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Old 09-15-2009, 07:43 AM   #16
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So we headed out of Fort Steele onward to Radium Hot Springs where we would enter Kootenay National Park....nice, but not nearly as scenic as Banff and Jasper National Parks.

We didn’t stop much...we spent too much time at the fort and wanted to get to Banff to enjoy the town before dark.

Our Hotel for the night...very reasonable considering we’re in a tourist town and only a couple blocks from downtown!

We checked in, freshened up an walked downtown to find a place to eat. We walked around a few blocks trying to find something under $20! Wild Bill’s was perfect, we had a table on the second floor balcony overlooking the crowds below walking up and down the streets. The food was excellent.

We had planned on coming back to Banff for a second night from Jasper, but a few hours here is enough...visit a few shops, eat, sleep and go. The next morning however, I needed to get a shot of the famous Banff Springs Hotel.

On the 4-lane highway to Lake Louise, the views were impressive.

We arrived at the Lake Louise Village and headed up to Moraine Lake. The narrow two-lane road was nice and twisty and we were early enough to avoid any heavy traffic. The short hike up to the “rock pile” presented spectacular views of the lake.

And just to prove we were there.....

By the time we left, the parking lot was overflowing with busses and tourists (like us.) The ride down was a little slower because of all the cars, but we managed to pass a few. Next was Lake Louise...even more touristy, but very majestic. The huge hotel just seemed out of place next to this wonderful vista.

Back at the village, we fueled up and headed north up the Icefields Parkway for more incredible stop, Peyto Lake. My wide angle lens was not wide enough to include the entire lake and glacier.

Along the Icefields Parkway

A short stop as the sun swept across the grassland

The day was mostly overcast so we would wait until tomorrow to tour the Athabasca Glacier, hopefully the sun would be out, but here is a pic of the glacier

We had lunch at the Columbia Icefield Centre and watched the snow coaches transport people up on the glacier

The cloud cover made for an evenly lit Tangle Falls, right along the highway

This is Sunwapta Falls. The drop-off is so abrupt there was a chain link fence all around the edge (kinda took away the naturalness of the area) but still, the falls were incredible going through the narrow rocky canyon.

The day gets even better with the beautiful scenery and Athabasca Falls were spectacular (other than the modern concrete footbridges and secondary highway bridge that crosses the narrow gorge. Little did we know that we would be coming back across this bridge tomorrow.

You can hike down to the lower Athabasca River for views back into the canyon

...and the Athabasca River

We made it to Jasper for a short visit then rode back to Whistler Campground were we set up camp. The campground is huge and has about 800 sites, but it is so well designed around the trees that you don’t feel like you're with a 1000 other people.

This just happened to walk in front of us as we pulled into our campsite

Here is an “unprofessional” video of us settting up the tent. This is for fun and not too informative, but there is a surprise at the end.

After camp was set up, we rode back to Jasper to explore the town and have dinner. We enjoyed this town much better the Banff. It still had the same charm, but much smaller and fewer people, although we did have to wait a while to get a table.

Back at camp, I got a fire going and we just sat on the picnic table bench and dreamed about our day along the Icefields Parkway. It doesn’t get any better than this.

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:37 PM   #17
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Beautiful Great report!
I lived in the town of Jasper for 14 yrs & miss it a lot.
Often relatively large herds of elk (30 or more) will wander right through the centre of town, munching grass as they go. Almost like being on an elk farm.
Looking forward to more great pics.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:49 PM   #18
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Good stuff! Keep it coming
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:44 PM   #19
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Super pics! This is another place I gotta ride. Thanks for the RR..

ODO, too lo.
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:27 PM   #20
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DAY 7 Jasper to Radium Hot Springs

Good Morning! What a great night! Quiet, peaceful and tranquil. Unzipped the vestibule door and stepped out in the crisp clean air and clear dawn skies. Were we excited to get underway and head out early, because we had a few more stops on the way back along the Icefield Parkway. I think we were the first ones up in our area, but by the time we were ready, everyone was stirring. Here’s a pic of our gear sorted out on the picnic table.

The bike was once again packed and we departed Whistler campground. Since it was still early we rode back in to Jasper for a danish and coffee.

Our first stop was Mount Edith Cavell

Mount Edith Cavell is a mountain located in the Athabasca River and Astoria River valleys of Jasper National Park, Canada. The mountain was named in 1916 for Edith Cavell, an English nurse executed by the Germans during World War I for having helped allied solders escape from occupied Belgium to the Netherlands, in violation of military law.
A close up view of the north face of Mt. Edith Cavell is visible after a short hike to Cavell Meadows. The trailhead is by the parking lot at the end of Mt. Edith Cavell road. The trail to the meadows is 3.8*kilometres (2.4*mi) one way, rising 370*metres (1,214*ft) to 2,135*metres (7,005*ft).

We planned to see the “pond” with the iceburgs and the mountain backdrop this morning since the light would be better. The day was really starting to warm up. We dressed for cooler temps this morning, but by the time we were half way along on the trail, we were hot and sweating. My wife stopped right on the trail to take off her long underwear! She was sitting on a rock in her panties when a hiker comes over the hill, so I threw my fleece jacket over her legs....I don’t think he noticed. (wink) Then she put her riding pants back on. I wore a long sleeve cotton undershirt (mistake) but couldn’t take it off until we got back to the bike. I didn’t want anyone to gawk at my muscular body...

The iceburgs in the pond were like a mini version of an alaskan glacier.

This is Angel Glacier visible from the pond that spills over a 300 meter cliff on the north face of Mount Edith Cavell.

Getting to the trail head early is key to traveling. By the time we returned to the bike, the parking lot was nearly full, busses were still coming in, and there were lines at the three pit toilets. We rode down the 8 mile bumpy paved road toward highway 93, but turned right onto highway 93A towards Athabasca Falls where we stopped yesterday. We crossed the concrete bridge spanning the falls that I wrote about earlier. Back on 93 we headed to the Columbia Icefield.

I’m glad we didn’t take the glacier tour yesterday as it was socked in with clouds, but today was clear blue skies and the temps were around 78 degrees. We stopped at the Icefield Centre and purchased tickets for the tour. We had some time before the tour, so we had lunch here (again).

We boarded a nice tourist bus that took us out alongside the glacier to a transfer station where we would board the Brewster snow coach. These busses are really incredible.

The Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience™ reveals the most unique attraction in the Canadian Rockies. Massive Brewster Ice Explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier. Each 90 minute journey is lead by an experienced driver-guide, who shares a wealth of fascinating information about glaciers, icefields and their impact on our environment. Mid-point in the tour, passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. Tours depart every 15-30 minutes from the Icefield Centre on the Icefields Parkway.

If you look closely, you can see the graded path on the glacier and one of the snow coaches headed for the center where the other busses are. There are typically 40-80 people on the glacier.

You can see tons of water running down the glacier, forming small streams. The water was “freezing” cold but so fresh and clear.

Some parts of the ice were so clear you could see right through.

We knew it would be windy and coooold on the glacier, so we just wore our riding gear. Got some curious looks.

The Glacier was melting so rapidly, not just because of global warming, but because it was the hottest month and a hot day! During the winter months the snow level can get over 20 feet.
Notice the waterfalls.

We got to spend about 30 minutes on the glacier, then we went back to the Centre and prepared to get back on down the Icefield Parkway. We didn’t stop at any other tourist spots, since we covered them yesterday, but the scenery was incredible this sunny day.

Stopped along side the road..someone was painting. I should have got a closer shot, but didn't want to intrude and break the artists thoughts.

We stopped back at Lake Louise Village, snacked and fueled up, then left on the Bow Valley Parkway that parallels the main highway 1 instead of 93 due to the construction. We would come out at the interchange to Banff and Radium Hot Springs and completely miss all the road construction.

Then we cruised through Kootenay National Park. The western mountains on our right put us mostly in shade were the temps would drop to 58 degrees, then back up to 78 degrees in the sunshine.

We made it to Radium Hot Springs and there were a few bavarian style motels all dressed up with flowers. I thought the motels would be pricey, but they wern't too bad. The nice german lady gave us a $10 discount since we were checking out the prices of the other motels.

We thought of camping and checked out the local campground, but since we were going to the hot springs, it would be more comfortable to stay at a motel.

We ate at this place.....DON’T.

Then we rode back into Kootenay Nat. Park to the Hot Springs. This place is very nice and well run. And also very soothing. We stayed in water for about 40 minutes and it was dark when we we left. This is the fresh water pool, about 85F.

And this is the mineral pool, about 102F. They have built-in benches around the perimeter and sunken lounge chairs at the end. The historic pictures and history of the hot springs is very interesting.

It was about 10:00pm when we got back to the motel and we were totally relaxed for a good night sleep.


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Old 09-18-2009, 07:25 PM   #21
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Nice ride report. I love to ride the rockies, such amazing scenery. It's only 4 hrs from my front door to Jasper so I try to get there a few times a year. Those Ice Field snow coaches are the dual sport equivalent of a tour bus.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #22
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Time to get this RR finished up

It's been over a month since I posted....kinda lost interest, but here is the final installment.

DAY 7 Radium Hot Springs to Moscow

We had 330 miles to go today and planned to camp in Moscow, so we had a light breakfast at our motel and rolled out.

The views just out of Radium were beautiful in the crisp morning light.

We proceed south on 95 towards Cranbrook (where we stopped coming up) and decided to take the long way around through Kimberley on 95A....There was a sign about Kimberley being the “Bavarian City of the Rockies,” so we wanted to check it out. When we arrived there was major road construction on the main road through town but kept our eyes open for the “Bavarian City.” By the time we were through the construction we were headed out of town.....where’s the Bavarian Town? Did we miss it? Not wanted to backtrack through the road construction to search for it we continued on to Cranbrook. Later as I googled “Kimberely,” there is definitely a small area in Bavarian style....we just happened to miss it...damn. We’ll stop next time through.

We stopped for lunch and fuel at the same place in Cranbrook since we knew the food was good, then continued on towards the US border.

We approached the border crossing...the sign said to have your passports and identification ready and since I knew exactly where our passports were (in the front pouch of the tankbag) I pulled right up to the gate, turned off the bike, flipped up my helmet lid and said hi to the straight-faced border agent. I casually unzipped the pouch and our passports were not there! Oh, SHIT!

I was completely perplexed as I always double checked to make sure they were there. Now, I’m looking at the border agent and he his shaking his head. After a few moments of checking our pockets and tankbag, I knew we were in a bit of trouble. Only after a few minutes, the cars were piling up behind us and I asked the agent if I could pull the bike forward and off to the side so we could search through our luggage. He said “No, I’m not going to let you move and you can’t back up....why didn’t you have your passports ready before you approached the gate?”

I was starting to panic, cars were stacking up, and I had no idea where the passports were. We were off the bike starting to go through our luggage.., I make slight comments about how I never misplace our passports and assured him that they were here somewhere. He keeps shaking his head with a stern look. After about 10 minutes, he says to pull forward and to the side, but we better not take off!. So we enter about 20’ into the US without passports, get off the bike and start tearing into everything. My wife is pulling all her luggage out and I’m removing all the contents of the tankbag and just as I started in on my luggage, my wife says, “I found them!,” and waves them at me. Keep calm I least we have them. Turns out, she had wanted to take the passports with us yesterday morning on our hike to Angel Glacier and she didn’t give them back (of course, I never asked for them either.)

I wave the passports to the border agent who then signals me to come forward after stopping the next vehicle before they pull up to the gate. He has me walk back into Canada across the painted line, face the US and hand him the passports....he checks them out, asks a few questions, says, “you’re good to go,” and I walk back into the US to our bike and repack. A bit unnerving, but just knowing that we hadn’t lost our passports and that we in fact had them was a huge relief. We were there about 30 minutes.

We had a short stop in Bonner’s Ferry to make a call and spent about 2 minutes in the town museum, then headed south to Sandpoint, ID. We wanted to spend some time at the beach there so we found a place to park and quickly changed into shorts and a cool shirt behind a car.

We walked around town first, then down to the beach. It was hot and we found some shade to rest and enjoy the view.

A light beacon at the end of the pier.

The local movie theater

Back at the bike a nice man who lives in Sandpoint during the summer came over to check us out. He explains how his dogs’ eyes are sensitive to the sun, so they wear a hat and dark glasses. Nice.

We wanted to make Moscow early enough to get a camping spot so we headed out. I didn’t really know where a campground was located, but I would ask when we arrive. As we ride through town there are signs of any campgrounds, so we stop at a local convenience store to ask. I go inside and my wife waits at the bike. The lady inside said that the closest campground is about 11 miles away!

We really wanted to stay in Moscow so we could see the town early the next morning. She give me directions to the campground. There was only about an hour of daylight left. Disgruntled, I walk outside to see that another GS had pulled up and was asking about the our bike, where we going, coming, etc. I ask him about a campground and he immediately says, “You can camp in my back yard...I only live down the street a few blocks.” I was very grateful but not really surprised after reading all the ride reports of other riders offering their homes.

So, we followed him to his house...he rolled up into his garage and I parked on the street. He showed us around; where to set up in the back yard; how to use the TV in the shop; told us to come inside to use the bathroom, shower, etc. He was so kind. Told us to go ahead and set up while he mowed his front yard. I offered, but he refused. His wife was not there and I was a bit worried what she was going to think when she gets home and sees a GS adventure at their curb and a tent in their backyard.

We get everything arranged and she shows up, comes walking out the back of the house and greets us with a smile. My wife and she start talking and the kind man invites me into his house for a Corona and to watch sports. I felt like we were best friends as I slid into his couch, sipped on a beer and listened as he explained bow hunting.

After a while my wife and I left to get a bite to eat, returned around 9:30pm and slid into our sleeping bags. We wanted to leave the next morning, but didn’t want to wake our hosts.

DAY 8 Moscow to Warm Lake

After quietly packing everything on the bike, the garage door opens and out comes Mrs. host. We greet her and she says her husband had already left for work. I really wanted to tell him how much we appreciated his generosity. My wife gives he a hug of appreciation and we go visit our old alma mater, the University of Idaho.

It’s been about 20 years since I had seen the campus. Here is the admin building

The Art and Architecture Department where I spent a lot of time in studio.

My wife’s sorority

My fraternity

The Idaho Vandals Kibbie Dome

Before heading out of town, we stopped for a danish. Here is downtown Moscow

Fun college town!

Another theater pic

The “Old Lewiston Grade” down to Lewiston was a blast! The pavement is well maintained and no traffic! My wife shot some video, because I was not was too fun!

Outside of Culdesac, we took the “Old Winchester Grade” into Winchester.

These old roads are more time consuming, but they are much more pleasing.

Wheat fields lined our route along the Palouse and we stopped to see wheat close up.

As with most trips, the closer you get to home, the fewer the pics. On our way into Warm Lake we stopped at the summit of Big Creek for a parting shot. No great sunsets, or pics with our bike under the stars, but we had ridden 8 days straight and were ready for a relaxing weekend.

The trip around the Selkirk Loop, Banff and Jasper National Park and the Icefield Parkway was incredible. Although this report is a record of what we saw and did, one can’t comprehend the feeling, emotion and sentiment a trip like this means to us, however, I’m sure you can relate to this feeling through your own adventures. Thanks for reading.

Kodanja screwed with this post 10-28-2009 at 08:46 PM
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:42 PM   #23
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Thanks for "the rest of the story"
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:57 PM   #24
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Just stumbled across this. Very nice report. I went to high school in Creston and my parents live in Cranbrook now. (I'm in Calgary) Next summer you should come up for the Horizons Unlimited meetup in Nakusp (just north of New Denver).

Take Care and keep enjoying the byways!
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by calrider
Just stumbled across this. Very nice report. I went to high school in Creston and my parents live in Cranbrook now. (I'm in Calgary) Next summer you should come up for the Horizons Unlimited meetup in Nakusp (just north of New Denver).

Take Care and keep enjoying the byways!

Thanks! I've been wanting to attend an HU meeting for a couple years now, so thanks for letting me know about it in Nakusp....I'll definitely attend! You live in beautiful area up there in Canada.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:57 AM   #26
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Great RR!

I found a link to this and glad I did!
I'm meeting a friend, who lives south of Sandpoint, and in August we will be heading up into Canada for a trip .
I think we will use your RR as a blueprint for our trip.
Thanks for taking the time to put the RR together.
You are dead a long time, so enjoy the time you have while you are alive
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Shizoku View Post
I found a link to this and glad I did!
I'm meeting a friend, who lives south of Sandpoint, and in August we will be heading up into Canada for a trip .
I think we will use your RR as a blueprint for our trip.
Thanks for taking the time to put the RR together.
Glad you found it. I just reread the report and it brought back great memories. You're going to have a blast! Just don't misplace your passport!

Have a great time!
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:45 PM   #28
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I'm the friend Shizoku referred to. I agree that this sounds like what we are looking for. I enjoyed your write up and pics. Can't wait. I also have a new GS that is waiting for some miles.
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