RTW the Jamie Z Way: Winter Hiatus

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 68T120R

    68T120R Been here awhile

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

    8lives and Golden955 like this.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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/
  11. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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

    jaratr Without a ride

    Jul 6, 2007
    Fort Smith, AR
    Wow. There are folks paying $5000 to have group tours and four star meals. Jamie just rolls in to one for free!
    Centerlane, Blind Mule and scudo like this.
  13. poppawhiskey

    poppawhiskey If I must be a Noob, let it be an Old Noob

    Jun 17, 2009
    I’ve been following this thread from the beginning, and enjoying it immensely. Thank you for your efforts. According to your spot tracking, you travelled through my town of Fernie today, and are in Pincher Creek tonite. Man, that must have been an awful ride. Any snow over the Kootenay pass? I wouldn’t even go out to walk the dog today, the rain was so bad for much of the day. High of 50f* and wind, brrrrr! Hope you can get dry and warm tonite. Cheers, Peter
    Jamie Z and Trainee_adv like this.
  14. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

    Nov 20, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Enjoying your report @Jamie Z ! Thanks for keeping it up!
  15. gpfan

    gpfan a mari usque ad mare

    Jan 4, 2008
    Alright! So you have time to listen to me. About 2004 or so, I was goggling something and Lake Superior photos from this site showed up. I think I'd been here before but anyway, I started reading Canadian themed and Canadian penned ride reports. On some report, a guy from DC posted his mail, and we and another guy made plans to circle Lake Superior. Never happened. Forget why. It was a few years before I finally made an account so I could post.

    Very soon, Gene and Neda started and I followed from the start. Cannonshot trips north were also read. But, if it wasn't Canadian (or Scottish) I didn't bother. Anywho, I saw this thread about B.C. and thought 'why not?' I read this post to which I'm responding, and thought: "wow!" Suitably hooked, I went back a page or two. Then I had to go back further to find out who Anabel was and how Yamalama knows her (Yamalama is another fave). Gave up (turns out I just needed one more page) and went right to the beginning! Well, it's not all B.C., is it?

    Anyway, Mexico and Cuba aside, I've greatly enjoyed the entire ride report and your viewpoint. Which brings me to my point: You owe me the last eight days of my life. I'm all caught up, but there was the odd late night. LOL

    Keep it up, and stay in Canada for as long as you can. I'd suggest coming to Toronto, but it's a shithole and is only useful as a waypoint to Montreal which should be enjoyed in summer.
  16. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

    Mar 19, 2006
    No Fixed Address (originally Toronto)
    Neda and I had a wonderful time hosting Jamie. He stayed for four days, and they flew by very quickly. We rode pretty much every single day and he gave us a reason to treat ourselves to some hearty home-cooked meals during which we had some very engaging conversations about motorcycles and travel.

    I gave Jamie all the pictures I took that week, but here's one that he doesn't have:


    It was quite fun to walk into the garage and just see all the bikes there, waiting patiently for us to take them out.

    Neda and I have only been here in the Okanagan for just over a year while we wait for the borders to re-open. When I was showing Jamie around and explaining the background of all the places I took him, I realized just how much I've soaked in about the town we're staying in. Felt kinda like a local!

    Also, a bit of backstory about those rolling mounts and dismounts we were practicing: the evening before we were all watching our favorite motorcycle videos on YouTube and we found FortNine's "5 Easy Motorcycle Tricks". We both agreed that we would try it the day after!

    Here's the actual video of us, forgive us for being a bit wobbly, this was the first time we tried this and we're not as polished as RyanF9:

    Throughout our travels, we've been the beneficiaries of much kindness and generosity by others who have taken us into our home and shared their lives with us. I feel grateful to be able to pay it forward and to be a part of Jamie's story as he travels Round-The-World the Jamie-Z Way!
  17. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

    Jun 29, 2006
    Lodi, Ca
    Following and continue enjoying your report.
    Glad the Mitas E-07 tires we mounted here are working for you.

    So many places to visit but just wanted to be sure you know you're always welcome to return here to Nor Cal for an extended stay and hang out when the weather elsewhere gets nasty.
    Thousands of miles of riding here all winter long.
    It's on the way to South America when things are right for you to continue south.
    On my last trip to Alaska I rode from Kelowna thru Osoyoos and down Hwy 97 to I-5 and home in 2 days.
    Just say'in you're not that far away.

    Safe Travels
    simmons1, gpfan and Jamie Z like this.
  18. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Oct 17, 2006
    Around Denver
    September 17, 2021

    Winter is coming.



    The weather was not cooperating. Based on Gene’s advice I had created a route out of town on Kurviger, but at the last minute, Gene suggested I stay near shore west of Lake Okanagan in deference to possible snow if I were to take highway 33 through the mountains.

    Before Neda had to leave for work, we recreated our photo from nine years ago when we met in Wawa.


    I adjusted my handguards to give me better wind protection.


    Gene led me on my way out of town; we stopped at the Honda/BMW dealership to pick up some coolant for my bike. It’s one of the rare weak points of the Honda. You may remember my water pump was leaking after I first bought the bike. I replaced the pump before the trip, and I don’t believe it’s leaking again, but I did notice my coolant level was slightly low.

    As I rode south out of Kelowna, the cold winds picked up across the lake.


    And once again I was reminded of my time in central California with all the orchards and fields. The road was practically lined with fruit stands.


    I stopped at an overlook Gene had recommended where I could see down over Osoyoos Lake.


    This is what’s called the Tunnel of Flags. There’s a story of why it’s called that, but what I was fascinated by was that this is an above-ground tunnel.


    A nearby plaque tells the story. This was the site of a railroad crossing, but instead of building a bridge, they raised the track with rock and gravel, putting the road through a tunnel. When the tracks were decommissioned, the fill was removed, but the tunnel remained.

    HIghway 3 goes very close to the border with the US. Here you can see the path where the trees have been cut down along the boundary.


    As I rode through the wet and cold I realized that I’m just a couple weeks away from mandatory snow tires!


    At higher elevations, there were stretches of fog.




    I had decided to get a room tonight to warm up and dry off. I made reservations at the Dancing Bear Inn in Nelson. What I didn’t realize is that it’s a hostel.


    I barely made it in time, as the check-in office closes at 8pm and I arrived in the rain and dark and had some trouble finding the place.

    The room is fine, though quite small, and I have a shared bathroom. My room is upstairs and they ask that guests remove their shoes indoors, which made unpacking, parking, and carrying my things to my room a hassle.

    Oh.. and there’s no heat. The boiler must be turned off because turning the temperature controller does nothing.


    But I had some beer and watched some baseball. Shohei Ohtani is tearing up the league this year and the Angels were playing at home.

  19. spuh

    spuh Long timer Supporter

    Apr 9, 2012
    Good to be on the road again? Good that you haven't frozen any body parts.

    Good shot of Osoyoos; the peninsula is a Provincial Park. Otherwise it'd likely have been developed into something unrecognisable (and unaffordable). In the foreground is the nothernmost tip of the Sonoran Desert. Not very desert-like weather.
  20. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

    Jul 19, 2006
    The Bluegrass
    If you want to warm up in the most unique hot springs that I know of , head up the road a few miles from Nelson the the Ainsworth Hot Springs resort. For a fee you have your choice of varying temperature pools and the source of all that hot water is back in a cave. The floor has been leveled out with concrete and you can make your way back to where the water flows out of the wall. I spent some time sitting right there letting the hot water loosen up my shoulder that had been giving me fits. Fixed me up for the ride all the way south to Mexico.
    liv2day, ilten, Mark Thom and 5 others like this.