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Old 07-23-2011, 11:31 AM   #46
GISdood OP
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Location: Prince George, BC
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Thursday, July 21

Up and alive by 7:30am today. Ok... maybe not quite that early - 8:30. But its 7:30 PDT! We wanted to get an early start so that we would have time to find a decent campsite in Jasper. That place can fill up quite early in the day during peak season. So away we went, heading past the hot springs and up into Kootenay National Park, winding through the rock walls of the canyon.



These winding roads would be a lot more fun if we weren't following slow-moving RV's



Finally around the RV... wheeee!



The only tunnel on this leg of the trip.



"Don't go into the light, Brandi!!!"



Out of the tunnel and continuing the climb.



And we emerge out the other side of the pass, looking out over the valley below




We were in and out of a few showers for the better part of the morning. Nothing persistent or heavy, just enough to be mildly-annoying, but not enough to warrant any rain gear. The clouds made for some interesting scenery and lighting, tho.





We turned south towards Banff on Hwy 1, knowing that we'd be going 30km out of the way and doubling back again. Not long after turning onto the Trans Canada, the rain picked up and we pulled over and put on the rain gear until we rolled into Banff where we stopped at Safeway for a bite to eat before turning around and heading north to Jasper.



After a quick snack, back north we went... the rain was still dogging us, so the only pics were where we stopped. The first roadside photo op:



Not sure what the pose was about... but it was funny at the moment.


The streams in the area which were normally just a trickle were rushing down the mountainside with a little more energy than what you'd normally see at this time of year.





Next stop - Crowfoot Glacier Lookout. We couldn't see all of it due to the low ceiling of cloud overhead, but its still a pretty impressive vista.









And the obligatory crow at the Crowfoot Glacier lookout (I think in fact this was a raven... but I could be wrong)



Away we went again, eager to put distance between us and the tour bus full of camera-happy tourists... until another scenic spot down the road, of course









And then away we went again. The rain had spared us for the most part, but it was still damn chilly, so we left the rain gear on.

As we approached the Athabasca Glacier area, the weather got reallllly ugly. High winds, blowing rain and limited visibility. Hence, no photos of the glacier. We wanted to get through that crap as quickly and safely as we could, so we just kept rolling. Once we were through the highest part of the pass near there (where my DR was running like crap, as well... stupid elevation, anyway!) it started to clear and we got a few more good photos from the road after we stopped to peel off the rain gear.










Bridal Veil Falls - stopped here for a few photos and to throw on the rain coat again as climbed over another pass and got into the cold wet stuff.



The rain persisted on the other side of the pass until we got to Athabasca Falls. We stopped here mainly to get off the bikes and walk around a bit, take some pictures, and try to warm up in the rare presence of the sunshine.









After this it was a short jaunt to Jasper. We rode straight to Whitsler's Campground just north of town and secureed a tent spot. After setting up camp, we zipped into town.









We had a bite at the Astoria Pub, then headed back to camp after fueling up - one less thing to do in the morning before heading home.

With only a 4 hour ride tomorrow to get us home, there was only one decision left to make for the night.

"Which beer do I drink for a nightcap??"



Tomorrow... Jasper to Prince George and home, sweet home!

GISdood screwed with this post 11-14-2012 at 11:12 AM
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #47
GISdood OP
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The final day...

Friday, July 22

Well... here we are. Two weeks after leaving, we're a mere 4 hours away from home and our own comfy bed. No need to debate how weather will affect the camping vs hotel option, no more morning ritual of stuffing 65+ lbs of gear back into its respective place in our various bags, no more one-pot cooking, no more wiping bugs from the visor at every gas stop.... Can you tell I'm ready to be back home by now?

So were out of bed and tearing down camp around 8:30 mountain time, on the road and rolling out of Jasper by 10am.

Looking back over my shoulder along Hwy 93 near Whistler's campground



And looking west towards the Rockies, homeward bound...



Unfortunately, not long after this, we ran into rain. Out came the rain gear again, once again putting the camera out of easy reach, so photos for a good part of this leg of the trip were from rest stops only.

Like here, as we crossed the line between Jasper National Park and Mt Robson Provincial Park (also the BC/Alberta border).



Not long after crossing into BC, the weather improved. It was still unseasonably cold, but at least the rain stopped, so I stashed the raincoat so I could get at the camera again.



There were lots of RVs on the road today, but we know this road well enough to know where the good passing oppportunities were. We hung back to stay out of the buffeting of the larger trailers and fifth wheels and passed them when we could, just keeping pace with the flow of traffic.



Sticking too close to some of the huge RVs would have obscured views like these, too.



Moose Lake, looking west



And not long after that, Mt Robson. This was the clearest, most cloudless view I've seen of the peak in person in years. The last time I saw it this clear I was cat-skiing outside of Valemount and it was -18C. This view alone made the crappy weather from Jasper worth enduring.



Away we went again, trying to strategically time our departure in a lull of the ebb and flow of RVs and tour buses coming in and out of the rest stop. Luckily, the bulk of the traffic headed south on Hwy 5 as we continued west on 16. And to offset that bit of good luck of course... the rain returned. Our next stop was McBride for gas and lunch, after which we pushed on stopping again at Purden Lake Resort to warm up in the lodge.

The thumbs-down was in reference to the weather, of course.



Inside we went to warm up by the fire inside the lodge.



We also enjoyed a couple warm beverages. Here's Brandi trying to warm her hands and belly at the same time...



We also had a couple warm slices of pie - no a la mode!



We were only 45 minutes from home at this point, so we headed back out into the cold wind and rain once again, knowing that we'd be able to escape the elements, dry out, warm up, and relax within the hour.

The last bit of the ride was uneventful, and in short order we were back home, much to the pleasure of these two furry kids...



... and also these two other furry kids. The cats in particular must have missed Brandi. Every time she sits down in the recliner, its a variation of this scene.



There we have it... another summer vacation/road trip in the books. I may have a few other random photos to add a bit later as I go through them all again on the PC here at home and file them away, so I'll post those this week as well.

Thanks to everyone who followed along, offered route input, and commented. Extra special thanks to Don at All Moto Tire for accommodating our schedule and getting Brandi's new tires on for us... and also Sam and Lonnie at Ribgy's Autobody and Towing in Forks, WA for coming to get Brandi and her disabled bike out of the rain and back to Forks, and also for letting me use the work bay in the shop to make the repairs out of the rain. Your generosity and hospitality will not soon be forgotten.

With any luck, we'll be able to get a couple long weekend road trips in before the summer is over up here (assuming it ever shows up first, of course). Thanks again everyone, ride safe!

GISdood screwed with this post 11-14-2012 at 11:35 AM
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:39 PM   #48
smilin jack
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Great Vacation

... and ride report.

Read the whole thing and enjoyed the pictures too.

I've had troubles with wet feet also and tried many different approaches, but none work perfectly.

Gore-tex hunting boots leak nicely (road spray from front tire)
Riding boots similar to yours leak very well (road spray from front tire)

There is a theme going here... road spray off the front tire. Got to thinking about that (had seen lots of photos of spray shields on Harley engine guards).

Found an empty gallon antifreeze plastic jug along the road, so sliced it vertically, made some holes for zip ties, and attached to the highway pegs. Did that in June this year at Hells Canyon adv gathering at Enterprise Oregon. The plastic sure looked ugly on the bike, but had dry feet +500 miles home. They came off immediately at home. The idea worked, but still thinking of a better solution. Any ideas?

Here's a picture of the spray shields.

Dave
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:49 PM   #49
GISdood OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smilin jack View Post
... and ride report.

Read the whole thing and enjoyed the pictures too.

I've had troubles with wet feet also and tried many different approaches, but none work perfectly.

Gore-tex hunting boots leak nicely (road spray from front tire)
Riding boots similar to yours leak very well (road spray from front tire)

There is a theme going here... road spray off the front tire. Got to thinking about that (had seen lots of photos of spray shields on Harley engine guards).

Found an empty gallon antifreeze plastic jug along the road, so sliced it vertically, made some holes for zip ties, and attached to the highway pegs. Did that in June this year at Hells Canyon adv gathering at Enterprise Oregon. The plastic sure looked ugly on the bike, but had dry feet +500 miles home. They came off immediately at home. The idea worked, but still thinking of a better solution. Any ideas?

Here's a picture of the spray shields.

Dave
Thanks Dave!

That's a pretty damn good idea, there. I was trying (without much luck) to change the position of my feet on the pegs during the heaviest downfalls to minimize that spray you're talking about. A nice lightweight 'splashguard' like you came up with there looks to be the ticket.

Another thing I was longing for was a set of highway pegs, but I don't have a skidplate to mount them to on the DR yet. Perhaps when I get around to adding those two pieces of gear to the ride I'll use your photo as inspiration for some flexible, removeable road-spray guards, too! Thanks for the idea!
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:54 AM   #50
job3-14
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Woohoo! Back home safe and sound. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Love the mini wine bottles.

Take care,

A&W
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:09 AM   #51
GISdood OP
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Originally Posted by job3-14 View Post
Woohoo! Back home safe and sound. Thanks for taking us along for the ride. Love the mini wine bottles.

Take care,

A&W

They're no "box o' wine", but they're certainly easier to pack!
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:21 AM   #52
GISdood OP
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Still sifting through some of the photos... managed to piece together a few of the panoramas I shot along the trip.

Potlatch State Park on our way around the Olympic Peninsula:


Grand Coulee Dam:


Fort Spokane
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #53
jonnykilo
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Pig's Gorge

Great RR. I grew up in PG many moons ago, and moved away from the West Coast last summer. The photos bring back lots of good memories.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:17 PM   #54
BlackDog
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Enjoyed you're report and like the way you've set up your bikes. I'll keep my eyes open for you guys around town. This is was taken last Summer (sic) at Shesta Lake.

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