RTW the Jamie Z Way: Winter Hiatus

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Jamie Z, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Jan 19, 2016
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Thoroughly enjoyed the latest updates @Jamie Z, glad you were able to get out of the crap weather and end up staying with friends. I've ridden through part of the Canadian Rockies and stayed in Kelowna many many years ago, stunning scenery.

    Was great to read your thoughts on a traveling partner, appreciate the transparency and insight. I have a feeling it'll be something I personally contemplate for the foreseeable future. My hope is if you're wanting to find someone to share your continued adventure with, you're able to. I can say that dating at 50 is a completely different experience than it was dating at 30 when I met my ex; at times a complete shitshow, though there have been glimmers of hope that keep me interested in continuing.

    In any event amigo, sticky side down as you make your way wherever your Honda takes you :-). If you end up coming back down the west coast, mi casa es su casa.
    bjor1978, BIG OIL and Sunday Rider like this.
  2. ozmoses

    ozmoses persona non grata

    Jul 3, 2009

    Most of what I refer to as 'peak moments' have been solo experiences.

    y2blade and Golden955 like this.
  3. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    Looking for opinions and ideas.

    I had been planning to ride the Icefields Parkway which runs through Banff National Park between Banff and Jasper.

    The weather forecast for the next week or so is not great, with highs around 50F (10C) and rain. So I can probably expect colder than that and with the elevation, I could conceivably see snow.

    I'm not keen on riding in cold and rain. It's just not fun; can't stop to take pictures, and camping might not be a good option.

    So... thoughts? I'm looking at coming back up to Canada, perhaps in the spring or next summer.

    What are some good alternatives? Head back south into the US?
    y2blade, GringoRider and gpfan like this.
  4. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Oct 6, 2003
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    While the Icefields Pkwy is stunning and Banff and Jasper are cool to visit, BTDT, I'd head south and maybe ride part(s) of the Continental Divide trail??
    You do want nice weather for the Icefields and rain, cold and sleet aren't it for sure.. JMHO, YMMV ..
  5. wetwider

    wetwider Been here awhile

    Nov 13, 2016
    Three years ago I rode the Icefields Parkway in July part way before giving up due to cold. Here's a bit of that ride report:

    1. "The wilderness north of Banff was my lose destination, past Lake Louise, along the Icefields parkway, maybe to Jasper. Icefields is well-named. Hot as it was getting in the lowland, in the mountains it was colder than a jilted debutant.

      Twenty miles of freezing my parts on the Icefields Parkway was all I could handle. It was tough giving up the scenery, chasing a couple guys riding Ducatis con brio through the twisties (briefly) but the damp cold was getting serious. I'd left electric gloves and jacket-liner home, thinking it would be merely cool up here. I retreated to the town of Lake Louise for hot chocolate but didn’t stop - the town was writhing with competitive consumers and gridlocked traffic. Instead I slalomed down the mountain on the Trans-Canada Highway past amazing geologic displays writ-large and stopped in the tilted town of Field for soup & paninini. "

      Jamie ~ depending upon where you wanna fetch up in the 'States... If east of Idaho, say, I'd suggest tooling on down to Osoyos and hang a left onto Canada Hwy. 3 to 25 or 30 miles east of Castlegar to the bitty town of Selmo and check into the Sal-Crest motorcycle-friendly motel on the right just as you enter town from the west, steakhouse/bar across the side street. It's got covered bike parking, concrete pad for bike washing in the lawn with hose bib & hose and the owners provide bucket, mild soap & fresh towels. Great couple.

      I've been hankering to take two or three nights there and ride loops to the north past Nelson and others nearby you can learn of locally or on here. Salmo seems a dandy little town not yet yuppiezed three years ago. From there you can ride on 3 east into Alberta, etc., still fairly close to the border if you want or need to pop south.

      If headed back to Seattle or other points west & south, the road down to Abbotsford and crossing onto Hwy. 9 to avoid slabs awhile in the US is a decent way to do it fairly directly, or to whip into Vancouver, but Hwy 97C west and a choice of longer winding routes are obvious alternatives to stretch out good Canadian times.

      ~ another fan of yours
    lvscrvs and BIG OIL like this.
  6. kirbybikes

    kirbybikes Been here awhile

    Apr 13, 2010
    Vancouver B.C.
    From Kelowna you are on the cusp of some of the best riding in BC! Head East young man! Nakusp, New Denver then Kaslo or for a little gravel spice Hwy 31 and still end in Kaslo. Nelson is also a cool stop. Along Kootenay Lake is good. Some of the Kootenay inmates will probably chime in with good intel. Pretty much no bad roads as you head East. If you are hitting Banff and Jasper, Kananaskis (Hwy 40) is really good.
    8lives, BIG OIL, knight and 5 others like this.
  7. MrBob

    MrBob On a whim Supporter

    Oct 27, 2005
    Riding in cold and rain is for younger folk who have something to prove or are poor planners. You have nothing to prove. I rode around Lake Superior one early October and it rained every day. I was in leathers that never dried. I remember stopping at a coffee shop and drinking my coffee through a straw because I was shivering too much to hold a cup. Not fun, but the type of challenge a young person takes on.
    olderigetfasteriam likes this.
  8. wvpc1

    wvpc1 Been here awhile

    Dec 9, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Ditto. Wait for the good weather for the Icefields Parkway. The vistas are well worth it. Go for the warm enjoyable riding destinations. You are rocking this thread, Jamie.
  9. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

    Aug 16, 2004
    CA dez (it's a dry heat)/West Yellowstone,MT
    I had a great but freezing ride on the Icefields Pkwy - I guess that's why there's still lots of ice there. The weather reports here show a cold front moving from the north where you are into Montana with possible mountain snow on Sunday night/Monday morning but clearing after that. Maybe wait for the front to pass. If you want to race ahead of it, I have enjoyed several rides along Lake Koocanusa on the US side. I've never ridden the lake on the Canada side. Lots of great, free camping opportunities and a great motorcycle road along either side of the lake. Still, at some point, that front is going to catch you and if you want to hunker down in a hotel for a night or two, I'd pick an area as far from any national parks as you can find so the rates are better and there may be some availability.
  10. bigjohnsd

    bigjohnsd '14 BMW R1200 GS Adv Supporter

    Jun 1, 2014
    Spearfish, SD
    What jonz said - Lake Koocanusa is great - take the road to Yaak from Rexford MT across the Kocanusa Bridge - lots of places to camp - https://goo.gl/maps/nRFfbMws9TT8XMzQ8
    Jamie Z and ScotsFire like this.
  11. uncle m

    uncle m Been here awhile

    Sep 20, 2014
    What @kirbybikes said, getting to Nakusp from Kelowna via Hwy 6 Vernon to Nakusp. Check out Nelson but go to the Kottenay Lake ferry at Balfour and ride down east side of Kootenay Lake to Creston. Then hook into @jonz suggestion for Kookanusa and into USA.
    Don't forget to come back to Canada in the spring. You'll be able to sample many other options!!
    Cal likes this.
  12. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

    Feb 1, 2014
    Commiefornia! 93420
    Devils advocate. Crazy world, never know if you will make it back. Sometimes a good rain cleans up the viewshed and air. That crisp air effect. Stay with motels and away from mud. The pity factor will score chicks. Blaze it and head to warmth to thaw.
    Just enjoy it and keep up good work
  13. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

    Sep 19, 2013
    Denver, Colorado United States of America
    If you decide not to ride the Icefields Parkway Jamie here are a few pictures of what you missed out on seeing...





    Jamie Z, lvscrvs, y2blade and 5 others like this.
  14. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Long timer

    Feb 11, 2007
    Kaslo BC summer, Yuma AZ winter
    He's coming back to Canada next year with the intention to ride the parkway.....
    It's an incredible road to take!!
    68T120R likes this.
  15. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

    Sep 19, 2013
    Denver, Colorado United States of America
    Yes… it most definitely is!!!

    8lives and Golden955 like this.
  16. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Jul 27, 2016
    Here and there... but more there than here
    It was stunningly gorgeous if quite chilly at Glacier NP on the North Fork this morning. Most people I’ve ever seen up there too. Things seem to be closing up for the season, but the CDT would still be quite passable.

    The Yaak is also very nice, but the Dirty Shame was closed due to a change in ownership a couple weeks ago. Yaak just won’t be the same.
  17. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

    Apr 9, 2012
    If I were being selfish, I'd tell you to go south and come back again in the spring. Around June 9th specifically, dammit! I still want to see your presentation at the HU meeting !:rayof.

    If you do stick around, the weather looks tolerable but not really enjoyable for the next eight days. Good time to tour Okanagan wineries. Then in Banff, the prognosticators say you'd see almost 70 under a mix of sun and cloud, maybe a sunny Tuesday. Then rain and maybe 50 Weds. So, an enjoyable ride on the Parkway is certainly not out of the question. A bit rushed but not a crazy plan. Fall is variable in these mountains. Always the nights get cold, which mandates late starts and early ends to riding days. Pushing for early starts runs the risk of finding lingering frost in shaded corners. At the Icefields Centre, a steady cold wind blows off the glacier and causes shivering even at the height of summer. I'd recommend heated gear even when Banff/lake Louise is at 70; you could see low 30s as a high on the passes on such days.

    Now for the positive : no tourists! (Well, almost none.) And certainly no mosquitos! Tourists might avoid the IP but they'll be flocking to Lake Louise to gawk at the Larch (trees) as they turn golden. Our version of fall colours, minus all the reds and oranges and well, pretty much everything except green and gold. Still, a major sightseeing crowd overwhelms Lake Louise each weekend in late Sept. There are youth hostels on the parkway (Hostelling International, .hihostels.ca) to keep you warm at night, IF they are still open. Although they are open now (until 3 Oct), Alberta just re-imposed Covid measures which shouldn't directly affect hostels but check first before you go as things can change suddenly.

    And yes, it really IS one of the great scenic roads in the world so, by all means, get there sometime. If you're not positive about returning next year, go now.

    My suggested itinerary if you want to stick around for the weather window on the IP (since you asked) :

    Get to Valemount or Jasper Sunday night - camp on the Canoe Reach (BC) or Hostel (Jasper)

    Monday, head south via 93a, stopping often to hike and photograph. Stay at hostel - Edith Cavell or Beauty Creek.

    Tuesday, the cloudless day, continue south on the Parkway, stopping constantly again to provide us with more great pix. Stay at Mosquito Creek hostel or continue back to civilisation (and warmer temps) and stay in Radium BC or further south, depending on weather conditions. (A rainy night in the forecast likely means snow on the Parkway Tuesday night) (Which would add to the adventure, no?)

    Wednesday (or later, if weather stays acceptable - basically, whenever you feel it's time to head south) east on hwy 3 into Alberta then south into Montana, cross Logan Pass, another classic scenic drive that you'll be glad to ride without tourist hordes.

    (Note : these days are predicated on the forecast which lists Tuesday, 28 Sept as the sunny warm day; adjust dates as the forecast evolves.)

    That's what I'd do if I really wanted to ride the IP this year. June of next year, weather will get better and days will be much longer; from that angle, I'd head south and return next June. No reason you can't ride it twice though, tourist free now and cold, then warm but crowded next year. And then head north again, it sounds like you have unfinished business north of Watson Lake, no?
  18. kmag

    kmag Average Sedentary Man

    Apr 10, 2014
    La Crescenta CA
    Canadian expat living in the L.A. area. Lived in BC for 15 years. A few years ago we did a family road trip up the Okanagan to visit family. On the return we crossed at Osoyoos/Oroville and more or less followed the 97 south crossing over to the 395 at some point. It's a beautiful stretch that follows the volcanoes. Only consideration right now is the current wildfire conditions. Not sure about that.
    holckster likes this.
  19. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    September 16, 2021

    Always great to spend time with friends.


    I met Gene and Neda in Wawa Ontaria in 2012, early in their own round-the-world trip.

    From 2012:


    Today Gene took me on a short ride around the area. It reminded me of central California with all the orchards and vineyards.



    After, we went into downtown Kelowna. Like Kelly in Prince George, Gene is a riding instructor, and he had an appointment with a student today so he left me in town to check it out.

    I was most impressed with the large marina on Okanagan Lake.


    The next morning Gene made corned beef hash for breakfast and looked happy doing it.




    I fixed the broken zip tie holding the tank bag on.


    And then we suited up for a ride. Neda had a dental appointment so she couldn’t join us.


    Gene got a shot of me.


    And I got a shot of Gene.


    We rode up the west side of Okanagan Lake. A fire went through this area this summer and we saw a bit of the damage.


    And some signs of covid.


    On the ride home, we swapped bikes for a short time. Here I am on Gene’s 1250GS.


    We were chatting by intercom and when Gene got on my bike and let out the clutch he exclaimed, “There’s no power!”

    For my part, the GS felt a lot lighter than I was expecting, and of course there’s no power comparison. It’s still crazy to me when you twist the throttle and the bike takes off like a rocket.

    I think Gene was happy to be back on his bike.


    For dinner, Neda made ramen filled with all sorts of good stuff.


    We chatted about travel, their time in Africa and Asia,


    In the evening we watched Ford vs Ferrari and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

    Gene and I went for a longer ride on Thursday. Today Neda had to work. We practiced rolling mounts and dismounts in the morning.



    And then we got to the scenic stuff.



    We had a great day riding with sunny skies and moderate temperatures, but we climbed over 1700 meters (5600 feet) on the way back and the temperature dropped significantly. A few signs of last night’s snowfall lay in the shadows along the highway.

    When we got back, Neda grilled pork and chicken skewers.


    Gene and I looked at possible routes for me tomorrow, looking at maps and weather forecasts. We came up with a southern route along highway 3 which both Gene and Neda said would be a great ride.

    It was a memorable few days hanging out with Gene and Neda. They're generous hosts, fun story-tellers; Gene is a great riding partner, and Neda is an excellent cook! You can see their report here: https://advrider.com/f/threads/quit-our-jobs-sold-our-home-gone-riding.813572/
  20. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

    Feb 21, 2010
    Elizabethtown, KY
    I got hungry reading that last post!