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Old 11-12-2011, 07:40 AM   #61
lookaught OP
Loner Extraordinaire
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Oddometer: 197
Day 7 - Lake Francois, BC to the Columbia Icefield, BC, on the Icefields Parkway, halfway between Jasper and Banff
464 miles - 10.5 hours

Again, not many pics. Only 2 actually.

Today I rode with Greg and Erica to Prince George and then we parted ways, me heading to Jasper and them heading to Vancouver. It was fun riding with them and great to get to know a few fellow adventure riders but the show must go on!

I had to cover a lot of miles through some windy roads and through a number of towns and park stations, so I was booking it. Beautiful sunny day, I made it to Mt. Robson and had some dinner, then up to Jasper. Jasper was pretty disappointing in my opinion, and so was Banff. They are really, really developed and have no small town feel, they feel like a resort. So I fueled up, bought a six pack of beer, and decided to leave Jasper and to camp along the Icefields Parkway. It was getting late and I arrived at the campsite in the dark. It was a packed campsite but I found a spot, set up the tent, and went to sleep. It was really cold, 41*F when I arrived and dropped even lower overnight. I was even a bit chilly in my sleeping bag, which is rated to 20 or 30*.

So I got two pics just before sundown:

I wish I had bought a camera. There were some incredible views, lightning, rain, red skies, rainbows... but those are for me to remember and you to see yourself one day.

Tomorrow, back in the USA!
Aprilia SXV 550 supermoto
F800GS 30th - sold and replaced by... a 2010 F800GS!
Solo Ride Pennsylvania to Anchorage, Alaska and back 2011

Two Ape supermotos take on the Dragon
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:26 PM   #62
lookaught OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Oddometer: 197
Day 8 - Columbia Icefield, BC to West Glacier, MT
463 miles - 11 hours

Woke up around 8 and was rolling by 9am today. I backtracked a bit to ride the road up to the pass a second time, as it was pretty dark when I rode it the first time the night before. It was pretty chilly in the morning. The Icefields Parkway was a very pretty drive, but it's more like a highway than a road. Very few tight bends, lots of RV traffic... a place to mark off the bucket list but that's about all.

Ok, some pics!

This is a glacier hanging off the top of a multi-thousand foot cliff. It's more dramatic in person. Suuuper cool.

Same shot as the night before:


A very odd rock face that reminds me of Jabba. There was a nice high speed 180* bend below this mountain. I may have turned around and rode it a few times

Glacial lakes are awesomely turquoise

This is the famous mountain outside Banff. No idea what it's called but it looks like a dinosaur spine

And a word about Banff. Skip it. Even the big fancy hotel was not that impressive in my opinion. It was very touristy, very busy, very not impressive. Annoying because I rode like 30 miles each way to see the place.

Moving on! Had some food and drink at this little gas station somewhere north of Banff. It was a lot better than Banff. Cheap too. I met a bunch of cyclists and we talked about Vermont.

So here is a picture of my dashboard thermometer. Why is this important you ask? It's not. But this pic was taken just outside of Radium Hot Springs (very cool place btw) and marks the hottest temperature that I had experienced in 2011 thus far. Anchorage and Alaska in general are pretty cool in the summer, mostly 50s and 60s, and the hottest it ever got was 71*. This was awesome and particularly awesome in 2011 when the heat wave was cooking the lower 48. So anyway, it was important to me while I was riding, and it's now memorialized in this RR.

Customs in MT. They could really use some more cameras here, I mean how are they supposed to stop terrorists without excessive numbers of cameras to take pictures of license plates???

I stopped in Whitefish and grabbed two slices of pizza and a soda for $7 or so. WHAT A DEAL! Oh it's nice to back in the USA where things are cheap and delicious. Canada, and Alaska as well, are so god damn expensive. I need me some cheap greasy food. mmm.

Light fading. Montana is such a sweet stateKinda ozone-y today.

Called around and got a campsite just outside Glacier. It was like $20 and there were showers. Arrived in the dark and set up camp via BMW headlight, took a long hot shower, and went to bed. Tomorrow I ride the Going to the Sun Highway across Glacier, then all the way across Montana to Glendive. As you may have noticed from the pics, the weather has been epically sunny and warm, and from here on out there was no rain... not one single drop for 2,000 miles. w00t
Aprilia SXV 550 supermoto
F800GS 30th - sold and replaced by... a 2010 F800GS!
Solo Ride Pennsylvania to Anchorage, Alaska and back 2011

Two Ape supermotos take on the Dragon
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #63
lookaught OP
Loner Extraordinaire
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Oddometer: 197
Day 9 - West Glacier, MT to Makoshika State Park, Glendive, MT
573 miles - 11.5 hours

After a nice hot shower the night before and a good nights sleep at the campground in West Glacier, I was on the road around 8:30. The campsite was only two miles from Glacier National Park, so I was there and drinking an overpriced coffee in no time. Saw a few other riders meandering about the visitor center, but today I had to log a lot of miles so there was no time to chat... it was coffee and then on the road.

The French couple I met in Tok told me they were super disappointed with GNP, and that the Icefields Parkway was a much better ride. I disagree. Even in the height of tourist season, if you are on the road pretty early, you don't get that much traffic and the views are spectacular. I was passing cars constantly on the the Going to the Sun Highway for the lower section of road, and finally hit some construction traffic once I was almost at Logan Pass. An awesome ride up and down the other side. Highly recommended!


Very cool:

Looking west just below Logan Pass:

And looking east! Toward my home...

This is what they call a glacial "U" shaped valley for obvious reasons


And a few from the bottom of the decent at the big lake on the eastern side. Notice the arid landscape in the rain shadow of the mountains:

Leaving Glacier National Park on the eastern side you ride through St. Mary's and then south on Rt. 89. Holy shit, what a road. I was expecting flat and kinda boring after leaving the mountains, but Rt. 89 was one of the best roads of the entire ride to AK and back. Windy, fast, dry, pretty smooth, not much gravel on the road... and about 20 miles of twisties. AMAZING. Somehow I have no pics from this, though I swear I remember taking a few. Oh well.

Anyway, the good times don't last forever. I rode through Great Falls and onto Highway 200 per the recommendation of fellow ADVer David (MTrider16). Really, really nice ride. Yes it's pretty flat, but it's all rather high speed and nearly as fast across the state as US-94, but instead of highway you get two lane road. I highly recommend that anyone riding from the east to GNP go through Glendive, camp at Makoshika State Park, then ride Rt 200 to Rt 89 and camp outside the park before riding Going to the Sun Highway in the morning. I plan to do this again myself sometime.

Moving on... lunch. Sandwich along the road somewhere, kinda reminds me of African safari grasslands.

Looking west:

Rolled into Glendive pretty late, almost dark. The ridge line campgrounds were open (they were not open in May) so I rolled up to my favorite spot and camped under the stars. No tent fly tonight, it was perfect warm summer weather.

The bike's spot:

Sunset over the hills:

Tomorrow, the long ride home on the superslab begins... But only three days to go.
Aprilia SXV 550 supermoto
F800GS 30th - sold and replaced by... a 2010 F800GS!
Solo Ride Pennsylvania to Anchorage, Alaska and back 2011

Two Ape supermotos take on the Dragon
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:02 PM   #64
Joined: Dec 2011
Oddometer: 1
Great report!

I enjoyed your trip. I am planning a similar route in June 2012 but in reverse and out from Portland OR. Thanks for info on Banf, I had planned a detour there but will avoid and save two days.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:37 PM   #65
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: St. George, UT
Oddometer: 1,480
Great Ride Report -- Thanks!

Hey Lookaught -- your report really caught my eye. I'm grew up in Pittsburgh (Chartiers Valley HS, South Hills) during the Bradshaw years. Also lived in Anchorage for two years in the early 90s (big oil). You nailed it as far as the Kenai Penninsula. That is where we spent all our time. I've been to the North Slope quite a few times. You made the right call to stay south. Good luck with all you do. Keep posting! Happy Holidays!

RedRockRider - WR250R, TW200, Versys, Vulcan 900 LT, Zuma 125

Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #66
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: North Carolina
Oddometer: 103
I really enjoyed your report. Well done.
Mark A.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:54 AM   #67
Robert Ford
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Loudon, NH
Oddometer: 295
Love this pic..

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Old 12-17-2011, 07:11 PM   #68
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Woodridge IL.
Oddometer: 7
Great ride... Thanks for shearing.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:28 PM   #69
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Joined: Aug 2007
Location: SE michigan
Oddometer: 713
Thanks for taking the time to write this RR. Great trip to Alaska. I'm planning on going to there this summer on my 800GS. Great pictures as well, Fred.
2300 miles on a 250 all for a sticker
Fall ride on a KLR250

1994 KLR250, 2009 F800GS, 2006 KLX351
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