Questor and Motoadventuregal goto Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Questor, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    In!
    #21
  2. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello Ogribike. :wave

    I usually make it a priority to eat at Pickle's Place.
    I love the Atomic Burger.
    It just seems appropriate with 15 nuclear power plants in the area....

    Q~
    #22
  3. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Hello Mark.

    I know it's taken me a log time to get around to his Ride Report.
    The problem is that I've got this pesky job thing that I do during the week, and then I'm getting the KTM's ready for this coming riding season on the weekends.
    Another problem is that there are so many great Ride Reports these days, and the standards are getting so high, I realize that I really have to do a good ride Report if I'm going to do one at all. So that entails a lot of photo editing, re-researching the trip, consulting my notes, and this makes the task of writing Ride Reports a big deal.

    But after procrastinating long enough, I realized I had to get this report written so I can enjoy the Spring and riding without feeling guilty.

    So without further delay, let's get back to the story.

    Q~
    #23
  4. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    We slept like kings and queens in the sleek Airstream.
    I think we even slept in an hour or so. I find the first couple of days on a motorcycle trips tend to be the hardest, so I guess a little extra sleep is not a bad thing. It's like a guilty pleasure.
    So after a big breakfast, we said goodbye to our hosts, and continued north.
    Our destination for the day was Radium Canada. Over 30 years ago my parents took me to the big hot springs there, and I've loved the place ever since. In 2008 I returned to Radium on my National Parks Tour, and again took delight in the place, and soaking in the hot natural mineral springs. And these days I have a girlfriend, and riding companion, and I wanted to share this special place with her.

    So we leave Missoula, and head north towards Glacier and Eureka.
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    Another fine day.
    We take Rt 35 to the East of Flathead lake.
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    As we head North we watch the vegetation and the trees change. Winters are long and harsh up here.
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    We stop in Whitefish for Burritos for Lunch, and I make a few last phone calls while still in the US.

    We stop in Eureka to get the last of the cheap gas before Canada and we meet this motorcycle rider and her dog. They both seem happy.
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    As we ride out of the town of Eureka,
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    I remember that it was a little under a year ago when I rode through here on my way to the beginning of the CDT ride. I was riding a DRZ-400 then... How things have changed. Just for the hell of it, I gave Tiger a bunch of throttle, and we roared out of town with the distinctive sound of a KTM V-twin and dual Remus exhausts. :ricky

    Soon we get to the Canadian boarder, and they let us enter.
    We're in Canada Baby!!! :clap
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    It was a perfect day. 85 degrees and sunny.
    Upon entering Canada one of the things I noticed was the lack of big billboards and signs. What a pleasant change. I've often wondered why we allow such "visible noise" in the US? We are all so immune to it that nobody really pays attention to the signs, yet they litter the roadside and annihilate the natural beauty. Perhaps someday they will be removed for good.

    The road takes up North. Beautiful natural landscapes greet us.
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    Hundreds of miles of nice things to look at.
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    As Tiger eats up the miles, I daydream about all the places we are going to see in the weeks ahead.
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    We stop to stretch and have a snack.
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    The Canadian Rockies are behind us and Banff is on the other side of the mountain range.

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    But we've got a night of soaking on a huge hot spring to look forward to tonight, so let's get going.
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    A few hours later we are getting closer to the town of Radium.
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    As we pull into town, I see two familiar motorcycles. These are the friends we met at the top of the pass on the first day. We stop to say hello and see how things are going.
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    We tell them about the Hot Springs, and offer to share a campsite with them, but they are on a tighter schedule than we are so they have more miles to make today.

    So MAG and I get to the campground, and set up camp Snuggly. Just like last summer. It's almost more home that home.
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    Then we get our swimsuits, towels and head to town for dinner and soaking in the Hot Springs. :clap

    Dinner was good. Salad for MAG and BBQ ribs for me.
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    After feeding we head to the Radium Hot Springs. :wink:
    These are huge commercial swimming pools full of 106 degree water.
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    This means Questor can frolic and splash around like an epileptic duck. :rofl

    After soaking till we are prunes, we ride the few miles back to camp and sleep like waterlogged logs.

    Stats for the day:
    330 miles. Moving Average 52.4 Moving Time 6:21. Stopped 1:39 Total Time 8:00.

    Q~
    #24
  5. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I've noticed that MAVG, rides sometimes w/ only the LED lights, any particular reason. Saving power for heated gear, the vision x lights are bright.
    #25
  6. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    I'm slowly but surely planning an Alaska ride. This just fuels the fire a bit. :deal
    #26
  7. roadchick

    roadchick Been here awhile

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    Wow!! Great pics and report...:clap:clapcan't wait for more!! My boyfirend, myself and another couple are planning a ride to alaska this summer....
    #27
  8. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Ok. Today is going to be a great day!
    We're going to see Lake Louise, and ride the Icefields Parkway.
    Ready?

    Me too! Let's get going.

    So we break down Camp Snuggly, and ride into town to get some breakfast.
    The recommended place is the Husky Gas Station. Sounds convenient and cheap, so we go for it.
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    Well it was conveient, but it was NOT cheap. The total bill was $35 for the two of us. :eek1
    That's a full days travel budget when we were on the TAT, and that would have included gas. :huh

    Anyway, we get rolling and head towards Kootenay National Park.
    A cool section of road greeted us as we left the town of Radium.
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    Crossing Sinclair pass we are treated to a nice view of the valley below.
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    I remembered the last time I rode this section of road it was late September 2008.
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    I was riding "Beastie" my BMW R1200 GSA. I had a big fairing, heated grips, and full electrics, and it was 27 degrees. Even with all the right gear, I remember freezing for hours as I headed to Lake Louise. After reaching the lake, I turned south and made my way to southern Arizona as fast as I could. :evil

    We see a lot of burned trees on the side of the road. Looks like a big forest fire must have gone through here.
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    The next rest area has a sign explaining what happened.
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    We see another rest area and decide to be tourists... Wait... We ARE tourists, so I guess we can take as many pictures as we want!
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    A reminder that we are in another country. :wink:
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    Headed North once more we cross into Alberta.
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    Let's keep riding.
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    Getting closer...
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    If you have never been to Lake Louise, it a really special spot. The combination of the pure blue water, the steep glacial valley, and the snow capped glaciers at the end of the valley are a special sight.
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    And of course some tourist pictures...
    That's me! :D
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    And a picture of me and my MAG. :raabia
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    And our first bear sighting.
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    (Well, kind of...)
    But it did give me some naughty ideas... :viking

    Ok. Back on the bikes.
    We've got more cool stuff to see.
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    We enter the Icefields Parkway.
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    Simply amazing! :eek1
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    Gotta get pictures of this. Nobody is going to believe this.
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    I mean what could be better? Great bike, great scenery. Isn't this what riding a motorcycle is all about?

    I mean really. Check this out!
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    Gotta stop for bike prOn.
    Pretty Tiger!!!
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    I LOVE MY KTM!!!
    This crow walked over to check out the KTM as well.
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    I guess he doesn't see many up here. :wink:

    Back on the road headed to Jasper, our destination for the night.
    MAG takes the lead for a while.
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    I'll shut up for a while and just let you enjoy the scenery...
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    Honestly, I was just going to take this picture, and Tiger snuck into the frame. :lol3
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    Then we get to the Columbia Icefields.
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    You can see the big Glacier to the right in the background.

    Then I saw the big Tundra bus. I love big machines, so I had to go check it out.
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    Then I slipped and fell underneath it. :eek1
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    Fortunately I'm an ATGATT kinda guy, and walked away unscathed. :lol3

    It's getting dark soon, we gotta get find a place to camp.
    Let's go!
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    It turns out that it's Bear season, and all the small campgrounds have been closed. So we were forced into the big Whistlers campground with all the massive RV's.
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    They wanted $36 for a campsite! :eek1 But we have a trick. We made friends with some other motorcyclists, and split the campsite with them.
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    It was a good thing too. They were riding big cruisers, and had trailers full of beer, wine and food. SCORE! :freaky

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    We all chipped in and cooked a great meal and made new friends. We partied till late at night.

    This beer, given to me by our new friends was really good.
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    But I found that this "classic high octane" was more my style. :1drink
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    We all sat around, telling stories our our travels, and I helped cook dinner.
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    Another great day.

    Stats for the day:
    230 miles. Moving Average 47.5 Moving Time 4:50 Stopped 3:12 total 8:04.

    Q~
    #28
  9. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Gearing up to ride...
    That's right...I'm a cold weenie so Twisted Throttle switched my headlight (draws something like 30 amps) and I can ride with just the Denali lights (draw something like 5 amps) and wear my Gerbings...AND run my Oxford heated grips....yet I still have light up front for the coppers. (Too bad I still got that ticket in Argentina...grrr!)



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    #29
  10. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

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    Gearing up to ride...
    Um..I just about fell out of my chair. I'd been traveling in Latin America for the last 7 months...sheet!...$35 was practically a WEEK'S budget. For the rest of the day I kept muttering "Thirty-five bucks for a GAS STATION breakfast!".

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    #30
  11. Spinalcracker

    Spinalcracker former redriderofma

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    Hi Q

    Great report and photos. You got out of New England just in time to miss all the epic snow. Last year I was riding the bike around now. So all I can do is read reports and whine.
    :clap


    Thanks for posting the report.

    Mike
    #31
  12. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Finally you had time to post a year old ride report. Been waiting for it soooo long. Cheers Amigos. Great pictures and narrative. Remnds me of places I've been. Thanks for the memories...

    Ride on....:rofl
    #32
  13. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Must go to Alaska................. and after reading that book, Into the wild, I really really must go there.

    I am amazed at the landscapes :thumb
    #33
  14. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    Chanderjeet, I'm sure if you came over here you could find places to stay for your entire visit. I know my home is open to you if you pass through my part of the world.

    Q & MAG, great trip so far. I'm ready to saddle up and head out tonight. :lol3
    #34
  15. Vinnie the Snake

    Vinnie the Snake Long timer

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    Now this has to be the bomb. IM IN FO SURE.:ear:ear:ear
    #35
  16. byways

    byways byways

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    You guys have all the fun ... :cry
    #36
  17. shutterman

    shutterman some call me bop

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    Hi Q, I met you at the BMW rally in Redmond this summer while you were working the Klim booth. When you told me you had been to Alaska I knew the RR would be worth waiting for. :clap
    Again, welcome to Idaho and hope to see you out in the mountains this summer.
    #37
  18. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    I was wondering if you were ever going to get around to posting an Alaska RR, Q. Glad to finally be reading it!

    As I sit here in wintry Vermont with a foot or more of snow bearing down on us in the next few days, looking at your pics I can practically smell the fresh air and feel the wind. Good GOD, I can't wait for winter to be over and to get on the road again. And I definitely need to make my Alaska trip happen for 2012.

    In the meantime, at least I can enjoy your trip vicariously. :lurk

    --mark
    #38
  19. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    This is what makes this place to beautiful. Appreciate the offer and I extend the same to you.

    Alaska :: :thumb
    #39
  20. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    With your job, I hope you can write this trip off as gear testing.:D
    #40