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Old 07-12-2013, 04:24 AM   #211
jdrocks OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AspentureRider View Post
Whew! (I was never worried...)(maybe I should've been!)
that's funny, you own the bike, not worried, i'm just riding it, really worried.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:28 AM   #212
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
Sorry to hear that.Looks better than it is.The ones built here are made to last and live in if need be.
sounds like your local builder is doing a much better job.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:08 AM   #213
jdrocks OP
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I was now in Alberta, Waterton Lakes National Park ahead, the Canadian Rockies in the distance, the peaks themselves marking the Continental Divide. Whew, I had been rubbing that new St. Christopher so hard it had been polished to a mirror finish, shining protection along a perilous road, man, beast, or other.



Iíve been at the park entrance before, but had never made the turn. The act of crossing an international border, even if itís sorta in the North American neighborhood, always seems to give an adventure a little kick in the butt, and stopping right off the bat was out of the question, except the camera stop, that didnít countÖeither did Timmies, I knew there was one in Pincher Creek, and I was nothing but a hound dog tracking food. This hound could smell black coffee, it was tracking that too.





The authorities named the park Waterton Lakes for a reason.



North on highway 6, the Cowboy Trail, I was just getting up to speed after turning away from the mountain views when I went through a APP radar trap, damn, lucky I wasnít in 6th yet and running my usual speed. If certain events had run their course, that car would have been the Alberta State Police, since early ranchers populating the area had come up from the States with thoughts of incorporating the area into the Republic to the south. It wasnít until the RCMP restored order that the question was settled. Too bad, Alberta would have made a good state, wouldnít turn down all that oil either.



Pincher Creek had a prosperous feel, I found Timmies, but fueled up next door first, fuel availability would be sketchy on some roads ahead. Parked outside the main entrance, left the gear, didnít look like thievery likely, went in and placed my order once I figured out the protocols, itís tricky. For ten bucks I got a couple things that could fit on a USA size postage stamp, plus a cup of coffee. Man, you would think that the Canucks would be rail thin if they ate like this every day, but they arenít, must be the five gallon a day beer consumption. They had beer muscles though, even some of the women.

I was seated over in the corner, being considerate, I hadnít had a shower in days, when a provincial cop and game warden came over and sat at the table next to me. An opportunity, I had to talk to these guys, and did, covering aspects of their jobs, plus various other subjects. Interesting fellers, their jobs just as dangerous as their counterparts to the south. I got a smile when I said this was year 50 in Canada for me, both were only half that old.

Back outside, I found that my jacket had blown off the bike, but some kind Canuck had picked it up and folded it neatly across the seat. Thatís Canada. I had miles to go, and was soon west on 3 towards Crowsnest Pass where I would turn north, more wind turbines, the plague was spreading. Highway 3 had a bicycle race going east, hundreds of riders, and I passed the entrance to Lundbreck Falls, one of these trips I would have to stop, not today.

At Coleman, I turned north on Kananaskis Road, also route 40, the bottom of the FTR, aka the Forestry Trunk Road. The FTR was a story in itself, but I would be on it for only about 80 miles, unlike the last time, all gravel, and I was thinking that Mike might freak when he saw via SPOT tracking that his bike had turned up this road. Oh well, I needed to connect to some other roads, and this one was convenient for various reasons. I needed to see if this bike had any gravel training, there would be more gravel farther north.





The Kananaskis has the one thing in common with all gravel that could pooch the day, you and the bike too, maybe the whole trip. These roads all hold surprises, I donít care how benign they look, and if your nickname is ďPuddiní HeadĒ, an individual who ignores sound advice, your luck may eventually run out on one of these roads if ya donít slow down. Ride at a modest pace, enjoy the ride, surviveÖthere, Iíve said it. The memories of your trip will be on the desirable side of catastrophe, as in, didnít happen or did happen.

Iíve found this road well maintained, and it was today, but if I hadnít been practicing some lane discipline, I would have met a pickup head on in a blind corner at the 5 mile mark, a provincial vehicle maybe coming down from the fire base or provincial campgrounds. I was reading the road with the required concentration, and the bike was running along just fine on this surface, street tires and all, earning itís bones, no longer a stranger to Canuckistan gravel.



The road can be very dusty depending on traffic and weather, but I was alone out here today, only a handful of vehicles and a pair of 250 dual sports southbound, one a woman rider. The ride started in foothill country, with the view improving as I rode north.





Not far up 40, I passed the wildland fire base on the east side of the road, everything prepositioned at the facility, including crew accommodations. This base had gone active the last time I was here, copters coming and going, Alberta and BC were both facing extreme fire conditions in their beetle damaged forests.



The Livingstone river runs parallel to the road in the middle section, joined by the Oldman River flowing in from the northwest, and there are camping opportunities at Oldman and the small Livingstone Falls along the road.



The road is not straight or terrain flat, except in this part of the valley.



As the Rockies come into view, the road edges northwest, and the Continental Divide is only 5 miles away across the foothills.



I didnít see free range cattle on this road, but there was some kind of big trail ride going on judging from all the horse trailers parked well back off the road. Cattle guards in place every few miles, the signs must warm the hearts of riders coming up from Lone Star country.



I was finally able to get a good view of Mount Livingstone to the east before the road fell away and turned northwest.



As many miles as Iíve put in on these roads, my bikes, and now Mikeís, I havenít tired of the ride, hope I never do.



I was near the top of the road and could see the higher peaks of the Rockies below Banff National Park, and knew even more mountains were ahead as I turned west. I didnít know that I was riding a disguised sheepdog of envious talents, but I was about to find out.

(to be continuedÖ)
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:29 AM   #214
fasteddiecopeman
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Dave next time you're in the vicinity of Livingston Mountain on the FTR, turn east and ride thru "Livingston Gap" - JUST to say you've done it! It's about two miles.

532 is running east from the FTR barely south of the Oldman River, apparently STRAIGHT at a bloody big 'hill', and your mind is goin'... "There's NO way thru here!", when suddenly the river and road turn 90 degrees north, but not too wide! THIS is the "Livingston Gap". Maybe a quarter mile or so, the road turns east again, now past that pesky 'hill'.

Worth seeing.

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Old 07-12-2013, 10:42 AM   #215
wayne_l
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DID WE RUN INTO EACH OTHER LEAVING Dawson CITY ? YOU WERE ON YOUR WAY TO BRING THE VERSYS TO Alaska ? I WAS ON A BLUE AND WHITE klr AS I WAS ON MY WAY TO D2D ..
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #216
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
Dave next time you're in the vicinity of Livingston Mountain on the FTR, turn east and ride thru "Livingston Gap" - JUST to say you've done it! It's about two miles.

532 is running east from the FTR barely south of the Oldman River, apparently STRAIGHT at a bloody big 'hill', and your mind is goin'... "There's NO way thru here!", when suddenly the river and road turn 90 degrees north, but not too wide! THIS is the "Livingston Gap". Maybe a quarter mile or so, the road turns east again, now past that pesky 'hill'.

Worth seeing.

hey eddie, i'm game, next time i'm up there we'll do it, ya know, if you're not too old. Mapsource shows that road going through to 22, can't be in that bad of shape. we should just blitz the FTR while we're in there.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:23 AM   #217
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by wayne_l View Post
DID WE RUN INTO EACH OTHER LEAVING Dawson CITY ? YOU WERE ON YOUR WAY TO BRING THE VERSYS TO Alaska ? I WAS ON A BLUE AND WHITE klr AS I WAS ON MY WAY TO D2D ..
that's the one, twas me, and i remember you. i was on my way down to Valdez.

Mike's bike was easy to spot and looked ridiculously overloaded because of my red rolltop duffle that i needed to carry my gear on the plane. in reality, it had a pretty conventional load.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #218
wayne_l
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YEAH I GOT THE SAME ANSWERS EVERY FUEL STOP ...THIS YEAR I RODE FROM COLORADO SPRINGS TO MY HOME IN Wasilla THEN TO d2D BACK TO COLORADO SPRINGS .

8875 MILES IN 3 WEEKS I HAD A BLAST .. CANT WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR ..AFTER READING YOUR BUILDS PAST COUPLE YEARS GLAD TO FINALLY MEAT YOU ..GLAD THAT WASNT YOUR VERSYS CRUSHED ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY FROM THE RV ..

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Old 07-12-2013, 11:58 AM   #219
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by wayne_l View Post
..GLAD THAT WASNT YOUR VERSYS CRUSHED ON THE TOP OF THE WORLD HIGHWAY FROM THE RV ..
your bike was easy to remember.

i didn't see a wrecked Versys on the TOW, but i did ride up on another moto wreck on that road...photos to follow.

my route up from Denver was the see the world route, at least as much as paved roads (mostly) and time would allow. i wouldn't mind doing it every year, like you.

jdrocks screwed with this post 07-13-2013 at 05:14 AM
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Old 07-12-2013, 09:32 PM   #220
Godfather
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Great RR so far... I really enjoy the writing style and your rants!
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:09 AM   #221
wayne_l
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this was one bike we saw on the Alaska side it collided with a RV and the rider walked away ... the other on the Canada side same road slipped right off highway passanger was medivaced out .
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #222
jdrocks OP
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Originally Posted by wayne_l View Post
this was one bike we saw on the Alaska side it collided with a RV and the rider walked away ... the other on the Canada side same road slipped right off highway passanger was medivaced out .
i've heard more than one version of the cause of that Strom wreck, and hadn't heard about the other one on the Canuck side.

here's what i wrote about the TOW after crossing several times some years back...

... the TOW is another of those northern roads that can take a big bite out of you. It doesnít have the length of the Dempster or some of the others, but the road surface is full of transitions on the Yukon side and somewhat roughly graded gravel on the Alaska end down to Chicken. There are no guard rails protecting the shear drops. Make a little mistake with the bike and the next stop would be 2000í down, not that it would matter to you once past the first 50í.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:35 AM   #223
jdrocks OP
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Great RR so far... I really enjoy the writing style and your rants!
thanks, i'm real good at them rants, don't be givin' me any ideas.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:37 AM   #224
wayne_l
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there was a note written on tank in black marker said rider ok will be back to pick up .. it was on a bend and saw big red mark from tank in middle of road .. we searched ditch below before we saw the note ...

I was told he and a rv met in the middle on the turn .. how he walked away I have no idea bike took a hard hit and dent in the rocky road was impressive .
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:43 AM   #225
MTrider16
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Originally Posted by jdrocks View Post
link works, good road selection.

83 can have bumper to bumper traffic too, tough to pass on that road.
True, probably personal preference here, but I'd rather be up in the trees next to the Missions on a 2 lane than down on the flat by the lake on a 4 lane.

Glad the link works, I'll use it more often as it was fairly easy way to map that route.

David
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