The Great CanAm Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by slideways, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    I have three months, a GS 1100 that has been in storage in Canada for the last three years, a keen companion and the need to return the 'Beemer' to her home in Florida. So from Cochrane, Alberta to Melbourne Beach Florida we shall go by the longest route possible to include lots of dirt roads and detours through as many mountain passes as we can find. We're free to wander and explore from coast to coast, our only date that has to be met is San Francisco for the marathon on 26 July.

    The bike gets a good going over.

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    The only thing that really needed replacing was the brake lines, the battery and fresh fuel in the tank.

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    Fired her up and headed into the mountains.

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    More tomorrow........
    #1
  2. zadok

    zadok Long timer

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    Sounds like a great trip.:D:lurk
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Which way are you going? Looks like the Rockies are included :thumb

    :lurk
    #3
  4. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Since the bike had been storage for a few years I decided to do a loop into the mountains and back to Cochrane in case there was anything else that needed to be done to the bike. So I headed down 22 to then west on 68 to Kananaskis where the pavement ends. Then offroad on the Powder Face Trail, this gravel road was custom made for the big GS lots of elevation changes and swooping turns.

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  5. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    All Rockies for now. Looking for offroad tracks wherever possible. I have been North up to Jasper and am now working my way to Montana. We are spending tonight in Fernie, which is famous for some amazing ski slopes
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  6. Turbeau

    Turbeau Adventurer

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    If you are in Fernie you need to check out the old growth forest... Huge cedar trees there and the perfect road for a dual sport... there is a hotel at the top, I cant remember the name of it,, you go north off Hwy 3 just west of town.. ask a local, they eill know where to point you, it can be done up and back in 2 hours.. well worth it to see some untouched crowsnest pass!!
    #6
  7. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    More Powderface action:
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    The Powderface dumps you onto 68, which is a Canadian gravel super highway that eventually dumps you out onto highway 40 we headed south from there looking for the Spray Lakes dirt road that starts near the Peter Longheed Provincial Park. This is a spectacular gravel road that runs all the way back up to Canmore. Wall to wall scenery and wildlife.

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    The road to Spray Lakes

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    You don't want to miss any turns up here

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    Canmore in the distance.

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    #7
  8. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Thanks Turbeau
    I was looking for that road this afternoon but did not find it. I will give it another look tomorrow. There is also supposed to be a gravel road from Fernie to Sparwood , I will try to find it too.
    #8
  9. rockyrider

    rockyrider Gnarly Adventurer

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    From Fernie head a bit E then north on gravel all the way to Settlers Rd North of Radium. you can take in 3 hotsprings along the way and end up in Invermere, Radium, Banff or Lake Louise for the night or even back to Cochrane. We might pass each other if you do, i'll be on a burgundy weestrom with yellow tank bag and jacket.
    #9
  10. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Thanks Rocky I will check it out . I did Lake Louise and Jasper a few days ago then from Jasper I came back South again. The Plan now (which could change) Is to do some exploring around here in the morning then head through Crowsnest Pass and then enter Montana through Wharton Park and do the Going to the Sun road.
    #10
  11. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    The bike worked fine on its shakedown cruise so it was off to Calgary for the Canadian MX National. I love Motocross.I stopped in at Mountain Toys in Cochrane for some directions to the track and the guy working there gave me a Monster Energy VIP pass to the races. Canadians rock. I had a blast at the races and had great seats at the finish line table top. Thanks Daryl.:D

    Some pics of the action at the track.

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    Paul Carpenter was 3rd overall in the MX1 class

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    The Trophy girls

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    Back on the road again and headed to Jasper

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    A stop in Lake Louise

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    It is June and there is still ice on the lakes

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    The Icefield Parkway never runs out of photo ops.

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    Columbia Icefield, man is the air coming off that glacier cold.

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    more....
    #11
  12. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

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    Beautiful pics of eye candy and scenery. Man, I just gotta go do that Ice Fields Parkway one day. Uhhhhhhhh 1:02 AM in Southwest Louisiana and still 82 degrees F outside. :puke1
    #12
  13. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    We took a few detours off the Parkway one was up to Geraldine Lakes it was a nice gravel road with lots of switchbacks.

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    There is lots of wildlife alongside the road. If you see RV's and cars stopped in the middle of the road they are looking at the animals.

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    After spending the night in Jasper we jumped on the 16 which took us to the 5 south which is an endless succession of mountains , rivers, trees, lakes and very little traffic and lots of bikers. We rode down to Vernon where we spent the night. The next morning we stopped in Lumby at a mom and pop bakery and had a great breakfast.

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    The Florida tag on my bike draws lots of comments from the locals wherever we stop.

    On highway 6 towards Needles Ferry that crosses to Fauquier in central Kootnenay.

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    The car ferry is free and bikes are first on first off.

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    After leaving the ferry we headed to Nakusp for lunch and met a nice German fellow who told us about a great gravel road 31 that circles back to Kaslo from Galena Bay around Trout Lake.

    Stop at Woodfire Pizza n more in Nakusp great German food and the owner knows the local roads well.

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    An incredible ride through the Canadian backwoods.

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    more to come
    #13
  14. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    ......I stop the bike on the road because I see an animal running towards us, as it gets closer my GF snaps a picture of a baby Moose coming...

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    ...and going, never missed a beat

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    The sun finally poked its head out and el arco iris appeared

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    From Kaslo take 31A to New Denver, this is a road that was built for bikers turns, turns and more turns and almost no traffic.

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    Lunch in Nelson then on to Balfour to catch the ferry.

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    This sign says it all

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    The GS meets its match.

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    Time to sneak into Montana the back way.

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    Where the buffalo roam.

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    The Chief

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    More...
    #14
  15. rockyrider

    rockyrider Gnarly Adventurer

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    Which road into MT is that??:evil we're heading that way soon.
    #15
  16. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

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    So far so good!!

    :clap

    :lurk
    #16
  17. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Take the 6 South through Pincher Creek when you get near the border you will see a sign that says Buffalo Paddock this road winds around some Buffalo fields.

    You still have to clear through here, but the guys at this crossing are super friendly.
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    Oh yes, it was snowing in Montana yesterday:eek1
    #17
  18. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Thank you. I should be in Northern California in a few weeks. Any suggestions on places to ride?
    #18
  19. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    Logan Pass is closed, from the East you can ride in 13 miles and the West side you can ride in 30 miles.

    We did the little jaunt into the park then headed South on 89 towards Kiowa here you can pick up 49 into East Glacier Park another one of those must ride roads.

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    There are some gravel sections were the road is being repaired but it is mostly paved.

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    We spend the night at the Sears motel, get some Grizzly Gas some Espresso's from the cafe across the street and we are off to West Glacier.

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    The Weeping Wall

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    #19
  20. slideways

    slideways permanent ex-pat

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    We took the Cama road up to the 486, this gravel road runs all the way up to Canada or you can loop back down to Hungry Horse.
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    We spend the night in Eureka then head out for Idaho looking to cross the Purcell Mountain Range on some Forest Service roads that are shown on the GPS. We take the 37 out of Eureka and head for Yaak. We cross the Koocanusa River and head into some awesome twisties through the mountains.

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    We finally find the NF-435 road we were looking for, it is raining but it looks passable.

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    As we proceed the road gets slicker and the rain gets stronger.

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    We keep climbing, the temperature keeps dropping and the road gets worse.

    It is actually snowing as we reach the top of the pass

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    I am very happy with the Anakee tires even in this mess they keep the bike moving forward.
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    I guess this is what passes for summer in Montana, (It is the 22 of June and the rest of the US is in some kind of heat wave) but we are having a ball. Wrestling the big GS two up with luggage definitely keeps me warm.

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    We make it over the pass into Idaho out of the mud and back onto some nice gravel.

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    From snow to daisies the GS likes it all.

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    Still ticking
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    Back into Canada

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    Off to Christina Lake today
    #20