Wild Wild West 2

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by freefallen, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    On the way to Vancouver, about 6 am. In about half an hour fog (or clouds) disappeared.

    [​IMG]
    #21
  2. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    Nix pix and narrative.

    Do I get you right that when you leave SoCal, you will just do a blast from CA thru AZ, NM, TX, etc until you return to NJ?
    #22
  3. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    I'm basically a lefty, but it's healing fast and painless. If I crashed a few weeks earlier, might not have missed my trip, which still might have been a poor decision.
    Loving your report, great pics also.
    #23
  4. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Canada is behind us, so is Washington and Oregon. We are already in California.

    So far I’ve only been rained on once in Banff and Yoho. It has been overcast but this didn’t make it any less beautiful.


    Canadian geese:

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    The well known Lake Louise and similarly famous hotel Fairmont Chateau:

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    You can take a walk around the lake and up the mountain for a view and to take pictures. The lake isn’t small but you can walk around it.

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    The view of the lake from the hotel:

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    Half the ride is done, we made it to SF. I earned a small rest, one day. After that I start the return trip but this time alone.
    My son met with his friends here and will stay with them for a few days and then fly home.
    #24
  5. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Thanx!
    Yes, you got it right.
    #25
  6. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Thank you!
    Good for you. I was in terrible pain and even morphine didn't help. Doctors found some substitution.
    #26
  7. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    It was nice to cool down near the glacier in a hot day:

    [​IMG]

    If I'll get some time tonight, I write little bit about this park.
    #27
  8. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    The Icefields Parkway – one of the world’s most spectacular mountain highways.
    This is the description from the official site. I don’t know if it’s the most spectacular in the world, but it’s pretty. There are many glaciers and waterfalls.


    I picked up my son in Calgary and we set off for the city of Jasper which is found to the north of the park with the same name. In front of us there were 300 miles and many planned stops.


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    The road is very scenic:

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    One of the lakes with a name I can’t remember:

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    Near the same lake, I’ll reiterate the fact that this isn’t photoshoped and the colors are real:

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    Getting close to the glacier:

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    It looks large and unending. At its foot is a strong flowing river as it’s supposed to be in the summer:

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    Take note of where the glacier was in 1992:

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    It was here in 1982, you can see the big difference after only 30 years:

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    Endless waterfalls. I left my tripod on the bike and had no strength to go back for it. Photographed by hand:

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    How it’s supposed to be, where there’s a waterfall there’s a rainbow:

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    Everyone is chasing the rainbow:

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    It was our first time staying in a hostel. It was mostly filled with student backpackers and there were 40 bunks in the room. It was a nice experience and pretty comfortable.

    The next day was our longest ride of 500 miles from Jasper to Vancouver. Along the road we found an additional hour to the day after crossing the time zone.
    #28
  9. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    Great pic :clap
    #29
  10. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    The road from Jasper to Vancouver was beautiful and picturesque. Despite the 500 mile ride on a bike with a passenger, it passed by imperceptibly, interestingly and without fatigue.
    I haven’t planned anything here, we simply made many stops to enjoyed the nice views.

    Pre-dawn silence:

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    Morning fog, hasn't had time to disperse:

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    #30
  11. dimitris_greece

    dimitris_greece Adventurer

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    superb!

    Amazing photos.... :-) wish i could go there myself..
    #31
  12. uzbek

    uzbek dreamer

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    stunning photographs and nice narrative. :clap
    #32
  13. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    I shouldn't be alive...

    Death Valley showed me who's boss. I was very prepared: extra fuel canister, 4 gallons of water, high protein food, heat out cloths and new tire replaced in San Francisco. However the road I chose rendered my preparation insufficient. I really wanted to see the Sailing Rocks, aka moving rocks, that move on their own and there is no explanation to this day.

    The road was very uneven, with large and small rocks, loose gravel and soft sand. Often deep trenches shaped during the rain season would cut across the road at a 45 degree angle. Taking them head on would cause my bike to drop in. Driving perpendicular to them was not possible due to the small width of the road. In many cases I had to dismount and power walk my bike. I left at 5am to beat the heat on this 35 mile long trail.

    Google Map conservatively showed 2 1/2 hours needed for this ride. I rode for about 5 hours until all my energy was depleted. I dropped the bike very often, twice it ended up half flooded in the deep puddles. These puddles reminded me of a swap as my feet kept sinking into the soft ground. The bike was overloaded and when it fell I lacked the energy to pick it back up again. Only after completely unloading it I was able to lift it out of the water. I honestly lost track how many times this happened.

    When the temperature reached 117F (47C) and I spend so much energy on this portion of road, the next time the bike went down it did not come back up. I left it lying in the middle of the road and went looking for bushes to find some kind of shade and get some energy back. But in the heat there is no rest. Somehow I got through the day lying down on the ground exhausted from the scorching heat. At night I started setting up a place to sleep.

    I unloaded my bike, spread out my cloths on the rocky ground, laid down and tried to get to sleep. At night it got "cooler", a brisk 100F. The idea of rattle snakes, scorpions and coyotes did not lead to a peaceful sleep. On my back I was mesmerized by the shooting stars and the Milky Way but it also made me blame myself for making my loved ones suffer. So far I'm alive and healthy however they don't know this. All they know is that I'm in trouble because I didn't check in with them. Tears are pouring from me at the hopelessness of this situation.

    There is no reception here. It's already morning and I hope the search for me has started. I was 8 miles short of the notorious Sailing Rocks. I woke up with the same exhaustion as the day before and I could not ride or walk anywhere. I still had water. I set up my tripod and spread my bike jacket to at least keep my head in the shade. I maintained my composure as best as I could and occupied myself by writing these lines on my laptop. It's already noon of the next day. The laptop is still alive.

    If these lines make it online, then I survived my ordeal. Details will follow.
    #33
  14. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    Yikes. I had a similar once years ago. I guess I was luckier. I did the rest in the shade business which refreshed me enough to get the bike back up. Then again, it was a much easier bike to get up - a KLR and not that heavily loaded.

    Good to see you made it out alive.
    #34
  15. houndawgg

    houndawgg Been here awhile

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    Glad your OK, can't wait for more info & pics
    #35
  16. uzbek

    uzbek dreamer

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    oh man, I'm glad you're ok. waiting for the story.
    #36
  17. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    I'm glad you made it. The thought of that scenario plagues me because many times my wife is with me. I'm not worth much , but my wife is everything.
    #37
  18. Mike_drz

    Mike_drz Banned

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    if nothing works out, I am ready to joint the red army :D
    #38
  19. slide

    slide A nation in despair

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    I won't take my wife into the hard desert areas. She says she's ok with it but I can't stand the idea of an incident involving her in a place so desolate that if you are disabled, you may be dead.
    #39
  20. freefallen

    freefallen down with gravity

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    Thank you, guys!
    #40