Way out West - Canada to Central America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Motojournalism, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Ragin Rabbi

    Ragin Rabbi Semper Fidelis

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    14,176
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    Again, I said it before, I am jealous of your skills with a camera, and the fact that you are not silly and take the opportunity for such rides now while you can. Good on ya.

    Safe travels, and keep up the great work.

    I have to wait on the Newfoundland trip, the ferry costs might be outside the budget (shoestring, with most of the threads broken) which is why I thought I would stay on the interior side of the country.

    But who knows. Maybe there is a lottery ticket with winning numbers in my future. In that case, I should probably buy one (ticket that is).
    #61
  2. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    14,205
    Location:
    In my head
    Beautiful images and beautiful words. Wonderful.

    John
    #62
  3. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    569
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja California Sur
    But if the situation demands, be prepared to make do with what you got! She = hawtness! :D

    Enjoying the report ALOT man! :clap
    #63
  4. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Hehe you know it!:D

    We ain't seen nothin' yet, can't wait to head south to warmer climates :evil
    #64
  5. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    569
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja California Sur
    What's the plan? You coming down here to San Diego to meet up with me and head South of the Border? :freaky
    #65
  6. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Haha, wouldn't rule it out:D

    I gotta get out of Prince George first! Still waiting for parts :baldy
    #66
  7. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Today feels better. Today there will be mountains.<br />
    On the way out of town I pick up up some oil and an an inexpensive pair of Oakley goggles.<br />
    The bike is thirsty after those long days full-out, and takes the whole litre.<br />
    <br />
    Have I mentioned I was in cowboy country?<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993834852/" title="Way out West-1230396 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3434/3993834852_847b3a2944.jpg" width="440" height="500" alt="Way out West-1230396" /></a><br />
    <br />
    An early lunch before heading into the boundries of Jasper/Banff National Park.<br />
    I overhear another group of loud Tim Horton's patrons talking football. I think the Roughriders lost to the Roughriders.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993076179/" title="Way out West-1230401 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2620/3993076179_76f0f7a90d.jpg" width="331" height="500" alt="Way out West-1230401" /></a><br />
    <br />

    Plenty of trees down after the winds from the other day.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960817313/" title="Way out West-1230404 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2640/3960817313_079c6d47e7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="727" alt="Way out West-1230404" /></a><br />
    <br />
    There's a police speed-trap up ahead, fortunately I'm on a KLR.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961589790/" title="Way out West-1230403 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2654/3961589790_9769c8a8b3_b.jpg" width="1024" height="576" alt="Way out West-1230403" /></a><br />
    <br /><br />
    No trucks are alowed on this highway from this point. It's well after Labour Day too, I have the entire road to myself.
    Getting closer, pushing the bike to get me there NOW.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960818915/" title="Way out West-1230405 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3447/3960818915_f4a4fe6fe4_b.jpg" width="1024" height="576" alt="Way out West-1230405" /></a><br />
    <br />
    You can't put it in a picture...<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960820347/" title="Way out West-1230408 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2592/3960820347_dd897aabe2_b.jpg" width="1024" height="576" alt="Way out West-1230408" /></a><br />
    <br />
    That feeling of the years of hard work put in to something...
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960821859/" title="Way out West-0425 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2505/3960821859_2a541e55fd_b.jpg" width="1024" height="685" alt="Way out West-0425" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Were absolutely WORTH IT.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993838006/" title="Way out West-0435 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2630/3993838006_d8bdaa0972_b.jpg" width="1024" height="685" alt="Way out West-0435" /></a><br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993836732/" title="Way out West-0428 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2487/3993836732_a0c4c3427f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="686" alt="Way out West-0428" /></a>

    Unreal. It's the glaciers grinding away at the limestone that turns the lakes such a surreal blue.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961597636/" title="Way out West-1230413 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2665/3961597636_04858d8d22_b.jpg" width="1024" height="658" alt="Way out West-1230413" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Jawbone from a deer.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961598840/" title="Way out West-0438 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3439/3961598840_2df3cc94a7_b.jpg" width="685" height="1024" alt="Way out West-0438" /></a><br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960827257/" title="Way out West-0442 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2602/3960827257_216e26eb87_b.jpg" width="1024" height="685" alt="Way out West-0442" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Helpful tip for motorcyclists.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960828291/" title="Way out West-1230425 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2605/3960828291_6c808cc36e_b.jpg" width="712" height="1024" alt="Way out West-1230425" /></a><br />
    <br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960832757/" title="Way out West-0469 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2673/3960832757_3b47894fc1_b.jpg" width="1024" height="685" alt="Way out West-0469" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Just colossal.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961607674/" title="Way out West-0475 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3472/3961607674_b981991308_b.jpg" width="1024" height="686" alt="Way out West-0475" /></a><br />
    <br />
    These beasts are quite used to tourists. The noise of the bike didn't even scare them.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961610290/" title="Way out West-1230438 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2630/3961610290_d65fa0a49f_b.jpg" width="576" height="1024" alt="Way out West-1230438" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Up at about 2000 meters I beileve.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960838109/" title="Way out West-1230439 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2471/3960838109_3e64397390_b.jpg" width="715" height="1024" alt="Way out West-1230439" /></a><br />
    <br />
    A shocking and sudden change from the prairies.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961613066/" title="Way out West-1230443 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3524/3961613066_1139ce1593_b.jpg" width="1024" height="576" alt="Way out West-1230443" /></a><br />
    <br />
    I should get one of these...<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3961614546/" title="Way out West-1230445 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2606/3961614546_32bacb4ebf_b.jpg" width="1024" height="576" alt="Way out West-1230445" /></a><br />
    <br />
    Ovomaltine in it's natural habitat. Ovo=Egg Maltine=Malt. Sold as Ovaltine here of course.<br />
    Consolidated into bars for Swiss mountain climbers. Quite palatable if you've got a glass of milk.<br />
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3960842027/" title="Way out West-1230446 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2574/3960842027_30aafc28b4_b.jpg" width="1024" height="693" alt="Way out West-1230446" /></a><br />
    <br />
    The sun disappears much quicker than usual now that I'm tucked into the deep mountain passes. I rush to get to Jasper for the night.
    #67
  8. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    569
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja California Sur
    [​IMG]

    I'll be there in three days. Can you wait on me?! Un-freakin'-believable!! :eek1 :eek1

    Keep it coming man! Fantastic...
    #68
  9. Dave Noel

    Dave Noel Giv'er

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Where the sun shines first
    Hope you are escaping the snow out west.

    subscribed
    #69
  10. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Hey Dave, welcome along :thumb

    Just barely avoiding the snow in Prince George, will be headed south, fast, in several days. It's COLD.
    I got an electric vest for my birthday :D
    #70
  11. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Red Deer to Jasper.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3994510166/" title="Way out West pt11 by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3503/3994510166_f7586e380f_o.jpg" width="772" height="534" alt="Way out West pt11" /></a>

    Abraham Lake, on the way to Jasper National Park
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993749605/" title="lake in jasper by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2433/3993749605_c0e0f62680_o.jpg" width="772" height="534" alt="lake in jasper" /></a>

    Mountain pass in Jasper.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/3993749667/" title="mountain pass jasper by antontrax, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2477/3993749667_e0a3969884_o.jpg" width="772" height="534" alt="mountain pass jasper" /></a>
    #71
  12. Dave Noel

    Dave Noel Giv'er

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    690
    Location:
    Where the sun shines first
    Man that is a beautiful route you got there, I am envious.
    #72
  13. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    755
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Those are awesome pictures. Keep up the good work.
    #73
  14. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,598
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    Lookin' good!:thumb
    #74
  15. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,697
    Location:
    Lexington, Virginia
    Oh man the Canadian Rockies are incredibly beautiful, eh? The Icefields Parkway is just relentlessly gorgeous. Very nice photos.

    Several years ago my son and I rode from our home in Lander, Wyoming to Jasper and back. On the way back we came over Crowsnest Pass heading East (with the wind!). The wind was so strong it was pushing us around something fierce and the wind turbines were screaming, pumping out the juice. I was on a BMW R1100RT and my son was on a BMW K75, both fully loaded with camping crap and probably double the weight of your KLR. I'll bet that headwind was a tad exciting for you! Good decision to get off the main highway.

    And what the others said - if you find the right girl to ride two-up with you she won't be picky about what bike you're on. I do love those Honda Africa Twins though and have never understood why they weren't available in the US. I've owned several KLRs and they are wonderful bikes, so I'm glad you were able to get yours going again with minimal effort. I had a KLR250 that remains one of my favorite motorcycles of all time.

    Thanks for the great RR, I'm really enjoying the ride! It sure beats what I'm supposed to be working on sitting here at my desk :evil .

    Doug
    #75
  16. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    I could have used some ballast on the KLR with that wind!:huh

    The more I learn to work on the KLR the more I appreciate it's simplicity. Got the replacement valve cover bolt just now, and the replacement shock will be going in tonight:thumb

    There you go, I'm paying back for the weeks of office time I've wasted on ADV over the last few years :D
    #76
  17. MP5

    MP5 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Absolute perfection !
    #77
  18. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Jasper. A real town, strangely situated in the middle of a National Park. The the town boundraies are set, it cannot expand beyond it's present size.

    It's certainly set-up for tourists, but it's not over-the-top tourist trap stuff. It looks like it would be a very liveable place.

    [​IMG]





    The locals seem to prefer bicycles. There are beach cruisers and freeride mountain bikes parked everywhere.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]






    And there's another gorgeous ride here too.

    [​IMG]



    Honda to be sure, CB350? CB250?

    [​IMG]



    Bear-proof garbage cans are common out here in this part of Alberta and into BC.

    [​IMG]



    I'm here in Jasper thanks to my fabulous hosts Doug and Janiene (I think that's your name, Janeine? Correct me if I'm wrong)

    They put me up, I'm well fed and shown around town.

    [​IMG]




    I'm staying in the shadow of a giant here, as they've also hosted the legendary Ian Coates
    , who stayed here for ten days. He set out from England for four months, and has been riding 'round the world for more than a decade.




    Here's the view out the balcony in the morning.
    [​IMG]





    Doug's bike is about four times the size of mine.

    [​IMG]



    Doug is about four times the size of me too. He's your barrel-chested outdoorsman, very much the live life outside type.

    Doug rocks. He makes for a great tour guide. Very amiable, has lots of stories and local knowledge, and shows as much of Jasper as we can see, in the short amount of time I have.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]



    I've come equipped only with motorcycle boots and flip-flops for the hike up to the Opal Hills. It's hot, so I opt for the flip-flops and I zip off the legs of my BMW Summer pants. Looking much like a German tourist I flop my way up the trail.


    It's a tough slog up the steep incline, but man, does it ever feel good to get some air in the lungs and to get the legs working hard again.
    [​IMG]



    Flip flop, flip flop, to the top. Well not THE top, but the top of a magnificent outlook anyway. I enjoy the cool breeze and a deer steak sandwich.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Time to head back down. I flop back down in a awkward ski-turn fashion. Flop, flop, flop, flop, flop.

    [​IMG]



    Clearly a top-secret hideout:

    [​IMG]



    Here's the hike, from the lake up.

    [​IMG]

    Pure, glacial mountain water. Dip right in with your water bottle, damn refreshing.

    [​IMG]



    Let's just say Doug knows a few shortcuts around the hotel grounds...

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    And Janiene's cooking twists my rubber arm into staying one more night.

    [​IMG]



    Ohhhhh, Yeahhhh.

    [​IMG]
    #78
  19. fastredbike

    fastredbike back on the loose

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    640
    Location:
    Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
    I really enjoyed your maritime trip RR and this is a very impressive follow-up. I'm subscribed and looking forward to your great shots & very readable commentary. I rode my own KLR along that route to Jasper a few years back... breathtaking!
    d
    #79
  20. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,687
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    In the evening we head out to walk off diner. We come across a loaded Land Rover and have a chat with the Austrians who've just completed their own cross-Canada trip. They're headed for USA and Mexico.<br />

    In the distance toward town, we hear a hollow wheezing scream like nothing I've heard. It's a bull elk, bugling it's challenge. They're very common to see this time of year, right inside town. <br />
    They're on the verge of being pests. many of the parks aroud town have fences to keep them out. We follow the bizzare wailing till we find the elk near a school yard. of course it's dark, so I didn't bring my camera :baldy , But it looks and sounds like this:
    <br /><br />


    (Video by justashooter on pond5.com)<br />


    <object width="480" height="303" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" id="embid68019" data="http://www.pond5.com/pond5FlashPlayer2.swf"><param name="movie" value="http://www.pond5.com/pond5FlashPlayer2.swf" /><param name="wmode" value="opaque"/><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"/><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"/><param name="flashvars" value="hideController=no&amp;itemid=68019&amp;orgClipWidth=720&amp;orgClipHeight=480&amp;debug=no&amp;hqFLV=yes&amp;filetype=flv&amp;server=prod&amp;cj=yes" /><embed src="http://www.pond5.com/pond5FlashPlayer2.swf" width="480" height="303" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="opaque" flashvars="hideController=no&amp;itemid=68019&amp;orgClipWidth=720&amp;orgClipHeight=480&amp;debug=no&amp;hqFLV=yes&amp;filetype=flv&amp;server=prod&amp;cj=yes"/></object><br />
    <br />
    Here's a link to the vid if it dosen't work: http://www.pond5.com/stock-footage/6...-bull-elk.html
    <br />
    <br />

    We're careful to keep a fence between us and him. The male elk are all charged-up with testosterone this time of year and can be agressive. The big bull decides it's had enough of us and saunters off with confidence, clip clopping down the middle of the street. we follow it for a while till it heads off behind some houses, away from the orange glow of the streetlights. It's not the only elk in town, we can hear more in the distance. People stop their cars to gawk, and a surprised looking cyclist dodges far out of the way. We head back to Doug's place to grab my camera and a couple of bicycles. We head out to find more - we can hear their bugling and locking antlers - but they've gone away up in the hills where they can't be bothered.


    Doug and Janeine are off to work and I'm off too. I blast out of town and head for the provincial border.

    Boy does this sign make me happy. I'm finally back in my home province.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    A fill up for gas in the tiny town of Dunster.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    Dunster's commercial district. This is the gas station, grocery, post office, hardware store and train station.

    [​IMG]





    They even have milk at the back.

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    So long Dunster, back to enjoy the "bluebird" day!

    [​IMG]



    I take some time to explore a gravel road that snakes along the ice-blue Holmes River between the mountains. I gotta move back here!

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    There's a hotel out here! If I wasn't aiming to hit Prince George tonight, I'd stay here. It looks like it's got character.

    [​IMG]



    I hadn't mentioned it, but Doug is an engineer for VIA Rail. He drives the passenger train from Jasper to Prince George. He said he'd be stopping at McBride at 2:30.

    I'd forgotten about that. I figured I'd be long gone by then, but this side trip puts me right on time to make it, so why not!



    A short wait at the platform. Here she be.

    [​IMG]



    Man, I dig trains as much as planes. Rolling along to the platform.

    [​IMG]



    I get the grand tour.

    [​IMG]



    Love that old style

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Gotta see the engine.

    [​IMG]



    Hehe, I feel like a kid again, this is great!

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Not a bad office to have.


    [​IMG]




    Thanks again Doug, that was super-cool.

    [​IMG]



    For the first time across Canada I have... A TAILWIND! It zips me along toward home.

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    The thermal pockets through the hills into Prince George are incredible, the drop from cold to warm feels like stepping inside from the winter. This happens over each hill coming out of the shade into the sun.
    [​IMG]




    My parents live in Prince George, I haven't told them I've left Montreal. I show up in the driveway "What's for dinner?" They are suitably shocked. :D
    #80