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Old 09-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
oregonV4 OP
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bend, OR
Oddometer: 15
Two Knuckleheads Take On The Canadian Rockies

As a noob here, an introduction is in order. My buddy "tapit" and I are part way through an awesome adventure through the Canadian Rockies. We are both from Oregon, him from Hillsboro, me from just south of Bend. This will be our third annual "Man-Trip" motorcycle adventure. We are in our late thirties, Dads of 3 each and have been buddies for over 25 years.

The prior years, we rented Harleys for our trip, but for this year, we stepped up and got our own bikes. I bought a 2002 VFR 800, tapit got a 2005 FJR 1300. So, on with the adventure...

The plan is to do a seven day, 2000 mile trip from Oregon to Jasper National Park and back. I leave from Bend, tapit leaves from Hillsboro, we meet up in Biggs, Oregon.

Day 1 of 7 - Oregon to Coeur D'Alene

Bike is loaded and I'm getting the send-off from the family. It is always tough to be gone from them for a week, but the call of the road is strong with this one! It's 8:45 and time to go meet tapit in Biggs.

25 miles into my trip, I'm passing through "town".

Once you get north of Bend, it get arid and desolate in a hurry.

I found tapit at a gas station in Biggs. Miraculously, we arrived within 10 minutes of each other.

And we luck out and spot a mint Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am! Any man in his 30's/40's, loved this car as a kid.

Onward, on I-84 riding along the Columbia River

On I-395, just north of the tri-cities in Washington. Tapit is taking a load off. The wind gusts through here were unbelievable. The air quality was horrid; a choking mix of dust and forest fire smoke.

Trees! The first we've seen in hours! We must be close to Spokane.

Yep, passing through Spokane.

We make it to Idaho

And finally to beautiful Coeur D'Alene where we spend night one. Tapit wipes the dust and grime off the FJR that attached itself in eastern Washington. Even though we stayed on highways, it looks like we went off roading.

We went out and got dinner at Toro Viejo. Highly recomended!

Fish bowls of Margaritas were in order. Tapit is excited.

Then we went to the posh Coeur D'Alene Resort. A little upper crust for a couple rednecks like us, but the beer was good.

Flame in a tube... that's a new one. Tapit is intrigued.

Tomorrow, on to Banff!

oregonV4 screwed with this post 09-16-2012 at 12:59 AM
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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Nice start... bring on Banff
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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Good start & looking forward to the rest of the story.

The girls are just too cute........and I don't believe you could deny them
2008 Suzuki DL 650....Wee Strom
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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Thanks WaywardSon. They don't get that cuteness from me!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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Day 2 of 7 – Coeur D'Alene to Banff

Day 2 got off to a bit off a slow start. Could have had something to do with the fish bowl margaritas, don't know for sure. See post one...

As a result, we hit Radium Hot Springs around 8:30 PM – this looks like a great place by the way. You'll get your national park pass just out of Radium. It cost us $19.60 for 2 days. By this time, it was starting to get dark and cold, and we still had 132 km to go until Banff. The temperature dropped to 30 degrees (F) and we hit snow flurries. We were a little disappointed that we didn't see Kootenay Park in the daylight, but it was still a good ride. The bonus was no traffic. Be sure to gear up if you take this ride at night in September, and watch for wildlife. Also, the signs are not reflective, so you will have trouble viewing at night. We ended up getting into Banff at 10:00PM.

After checking into the hotel in Banff, we went out for a bite at The Eddie Burger Bar. Highly recommended. Great food and great service. We both had the Eddie Special. A note about the Canadian folks that we have interacted with thus far; very friendly and helpful!

We woke up in Coeur D'Alene to this - the throat of winter is upon us (thank you Opeth). Tapit suggested we be proactive and put in the rain liners – it turned out to be a good call.

Sandpoint Idaho, beautiful Lake Pend Oreille. Not the best day for wakeboarding, but the lake is still spectacular. Sandpoint is the turning point. This where the ride really starts to get good.

A scenic shot between Sandpoint and Canada.

Approaching the border crossing into Canada on highway 95.

Waiting in line.

We were a little worried, but we made it through. The nice lady at the border didn't like my GoPro, but since it wasn't on, we were good.


A nice lake just north of the border

Rest stop – Canadian style

The source of the Columbia River, a special place for us Oregonians.

Columbia Lake

On to Jasper tomorrow.

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Old 09-12-2012, 05:11 AM   #6
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I know this rest area I think. It looks like the one between Cranbrook, BC and Radium. Last time I stopped, the only other traveler was an Australian on a rented Harley. Keep the trip coming.
I'd rather be dragging a club than clubbing in drag.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bend, OR
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Day 3 of 7 – Banff to Jasper National Park

Today was quite an adventure. We woke up to a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains. The flurries that we hit the night before, turned into some accumulation on the peaks. What a sight to behold. Luckily there was no snow sticking on the ground in Banff. However, as we mounted up to head out of town, a few flakes started to fall – uh oh. The temperature was hovering around freezing as we set off. We knew we were in for a treat the second we got on Highway 1. We realized as we left town this morning, what we had missed the night before in the dark. The grandeur was on a scale that pictures cannot do justice, but we will make a feeble attempt.

Here was our humble abode for the night

And so it begins. Leaving Banff on Highway 1, heading towards Jasper

Tapit is happy.

Lake Louise

Hard to describe the beauty. The water is translucent turquoise. We'll let the picture speak for itself.

No need to comment on the beauty of this picture.

Shortly after entering Jasper National Park, we came across this lake and had to stop.

Ready to roll.

The bikes wanted to stop to pose for another picture

Dang bikes are camera hogs

The picture says it all

Interesting striations. Mountains bent under the will of time.

Ominous. We are in the snow line.

Those are snowflakes on my shoulder (not dandruff)

The Heavens parted, and Tapit proclaimed “There is a God”.

The Eye of God

The Athabasca Glacier

Here is where it extended to in 1942, a scant 70 years ago.

Ghostrider dances a jig


Our home for the night. Sunwapta Falls.

Tapit has moved in.

The teepee didn't cut it so we got a cabin.

Time for beer.

To prove to our wives that we ate our veggies. The food at Sunwapta Falls was excellent, and great service too!

Okay, one more beer, and then one more after that.

Tomorrow, on to Revelstoke!

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Old 09-13-2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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I'd be more impressed if the salad plate was empty
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Location: Hinton, Alberta
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The 2 canadians

Hey you 2 Knuckleheads, nice chatting with you. We had a great ride home, hope you have safe riding. Keep the rubber on the road
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
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Cry Be safe out there!!!

Miss you! Love your Fam'
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:12 PM   #11
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Location: Bend, OR
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Hey blmkay, it was nice talking to you guys. Thanks for all you tips, hope we run into you again.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #12
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bend, OR
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Day 4

Day 4 of 7 – Jasper to Revelstoke

We woke up this morning to clearer skies in Jasper. Temperature was still a little brisk (40's), but at least it wasn't snowing. The ride today takes us back down the Icefields Parkway through Jasper National Park. The ride was so nice, we had to do it twice. Once we hit the Highway 1 junction, we turned west and headed to Revelstoke through Yoho, Glacier and Rogers Pass National Parks. We were a little sad we'd be leaving the imagery of Jasper, but these other parks were nothing to sneeze at! The ride from Sunwpata Falls to Revelstoke was about 400km.

Some fuel and quick snack were in order. We stopped about halfway down the Icefields Parkway at Saskatchewan Crossing. We met a couple nice fellow bikers from the Jasper area who kindly shared some of their knowledge on riding through these parts. Nice to meet you guys, hope we run into you again.

Back onto Highway 1 heading towards Golden

The color of the water of this river along Highway 1 is unreal

The wildlife count for the trip so far is a flock(?) of turkeys, one deer, one cow elk, one coyote, and now these guys...

The town of Golden has some nice views.

Damn Tapit, where you going?

More big mountains coming into view

Tunnels - sweet.

The sound of a V4 in a tunnel is superb.

This is somewhere in the Rogers Pass area. Getting closer to Revelstoke.

We made it. Home for the night in Revelstoke. Tapit begins the nightly ritual (wax on, wax off)

Sunset over the mountains of Revelstoke

Locals recommended Zalas for dinner and it was walking distance. It did not disappoint.

Time for beer.

The best potato skins ever. Had to pry them out of Tapit's hands.

Tomorrow, on to Nelson.

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Old 09-13-2012, 08:39 PM   #13
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All I see is 2 very happy boys. Enjoy!
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:06 AM   #14
oregonV4 OP
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bend, OR
Oddometer: 15
Day 5

Day 5 of 7 – Revelstoke to Nelson

Woke up to perfect blue skies without a cloud in sight. Weather report called for 70-78 degrees so we stripped out the cold weather liners and headed off. Today was going to be our best ride day vs. scenic, we were blessed with both. The day is best summarized as LL: lakes and leans. Before we got on the road we decided to ride through the town of Revelstoke on our way out.... what a great place to live, in the shadow of towering mountains and plentiful water. Everything was so alive it glowed. The road from Revelstoke to the Arrow Lake ferry was a ton of fun, wide sweeping turns and no traffic. The pinnacle of the ride however was the ride between New Denver and Kaslo (Hwy 31A) – picked this route up from the forum and we can now pass the recommendation on. Let's just say that there is plenty of opportunity to learn your bikes potential :) We rolled into Nelson (nice town on the Kootenay Lake) and are currently sitting in a cool historic hotel called the Hume – est. 1898. One last comment, we truly couldn't have hit a better week for traffic and weather. Kids are back in school and parents are putting the toys away for the winter.

Redneck GoPro. You might be a redeck if... you walk outside and your buddy's attaching is $700 video camera to his bike with 10 cents worth of cable ties.

What?! Tapit said it was cloudy and about to rain while oregonV4 was brushing his teeth. Here's what we saw when we opened the curtains.

Bridge out of Revelstoke

Road out of Revelstoke.. Glorious day!

Waiting for the ferry

On the ferry

Another ferry pic

Where's my wakeboard?

Cafe in Nakusp – asked for an iced mocha and it came out blended....loved it anyway :)

tapit with his clothes off

Kootenay Lake in Nakusp

It's a big lake :)

Farm- – like I said.... it glows

Yep, more Kootenay Lake

No honey.. I never went over 100kph on purpose

Historic Hume Hotel

The lobby

The place where they gave us food and beer.

Better hurry!


Back to the States tomorrow.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:08 AM   #15
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Bend, OR
Oddometer: 15

Hey RedDogAlberta,

That's right, the rest stop is between Cranbrook and Radium. When we were there, it was just us and a retired couple in an RV.

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