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.
Bikers really know how to party.
NMBL and I both quit the party early last night. Neither of us drank much. We enjoyed good conversation, good music, and the company of some new friends. But we wanted to have a good ride in the morning. Everyone we talked to said that the 31A from Kaslo to New Denver was a great ride but to be careful. There are bears, deer, tight corners, and rough roads. Pay attention is what we were told. We wanted to be on our game.
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.
Wow! And we thought yesterday was good. Now that we’re back in B.C. the rides just keep getting better. We were told that the Kootenays offered some of the best riding in the Province but I don’t think either of us was prepared for this.
NMBL and I had the usual casual morning consisting of breakfast, coffee, and a leisurely tear down of our camp. We packed up the bikes and hit the road for another day of fun but relaxed riding. It was that and more!
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”
When you live in the mountains they are just always there. Omnipresent. Unmoving. You navigate by them. Hike them. Ski them. And, when the vast majority of your home Province is defined by them, you can take them for granted.
Then you leave home, riding through mountains to visit flatter lands. You’re still in your home Country, but not your home Province. The roads are straight. There is a horizon. The sky goes on to eternity. Nothing breaks the straight line marking the curve of the earth and, while it has a certain beauty, it feels… odd. Like there’s not enough topography.
Continue reading “Mountains”
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.
What a great night!
NMBL and I both slept very well at Waitabit Creek campground. It’s a wonderful site. We feel guilty mentioning it because more people may want to go. Still, it’s worthy of mention. We woke up to a beautiful sunrise in the mountains with the creek talking to us as coffee was made, breakfast served, and cleanup done. The water of the creek is a vibrant turquoise blue which just glows in the morning sun. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the day.
Continue reading “Caution Elk and Truck Tires”
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.