Sunday, July 24, 2016

This Year's Route

Two of us went this year, an odd couple. Me on the 2010 BMW GSA1200, and Jay on his Harley Road King. We were still debating who allowed whom to ride together 7,000 miles later.

Due to a scheduling mixup about half way into the trip that prevented us from being able to get on the Prince Rupert - Port Hardy ferry when we'd planned, we added a side trip up to Hyder, Alaska, population 87.

Day 1, Nambe to Silverton

Day one, and the first Harku of the trip has already written itself, somewhere near the Colorado border.
Assholes on Harleys
Five of them, nobody waved
Badass Harley scowls

Their bikes sure were all clean & sparkly though. Leather frilly shit 'n everything.

The plan is to meet up with Jay in Grand Junction a couple of days later.

Day 2, Silverton to Grand Junction

I  got up this morning and looked out the bathroom window of my cheesy motel in Silverton, and this is what I saw:

Silverton really is pretty.

It was a beautiful ride over the Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray. At the end though, Grand Junction at 97 degrees when I met up with Jay. The good news is that the motel is a 3 minute walk from Tequila's where the food & margaritas are wonderful.

Tomorrow we have a longish day to get to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho.

Day 3, Grand Junction to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

Wow, long hot day - 448 miles. On the way to Lava Hot Springs there was some nice scenery.

Finally, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Yeah, baby! One stop shopping.

Day 4, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho to Hamilton. Montana

Not good. About 10 miles north of Salmon, ID around 1:00 pm. It was 95 degrees and the hotshot crews were just arriving.

Day 5, Hamilton, Montana to Kalispell, MT

South of Seeley Lake, MT.

Staying in a tipi at Lonesome Dove Ranch.

Day 6, Kalispell MT to Coleman, Alberta

The dining room at the Lonsesome Dove Ranch near Kalispell.

On the Riding To The Sun Road between West and East Glacier

Day 7, Coleman, AB to Radium Hot Springs, BC

A relatively short day, ~280 miles.

The world's biggest truck, in Sparwood, BC.

They have these things in British Colombia. I think they're called "rivers".

Day 8, Radium Hot Springs to Valemount, BC.

A long 330 mile ride up over a mountain pass to Lake Louise, then up the Icefield Parkway and ending in Valemount. Breakfast at the Fairmount Hotel was amazing. The hotel in Valemount: not so much.

A sombre Lake Louise.

Ravens, and glaciers and lakes.

Day 9, Valemount, BC to Williams Lake, BC

Long day, about 380 miles. Some really pretty roads, but Williams Lake was a disappointment: it's just a largish industrial town.

Along the way:

Day 10, Williams Lake BC to Smithers, BC

Another longish day, 378 miles. We discovered that the Prince Rupert - Port Hardy BC ferry was booked until August 9, so we planned a detour: next stop tomorrow, Hyder, AK.

Day 11, Smithers, BC to Stewart BC/Hyder, Alaska

Well, well. Look what was waiting for me outside the motel this morning at 6:59am:

Later that day, yeah, baby! More glaciers, and while taking pictures of one we met this threesome from New Zealand on 80's vintage BMWs.

And now the best part: a grizzly bear catching fish in Fish Creek just outside of Hyder.

There was also a seagull who didn't want to share: