Austin to Banff on a Tiger 800XC

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ElJefeATX, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Highway 6 from Price to just south of Salt Lake could be a fun ride but not with strong crosswinds and thunderstorms. I managed to avoid most of the thunderstorms but at one point it was a hot dust storm while raining. Although highway six is a heavily traveled mountain pass it follows the Whitewater Creek and railroad tracks and provides a whole bunch of picturesque opportunities. There are lots of pull offs to watch and photograph trains running along the creek and through tunnels. But with the foul weather, construction delays and the fact that I'm behind schedule on getting to Canada I didn't stop to get any pictures.

    Salt Lake City, the birthplace of jazz, was hot and I had already ridden through the desert and was nasty sweaty underneath my atgatt. But I did want to see the temple square so I did stop and take some pictures there. The Temple Square is a fortress. There's a wall around the entire grounds and locked gates everywhere. you can walk through and see the temple but you can't actually walk up the steps or go inside... at least not if you're just wandering in like I did. Meanwhile for some reason the entire area is just crawling with panhandlers.

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    So I bolted for Pocatello. The ride from Moab to price is kind of monotonous with the desert scenery however I watched a thunderstorm for two hours and eventually ended up in it. That's kind of cool.[​IMG]

    watching the sunset over the mountains and green pastures in southern Idaho was,,, I'm trying to think of a word other than spectacular because I keep using it in these ride reports.

    Tomorrow I hang a left at Blackfoot and head up Highway 93 to Missoula. It's supposed to be a great mountain twisty ride.
    #41
  2. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Camped just outside of salmon ID. Ron from CA rolled up on his 55 BSA. We hung out by the river and shot the shit.

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    Ron And his buddies trailered a bunch of vintage bikes up to ride around. He invited me to come by and see a 1939 Matchless at their camp sight.

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    Drool.

    Soldiered on to Missoula having lunch at the Zydeco cafe. Heading for Glacier hopefully to catch good light and so Going to the Sun Road
    #42
  3. HPTuner

    HPTuner Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the update. Some cool old bikes there!
    #43
  4. kenbob

    kenbob Gnarly GnOOb

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    "Not yet. I need deer repellent right now."


    ATX -you need Elk repellent !

    Geez those things look huge when they jump out in front of you .

    Have a great trip - keep posting



    ken
    #44
  5. Beezer Josh

    Beezer Josh Moto-Amish

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    Love the old bikes! Glad you survived the trials relatively unscathed.
    #45
  6. Rich B

    Rich B Long timer

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    I recognize those vintage bikes! The Matchless is stunning....got a pic of it at Sonoma Raceway in May somewhere.....

    Those guys actually ride their vintage iron!
    #46
  7. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Got way lost in southern Alberta and ended up east of Calgary then rolling through downtown. A nice gentleman and his wife on a Harley had me follow them to the right route to Canmore. It was a comedy of epic proportions. Canadians SUCK at giving directions.

    Arrived in Canmore at sunset. The sunset was like nothing I've ever seen. Deep orange rays shooting out over the mountains in the distance. Unfortunately out of four cameras I'm carrying, all of them had dead batteries by the time I got there. Maybe I'll catch one in the next few days.

    Got the tour of Canmore and Banff this morning. Rode the gondola up Sulfur Mountain. Crowded and touristy but what a view. Pricey ticket but way worth it and locals get a 50% discount. And the Banff springs hotel is cool.

    Then we made a half-assed attempt at fishing at dusk and watched a spectacular moonrise. The pictures kind of suck and definitely don't do it justice. No fish were harmed.

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    #47
  8. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Indeed they do. Ron ended up at my campsite in the first place to ask a local about a water crossing.

    A water crossing on a 55 BSA.
    #48
  9. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

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    A lot of us in Canmore on ADV. If you need any help, just ask for one of the crazy adventure bike riders at the Canmore Fire Hall. Anyone there will point you our way.

    Mike
    #49
  10. Nacho911

    Nacho911 Been here awhile

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    A few places to not miss. Ride the gravel from Canmore up the Spray valley. The back way to Kananaskis. You will connect to highway 40 and are on pavement back to highway #1. From Canmore around and back is about 2 hours or so.
    Ride to lake Louise and Morraine lake. You'll need 3 hours round trip for that
    From lake Louise to Jasper on highway 93 north. 4-5 hours. That will blow your mind! Do not miss this road. The views are so sweet. Jasper is great, slower than Banff with less tourists. A quaint town.

    Enjoy your trip
    I live in Canmore
    #50
  11. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Yep, my. Buddy's touring me around caging it. I'm going to take a couple of rides but mostly he's wanting to drive me around. And that's cool by me after 8 days of swamp ass riding. Everything you mentioned is on the list. We did a ride to Spray Lakes yesterday. I might go back and fish up there. Ice fields and lake Louise are on the list.

    If you want to get together and have a beer or something let me know. And if you know any knowledgeable fishermen that might like to guide a n00b yank, I'd love some guidance, but the guide services here are way too expensive for my cheap ass. The beers would be on me though.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    #51
  12. JG77

    JG77 I ride my own.

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    Spectacularly awesome reading about your adventure! Enjoy every minute and stay safe.
    #52
  13. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Thanks. I'm having a blast. No motorcycle adventures yet. First few days I'm a passenger caging it as a tourist. We did lake Louise and moraine lake today. They were awesome despite the crowds. I usually hate crowds but the locations were so beautiful I could let it go.

    I have had Tim Hortons, shopped at Canadian Tire and met a Mountie today.

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    #53
  14. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Once you've asked a Canadian for directions a few times you realize you never want to ever ask a Canadian for directions again.

    How do I get to Canmore?

    Canmore? Why on earth do ya wanna go there?

    I'm going to fish the Bow river.

    Well ya know Banff is nicer you should go up there, eh.

    Please just point towards Canmore.

    We'll now there's a few different ways of getting there.

    Just tell me the fastest way.

    We'll you go back about 25 kilometers and take 22 north.

    Are there signs?

    No. There's no signs, but ya know there's a fire down the valley?

    Yeah I saw that.

    We'll ya wanna start lookin for the turn after you pass the fire.

    Does that take me to Canmore?

    OH no, you're gonna wanna take the One. But Banff is nicer and you really outta go to Lake Louise while you're up that way, eh?

    So ya came all the way up from Texas, ya say?

    Yeah.

    Yeah then you don't wanna miss Lake Louise.

    Ad infinitum.
    #54
  15. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    We have our first victim.

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    Not a bad fishing spot.

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    #55
  16. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Achievement unlocked. [​IMG]
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  17. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    Day 5 in Banff. Hasn't been much motorcycle adventuring. Mostly fishing and touring. My host is not a rider, so if we go somewhere we're caging it. There's a large fire in the park that has the Ice Field Parkway closed or restricted for an estimated 5 days. Really disappointed about that. They are trying to keep it open from 7 am to 2 pm but I don't think we can get there and back in that time frame. Bummer.

    I did a stupid thing and scratched up the face shield of my helmet. Luckily the Canadian distributor is in Edmonton and managed to hook me up with a dealer about an hour away and a new one should be ready for pickup today. I'm going to take the opportunity to ride the scenic route (1A) to pick it up. I came in on the freeway so this will be a nice alternative, I hope.

    Saturday there will a Supermoon. I might have to stay for that. Was planning on riding out that day. Caught a breathtaking moonrise over the mountain peaks the other day while knee deep fishing in the Bow River. The picture just doesn't do it justice.

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    #57
  18. HPTuner

    HPTuner Been here awhile

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    Sounds like you're having a blast up there. Beautiful territory up there, thanks for the pics!
    #58
  19. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    I've been a little light on the pics, but there will be a retrospective with more when I get home. And I have tons of GoPro vids to sift through. Looks like they captured a couple of my desert tip overs.

    Today was scheduled maintenance day. I want to give a huge shout out to Summit Motorsports in Canmore for letting me use their shop and their lift to do an oil change. So much nicer than having to do it on asphalt outside. It wasn't exactly free. Let's just say there will be some heavy drinking tonight on me.

    Tomorrow we are going to attempt to get to the ice fields in a cage. The road is supposed to be open from 7am to 2 pm. If open were going to have to book it up there, get a look and haul ass back. Damn fire.

    Friday I'm going to hop on the Tiger and zip around the mountains and hit some natural hot springs. Really looking forward to that one.

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    #59
  20. ElJefeATX

    ElJefeATX Morally correct

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    While I was at Summit an English bloke came by and I was telling him about my tip overs in Moab. He knew the exact sand washes where I went down. I told him about my broken brake lever and he gave me two useful tips. They may be old hat but were new to me:

    1) Zip-tie spare levers to your frame. They'll always be there when you need them

    2) use a hacksaw to cut 2/3s of the way through your levers near the tip. That's where they will break in a tip over and the lever will still mostly be there and usable.

    3) run a spare brake and clutch cable alongside the functioning ones so swapping them is easily and quickly done.

    OK that's 3. I'm bad at math.

    Great tips for the next treacherous adventure.
    #60