North By Northwest

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RevcoMan, May 20, 2006.

  1. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    After several years of accumulating a lot of gear, getting all the required accessories for the bike, and securing 6 weeks off... I'm finally off to Alaska.

    Don't see any other threads of any other travellers heading up North...am I the first?

    The first three days were spent with long hours in the saddle, from Midland, Tx to Great Falls, MT. A side trip to see Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse/Devils Tower was also thrown in...

    I didn't pull out the camera until South Dakota, mainly due to putting serious miles on the 1200.

    Tony, a friend back in the Permian Basin, wanted to know what a National Grasslands Park looked like. Well, a whole lot of grass... Here you go, this is Buffalo Gap National Grassland in Southwestern South Dakota on Hwy 18:

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    And a another view further up Hwy 18:

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    First Monument to come into view was Crazy Horse. They've built quite an extravagant visitors center, and no doubt they'll be bringing in some serious dough during the summertimes to help pay for this monster... Only his head seems to be complete. Here's the 1:300 scale sculpture:

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    And a few more shots:

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    I offered the Security Gal $100 to let me ride my motorcycle up to where that pickup truck is, but no dice:

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    The Visitors Center:

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    It was then off to Mount Rushmore. Coming into the Park from the Southwest entrance sure is impressive... Thick forest with towering granite boulders and pillars sticking up. It was all I could do to keep my eyes on the road...Here's the front of the entrance:

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    The attention to detail is amazing.

    But enough of that, time to get back on the road...Gotta make Devils Tower by dark.

    Some typical ranchland in Eastern Wyoming:

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    Finally, Devils Tower. First glimpse:

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    Funny... I found Devils Tower to be the most impressive site visited this day. It's mesmerizing, and huge!

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    Threw up the tent at the campground, and was out like a light... a full day.

    Next leg of the journey was from Devils Tower, up to Great Falls, MT. A very long day... I tell you what: I can handle riding in the wind, and I can handle riding in the rain. But throw the two together, and I find it miserable. Welcome to Montana.

    I probably saw close to 150 of these vermin on this day:

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    Quick stop at Little BigHorn:

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    Headstones line the field where the remains of the soldiers were found:

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    With the greatest concentration here around Custer:

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    After hitting a hotel in Great Falls, it was off to Glacier National Park today. I decided to stay 2 nights here to recuperate from the long days previously. It sure was nice to ride the bike without the pounds of gear... Glacier was seriously socked in with rain, but it didn't put a damper on things...
    #1
  2. R1200GSA

    R1200GSA Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    506
    Location:
    Saint Johns, FL
    keep'em coming, and good luck on your ride. :clap
    #2
  3. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Glacier:

    Me in front of Lake McDonald:

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    Riding to the Sun HWY:

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    Hwy 2 leaving Glacier:

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    Time for bed now, it's off to the Canadian Border tomorrow...
    #3
  4. dirtypumpkin

    dirtypumpkin "Monster Truck Bike" Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,064
    Location:
    Northern California
    Great shots, thanks for sharing...!!! :freaky
    #4
  5. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,043
    Location:
    Scottsdale Arizona
  6. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Finally, the Canadian Border...

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    The entry went smoothly, and the ride to Calgary was nothing to write home about. Flat, windy, and boring are words that come to mind. But it was a necessary evil, as my Anakee's were showing their age, and a replacement was a must. I decided to get some TKC 80's mounted at Blackfoot Motorsports in Calgary.

    On arrival to Blackfoot:

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    Little did I know that Monday was a Canadian holiday: Victoria Day. I asked the clerk at Safeway what it signified, and she didn't know. Oh well. All I know is that I showed up Monday morning at 9 AM sharp, and not another soul was around. I commenced to whip up some oatmeal on my JetBoil on a picnic bench out in front, and contemplated what I was going to do the rest of the day... Hmmm... why not try to ride as many paved roads in the Banff National Park as I could? Sounded like a plan, so off I went.

    One of the first massive mountains I encountered, as I recall somewhere along Hwy 1-A:

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    The size of the mountains is staggering, and it's difficult not to get distracted from the road. I'll throw in a few mountain shots:

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    What trip to Banff is worth it's salt, if it doesn't include a visit to Lake Louise? I found these two bikes up front, and promptly joined the illegal parking-fest:

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    Do they belong to anyone here?

    The lake is quite scenic, and still over 1/2 covered in ice:

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    And yet another lake, further up the road:

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    I also took the route through Kootenai National Forest down to the Hot Springs, which I found to be the best road by far... Luckily, hardly any traffic. A well maintained road with plenty of broad sweepers and incredible scenery. If you find yourself in the area, be sure to hit this road. A few pics:

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    Hopefully, the tire change will go smoothly tomorrow, and I can get on further down the road...
    #6
  7. geckosan

    geckosan Lost but okay with it!

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    Sandpoint, I Da' Ho
    Great shots, I gotta get headin' up there SOON!!
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    69,939
    Fantastic report and pics! :clap

    I was at the Crazy Horse monument and I got to thinking I'm never going to see it completed in my lifetime :(:

    Thanks for sharing! :thumb
    #8
  9. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    It sure is hard to find a place to sit down with the laptop, with wireless access no less. Even harder after riding long days...

    Let's see, where was I?
    Oh.

    Went back to Blackfoot in Calgary to have the tires mounted, and spied this ride outside, just like mine. Turns out it's a fella and his buddy from Tennessee and Amarillo, Tx. And they're heading my way, all the way to Prudhoe Bay. Maybe we can join up.

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    #9
  10. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Here's Ron, the owner of that GS with Micatech bags, getting some ridiculously complex directions for a simple route back to Hwy 1... notice the perplexed look:

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    The new tires on my bike look good, and handle better than I expected...

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    Ron and JR, his bud, leave before my bike is ready, but I catch up with them in Banff NP, right before they visit Lake Louise.... I get them to snap my pic...

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    On the way through this park, I'm in sensory overload. Being the sucker for waterfalls that I am, I spy this one:

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    Ron and JR:

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    Random mini-glaciers and avalanches:

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    The bikes:

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    Note to self: You have zero snow riding skills.

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    Ron trying out his Up-Skirt technique...

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    #10
  11. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    You just have to experience the mountains in this part of the continent to appreciate how incredibly massive they are:

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    Can't tell you how many times I've walked up to Ron's bike, thinking it was mine....Crazy, I tell ya.

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    The Jetboil works flawlessly, and is a coffee and oatmeal making machine...

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    Hey, more waterfalls!

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    This on the way out of Jasper, and on to the Cassiar!

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    The Highest Peak in the Canadian Rockies. The Apex hidden by clouds. Mt Bonson? Is that right? Somebody help me out here...

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    Nasty weather looming up ahead, even with the steaming road:

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    That was pretty eery. Glad I had some other riders with me...
    #11
  12. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Hwy 16 runs from Jasper, west across British Columbia to Kitwanga, and the Junction with Hwy 37 (Cassiar). It was looong, but did have some scenery to offer, as well as 2 bear sitings within 10 minutes of each other...

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    Can't believe the bike was this clean several days ago...

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    Biggest Fishin' Pole I've seen...

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    Apparently this was the week of the Hyder Seek Rally... the closer I get to Hyder, the more of these are encountered... usually at cafe's!

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    Ah.... finally. If I can just make it a few more miles, at least I can say that I made it to Alaska if the trip goes to hell tomorrow...

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    Campsite for the pre-Cassiar run...

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    #12
  13. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    Before hitting the sleeping bag, a little coffee and a fire. Doesn't get any better than that.

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    A swollen river. Must have had lots of rainfall and snowmelt for this time of year. The weather has been perfect for riding though, so I'm not complaining.

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    On Route 37-A, to Stewart/Hyder.

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    A beautiful day to view Bear Glacier. Bright and Sunny.

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    37-A is an outstanding motorcycle road.

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    A couple I met from Kansas while waiting at a construction zone...

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    #13
  14. RevcoMan

    RevcoMan West Texas

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    109
    If anything, the road leading to Stewart/Hyder makes the trip worthwhile. But if you find yourself in Hyder, it is a MUST to travel the 20 or so miles up that nasty gravel road to see Salmon Glacier. By far, one of the most increbible sites I have seen...

    The road:

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    The road goes up...up...and up. above the snow line, and almost above the tree line...

    There all numerous small active avalanches on the road. Make no mistake about it. It is dangerous.

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    The toe of Salmon Glacier. I would guess that you can see about 4 miles of glacier here. Picture doesn't do it justice.

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    End of the line...

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    #14
  15. Deckard*PR*

    Deckard*PR* Addicted!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    Whoa! Great report & pics! :lurk:tb
    #15
  16. y2blade

    y2blade Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,536
    Location:
    UK
    great report and pic's

    a great insight into what you guys get up to, on that side of the pond





    stunning
    #16
  17. GSPD750

    GSPD750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,670
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Does it get any better in late May? Blue sky, a dry road and snow all around. Lucky buggers. The Salmon Glacier pics are stunning. I've been up there on my GS but I missed out on all that blue sky.

    #17
  18. Medulla

    Medulla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    326
    Location:
    Lucky In Kentucky
    :clap:clap:clap

    Thanks for the report.
    #18
  19. tuumi

    tuumi KLR -> Sprint

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    415
    Location:
    Bellaire, MI or Detroit Burbs
    Very nice. More more more!!!!!
    #19
  20. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,386
    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    I do believe the woman in red leathers in the couple picture you took is none other than the famous Voni Glaves--------she has won the BMWMOA mileage contest several years.

    I've seen her around for years---she loves red.

    I'll never forget the first time she said anything to me. I was sitting on my red BMW F650 with a red aftermarket windshield-----as she strolls by slowly she says "nice windshield" ---and just kept on walking--------a heck of a nice lady.
    #20