Wandering Around Alaska and Northern Canada in June 2007

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by H-Jay, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. H-Jay

    H-Jay Mo 2 C

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Michiganland



    I crossed the boarder in to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on">Montana</st1:State> and found a place to pitch the tent in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Whitefish</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">State Park</st1:placeType></st1:place>.

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    It a scenic little park on a lake with a beach. The only draw back is a nearby train with a loud whistle. That night I realized why there was a box of earplugs on the shelf at the ranger shack. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    This is the 4<SUP>th</SUP> day of 100+ heat. I decided to stay in Whitefish another day, hoping for cooler weather, before going to explore <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Glacier</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType></st1:place>. I found a café with internet access called the Café Wrap. It’s next to the Downtowner Inn which is popular with the cruiser crowd Whitefish is a nice little town.

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    I discovered Whitefish is definitely a snow skier’s attraction. When I walked in to the café in my riding pants, the waitress asked me why I was wearing snow pants in the middle of the summer. Of course I told her I found the slopes less crowded this time of year.

    Downtoown Whitefish with slopes in the background.

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    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Glacier</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType></st1:place> – Road to the Sun <o:p></o:p>
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    The next day I spent most of the day wandering around <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Glacier</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType></st1:place>. It was cool in the AM and on the pass…a welcome relief from the 100+ days. I traveled the Road to The Sun/Logan Pass West to East and took many pictures. Here are a few of my favorites.

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    Here are some of the pictures I took along the road to my next detour destination <st1:place w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:place>.

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    <st1:placeName w:st="on"></st1:placeName><st1:placeName w:st="on"></st1:placeName>
    <st1:placeName w:st="on">Could not resisit taking a break and wandering thru this salvage yard</st1:placeName>
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    <st1:placeName w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:placeName>
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    <st1:placeName w:st="on">Wow, last time I saw one of these was, well, at the Vintage Motorcycle Races at Mid Ohio earlier this month.</st1:placeName>
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    <st1:placeName w:st="on">[​IMG]</st1:placeName>
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    <st1:placeName w:st="on">Next: </st1:placeName><st1:placeName w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType> – <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Bear</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Tooth</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType></st1:place><o:p></o:p>
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    #61
  2. H-Jay

    H-Jay Mo 2 C

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Michiganland
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>Cont. </o:p>

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:placeName w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType> – <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Bear</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Tooth</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Pass</st1:placeType></st1:place><o:p></o:p>

    I took the highly recommended 191 in to the park. It’s a nice canyon road. <o:p></o:p>
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    I arrived at <st1:place w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:place> to a huge line of traffic trying to get in to and out of the park. After 28 miles in to the park, I found the campground full that was supposed to have sites available. I told the lady Ranger that I rode 400 miles today in the heat, 28 miles in the park. No reaction, then I begged. She then told me I could pitch my tent in the camp host spot.

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    George, a former Navy pilot, has been a Campground Host for a number of years. He is a real problem solver and loves his job. Throughout the evening, I heard him at work helping people and making their visit in the park memorable.

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    The NPS really needs more Georges. Interestingly I overheard the off duty host next door making light of George’s efforts. I’m sure he’s the ranger we’ve all met that feels he is doing a favor by acknowledging us and quick to tell us what we can’t do.<o:p></o:p>
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    Note to NPS: Hire more people like George! <o:p></o:p>
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    Here are pictures from the day in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Yellow</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Stone</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Park</st1:placeType></st1:place> and Bear Tooth Pass.

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    This guy decided to do a dust dance for the camera.

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    This guy decided to imitate a tourist and block the road at the same time.

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    He finally got bored, let us by and went for a swim.

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    Even the weeds are pretty.

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    Got lucky and snuck across 90 without much wind and mostly overcast sky so decent temperature.

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    I decided to take a little detour and wander through the scenic <st1:placeName w:st="on">Fishhook</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Canyon</st1:placeType> and <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Needles Highway</st1:address></st1:Street> in the <st1:place w:st="on">Black Hills</st1:place>.

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    MOA Rally and got a <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">First Place</st1:address></st1:Street> Prize! <o:p></o:p>
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    Timing worked out so I could attend my first BMW Motorcycle Owners Association Rally in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">West bend</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">Wisconsin</st1:State></st1:place>.

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    Look what they gave me for coming. Actually, I earned it for beating out 8000 attendees for the distance traveled between home and the rally. I came in at 12,800 miles.

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    I had a great time looking at motorcycles and hanging out with my local BMW club member friends. <o:p></o:p>
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    …. Waking up to a nice view…. and realizing this will be the last time I’ll be waking in my tent for a while.

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    Home again after a total of 13,300 miles. Its time to unpack and think about where next. <o:p></o:p>
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    Thank you for taking the time to share the experience. <o:p></o:p>
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    I also have to thank my wife and family for being so understanding and supportive as I wander around on two wheels.

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    #62
  3. Bert

    Bert Fair / Balanced

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    57,836
    Location:
    Waterworld
    Terrific ride report that wonderfully captures the sense of place and time. :thumb
    #63
  4. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,428
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Amazing!!!!! Thank You
    #64
  5. SheRidesABeemer

    SheRidesABeemer Go Big or Go Home.

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,998
    Location:
    Live Free and Ride, NH
    Fascinating! I had the opportunity to read this in one sitting, and was rewarded with the twist at the end. Congrats on the Touring Award. What a readable tale! :clap
    #65
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,155
    Outstanding :clap trip, report and pics! Thanks for detailed sharing :thumb
    #66
  7. anomad

    anomad in storage

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Alexandria, Virginia
    What a trip!

    Thanks again for sharing.
    #67
  8. H-Jay

    H-Jay Mo 2 C

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Michiganland
    Thanks everyone for the positive feedback on the report. I enjoyed writing it and reading your reactions.

    I'm working on a list of tips I've learned from the trip that I will post shortly. I don't consider myself an expert by any measure but I found when others provide tips it was helpful for my trip planning.


    H-Jay
    #68
  9. Wingspan

    Wingspan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    392
    Location:
    Brownsburg, Indiana
    Easily the best ride thread I've ever read on any board. Really wonderful, thanks for sharing!!!:clap
    #69
  10. OrangevaleFJR

    OrangevaleFJR Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Orangevale, California
    I was just skipping around in your report until I realized I was hooked. I had to go back to the beginning and read the whole thing again. Thanks for sharing with us. It really means a lot to many of us.
    #70
  11. shrkb8

    shrkb8 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Low Rent District
    Hey O'vale! is that you?????

    It's donaldb from the FJRForum.

    I agree this was a very captivating read. Thanks for the ride along H-Jay.

    It may be a few more years before I make the cross over to the duel sport. I'm in the early plans of maybe making plans for a ride next year (on my fjr) from my home state of MS up and over and through TN, AR, MO, NE, SD to MT and begin my southern decent as much as possible along the Continental Divide into WY and CO. Then return back home to MS. I now have all I need except a quality tent, and I'm looking. I'm thinking about buying this one.

    http://www.bakpakka.com.au/node/530

    We will see if I can make my dream a reality. Congrats on your trip of a lifetime, I sure enjoyed reading and viewing the piccies.:clap :wings :lurk :rayof :super
    #71
  12. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,045
    Location:
    SoCal
    Thanks for taking us along H-Jay. What a great trip! I will be going in 2008 and your trip report has been a very good source of planning information for me.
    #72
  13. H-Jay

    H-Jay Mo 2 C

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Michiganland
    Hi shrkb8,

    Sounds like a fun trip. Do it!

    If you post your tent question in the equipment section you will get a lot of good feedback. My sense is quick set up may not be the most important feature for MC travel. Good venting to deal with condensation, pack size, usable floor space, tent height are the features I found most important. Most modern free standing 2 pole, rain fly designed tents meet the need. Visit REI or other outfitters. They can give you a quick Tent 101.
    #73
  14. Asphalt

    Asphalt Plan Well...Leave Late :(

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    951
    Location:
    Fire road, freeway & backroad close...
    Awesome! You brought back memories with your travel in ad around Glacier Park. Now I'm itching to get on with another big trip...thank you for a great report and the always enjoyable vicarious internet "road trip".:clap
    That is an amazing amount of meaningful miles!
    #74
  15. Newstar

    Newstar Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Village of Landenberg, PA
    What an incredible adventure! A++ ride report. I enjoyed every word and photograph. Thanks for taking the time to post.
    #75
  16. twowheelnut

    twowheelnut Back from the shadows.

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Well, let's just make this an FJRForum party! :wave I see Highlander's been peeking in, too!

    Very nice pict-o-report, H-Jay! Made me some notes for next year! Thanks!
    #76
  17. wareagl487

    wareagl487 n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Loganville, GA
    What an epic ride and report!! This was the first topic I read on the site - man did I pick a good one!!! I found the link in a thread on Georgia Off-Road and thought to check it out. Registered specifically to make this my first post to congratulate you...

    Thanks for taking the time to share.....

    Andy W.
    #77
  18. H-Jay

    H-Jay Mo 2 C

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Michiganland
    I'm honored by 2 first time posters in a row. Welcome TwoWheelNut and Andy to the site. Glade you enjoyed the thread. Stick around, its a site with a wealth of knowledge if you like to hit the road.

    H-Jay
    #78
  19. Reinhold

    Reinhold No, not Messner

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Chuck City
    H-Jay,
    First of all my KTM does not sparkal....Its the "glitter of envy" in your eye reflecting off the paint.
    Secondly the only reason why I had a couple of fuel shortages was that I missed some key gas stops trying to stay in front and away from the two Americans that I'm sure were following me, looking for a free guide to the Canadian Arctic. :D
    Just returned from a backpacking trip (yes, another holiday) so I am just catching up with your trip report. Great job! Glad you had a safe return and it was a pleasure travelling with you.

    P.S. I attached the guide fees but deducted the GST because you're not a resident.

    Rick
    #79
  20. GSnerd

    GSnerd Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Michigan
    Hey H-Jay,

    Great report! It's like being back there, and your pictures came out perfect. Just wanted to say thanks for your patients with my "motorcycle camping" learning curve! You made the trip fun and memorable.

    Now, Reinhold, I think H-Jay and I owe you an apology about the color of your bike. Your right, it does'nt "sparkal", it glitters. So here goes, we're sorry we made fun of your bike. Something happened yesterday that showed me we were wrong on the color. I bought my niece a toy bike for her Barbie and damn if it was'nt exactly the same color as your bike. Now we know, your bike is'nt "sparkally" KTM orange, it's "Barbie Doll tangerine glitter"! Again, we're sorry.
    Also, KLRDave would have made a better Canadian guide, he at least knew where the gas stations were and how to stop at them. I don't recall seeing him with his thumb out and a gas can in his hand.

    P.S.- Do you ever work?

    Steve
    #80