was 400 miles or so from Republic to Banff, so Bernie and I rolled the throttle and headed up rt 21 looking to cross into Grand Forks. After explaining why we were at the border again to a nice guard, she let us cross. 21 turns into rt 3, which meanders East-West (though sometimes more North-South) through the valleys of a mountain range better known as the Columbia Mountains.
The route was smooth and well traveled by truckers. Translation: Boring on a motorcycle. As I sang "follow the only road" to myself (Link
) I was able to relax and enjoy the scenery, of which there was plenty.
We'd climb for a good time up into the mountains and cool off - the cooler air was so refreshing after the past few days.
Soon, though, we'd descend again and the heat would come back - never as bad as Washington though.
The landscape was vast and mostly unpopulated - logging was the main industry here and there was plenty of evidence to show it.
We dropped out of the mountains and crossed the Columbia river at Castlegar - where the Kootenay and Columbia rivers converge.
We spotted some weather in the distance as we climbed back up into the mountains. Still, the sun was out all around and any worry faded quickly.
Although the clouds started to get dark as the wind whipped up here and there as we gained significant altitude.
Several thousand feet up, snow on the mountains reminded me I was getting a bit chilly. Mountain goats were another reminder of our increasing altitude. A very good reminder indeed when they just about ran into me.
We both noticed wet cars coming down in the opposite direction - cresting the climb at just over a mile high, we stopped to gear up, the air chilly now.
We seemed to luck out by just missing every passing storm the whole way down to Creston. We got damp and cold from spray, but a few miles later we dropped into a broad valley - leaving the rain and the cold behind.
Driving through Creston I was tired of sitting and getting hungry. I saw a sign for the Kokanee Inn and a decision was made.
Stay tuned! Later, you'll meet the drunk guy on the bike in the background