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The Best Midlife Crisis We Could Think Of

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By-ways and Secondaries

Discovering the roads less traveled.

Riding the Monashees, Riding Home, and Wild Fires

We left Nakusp for the North Okanagan to visit with family. That ride took us through the Monashee Mountains along Hwy 6, through Cherryville, Lumby, and on into Vernon. On the list of great rides from this trip, we’re rating this one at number two just behind the ride along Hwy 31A from Kaslo to Nakusp. Going through the Monashees was a treat! There are some very tight high mountain turns along this road that deserve the reputation it has as one of the best rides in Western Canada. The asphalt relentlessly snakes along sheer mountain cliffs. There is one stretch that is 8km of nothing but curves non-stop. It was a magnificent ride.

Continue reading “Riding the Monashees, Riding Home, and Wild Fires”

Toad Rock: Serious Biker Culture

July 1. Happy 150th Canada.

Picture a biker in your head. A real North American biker. What do you envision? It’s likely a bearded guy on a Harley, wearing leathers, shades, and a beany helmet. He may have a woman riding behind him in the post seat. There are probably some sort of side bags on the bike. Maybe something that looks like a bed roll. Lots of chrome. And the bike is loud.

Now picture a few hundred of them. That is Toad Rock on the Canada Day long weekend.

Oh. A bit of a heads up about some of the charm of Toad Rock. There are dogs, a pig, and ravens. The dogs bark all night but keep the bears away. The dogs and pig are terrible thieves. The pig in particular likes beer. Secure your food and drinks. The ravens are just loud.

Continue reading “Toad Rock: Serious Biker Culture”

The Continental Divide

This trip has fewer days left in it than have passed but some of our best riding is still ahead of us. A big part of that is the 93 south through Radium and Cranbrook to Wyrie Lake Provincial Park. Right along the Continental Divide. A day of riding the Rockies; we’ll take it.

We woke up to clear skies at Bow River. After the usual breakfast and coffee we struck camp and headed out. The goal was to hook up with the 93 Interchange on the #1 west of Lake Louise. What we didn’t know at the time was that we could have continued along the 1A. Next time. We made a quick roll through Banff since NMBL had never been there. It’s crawling with tourists, ourselves included. 
Continue reading “The Continental Divide”

Fossils and Rides – A Day in Drumheller

We like natural history. We also like riding our motorcycles. Today we put the two together.

We’re in Drumheller, Alberta. It’s where you want to be for anything dinosaur in Canada. Drumheller is home to the world famous Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, a treasure trove of dinosaur fossils from the area. As I write I are am sitting on top of one of the largest fossil deposits in the world. That’s not hyperbole. Dinosaur fossils are pulled from the ground around here almost daily. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a natural offshoot of that embarrassment of riches.

Continue reading “Fossils and Rides – A Day in Drumheller”

On the Road Again

Willie Nelson has been going through my head the last few days. Darned ear worms. We’re sitting at our campsite near Donald B.C. relaxing for a bit. Saturday we set out on our three week tour through the Canadian Rockies and into the Prairies. The weekend was spent with family in the North Okanagan which always involves good company and good food. We’ll be back to visit them again towards the end of the trip.

Today took us along Hwy 97 north through Enderby and past Mara Lake. The ride was beautiful; I regret not putting the camera on my helmet for that stretch. We rolled on to the interchange with the Trans Canada, making our way east to Revelstoke. We were told about a great little coffee shop there called The Modern Café so, like the good west coast coffee snobs that we are, we made our way there. The Modern did not disappoint. They serve one of the best Americanos either of us has had! 
From Revelstoke we headed east. Our goal was to get to a place called Donald. NMBL had done some research and found a free B.C. Forrest Service campground called Waitabit Creek. This meant that we weren’t riding for as long as we had for most of our days on the road last year. Spending six or seven hours on a bike is hard work, especially when you go for two weeks straight. This year we decided to shorten our ride time each day. It’s so much better. Today was an enjoyable day of riding, going through the mountains and over the Rogers Pass. The campground was relatively easy to find and we got in at 2pm… that left us plenty of time to set up camp, have dinner, go for a walk, and meet some fellow campers. No stress! We didn’t go pillar to post leaving little time for anything else.

Continue reading “On the Road Again”

Danger, Disappointment, and Delight – A Long Weekend in Tofino

We love hammock camping! We also love riding our motorcycles so it’s no surprise that we planned yet another motorcycle hammock camping trip. This time we wanted to head to Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve for the Victoria Day long weekend. NMBL and I both took some extra vacation time as well, stretching our long weekend out by a few more days. Our goal: ultimate hammock-hang relaxation. It was mostly perfect. Continue reading “Danger, Disappointment, and Delight – A Long Weekend in Tofino”

Colorado Adventure Day Five: Ketchum and Beyond

We woke with the birds this morning. They were probably chirping madly to get warm! It was cold. There was frost on my bike cover. I’ll check the calendar but I was sure we were in July.

Our camp was struck quickly and made our way into Ketchum, home of the Sun Valley film festival. Starbucks, wifi, coffee. Outfitters.Socks and long underwear. Continue reading “Colorado Adventure Day Five: Ketchum and Beyond”

Colorado Adventure Day Four: Another Wrong Turn

Both of us woke up this morning completely refreshed. We had our best night sleep night’s sleep yet. The Boise National Forest along the north arm of the Payette River is beautiful. It reminds me a lot of the Fraser Canyon in BC… only narrower.

We struck camp and headed north on the ID-55 looking for the turnoff to get to the ID-21. Passed through Cascade and McCall, had a great lunch in McCall, got to a junction for the ID-95. The 55 ended there but no 21. We had gone too far north. And we lost about 2 hours doing it. It turns out we should have turned off just north of Banks and had actually passed the turn-off the night before just prior to finding our campground.  Continue reading “Colorado Adventure Day Four: Another Wrong Turn”

Colorado Adventure Day Three: Hurricane on the Hill

Day 3: DES Reporting

Last night was insanely windy. We were camped at Morgan Lake just outside of La Grande OR, a municipal campground on the plateau above the city. Blew my tarp off… temporarily lost 5 of 6 pegs. I found them in the morning but spent the night mostly awake trying to hold fly in place in case it rained. Ugh! The winds rolled along all night. We could hear them pick up before feeling them hit. They were at least kind enough to announce their coming. Continue reading “Colorado Adventure Day Three: Hurricane on the Hill”

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