2 Texans to Alaska (and back)...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jglow, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. jimbowie

    jimbowie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Texas prairie.
    We are in. We made about the same trip last year. Great RR.
    #41
  2. Sand Flea

    Sand Flea Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Huntington Beach CA
    I'm in :clap
    #42
  3. Dcc46

    Dcc46 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    509
    Location:
    Nokomis ,FL
    Subscribed.
    #43
  4. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,106
    Location:
    DAYTONA USA
    Sucks at being cold - most of em do. She sounds like a good sport.
    Keep it coming.
    #44
  5. IJM

    IJM Hinderant Backbenderz

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    230
    Location:
    The city above T.O
    Thanks for taking the time to post, too cool.:clap
    #45
  6. themocksta

    themocksta Lost in this place

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Interior Alaska
    Hit the ctrl and + at the same time. This will increase the size of words on all websites in your browser :evil

    In reference to the thread: :lurk
    #46
  7. BIGLEN

    BIGLEN If this is fun, we're havin' it.

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for posting. Cool trip so far. Wish I could get my wife on the bike for a long trip! :cry
    #47
  8. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,862
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Always enjoy a fellow Texans ride report to Alaska and back. Rode that trip in 07 and need to do it again. Yes, it is a long way, but great every mile.
    #48
  9. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    [FONT=&quot]Cody, WY to Great Falls, MT [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Fri. June 4, 2010 – Day 5
    Total Mileage Today: 372
    Total Trip Mileage: 2,325[/FONT]


    Got a late start out of Cody. We hung around the camp park sucking up wifi and what not. Today we were headed up to Montana via Yellowstone National Park and the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. The day started out well enough.

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    I would totally live in that outhouse if that was my backyard :rofl.

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    But soon there were some not so happy looking clouds coming in off the mountains.


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    Not long after, it started to rain. We went higher, and it continued to rain. It turned to a bit of snow flurry around the turn off to go to Red Lodge. I assumed Nikki's vest was keeping her comfortable, as I felt her head bounce off my back a few times because she was dozing off... Anyhow, we entered Yellowstone NP from the Northeast corner, right at rush hour.

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    But the weather was so damp and dreary that we just motored on through and out the North Entrance.

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    This was probably the day that I realized that my new Gaerne Balance Oiled Boots (advertised waterproof) were not waterproof :baldy. Not too much I could do about it now.

    We stopped for some Pizza right outside of Yellowstone. Talked about stopping for the day (even though it was early) or maybe pushing ahead till we hit some dry weather, and set-up camp. We decided to push on a bit as we felt better after lunch.

    We entered Montana.

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    And then ran head on into a storm. This one looked like the real deal. It was like one of those storms we get in Texas that spin up those things that are always pickin’ on trailer parks.
    It's amazing how exposed you feel in a storm while on a bike :cry.

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    My dad would always tell us that the best thing to do while driving through a storm was to haul ass. He'd see all those people pulled off on the shoulder and exclaim "pussy's" as he hit the accelerator. I guess it mostly worked out ok for him - I am still here:lol3. Anyhow, I guess I carried that little nugget of info with me and decided that was the method I would use. There wasn't really anybody else around that I could accuse of being a pussy, but non the less we hauled ass straight through the storm.

    We made it though and stopped for a break.

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    Those eyes are telling, aren't they?

    I liked this picture a whole lot, but it is a bummer about the orange construction fencing at the base.

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    Now, here I have 2 things to apologize to BigDog for. #1. Sorry about the small font, I hope this is better:gerg:lol3
    #2. We camped this night at a KOA - as BigDog puts it (and rightfully so) "the death of camping":grim

    We had come out of the forest and into the plains in Great Falls. We were pooped, and it was the first place we came to. But holey crap $43 bucks :eek1! I guess it is still half of what the motels were wanting, but still, I wasn't even planning on using the water slide or the "Kountry Kitchen"

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    Well, at least we don't have to worry about bears... for tonight.


    FWIW there was another camp park in town, but they had, umm... some "permanent residents"



    jordan
    #49
  10. THogland

    THogland Back in Alaska!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    76
    Location:
    Wasilla-ish, Alaska
    I would so love to do this. I'm in TX at the moment, going to be in AR next month, then headed back home to Alaska. I keep having to fight the urge to pick up a bike here and ride it home :D Unfortunately, late April is a bit too early to try that trip, and I'd rather not wait any longer to head home - been gone since Thanksgiving weekend, and the wife is tired of shoveling snow :rofl
    #50
  11. agplant

    agplant Ride Fast Travel Slo

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    High Level, Alberta
    I love these reports. I look at them as a research project for 2012 and I can't wait.

    :lurk
    #51
  12. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Great Falls, MT to Glacier National Park, MT


    Day 6
    Mileage today: 213
    Total Trip Mileage:2,538

    We didn't have real far to go today, a couple of hundred miles maybe. We are headed for Glacier National Park, but first we have to get through some Plains.

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    We experienced some of the most intense cross winds through this bit of road. I felt like we were riding at a 45 degree angle against the wind just to stay on the road.

    Getting closer to the Mountains.

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    We stopped for lunch at a burger place that had pie. It was run by a bunch of Hippies and it was really expensive. My burger was pretty raw in the middle and we were too cheap to buy the $7 dollar slice pie. It was a bummer, I really wanted this to be good. Oh well. We entered the Park.

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    We may not have had the best start to the day, but this is looking good!

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    This place is incredible! Everything is just so large and imposing.

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    Happy Travelers :freaky.

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    And the bike that has brought us this far:ricky.

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    As the day started to get late, Nikki and I talked about our camping options. I wanted to camp in the park, she didn't want to get eaten by bears - I guess we are just going to have to compromise. You see, Nikki has an unhealthy fear of Bears. I wouldn't want to fight a bear, but I try to live my life under the assumption that "it won't happen to me." Not that I would go to sleep in bear country with a snickers in my pocket, but I just figure it's not that big of a deal. Take precautions and leave the rest up to chance. We ended up at the Many Glacier campground. It is stunningly beautiful as it is peaceful. There are some other campers around, so Nikki agrees to camp here, somewhat comforted by some crap I spewed about "safety in numbers."

    This sign didn't help me sell my point.

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    We settled on a spot...

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    ...and a short time later, we were approached by the Park Ranger. She just wanted to let us know not to leave any food out or anything like that - on account of a bear that has been frequenting the campsite:huh. It is not easy to put Nikki's bear-a-phobia to rest when it's constantly being brought back up:lol3.

    We soak it in for a while.

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    And sleep very soundly through the night without being eaten or even harassed by any bears.

    Tomorrow we enter Canada, and see our first Grizzly ( a little too close to home).



    jordan
    #52
  13. s boy

    s boy it goes by quick..

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    down east - nc
    i'm in... you are a very blessed couple! :nod
    #53
  14. Zizziba!

    Zizziba! n00b

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Loving this post! :clap
    #54
  15. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,016
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Yep, time to subscribe to this one.
    #55
  16. GoinPostal

    GoinPostal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    387
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    I'm in too! Heading to Prudhoe Bay this June. Can't wait to see your pics
    #56
  17. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    447
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Glacier NP, MT to Lake Louise- Banff National Park



    Day 7 - June 6,2010
    Total Mileage Today: 330
    Total Trip Mileage: 2,860

    Coldest morning yet. Had to start off with some gift shop coffee...

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    It is amazing the creature comforts that some of the more popular National Parks have. We had camped at the Many Glacier campground, which was quite large, but seemed fairly remote. Even out here they had a gift shop.souvenir store, and I kid you not, a freaking Italian Restaurant :huh! It wasn't open yet for the season, but you think that might attract a few bears:eek1?

    We've gotten the morning packing down pretty solid by now.


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    We took a smaller route into Canada via the Chief Mountain Scenic Byway.

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    We snagged some good pics along this road.

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    We reached the border crossing station within an hour or so. I saw a "Montana" sign on my left, and since we didn't get a good pic of us in front of one on the way in (we entered through Yellowstone NP) I made a U-turn and went back for it. Probably looked kinda suspicious to the customs agents though :dunno.

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    Now, onto the border crossing.

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    They let us in after a few questions about vegetables and guns.

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    Nikki was totally not prepared for me to jump on her back, but it was a heck of a picture. There was a German guy here on a BMW. I went and asked him a bunch of questions before I realized that he spoke no English :stupid

    The scenery continued to impress. I think some of this is the Canadian side to Glacier NP called Waterton Lakes Provincial Park, or something like that.

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    We drop out of the mountains and into foothills and prairie.

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    We're taking Hwy 22 (The Cowboy Trail) up to junction with Trans-Can Hwy 1. This way we will stay well West of Calgary and any associated traffic.

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    We pick-up the Tran-Can Hwy 1 and head to Banff National Park. It felt really strange to be on a mult-lane Hwy. We hadn't seen one of these since we left I-35 in Kansas!

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    Entering the Park,

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    and headed towards Lake Louise for our camping tonight :kumbaya.

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    So, about a month or so before we departed on our trip, Nikki and I were watching the National Geographic Chanel. There was one of those "when animals attack" shows on. It was about Bears. Not only was it about Bears (remember nikki bear-a-phobia), but it was about a bear attack at the Lake Louise Campground. I should have changed the channel earlier... She said, "I am glad we are not going there!" I had this sort of grin on my face. "We aren't going there... right?", she says. Umm yeah, but don't worry, they have installed an electric fence around the perimeter of the tent campground :deal. I thought this information would make her feel better, safe, like she didn't have anything to worry about. The information goes into her ears and morphs, "so they have such a problem with bears there that they have to have an electric fence?" Jeez, you would look at it that way wouldn't you?:loco With enough time and convincing she came around to the idea, or maybe I just never brought it up again.

    We pull into the above mentioned campground and over the electrified cattle guard.

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    Not 5 mins. later, just on the other side of the fence we saw this guy.

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    And again, like good tourists staring at potential danger, we treat the situation like we were at a zoo and take our pics.

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    Then an interesting thing occurred. The bear is digging in the ground eating stuff, and I see some movement on the left of him. It's a dude on a bike. He rides out into a clearing and stops. What is this guy doing? I think, hmm... if I yell something like, "hey dude, there is a really big grizzly bear right there to my right, your left!" , it could potentially spook the bear who seems to be relatively unaware of the dude on a bike. Right about then, the dude on a bike's companion, chick on bike, pulls up. Now they both stop. I feel the only logical thing to do at this point is to get my camera ready - I may see some carnage.

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    Here is one of the pictures I took. I have labeled it for easy reference :deal.

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    The folks on bikes get done with their break and pedal on unscathed and seemingly unnoticed by the bear. About 2 mins. later they pull into the campground. We are still looking at the bear. "Holy Shit" the dude says. I show him the picture I took of them and their relation the bear (i left out the part of waiting to get a pic of them getting gotten). Very entertaining bit for us.

    After we got tired of staring at the bear. We hoped back on the bike and went to go check out Lake Louise and Lake Moraine.

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    Porcupine(?)
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    After which we set up came and made dinner.

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    Tomorrow we continue through Banff NP to Jasper and find out why they call it The Icefields Parkway :vardy.


    jordan

    #57
  18. Vt-Stromer

    Vt-Stromer Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    914
    Location:
    Central Vt
    I like it! Keep it coming. With another 4" of snow too add to the pile today your getting me ready for riding / camping season.
    #58
  19. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,724
    Location:
    NW AB
    Looks like a great ride so far.

    Waterton Lakes National Park shares the border with your Glacier National Park.

    Funny story about that Lake Louise bear attack, the Aussies that were involved
    tried to sue over the whole thing. Seems they thought that they should have
    been warned more explicitly (other than the signs and literature).
    This from people who live where everything that swims, slithers or crawls is potentially lethal:lol3
    #59
  20. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,595
    Location:
    San Antonio
    :clap
    #60