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Old 07-11-2012, 07:08 AM   #1
donnh OP
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Deby and Donn's Rocky Rocky Mountain Ride

Join us on our fourth ADV ride report. This summer were riding from Seattle to Colorado the Rocky Mountain roundabout way. The rough route is north to Canada, east to the Continental Divide Route (CDR) and south to Colorado where we are planning a rendezvous with some friends riding out from Wisconsin. The route may include parts of the TAT, OBDR and WABDR but nothing is firm, well see what we can fit in the allotted three weeks. Im going to try to make this a live ride report so feel free to chime in with suggestions on routes or activities. Launch date is Saturday July 14th.

Do we have the route planned out? No, we just have to be in Colorado on July 22 to meet some riding friends at a location that is TBD. I'm bringing maps, a GPS and some pre-loaded potential routes/tracks and will decide day by day where we will ride depending on the weather and how we feel. I'll try to do a daily upload but since we will be camping I might not have daily access to WiFi.

About us:

Deby (dirtbikegirlrider) with her 2009 BMW G650Xcountry


Me and my 2011 F800GS


LINKS:
Click this link to track us on SpotWalla
Only interested in only the latest pictures? Click here HERE for our Smugmug gallery

Think our ride report is a little too boring? Here are links to my favorite epic rides:

No Fumar Espanol by Crashmaster
No Jobs, No Responsibilities by BigAlSmith
The Mobius Trip by DrRock

Thanks for following - I hope you enjoy the ride
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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:13 PM   #2
donnh OP
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Conconully

Finally we depart on Saturday July 14 under threatening skys and cool temperatures. All the heat the rest of the country has been dealing with never made it to the Pacific Northwest, we had a cooler than normal spring.

Forecast for Omak the city nearest to our planned stop.


Red line is approximate route with overnight camping near the border


Actual track


No worries, we gear up and are ready to ride


We need to be in Colorado on July 22 to meet some riding friends to we decide to ride pavement through most of Washington State. The best paved motorcycle road in Washington is the North Cascades Highway, Highway 20. We slab north and take the Darrington cut off to 20. The clouds threaten rain and finally on 20 we start getting wet.

North Cascade Highway


We wind through the Cascade Mountain range and stop in Twisp at one of our favorite spots for lunch - Paco's Taco's


East of Twisp Highway 20 intersects the Washington Back Country Discovery Route or WABDR for short. Eager to hit some dirt we decide to ride the WABDR route north to the border. Link to WABDR map

Onto the WABDR


A short excerpt from the WABDR site about the route:
" After a short highway section riders are back on dirt heading north on scenic Loup Loup Canyon Road in the Loup Loup State Forest. The steep Ruby Grade descends toward a site where the mining town of Ruby once existed. A sign at the site describes a bustling mining community that was the center of commerce in the Okanogan area until the market for silver collapsed in 1892. Gravel and paved roads take riders to the one-store town and gas pump in Conconully. In addition to the store, there are lakes and a state park in the area."


Happy camper along the way


Downgrade into the abandoned town site of Ruby. Not sure why it never looks as steep in the pictures.


At 4:30 we roll into Conconully for gas. Let's see... thunderstorms are building, the forecast includes a warning for lighting and the gravel road from here goes up and over a 5,000 foot pass with no actual towns for about 60 miles. We decide we can't pass up the inviting State Park.

Conconully State Park


Deby is talking to campers next to us on a Harley and doesn't notice the visitor behind her.




Camp style pork chops and canned peaches for dinner (dang, forgot the picture) and we call it a night.

Stats for the day:


Tomorrow, Skull and Crossbone


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2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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Conconully to Nelson


We were back on the WABDR by 9:00 in the morning after camp coffee and oatmeal. The road is paved for only a few miles before we are back on gravel.



Deby and I have both ridden this section a few times before on our smaller bikes, this was our first time on the fully loaded BMWs. It is one of my favorite rides through the North Cascade Mountains.

North from Conconully


The views are awesome. Not sure about the clouds over the mountains.....




Dashboard shot. It's a little hard to see in the glare on the bottom right, temp = 54 degrees F.


Nice graded gravel continues with stunning views


Anticipating actual warm weather we started the day with body armor and t-shirts - burrr. With the temps in the 50's we decide that instead of digging out our warm riding jackets we would both just pull polar fleece over the armor. Ha, nice style.





I do the same


Back on the road we travel near the site of the famous 9-mile fire.




We come to a turn off the main forest road down this track


Hmmm, I remember this road from previous trips and so does Deby. I hear her in my helmet communicator "I remember this road and seem to recall there was something about it". She's right but what was it? I replied that I remember it's a great road with good views. I'm pretty sure that wasn't it and I can tell she knows I'm bluffing.

About a mile in it comes back to me..... big rocks! Sometimes we call them baby heads or road base or whatever but these things can be tough to ride on.





The WABDR makes another turn onto Skull and Crossbones


Should I be worried?


We ride up the steep Skull and Crossbones ridge, the road is basically two ruts with switchbacks. At the top we're back on nice gravel.

A cow greets us


He was staring me down and wouldn't move despite my usual cow shooing attempts like standing on my pegs, honking the horn and getting closer. Ha, but this time I had a new weapon, my newly installed ADVmonster LED Aux lights. These suckers are bright! I turned them on high and the the staring contest ended with the cow running off. It was just one of many cow encounters on this section.

The views are stunning




We stopped for a break at a viewpoint noted on the WABDR route map and as soon as we shut off the bikes we heard the thunder. This wasn't any thunder it was nonstop rumbling. Then came the lightning and even louder thunder. Dang, I guess we couldn't hear it over the sound of the motorcycles. It seemed like the rain was catching up with us and the top of a mountain was probably not the best place to be in an electrical storm so we quickly put on more storm worthy gear and blasted down the mountain.

At the bottom of the hill we were back on pavement for the last couple of miles before the border crossing into Canada.




Only a couple of cars in front of us at the crossing.


In Canada we jump on highway 3 for our trek east. It's a paved road but wow, what a nice ride with mostly big sweeping curves, hardly a straight section at all. That probably explains why it seemed like there were more motorcycles on this road than cars.

Does that look like rain?


We stop for gas when it starts getting wet. I decide to take this picture and I hear Deby in my helmet urging me to skip the picture and let's try to get in front of the approaching storm. I took the picture and sure enough the thunder, lightning and rain caught up to us.



Around 2:00 we dropped into a valley and made a stop at Christine Lake for a break. Crazy, the temperature climbed up to 78F so we decide to absorb some sun breaks at the local marina.





Back on highway 3, the Crowsnest highway, we start climbing. Within only a few miles the temperature drops to 58 and it starts raining - big drops that I thought looked like hail. Burrrrr, 20 degree drops in as many minutes.

At about 5:00 we arrive at the resort town of Nelson, BC. I was there about 20 years ago and it's grown so much I don't recognize it. We decide to do some real luxury camping.



Dinner on the patio


Downtown Nelson


The hotel has reasonably fast WiFi so I spent a few hours uploading pictures and catching up on this report. Tomorrow we head east ...... not sure what to expect.

Stats for the day




Next installment at next WiFi hotspot. I'm keeping my cell phone off while in Canada to avoid international data charges.

Donn




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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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We saw you leaving Conconully. Wife and I were just stopping for breakfast on our way home from a little tour of BC. Nelson, Kaslo, Nakusp, etc.
We made it over to Hwy 20 before the downpour, would have been a handful in mud 2 up.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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I like the Christine lake snack and view!
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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Great pics and report, enjoying sharing your journey. Cool weather is a foreign concept in this part of the U.S. right now.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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Where are you headed for today? We live in Lethbridge and have room for guests and a garage for the bike. I'm not sure which route you are going south to the US but you should include the Road to the Sun if you haven't been on it before.

Let me know if I can assist.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:06 PM   #9
donnh OP
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Camping tonight with one bar of cell service so no ride report today. We are riding Big Dogs Continental Divide ride. Following the tracks not route. Great ride today now we are looking at the approaching Thunder and lightning towards the camp. Thanks for the replies! More later.
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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:08 PM   #10
donnh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycleman2 View Post
Where are you headed for today? We live in Lethbridge and have room for guests and a garage for the bike. I'm not sure which route you are going south to the US but you should include the Road to the Sun if you haven't been on it before.

Let me know if I can assist.
Did ride to the sun today. What blast. Thanks for the offer but we are further south today.
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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #11
lexluther11
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Hi Donn & Deby,

Great to see you both enjoying Canada. Looking forward to seeing more pictures and the first one of Deby looks familiar.

Have fun............

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Old 07-18-2012, 08:53 PM   #12
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Nelson to Waterton AB

At the moment we are in Boulder Montana just north of Butte at the Boulder Hot Springs Resort http://www.boulderhotsprings.com/ Interesting place for sure but a hot soak felt good after a day of dirt riding.

From Nelson we rode north on paved roads to the Balfor Kootenay Bay free ferry, a 45 minute crossing of Kootenay lake.

Riding 3a North


Some obligatory ferry crossing pictures








They let motorcycles off the ferry first so we had all of highway 3a to ourselves for the next few hours. Clear skies, temperature around 70, no traffic and nothing but curves south to Creston. Highway 3a should be on any bikers bucket list in my opinion.

From Creston we rode east on highway 3, there was a lot of traffic and even though the road was nice we were dodging trucks and campers most of the way. We came to the town of Frank and found something most amazing, the Frank Slide.

Frank Slide


Over 100 years ago the side of the mountain slid away and covered part of the town, what was amazing is that it looked like it happened yesterday. Huge boulders were scattered it the biggest debris field I have ever seen.



We turn south on highway 6 to head for Waterton Lakes National Park which is on the Canadian side of Glacier Park in Montana.

The clouds are getting darker


And a little darker


We decide to stay in a campground a few kilometers outside of the town, we opt for the $8.50 option of having a spot that allows fires. The wood if free.....

Loading up fire wood


Maybe not as good as DrRock luxury camping but we muster up some cheese and crackers, stir fry and wine in our travel coffee mugs.... Yum!


Camp picture, will it rain?


We make a very feeble attempt to start the really damp "free" firewood when the rain starts


Into the tent for the night.

Stats for the day. Wow! Way over my preferred daily mileage limit


Track for the day




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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:24 PM   #13
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Waterton BC to Seeley Lake MT

We actually camped at Alva lake just north of Seeley Lake because all the campgrounds around Seeley lake were full. It turned out to be a good move because it was one of the best camp sites we've ever had. The campground was called "Lakeside Campground", how original.

We couldn't be so close to Glacier National Park and not ride the Going To The Sun Road so got up early to cross the border and make it before the road became too clogged with RVs and other tourists just like us.

I'm glad we went, despite the crowds the road is a phenomenal feat of engineering and the views are stunning.

My point and shoot pictures taken while riding leave something to be desired but you get the idea




We stop for lunch outside Kalispell to refuel and move on the next phase of the trip


Big Dog's Continental Divide Route ..... I had the GPS tracks loaded and we blindly pick up the route where it intersects highway 20.

ABS set to OFF as we shortly hit the first section of gravel


The road starts off nice and gets better.


Wow, what great roads. Deby follows me anywhere.


Fun Stuff


Off the beaten path for sure


We stop for the night around 6:00 PM and get the last site (there were only 6). It was unoccupied because you had to park by the road and hike uphill on a short path to the site. Ha, we rode up the narrow single track path like we owned it and had the best site to ourselves.



Had an excellent fire with DRY wood we gathered


On the menu was fresh salad


And marinated pork tenderloin


Even a beautiful sunset


Before a huge thunderstorm came through and we ended up back in the tent


Stats for the day (forgot to zero my trip settings so this is from the track)


Track


Tomorrow - all dirt on Big Dog's CDR




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Old 07-18-2012, 10:22 PM   #14
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Seeley Lake to Boulder MT

Sort of a crazy day today. We woke up to a beautiful sunny day and proceeded to dry things off and get ready to ride.



We thought we would load up on camp coffee and skip breakfast to get some miles in during the cooler hours of the day and find a breakfast spot along the way. We stopped in the city of Seeley Lake to top off our camel backs (good idea) but not our fuel tanks (bad idea).

We head off on Big Dog's track into the mountains.


We cross Stemple Pass


The temperatures are steadily climbing into the 80's and the route is really fun with just the right amount of challenge for the F800 and G650 and our riding skill. We keep expecting to cross a road with a small town that has some food. Nothing, We ride some more, nothing. Hmmm, starting to get a little hungry.

We stop to snack on some of our emergency food supply.


Deby commented a few times in the morning about the lack of other motorcycles or bicycles on this route. Are we going the right way? I tried to remember where I found these tracks I was following, did someone recommend them? Were they the same as the bicycle CD route we've read about? Who is this Big Dog guy and why am I blindly following his tracks. I didn't mention that the tracks were all dated..... 2005! Well, I'm pretty sure all the roads would still be there, really? We go further and further without meeting a soul and seldom seeing any vehicle when we start seeing bicycle tracks. We are riding up a particularly steep section of nearly single track road when we see three people on bicycles trying to make their way up the pass. Of course we have to stop.

If I had thought to take a picture I would have inserted it HERE.

We went through the usual 20 questions when we found out one of the riders was the son of one of our neighbors. Wow, on the side of a mountain in the middle of Montana we run across the only bicycle riders of the day and we know the kids parents!

I felt guilty letting my 85 HP twin cylinder motor take me the rest of the way up the mountain. It was another 85 miles before we saw anything other than the occasional cabin.

We rode a little further and saw this:


No problem with me staying out of there.

By 3:00 in the afternoon it was blazing hot and we were down to our mesh hot riding gear. All we had to eat all day was a couple of protein bars and we had traveled 150 miles since getting gas. We are approaching highway 12 and I'm sure there must be a town or gas station at the intersection. Not.

From highway 12 the CDR travels south and intersects with I-15, surely there must be something there. We find out in another 30 miles when we ride into the booming town of Basin. The route between highway 12 and I-15 was challenging and made more so by our hunger, the heat, getting tired and wondering if we would run out of gas.

We stopped for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at the Silver Saddle Cafe, it was our only meal of the day.


Downtown Basin


At the restaurant I pick up a brochure for the ... get this... "Radon Health Mine" where people go to purposely expose themselves to Radon for health reasons. It's in nearby Boulder - read all about it here: http://www.radonmine.com/

There is nothing at all in Basin so we ride 10 miles on I-15 (speed limit 75) into Boulder where we see a sign for the Boulder Hot Springs Resort, sounds like my type of place.

It's an interesting sight when you pull in




It's a "healing center" and it's only a few miles from the Radon Health Mine. I've come to the right place if I have any chronic diseases. We ask at the desk about rooms - yes. Food? No. Only breakfast in the morning. After we check in we are reminded that the facility is smoking and alcohol free. I'm guessing not to many ADV riders stay here. Oh, one last thing as she hands us the key, the room we are in is haunted.

Today's track


Elevation plot


Stats for the day


That's it for the night..... I hope Simone the ghost lets me get a good night sleep.










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ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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Old 07-19-2012, 06:15 AM   #15
donnh OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexluther11 View Post
Hi Donn & Deby,

Great to see you both enjoying Canada. Looking forward to seeing more pictures and the first one of Deby looks familiar.

Have fun............
Ha, yes! You deserve the photo credit Lex! This is a practice run for your BC Adventure Ride in fall. Thanks for the comment.
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KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
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