Wow, day 6. I’m just now more than 10% done with this trip. I still can’t wrap my brain around that much time yet. I awoke to a beautiful blue sky this morning. My spirits were high after a good night sleep and days of being surrounded by mountains. The sun was shining brightly; it looked warm. I suspected it would be a bit of a trick as I looked out the window, and I was right. When I opened the door to start loading the bike, the cold air snapped at my face. I drew a smiley face in the frost covering the bike. I don’t like being cold, but I’ve learned how to avoid it (most of the time) while riding.
After I got the bike loaded up, I went to the nearest ATM and finally got some Canadian money. yay! It was a relief to finally have local currency. The Canadian money sure is pretty all different colors compared to the very recognizable green of the US.
I left Cranbrook and headed north towards the beautiful snow covered mountains. Yes, they are all around me now. I just can’t get over how the scenery has just kept getting better day after day on this trip. It can’t possibly continue like this all the way to Alaska. The awesome scenery department in my brain is already on overload. I’m sure my helmet is tired of me muttering “whoaaa” and “wooow” over and over too. Did I mention I like the mountains?
I decided today would be a short day. I wanted to spend some time off the bike, and not have any pressure to “get somewhere” specific. On on vacation, and for the first time every I have time. Time to do whatever I want. Just like those awesome round-the-world riders. I’ve already forgotten what day it is, and the constantly changing time zones are doing a good job screwing up my sense of time-of-day. Dusk at almost 10pm doesn’t help either. lol. I set my sights on Banff and locked in a cheap room before I set off on an easy 250km ride.
This was my morning snack spot. (my ode to someone’s pink crocs). it was nice to sit back and relax.
The roads were quieter than yesterday. More like Day when I was on Hwy12. Not many cars passed. It was nice. I was just cruising along trying not to get drool on my clava. I started the day with my heated coat and grips going, but turned them off as the sun was keeping me warm. I was also stopping frequently for photos and just to gawk which also warmed me up.
I saw lots of critters today. First these little guys running around one of the rest areas.
Then these guys at the next one:
I also saw way too many deer.
I needed gas, so I stopped in Radium. I’m still trying to guess what is a good price for gas and convert CAD/liter to USD/gallon. Doing some quick math on my $1.49CAD/liter in Radium it works out to about $5.75USD/gallon. Yikes! OK, it was 91, but 87 was only a couple cents cheaper. I’m scared to look at the prices in Banff. I want the $1.32CAD/liter I paid yesterday which is $5.05/gallon, or the less than $4/gallon in Idaho. I understand why the guidebooks say to buy as little gas as possible in Canada. So expensive!
Near the gas station in Radium was this bizarre house:
The route today was to take me on 95/93 through Kootenay National Park. Google mentioned there was a toll. At first, I was going to go around, but then I did a quick search on the internet and changed my mind. I’m glad I paid the $9.80CAD to ride through. It was great. Sweeping road in very good condition through beautiful mountain scenes. It was the best part of my day. Sitting on the scenic overlooks or on the banks of the Kootenay River eating a snack. There were very few people around, so I usually had the road to myself along with almost every stop.
One of the things I like about Kootenay is that it is only 5km wide on either side of the road.
This is my lunch spot:
Almost all the things to see can easily be seen from the road or by a short walk, and by short I mean a block or two. No hiking involved. I found snow in several places too. None on the road, but plenty of it off the road the closer I got to Alberta and Banff.
My Sidi OnRoads make good snowboots thanks to the lug sole.
A walk through this:
Lead to this:
My sense of time is off. I arrived to early at the hotel to check in. One of my clocks was on the wrong timezone, so I went to the restaurant I wanted to try. I arrived just in time to watch them close for the afternoon break before dinner. bah! I ended up wandering around “downtown” Banff. It was nice to walk around in normal clothes for a change; I was able to leave my moto gear at the hotel front desk. I ended up walking for longer than I needed to, and further than I wanted, but I enjoyed it.
Found the plastic speedo-cable holder broke, so I ziptied it to the break line. first bike “issue” so far.
My favorite pics of today, so hard to choose. There are so many. Seriously look at the full flickr album for today. All via a very short walk through the snow.
One side of bridge:
The other side:
Slowed the shutter to blur the water. Gorgeous spot I had all to myself.
Life is good. As I write this, I’m looking out the window watching the light fade on one of the snow covered mountains. I could easily stay here another day.
Tomorrow is the icefields parkway, lake louise, and all the other goodies I can find on the way to Jasper.
Thanks for all the support and comments. :)
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Looks like a great trip you're having. The scenery is spectacular! I'll keep following your journey all the way.ReplyDelete
I wish I could get gas for even those Canadian prices. Over here in the UK we're paying the equivalent of $8.87USD per US Gallon.
Thanks for the support! The scenery is amazing. Some of the best I have seen in my life.Delete
Yes, UK and europe pay even more than Canada :( I paid $6.42USD/gallon today.
The scenery is breathtaking; your photos are such a visual treat! I still think you have some magical powers to get the amazing shots you get. Thanks for the great posts; I get to travel virtually! WOOT!ReplyDelete
I don't think I have magical powers. lol. Thanks for coming along.Delete
Following your blog is a good way to start the work day here in Texas. Thanks for the pics.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the comments. I enjoy reading them while eating dinner :)Delete
I'm smiling ! Those are great photos of the water and the waterfalls. I remember when we were there the last time it was in July, and there were flakes of snow coming down at Peyto Lake.
If you decide to stay in Jasper, go to Lake Moraine, the view is better than that famous Lake Louise photo with the Glacier in the background. There were big horn sheep on that road, plus stop at the "Salt Lick", there are usually mountain goats there. After you leave Jasper you will pass Mt Robson, the highest mountain in the Rockies. You can't miss it, there will be a straight stretch the the Mountain "dead ahead", unless it is cloudy.
When You get to the Columbia Glacier, ride that road on the left and you will see "markers" showing where the Glacier use to be. It has receded a lot in recent years.
Wow! Two boot photos . . . you're learning . . .
Riding the Wet Coast
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I didn't stay in Jasper. too expensive. double the prices in Banff. Lake Moraine was closed. Several feet of snow blocking the road.Delete
I did see big horn sheep today along with a pile of other critters.
I probably saw Mt Robson, I saw a lot of tall mountains peaking through the clouds.
near blizzard conditions at columbia, so I didn't take any detours. next time I guess.
I am very impressed by your trip! I love that everything seems as good as you dreamed it would be. I am really enjoying being an observer. Your site is wonderful for this as well. I check frequently to see where you are on your map. Your trip brings back a lot of memories and though I want you to take forever getting there I am excited that you are going to my old hometown Fairbanks. GL mate and keep on having fun!ReplyDelete
Thanks! Not everything is as I dreamed, but things are going well enough. I'm glad you are enjoying the trip and blog. I find it fun to share the trip in this way. Makes it a more rich experience. I am excited to see Fairbanks as well. :)Delete
Looks like some awesome scenery you're riding through Chris...I live mountains as well don't you know?ReplyDelete
Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner
yesterday was awesome. today, I don't know how to describe. it was better than awesome.Delete
mountains are the best :)
Yeah... it was even more confusing the first time I went to Canada back when the USD was worth like $1.50 CAD ... and trying to find the "restroom" ... which.. brought weird looks from the storeclerk... to which I found out (at least then) it was the "washroom"... not that I was going to be washing more than my hands there. :) But the same can be said about resting and the restroom... but anyhow.. :) Those are some of the fun things I remember.ReplyDelete
Wonderful pictures! Someday I will see mountains like those up close... Blue ridge are nice, but something about the newer-rougher look of the Rockies....
lol. yes, there are a few other strange things about Canada. I didn't run into the restroom/washroom one yet, since I saw the sign, but thanks for the tip.Delete
The rockies have a rougher look yes. After today, I am very torn; the swiss alps are my fave, but these may make me reconsider. I think I need to visit Switzerland ASAP to compare haha
I miss the blue of the glacier water. Such beautiful pictures. You can't take a bad picture in the rockies.ReplyDelete
I bet you are having a great ride over the Ice Parkway. One of my favorite roads. We used to take that way to get to Edmonton.
the turquoise water is so beautiful. so nice to stare at.Delete
the ice fields parkway was amazing. in my top 5 roads ever list now.
wow, you took it regularly? nice. and you moved again why?? lol. I suppose the winters would get brutal up here.
WOW, great pictures!ReplyDelete
OK looking at those pics I see there are good reasons to go slow and look around. Noticed getting to Bismarck was taken care of expediently though;)ReplyDelete
I'm sold on munching meals by remote streams and looking at mountains. Honestly, I haven't done so much of that. You are giving me ideas. Lunch with Bison? Next thing you'll be messin' with Sasquatch!
yup, going slow has benefits of seeing more scenery; i also get better mileage which is a major plus when stations are very far a part.Delete
I am really enjoying the tasty hot meal in the middle of the wilderness when I want it. so easy and convenient.
Sasquatch? I hope not. I saw what he did to those other guys. lol!
Such a beautiful area. I can't wait to go back there.ReplyDelete
Brilliant pics. Been there many times. Sometimes I miss the Rockies. And while you have frost on the windshield I was down in warm and sunny New Zealand.ReplyDelete