We flew into Calgary arriving late in the evening and settled into the Comfort Inn after picking up a new Impala no bike this time and that was a good thing.
First thing in the Friday am we headed down to Glacier’s east gate which took over 3.5 hours at warp speed. No police anywhere.
Bonnie got these apps called Gypsy Apps for $5 each. It works over the phone bluetooth and over the car radio. Even if no signal on the phone it tells you what to see (everything) where to turn, park, where trail starts, how long and how steep it is as well as the narrator gives you history of everything as you drive, an AWESOME APP
So we got to hike down to waterfalls in the Going to the Sun Road, which means hiking back up afterwards, walk a Logan pass hike and turned around just before the end to ride the road going East (I liked the westbound views better) Mother nature was busy with many different kinds of beautiful flowers and as I said while riding we got to hear the history about different parts of the park and the people involved in “discovery and its building”
Bonnie took almost all of the pics for this post which I have downloaded from dropbox As an Herbalist, she loves flowers and has a good eye for picture taking
Here are some pics from the park
From Glacier we stopped for pie as I mentioned in an earlier post then back to the airport for a new car as ours had a big chip in the windshield. No charge as I paid the insurance (property only) up front.They gave me a full tank with the new car as well. Then off to Canmore where we bought some food in the supermarket and I got a six pack of rutting elk red that I drank over the next several evenings.
The road to Canmore, WOW just WOW Skies were clear and the mountains were so much better than anything you come up on in the states. They were not higher but the spread from road level to top of mountain was much more extreme. Thats the best way I can say it plus they were so close to us. From our room we had a terrific view of the 3 sisters mountains just a mile away from a 20 foot window as the unit at the holiday inn was a duplex
Saturday we rode to Banff, went to a neat hot spring cave, hiked a long steep switchback trail up to the top of Tunnel Mountain, hiked to some lakes and a waterfall, drove up some switchbacks to the top of another hill where we sat on some Adirondack chairs watching the valley and then walked around Banff having a decent lunch. Again the app made sure there were no wrong turns, parking was spot on and no surprises except for the views
Here are some of the pics from Saturday
I will update pics tomorrow for the rest of this blog
Sunday we drove to Lake Louise but could not park it was jammed so we rode to YOHO national forest in British Columbia. On the way over the continental divide we saw the spiral tunnels. Then hiked to a lake, some waterfalls, a humongous waterfall Takakkat, drove switchbacks, ate a great lunch at a cool tiny town called Field that was the site of a former roundhouse for train engines and then around 5 or 6 hit Lake Louise again getting a primo parking spot
Lake Louise was just ok, a real tourist trap with asians and indian people shoving each other to get selfies and endless pics of themselves We got out of there quick driving to the Morrain Lake down the road That was also mobbed with asians and indians with no manners so we got out of there and headed to a great dinner in Canmore. It rained on the way back and we were treated to magnificent rainbows that stretched huge across our view. Then once we got to the room another rainbow that lasted a good half hour bright in the sky over the 3 sisters mountains. Eventually there was the double rainbow which is simply a reflection of the 1st one as it is color reversed.
Monday after a nice breakfast at Craig’s family restaurant, we drove up 1 to the Icefields parkway.(route 93) This is a world class drive and it was the one day I wished I had my Valkyrie. Stunning views. Apathaca (sp) Glacier, Crowfoot glacier, Again the app told us exactly where to stop for killer views, no crowds except for the visitor center for the Glacier bus tour. We opted to drive across the road and hike up the path of the receding glacier. It was only about 200-300 foot vertical hike to the glacier but because of the running water at the base its not safe or possible to cross onto it. Fine we have been on Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter in Alaska we know its awesome.
The first pic below is from Bow Lake
The next 3 pics (appear in reverse order) which were taken at the big glacier field seconds apart show what it looks like and how fast weather can come upon you on top of a mountain
Since we had been unable to book a room in Jasper we had to drive to Hinton, the next town over. Only it was like 90 km east, a real dive compared to Jasper. As soon as we checked into the motel we went online, found a great room at even cheaper price in Jasper and arranged for next night in the Sawtooth in Jasper, Dinner that night was crappy so I had 2 of the beers I bought.
Tuesday we were told by the app to turn left, take a small winding road 20 minutes thru the woods and over a mountain or 2 to a hot springs They had a 102 and 104 degrees pools a 60 degree pool and one maybe 50 or so for cooling off. I really enjoyed going from hot to cold and back again. Around lunchtime we left for the hotel in Jasper, checked in and drove to downtown and spent hours walking around. We did not take whitewater raft as it was too late so if we ever return we will do that. Back at the hotel they had a big pool and hot tub so we spent some time there before walking to town and a terrific meal at Papa George’s where I had a elk-bison meatloaf with demiglaze and mushroom sauce that was spectacular Would have made one of the 10 best meals in memory if they had chocolate lava cake with ice cream for dessert
A highlight was meeting Carlos from Argentina, We posted his pic earlier SIX months so far on the road for the recently retired man on his GS 1200 adventure set up BMW. The screen over a light was gone as was his go pro mount. He said he fell a lot going to Barrow as the road was gravel sand and mud but he was smiling as he said it He had started by riding south to the tip of south america then north to Alaska and was on the way south. Between my fractured Spanish and his halting English plus sign language and maps I was able to turn him onto the Yoho forest, the waterfalls and other hikes that he said he wanted to try. Wish he had a blog I would love to follow his exploits
It was nice walking at 10 pm and still not dark. I thought about looking for northern lights but every night I fell asleep before total darkness, Guess I am getting old
Tuesday we rode back to Calgary on the Icefields parkway stopping lots of places including Bow Lake where we sat on the shore with our feet in the water (yeah it was freezing cold water) enjoying the flowers on the shore, the mountains in front of us and the glacier on top. If I return I will stay a night there even though its about 350 a night Canadian but hotels in Canada are pricey anyway. Sometimes the view out your window is worth it though
Canada does have hostels which are much cheaper but must be booked WAY in advance. Also there were hundreds and hundreds of CanadaRv’s of various sized and apparently all those RV parks were always full as well. We ran into a couple from Colorado Springs- the man was almost a dead ringer for Charliemac but without the pleasant personality of my friend, who had a 25 ft or so RV and was telling me of their travels
At the country store on 93 we stopped by the motorcycle parking area talking to some riders on 1200’s and 1600 bmw’s They were from Colorado and Texas, a few of them had those plastic gas cans on the back seats like Carlos did. We left before them and eventually they passed us doing 140kph. I know because I paced them for a while just to be sure. Since speed limit was 90 I soon backed off to 100 or so. No need to tempt fate on a relaxing vacation with the wife.
Once we made it back to Calgary we checked into the hotel (Comfort Inn) right next to the airport and soon drove over to meet Kevin (GryphonRider) and Sandra and had some good conversation with these nice folks, its pretty cool that wherever we vacation there seem to be really nice people in the VRCC family who want to sit a spell and we get to learn more about them, their lives and share good times. LOVE this club. About an hour or so later Terry (T-Man-403) showed up on his Valkyrie as well and joined us on the outdoor deck. Bonnie showed him the video she took of Bruce (DDT) getting Ali back and it was great watching his reaction. Bruce you are a charmed individual and we all have to hand it to Terry and also Tom, Mitcho and Troutdude who seem to always be there to help a brother out. Alas the dinner was so-so but the beer (it was after all Canada) was good and the friendship made up for any lack of excitement for the meal.
Flight home was only 4.5 hours and as is my custom after a trip we went to Orfino’s where I got some Veal Evan for dinner