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Old 10-05-2009, 09:25 PM   #46
Motojournalism OP
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Glad you folks are diggin' the report so-far.

@T.Low
Thanks! Brevity is an underrated technique

@JoeyBones
Man that was a relief! I'll not question the moto-gods on that one!

@ricohman
I thought I was seeing things at one point. Way up ahead I saw a deer and a man walking across the road into a field. When I got closer I saw the man had a compound bow and a full-sized cardboard cutout buck under his arm. Target practice!

Too bad about the grain elevators. They're icons of the prairies.

@dryden_rider_54
That's awesome, I love those way out there stations.
Did you put that in the "Pictures of your bike at gas stations" thread?
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:05 AM   #47
juames
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Love It!

I'm loving your RR! Always wanted to make the same ride...and dam that '05 looks good! Half the fun is finding new place to take its picture...keep it coming!


ps...what exhaust you have on your bike?


Bike look familiar?
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:38 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Low
Your pictures are indeed amazing, but you're every bit as skilled with the language as you are with the lens. And your brevity is masterful. Bravo.



But this photo in particular ...I could look at it for hours on end.



Its my new desktop photo.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:19 AM   #49
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The Big Flat, indeed! I laughed my ass off when I saw that photo. My son lives in North Dakota where the entire state is laid out on a grid like that. The only fun corners are the on and off-ramps to the Interstate. He's a pilot too and says it's never a problem to find a spot to land if you have trouble, and the tallest things around are telephone poles so no pesky mountains to worry about.

Ride on! Great report and excellent photography!

Doug
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:46 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antontrax
Glad you folks are diggin' the report so-far.

@T.Low
Thanks! Brevity is an underrated technique

@JoeyBones
Man that was a relief! I'll not question the moto-gods on that one!

@ricohman
I thought I was seeing things at one point. Way up ahead I saw a deer and a man walking across the road into a field. When I got closer I saw the man had a compound bow and a full-sized cardboard cutout buck under his arm. Target practice!

Too bad about the grain elevators. They're icons of the prairies.

@dryden_rider_54
That's awesome, I love those way out there stations.
Did you put that in the "Pictures of your bike at gas stations" thread?
That silhouette isn't for target practice.
Its a decoy.
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:45 AM   #51
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It's warm at dawn. The wind already slicing through the hills, back into the open plains.






Waiting in vain, miles from no place, a phone booth, sun bleached and weather worn.






























114Km feels a bit far...





On this tire...









Time to turn and drone north to the main artery for sustainance.

















The foothills roll out of the horizon to herald the end of the plains.





Then I'm back on the main highway after Lethbridge. Smooth tarmac, agressive trafic, jacked-up diesel pickups tearing past at top speed. There's a vicious headwind coming off the mountains. I'm barely able to keep the speed limit. The temperature has dropped.






The highway turns south-west and the cross-winds are the worst I've felt since northern Newfoundland. In case I hadn't noticed, there are signs helpfully warning of "WIND GUSTS"






I have a few scary moments leaned over in curves; once blown across the double yellow line, the other felt like someone had kicked the front wheel.





It's just too dangerous to be on the busy highway. I've got traffic pooling behind me till the passing lanes. I'm beat. I'm cold. It's time to get off the road. I stop for groceries, my traveling standby. A big chunk of real peppered salami from the deli, old white cheddar, a tin of soup to heat and some dense bread. And some 10 year Alberta Springs for a nightcap. I'll need it after this long-haul.







Into the hills, into my tent. It's good to be back West, but I ain't home yet.

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Old 10-07-2009, 12:54 AM   #52
Klay
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This is exceptional.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:26 AM   #53
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Yay, your photo's are awesome!
Are theese made with a digital camera or analog?

Big ups!
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:59 AM   #54
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great RR

thank-you for NOT sitting on the middle of the road!


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Old 10-07-2009, 08:35 AM   #55
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:41 PM   #56
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@Juames
It's a Jardine that I've got on there. It sounds goooood, but it ain't quiet!
'05 had the best scheme

@manfromthestix
Yeah I was not too far from North Dakota at that point.
I laughed when I saw that too, had to snap a pic

@mc_lucky!
Cheers I'm using a digital point n' shoot for most of the photos, and a digital SLR for the rest. I like to give them a film look with Adobe Lightroom. If you click on the pictures, it takes you to my Flickr account. You can see the details about the cameras and settings for each photo.

@helidude
Man, I could have safely taken a nap in the middle of the road
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:23 PM   #57
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Thumb

Stunning photography pal!
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:07 PM   #58
TemeculaRider
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Oh man, I wanna go so bad! Fantastic trip report.

You shoulda asked the girl to hop on the back and get the hell outta there with you!
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:59 PM   #59
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Yesterday, after I had stopped for that burger, I was happy to see a tiny public library.

On the road, libraries = internet!

I had an email from my tent-space guy in Red Deer. He said he would be at a Horizons Unlimited meet in a small town outside of Calgary at 10am. Fantastic! I'd have to blast up there, but I'll try to make it.


This morning, I'm up and packed early to hit that H.U. meet-up. The air feels good, the sky is clearing.

The empty roads twist back down into the valley, but I have to back off the entusiastic pace to let two deer bound across the road ahead. I count five deer before coming to the main road and even see a black bear ambling across a farmer's field in the distance.

I'm missing photo-ops left right and center, but I've got to discipline myself if I'm going to make it for 10:00.

I sit at a deserted intersection for a few minutes, looking at the map, the "cowboy trail" highway 22 looks good and twisty, heading north toward Calgary alongside the Rocky Mountains.

I punch in a search for gas into the GPS and find I have to go southwest, out of my way to find a station.


On the way I pass through what looks like a construction project, though the road is fine and there are no warning signs. It looks like they have been blasting, a river of sharp grey boulders the size of small cars on either side of the road.



It turns out this is Frank Slide.


The side of the mountain just fell out in the middle of the night...




From Wikipedia:

On April 29, 1903, at 4:10 a.m., 90 million tonnes (30 million cubic metres) of limestone crashed from the east face of Turtle Mountain and covered approximately three square kilometres of the valley floor. The slab of rock that broke free was approximately 650 m high, 900 m wide and 150 m thick[1]. The slide dammed the Crowsnest River and formed a small lake, covered 2km of the Canadian Pacific Railway, destroyed most of the coal mine's surface infrastructure, and buried seven houses on the outskirts of the sleeping town of Frank, as well as several rural buildings. Of the roughly 100 individuals who lived in the path of the slide, 76 were killed.



It's damn cold now, and black clouds are funneling through the mountains with momentum.

I down half a black coffee to warm up. It dosen't do much good, and I chuck the other half when the heavy rain starts. I hop back on my ride and head back east toward my intersection, chased by the weather.






This does not look good, but I'll give it a shot. I stop by the side of the road to get out the rain gear. and seal-up the cameras.










I go on to do battle with the weather. The rain is thick once I'm back into it, but I'm warmer with the extra layers.



It's very dark now and up ahead a car is flashing it's high beams at me. It's not far before I see why.

A big pickup truck is across the left lane, facing the ditch. The front is gone, as are all the windows, a minivan is further out in the ditch facing the road in much the same conditon. There are about six other vehicles - including a tour bus - parked at the side of the road to help the people. The smashed windows have been covered with tarpaulins to keep the rain out. There are no emergency crew at the scene.



There's nothing I can do to help, I've got to press on...

Five minutes further up the road the rain gets heavier still, and even colder. Foam is washing up on the road and I can't tell why... Till I pull over to see that it's not foam, but hail. There's a coating of the slick ice pellets rapidly collecting on the ground.

To go on further into the mountains would just be stupid. I gingerly pull a U-turn on the slippery surface, and head back toward the scene of the accident.



Still no sign of rescue yet. It's f*kin' grim...

I'm back out of the hail and I finally in the distance the flashing red lights appear.

Police, ambulance, fire. Good luck guys, we can't thank you enough for putting your own necks on the line.



I gotta get inside, warm-up and eat. There's no way I can make it to that meet now.

At the first restaurant I see, I have a chat with the Harley folks who have been waiting out the weather.

They're headed East today, the weather is clearer out that way.







I'm happy to hole-up here for a while. With hot coffee, a big breakfast and Wi-Fi.








It's lunch by the time I leave, after having a bowl of soup.

I've used my time to catch-up on the photos, email, twitter, check the maps, the live satalite weather website, and charge the myriad batteries all this modern gear requires.

The map calls for a long-haul along the despised Trans-Canada slab, so I ride full-out 'till I can't stand it any longer. I head for some farm roads only to discover that reality does not agree with the GPS. I work my way around the plains, giving Calgary a wide berth as I head for Red Deer.

How frustrating to have a taste of the mountains after so long, only to be turned away.

On and on into the evening. I give my tent-space contact a call and Bill will meet me at a gas station on the outskirts of town. It's well into dark by now. I'm so beat I'm having a hard time keeping warm. I'm happy to go full-out when there's a pair of red headlights to follow, but once their gone I slow way down to watch for deer.

I stop on the side of the road to check the map and keep myself warm for the second time in 20 min.

A middle-aged lady in a car pulls up behind to check if I'm OK, she saw me pulled-off at the last light too.

She says she's a rider too so she knows I must be cold. She offers that I could warm-up in her car, but I politely decline. That really was nice of her to check on random motorcyle guy in the dark. I told her I appreciated it, then rolled on into the dark.

Finally into the city lights, I wait just a few minutes after calling Bill to meet at the gas station.

Bill has me follow him in his FJ cruiser as we head 10km to his house down an unlit gravel road. He explained that he would let me go ahead when we got to the twisty part so I would have more light. I'm having such trouble concentrating I nearly plow into the back of his truck when he stops to let me pass.

There's a few sketchy moments in the deep gravel, but it's no problem really. I just take it slow and easy till I park my tired machine alongside his F650 Dakar and brand new F800GS.



I'm glad to be offered a beer and a hot sandwich as we pore over maps.

I pull lots of advice from Bill about heading south. You see, he's got a bit of experience under his belt.



That's the sort of coffee table reading I like to see






The last two days, Cypress Hills, to Red Deer.


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Motojournalism screwed with this post 10-07-2009 at 04:05 PM
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:12 PM   #60
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So much for brevity
I figured that would be a short one because of less photos!


@ TemeculaRider
I'll need to get an AfricaTwin in case of 2-up opportunity
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