Badass chicks ride to the Canadian Rockies

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RamonaRider, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. oldtouring B

    oldtouring B Been here awhile

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    Ramona, we love your writing style! You have a excellent grasp of the English language and a great sense of humor Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep us included. Ride safe.
    #61
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  2. motoracer85

    motoracer85 Adventurer

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    San Francisco, CA
    I am just reading this now, but I bet most of us wish we could get away for a few days like this. Good for you to get out there and have an adventure. I'm a few hours south of you, and this looks like a fantastic route to follow. Maybe some day, after reading about the whole trip and seeing pictures, I'll take the time to find a fellow enthusiast to do something like this. Sorry to hear about losing a loved one to anything (cancer or not). He'd probably want you out there adventuring like you're doing.
    #62
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  3. JoeShoreline

    JoeShoreline "I'm Gonna Take That Ride Again"

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    :pyndI think that's great that you girls ride like that. It has been my experience that women are safety conscience and have a great deal of fineness when operating a motorcycle or any heavy equipment for that matter. Be safe and have fun girls.:clap:clap:clap
    #63
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  4. lqgsrider

    lqgsrider Been here awhile

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    Nice RR
    #64
  5. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    Day 5 - Toad Rock to Revelstoke
    ~140miles/225km

    We pack up neatly at Toad Road, two fresh-boiled eggs from Tahnee's thoughtful trip to Nelson powering me up and out. Many thanks to Mary, who created this oasis of community; wave goodbye to Happy the filthy pig, still grunting happily and shaking her tail; give a hug to the friendly blokes we met; and zoom along a divine stretch of lakeside riding. Turn left at Kelso towards New Denver and proceed to "ooh" and "ahh" around nearly every curve — pure blue creek burbling over layers of rocks as we swoosh through divine ess-curve after divine ess-curve. Feel god in the majesty of the snow-topped peaks poking out behind nameless ranges of pure forest. Note there's not a SINGLE car ahead or behind, except one truck that passed while we stopped once for an astounding picture.

    I leveled up in the day off — a known phenomenon where people's skills improve after a night of sleep. Suddenly my seat is more fluid, my steering more precise, my eyes and mind behaving in concert with my body. We slide along and enjoy a long and lovely stop in New Denver at the locals' favorite sandwich shop. Then we easily find the road to Nekusp Hot Springs, which turns out to be a grin-inducing 14km of loopy turns and twists, a small two-lane adventure that has me standing on my pegs, grinning and vrooming like a loon. When we pull into the parking lot, T says, "Whoa! I knew you had it in you!" and I am very pleased to be feeling so much more flow. We end up spending a couple awesome hours, floating in the hot hot heat but mainly talking about boys and ourselves.

    Up and on, to the ferry crossing over Arrow Lake towards Revelstoke. Despite a small delay in the boat's arrival, I'm jumping around on my tiptoes in excitement for my first ferry ride on my moto — it feels like a veritable rite of passage for an epic trip! We meet three other riders who share stories and insights, laughing together over the features of one's Honda (including a reverse gear) which is basically a two-wheeled car. He insists that I sit on it.... We scoot off and shoot north to Revelstoke. The flirty mountains reveal more of themselves, a cosmic stripping game as we roll through the layers of hill and rock and tree. We hit Revelstoke and slide down the east side of the lake and find our reserved spot at Williamson Lake Campground. We crack into our supplies and prepare a tasty Indian food dinner with T's JetBoil. Then we proceed to tear apart our original plans for the next four days, which were originally to curve west from Jasper and go home in two days through Seattle. Instead, we play with maps and reroute ourselves on a five-day return to Portland via an eastern route that drops us down to Spokane or Coeur d'Alene and has us coming back up the stunning Columbia River Gorge. Thus avoiding city traffic, we high-five each other and sink into ourselves at the end of another superlative day.
    #65
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  6. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Day 5 pics...


    IMG_4872.JPG
    Tahnee at Toad Rock takeoff

    IMG_4875.JPG The insanely good riding between Kelso & New Denver

    IMG_4904.JPG Absurdly beautiful Arrow Lake

    IMG_4901.JPG
    Badass chicks on the ferry
    #66
  7. Steve_h

    Steve_h Been here awhile

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    Spartanburg, SC
    Looks like you're having a great ride. I really like the pic looking down the road with the mountains in the distance. Really shows how immersed you are in the surroundings. Looks like a wonderful place to be vacationing and riding.
    Keep up the good ride and looking for many more pics and reports on the trip.
    #67
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  8. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    July 6, Day 6 - Revelstoke to Lake Louise
    ~140miles/230km

    The day began reasonably early, as I woke before 7 and meditated properly; the large-ish campsite was quiet until the person next to us set off their car alarm not once but twice. We headed in to Revelstoke for breakfast, which was a tasty smoked salmon skillet for me, and enjoyed seeing a group of four guys on bikes checking out our steeds, although we less enjoyed the guy at the cafe trying to make conversation with such ploys as "How's the water?" and "So what do they do in Portland besides chop down trees?" Riiiight. Heading out towards Golden, the day was blue and sunny. Highway 1 here is the Trans-Canadian Highway, and it was mostly either three or four lanes. It was also under quite a bit of construction work that slowed the pace considerably. But never mind that — every curve showed another facet of the stunning rocky mountains emerging from the earth in slow-motion fireworks of granite beauty. Tahnee ooh-ed and ahh-ed and had pretty much a continuous (or at least multiple...) view-gasm as we traversed this section. Everywhere the head turned was a hillside of myriad greens with landslide washes and perhaps a mantle of glacier ice. At one point a mountain was suddenly right alongside us, and T yelled "In your FACE!" and I practically collapsed with laughter and joy for being there in that moment with her.

    We rolled in to Golden, gassed up and found a delicious "mountain bistro" thanks to Yelp where we had superb soup, salad, and tacos, plus a macchiato for me, natch. We stopped in at Mountain Motorsports but were disappointed with the selection. Onwards towards Lake Louise, and as we eventually pulled in to Yoho National Park to see the renowned falls there, big raindrops started to splatter harder and harder and lightning flashed in the sky. We changed to rain gear but elected to back out of sightseeing and find our nest in Lake Louise first. Navigating by intuition and inspired to have a roof overhead tonight, we ended up in a shared four-person room at the Hostel International down in the Village. At $66/person, I can only wonder at the rates elsewhere! We were ready to stretch out legs for a bit, and with skies clearing we geared up for a little walk/hike of about 5.5km uphill to see Lake Louise proper. A leisurely paced walk (T was a stud in flip-flops) took us along hillsides and rivers, more view-gasms as we marveled at the diversity of nature. The lake is absolutely stunning — fed by glacier waters with its mineral content and freezing solid each winter, it's a crystalline pale aqua, fringed on three sides by towering angles and snow-capped mounts. Despite the numerous tourists, we snapped some nice pics. Then, as usual, I was called to dine, and we wandered the fancy Fairmount for awhile before settling on the Social bar due to their prodigious cocktail selection. Sitting at the bar, we enjoyed our drinks and a nice meal, making friendly with each other and our neighbors for the rest of the evening.
    #68
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  9. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Day 6 pics...

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    Capturing a view-gasm


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    Even the highway is pretty tasty



    IMG_4957.JPG
    A slice of Lake Louise


    IMG_4963.JPG
    Lake Louise panorama
    #69
  10. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    31
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    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    Day 7, July 7 - Lake Louise Village to Jasper
    ~160miles/260km

    The day began with an unsatisfactory breakfast for gluten-free T at Bill Peyto's cafe, as we waited out another strong rainfall. It had rained throughout the night, and we congratulated ourselves on having built shelter overhead.

    Our first run of the day was up to Moraine Lake, another absurdly turquoise body of water, reached by 11km of delicious curves through hillsides with absurd views. The stop also yielded an espresso, yay!

    Then even as we packed up and headed north on 93, the Icefields Parkway, through Banff and up into Jasper National Park, the skies threatened rain above and yet advertised sun in the distance. Cruising gently along at 90-110km in very light traffic for a summer Saturday, we marveled anew at the scenery erupting all around us. At one point, T had a multiple viewgasm that left her gasping for air through her laughter - was it a view-giggle-gasm at that point? Whatever it is, it's a beautiful and pure drug that we ingested all day long. The temps hovered around 45 degrees F, and we had every warm item piled on, including my balaclava pulled up across my face. Rain splattered occasionally and wind gusts fired up as well, prompting ongoing use of the knee sail. We stopped at Saskatchewan Crossing and spent some time thawing ourselves by the fireplace in the otherwise thoroughly unsatisfying pub. Motos abounded in the parking lot and made long lines at the gas pumps — mostly Harleys and the rest adventure tourers. Isabella is an odd duck out here! Most guys don't even recognize what it is because my tank bag and luggage obscure her logos. Back in Lake Louise Village that morning at the petrol station, we chatted with a threesome from Sacramento, two of whom were riding gorgeous newer Tigers all kitted out. I want! I caught them questioning my Triumph as a ride for such a trip and I shot over, "Yeah it's not ideal but mainly just because I need a bigger windscreen!" Uh-huh. Also, her 150 mile range would be a bitch in less populous/civilized areas.

    Anywho, we got back underway, stopping just once for a sick viewpoint and then longer to admire a stunningly turbid waterfall. At just about exactly 150 miles/240 km, we hit Jasper around 5pm but it was suddenly 6pm. Hmm, datelines are weird! While we'd had the intention to voyage northeast up towards Miette Hot Springs and try to snag a non-reservable campsite up that way, we were dusted and T was starving after two crappy, gluten-riffic restaurant stops. We Yelped and ended up at Earl's for a fab array of shared nibbles — and once I secured us a hotel room in town, also a pitcher of margaritas. We unloaded, carrying our gear up two very long flights of stairs, and somehow didn't just crash to sleep but rather took a walk along the main drag. All around, the changing skies — now cerulean — and cloudscapes cast varied colors and shades onto the dramatic mountains all around. Folks here are deeply blessed with nature — I hope most don't get inured to it!

    Physically, our bikes are doing splendidly. Our bodies and minds are holding up well, too. Today was the first day that I had some acute wrist pain in my throttle hand, which I'd expected to emerge much earlier because of my history of RSI (cubital tunnel syndrome). I was extra-incentivized to fiddle with the Kaoko throttle lock, and it did yield some functional minutes. My shoulders and arms are generally tired, not exactly wanting to reach upwards for extended periods. My seat bones are a tad sore too. T. has no specific pains, but some overall fatigue — walking into Earl's restaurant this evening, we had to climb two flights of stairs and she had this moment where she side-eyed the stairs and said, "Oh god no". But overall, we're the kind of tired you get after a favorite activity — a hike, lovemaking — that's blissed out and rewarding on its own merits. Mentally we're encouraged that the weather tomorrow, Monday AND Tuesday looks to be sunny and warmer; these bouts of frigid rain and icy gusts are not exactly fun, and wear down the overall energy pretty fast. Onwards and upwards!
    #70
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  11. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    Day 8, July 8 - Jasper to Lussier Hot Springs
    ~285miles/460km

    Day 8 began at the Athabasca Hotel in Jasper, in a too-soft bed in an old-fashioned room featuring floral wallpaper and gold fixtures, with a shared bathroom down the hall. We wandered out to Coco's for breakfast, then packed up slowly and hit the road — only to have T lose her new buff and I discover low oil at the gas station. Detour back to the moto shop for me, where I ended up paying $28 for oil and using 200mL. Ah well — better safe than sorry! T found her buff lying in the road, and we were off again. I had scouted out 93A South, so we veered off to this two-lane twistie and then took a ~10km gravel road out along the Whirlpool River for views and adventure. Isabella did fine, naturally. Mosquitos were outrageous, though, and we carried on quickly. Back to the main road, and essentially the next three hours were, you guessed it, gasm-views and ahh's and ooh's (in reverse order now, you see). Majestic talus slopes, endless forest, burbling aquamarine opal rivers, rising mesas atop rocky heights, glaciers cuddled into ridges and ravines...astounding scenery. Traffic was decent, with no construction work on Sunday — and today, no winds!! Some of our exclamations, captured here for posterity, included: "Wow"; "Wow!"; "Wow!!"; "Wowza!"; "Holy shit!"; "A-fucking-mazing!"; "Beauty!"; "Cue the majesty!"; "Jaggedy jag wow!"; "Holy canoli!" and "Holy mother of majestic mountain magic!" We waved our hands in shock and awe and eventually descended into pure ecstatic babble — "Bahawowohwha" — and giggles of gratitude.

    We got some drizzle early just south of Jasper but the skies cleared and temps rose consistently — from about 67 degrees F in the morning and climbing ten degrees by the time we crossed back into Banff NP. We grabbed lunch by the Sunwayat Falls and I downed two espressos to help, and we picked up another clutch of tourist mementos, especially stickers that we want to put on our bikes somehow or other. The winds stayed quiet and were really just a tailwind that scooted us down to Lake Louise Village, Isabella consuming about 1L less gas than on the way north. We grabbed tasty sandwiches at the local cafe and recommitted to aiming for the wild hot springs.

    So we headed on, around 6:30pm, and turned more south — and entered the Kootenay National Park. This is where my heart absolutely melted — all along the Icefield Parkway, the ranges (Trident, Malique, the Endless Chain...) seemed so friendly, Mother Nature at her wisest and most remarkable in variety and texture. Kootenay laid out stunning fresh asphalt on gentle curving inclines and declines, and then just mountain after river beside forest beside mountain and I was literally breathless with awe. Tahnee pumped her fist and bounced in her seat ahead of me. We rolled in pure slipstream heaven through this more gentle yet deeply dramatic park. We paused at the Radium Hot Springs parking lot for analgesics, water, and snacks, and here I proposed that henceforth we can just exclaim "Kootenay!" in delight, appreciation, and agreement.

    Two hours on now, and then we turned off on a gravel forest road to reach Lussier Hot Springs, a destination T remembered from a BC trip she made about a decade ago. The gravel was pretty hard-packed and we rolled along for about 25 minutes through occasional cow herds to reach this piece of awesomeness alongside the road and river just west of Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. As the light faded from the sky, we ventured down into the super-hot pool and other less boiling-hot pool. About ten people were already there, and some departed over the next few hours while yet others arrived. We luxuriated in the glory of the hot spring, marveling at the awesomeness of this planet and our place in it at this very moment. The sun set, the skies darkened, and planets then stars emerged in the clear bowl of sky over our heads. The river rushed by right next to us and all was sweet. It seems to me that life can be quite simple at its heart. Be kind. Leave no trace. Love with all your heart. Appreciate beauty. Use less. Breathe. Eat well. Laugh!! Laughter is such powerful medicine. Accept the absurdity of existence. Create meaning from each moment. Trust you're where you're meant to be. Set intentions, then adapt to circumstances. Check in with your feelings. Push, but not too hard. Pur youself into beautiful scenes. Buy cookies for your loved ones.... (Thank you, Tahnee!!)

    We were utterly relaxed and a bit dizzy when we emerged, and despite the "no overnight parking" stencil on the curbing, we set up our tent right there by the road, barricaded in by our wonderful machines. Earlier signs had warned, "Road in use 24 hours, 7 days a week" (by mining and milling industry folks, I presume) and sure enough as we laid our weary heads down, a couple trucks went by, rattling insanely loud on the rute in the road at the 1am hour of the night. We burst into laughter, tears running down our faces, overcome by the ridiculous juxtaposition. We chatted some more, and T. busted me for treating us to the Jasper hotel room, what with its two flights of stairs, just so she couldn't complain about it — I fessed up immediately and we literally rolled on the floor in sheer hilarity and shared understanding. What an astounding, bounteous, magic day. And: my riding progressed AGAIN, with long, long periods of unconscious competence! Amen.
    #71
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  12. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    Day 7 pics...oops, a bit out of order...



    IMG_4995.JPG
    Badass chicks grooving on each other at Moraine Lake

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    Sick viewpoint, Kitty and Isabella also grooving on each other

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    Is it totally obvious that I'm having fun?

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    Small section of the mountains ringing Jasper
    #72
  13. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
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    Seattle
    Good stuff, RamonaRider!!! I'm happily following along from my campsite lakeside in Almanor, CA.
    Don't fret about those dudes that question your touring mount.:photog . I'm on my Triumph Bonneville T120, and she ain't got no windshield either. :clap
    Great write-up and pictures. I miss Toad Rock and I'm glad to hear Mary treated you two right.
    Safe travels!
    #73
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  14. Scotty707

    Scotty707 Been here awhile

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    Sep 30, 2015
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    Location:
    Lost Coast, Calif.
    This is great. I love your way with words!
    #74
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  15. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    Toronto On
    Thanks for the fantastic report.
    #75
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  16. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Day 8 pics...

    IMG_5064.JPG Wowzah, right??

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    First little gravel excursion of the day

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    A happy place

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    Tahnee literally loves the curves...
    #76
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  17. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Day 8 pics, continued...

    IMG_5123.JPG Uh-huh...

    IMG_5132.JPG Bighorn sheep alongside the road (also saw a black bear around Lake Louise, but didn't get a good pic)

    IMG_5140.JPG Kootenay!!

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    Our gravel road to the hot springs as the sun descended...
    #77
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  18. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    My artistic reflection on The Kootenays:

    IMG_5168.JPG
    #78
  19. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
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    Location:
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    Day 9, July 9 - Lussier Hot Springs to Liberty Park, WA
    ~250miles/400km

    Day 9 concludes in lovely Liberty Park — although we didn't strike camp at Liberty in central Washington on our way north that first night, we conclude an epic moto camping trip with a reminder that we're all free. We're wild, and we're free.

    We started the day with the not-too-scary worst-case scenario of being told by an authority figure that we had to not camp here any longer. So we just packed up our gear and tromped down to the hot springs again for another soak. The hot pool was way too much this morning — as hot or hotter than the one at Nekusp, so at least 107-110 degrees F — so I mainly sat in the just-hot one. We chatted with the three others already there at 8am, and generally smiled at the world. But there was no place to cook even some water (not to mention I had a terrible spill from my Camelbak the night before that soaked the tent floor) so we got back onto the gravel and headed out. Three towns in a row were a bust, then we stopped at the cafe of a historical re-enactment attraction; it too was no good for T but I wolfed down a cheesy breaded hot dog monstrosity and we each pounded two cups of coffee.

    We agreed to pick a straighter route down to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which shaved off two hours from the day's travel. Overall I think we rode five hours today — there was a fair bit of construction in both Canada and the States. Roads in Canada are definitely in better shape overall, especially with so much asphalt just being freshly laid. The day began warm, too, around 70 degrees F perhaps, with gorgeous blue skies and puffy clouds overhead. By the end of the day, it had reached 93 degrees F! On this trip I have always kept in my liner and worn long silk underwear, plus a silk scarf, and usually my Freezeout top as well as a waterproof overlayer. And more often, my insulated winter gloves to boot. Oilskin pants in the rain. Today was the first time I was down to just jeans, and jacket with a t-shirt underneath. I do wish I'd worn my Langlitz leather jacket, or figured out how to get that heated jacket going that my friend Joe gave me awhile back. In the heat, T lent me her nice thin leather gloves.

    We cruised down 93 to a restaurant in Cranbrook called Soulfood, and enjoyed the creative vegetarian and gluten-free-friendly menu, but less so the execution — still, points for trying! Two espressos and more cookies later, we headed out and down. All the billboards were a shock to the system after so much wilderness. We kept it at 100km/65mph as the case was, and cruised, and cruised.... Flashing signs usually at passing motoheads, and just rolling.... Less dramatic hills, but still a curving universe, with bridges and rivers, albeit not turquoise ones. For the first time the prior day, I had felt that I could listen to music and not lose ability. Thrilling to see how much my riding improved in just a week. I thought a lot today about my future adventure tourer.... Is there a BMW out there for me? Is the Tiger too heavy?? Why not a more scrambler-style, given what I've done on my Street Triple — but no, I really want to go more wild. I think we did about 50miles/80km of gravel this trip? Isabella is so game, but really not great for long-distance touring. I want hard cases on the sdies with top access, and rotopacks for water & gas. Plus keep the Wolfman bag. I need to acquire a small tent of my own, and some travel tech gear (charger/jump starter, camp light, Jetboil)...mmm, tasty shopping ahead.

    We're both already a bit nostalgiac and melancholy to see this adventure wrapping up. We've been laughing and loving it up, and while we've got much to appreciate in the rest of our lives, this has been...superlative. Totally KOOTENAY!
    #79
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  20. RamonaRider

    RamonaRider BeginnerMind

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    Sep 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
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    Pacific NW Riding Paradise
    Day 9 pics...

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    Despite contemplating other bikes most of the day, I began the morning just loving on this amazing, beautiful machine

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    Cookies, espresso, and a wrist-wrap provided fortitude for a long day's travel
    #80
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