becoming very hard to concentrate on controlling a motorcycle as I navigated the roads through these mountains!










































































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Old 07-28-2009, 08:50 AM   #23
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Day 10 - Alaska!

"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine."

~ Caskie Stinnett


Day 10 – June 21
Burns Lake, British Columbia > Hyder, Alaska (Sealaska Inn)
Today’s mileage: 544.6 km, Trip to date: 6483.9 km





Happy Father’s day!

Happy Summer Solstice!

Cripes, it was cold this morning! There was frost and ice everywhere. It had rained a little through the night and now there were little ice cube beads stuck all over my tent fly. A quick shake and the tent was dry, freeze dried!

I’m so glad I installed heated grips on my V-Strom and purchased a heated jacket liner last fall! It makes cold and inclement weather so much more bearable. Today and on several more occasions this trip, they would be put to good use!

My destination today would be Hyder, Alaska. Alaska finally!!! I still had a long way to go to get to the northern part of this great State but I felt this would be a trip milestone none the less.

I continued north on the Yellowhead Highway from Burns Lake through Smithers and on up to the junction with the Cassiar at Kitwanga. I stopped in at the gas station at the start of the Cassiar to fuel up and take the obligatory picture of the “sign”. I talked to another motorcyclist who was waiting for some friends that were coming down from an annual Father’s Day bike gathering held in Hyder. They were running late and I suspect it was due to the “morning after clouds” that impairs one’s clarity of mind! Must have been quite the party. The staff of the Sealaska Inn were still talking about later that night.

The Cassiar is a very different road than what I have been riding the past while. Yes it is scenic, but there is no real shoulder or roadway easement. The trees come practically right up to the edge. This could prove pretty exciting if any wildlife decided to step out on the road! The ride down to Stewart / Hyder is another very scenic and enjoyable experience as the road follows a narrow river valley with towering mountains on either side. And of course no trip would be complete without a short stop and picture op at the Bear Glacier!

I got to Hyder in good time. Riding west through another time zone will do that! I checked into Room#1 of the Sealaska Inn, dumped off some of my gear and headed up the road that climbs up to Salmon Glacier. What a fun ride this was! You go by the Fish Creek bear viewing area. There was still a fair bit of melting snow up top in places and lots of potholes to dodge but man, was it scenic! I couldn’t go all the way to the overlook where the glacier splits in two because apparently there was an avalanche and they had a barricade erected. I later learned form the “cute” Canadian border official as I was leaving Hyder that a motorcycle could easily make it up to the top. Doh!, another reason to come back!

Among the patrons of the Sealaska Inn tonight was fellow ADV inmate “atk_nut” and family. These folks had the right idea! Nothing like a good, clean (well maybe not so clean) family adventure motorcycling vacation up to the Yukon. I would later meet up with “the family of 4” again on the Dempster.

Later on that evening I could hear a distant rumble. Was it a localized thunderstorm moving up the valley? The weather forecast was for rain later in the week but not anything of appreciable accumulation tonight. As the rumble got louder there was no mistaking it for the sound of American iron."Lord tunderin' Jaezuz"! It was my friends from Toad Rock, Phil, John and Dean rollin’ into town! Tonight would be entertaining and I was in a celebratory mood having reached Alaska!



I couldn’t help notice the frost enhanced graffiti carved into the picnic table





Frosty sunrise









The obligatory sign photograph at the start of the Cassiar highway





The road to Hyder





Bear Glacier





Welcome to Hyder, Alaska!









“Billy” from Texas who I met as I was going up to Salmon Glacier. I would meet up with Billy on several more occasions on my trip. I think he actually was carrying a kitchen sink on that BMW!









The road up to Salmon Glacier

















Posin’ by the glacier









Along the wharf





Low tide in the harbour













A couple of the Sealaska staff who made me feel right at home, thanks Girls!





Can you tell by their faces that I think the fellas really enjoyed the beer I gave them as they rolled to a stop in front of the Sealaska?









There were no bears for me to see at the Fish Creek viewing area that night….





…. But there was a herd of Mini’s!





“Show me your…….. nevermind”





I really liked the effect of the evening sun glowing on this mountain top.


Twistn'roads screwed with this post 08-13-2009 at 11:49 AM
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:47 AM   #24
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I am in on this...looks like a blast! Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:12 PM   #25
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WOW.... chilling pics of those mountains and glaciers.

More and more I'm drawn to the idea of going to Alaska next year vs. out East!

...any chance you have a complete GPX file of your travels?
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #26
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Great Pics

Love the pics.. some postcard material in there....keep 'em coming.
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:28 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ooobah-Moto
WOW.... chilling pics of those mountains and glaciers.

More and more I'm drawn to the idea of going to Alaska next year vs. out East!

...any chance you have a complete GPX file of your travels?
Absolutely! I was pretty diligent about saving the active track data from my GPS everyday. I would also convert to GPX format for use in my geotagging application and the Goggle Earth track pictures in this RR. I would be more than happy to share these with you. When I go again.... there is probably some routing I'd do differently and some other places I'd like visit and some, not again so much. I guess you could say this trip was a recon mission for future missions! It's in my blood now.

We could talk about your future plans at drcool's some Tuesday night? I'm going to try and get there perhaps next week.

Steve
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Old 07-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rockinrog
Love the pics.. some postcard material in there....keep 'em coming.
Wait til' you see the pictures of Northen Alaska, the Dempster and my return to Banff / Jasper on my way home!

Thank you for your comments every one. Writing this RR is helping me relive the trip; the highs and lows. I'm not even half way yet. This was a 33 day outing.

Stay tuned......
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistn'roads
Absolutely! I was pretty diligent about saving the active track data from my GPS everyday. I would also convert to GPX format for use in my geotagging application and the Goggle Earth track pictures in this RR. I would be more than happy to share these with you. When I go again.... there is probably some routing I'd do differently and some other places I'd like visit and some, not again so much. I guess you could say this trip was a recon mission for future missions! It's in my blood now.

We could talk about your future plans at drcool's some Tuesday night? I'm going to try and get there perhaps next week.

Steve
..... one more question

I noticed you're using a Garmin 276 (...I am as well). How did you manage the Mapsets as you traveled through Canada and the US? Did you upload the a general corridor you meant to stay inside (thus using the 512mb card) - or did you use your laptop and reload the appropriate mapsets when necessary?
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #30
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This looks like a good one!!!!!!

I'm in. Great RR and very nice pics.
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