On a roll

Trip Start Jul 17, 2012
1
5
18
Trip End Nov 30, 2012


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Flag of United States  , Montana
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Easy ride from Fraser Lake to Jasper pausing only in Prince George to get inner tubes, tyre levers and CO2 canisters. It must have been dull as managed over 60mpg at one point which for a fully loaded large capacity bike is exceptional. During afternoon passed Mt Robson and entered the Jasper National Park and managed to find a hotel pretty quickly in the centre of town which was lucky as the place seems very busy. Checked in for 2 nights as needed a day off the bikes. Town is smaller than I expected but very picturesque with the rockies in the background and we've been treated to clear skies and warm weather. Expedia’d our next stop – Radium Hot springs, which will be the last night in Canada, and booked a room so we have somewhere to aim for. Looking forward to the Icefield Parkway. Spent an hour or so uploading photos and JB has been trying to find a charger for his TomTom because his on bike charger is playing up. First night spent in a sports bar watching the last of the olympics – very impressed with team GB – especially the sprint kayaker ! Our medal haul seems to have been great – and I’ve got about 28hrs of highlights shows to watch when I get home !! Second night had an evening sampling the Canadian beer while we watched the closing ceremony – Dead Man beer - 7.5% - very nice from what I remember. Had a discussion with the barmaid and some of the customers as to whether Oasis were from Ireland or Manchester ! Quite good not having to think about the bike for a day or two.

    Leaving on route 93 the next day we spent all morning cruising and taking photos through the Icefield Parkway which is all inside the national park. Awesome scenery – especially the Columbia icefields and the Athabasca Glacier.  Overnight stop in Radium Hot springs was our  best accomodation yet. A small cabin, bikes right outside and a view of the mountains from the deck. Sunshine and 28C too so quickly dried out and repacked the tents which were still soaked from Stewart. Feeling good before crossing into Montana !

    The morning was a quick run along the Kootenay valley and a quick fill up with fuel and spend the last of our Canadian currency. Smarties, Tortilla chips and orange juice fully stocked up the crossing into the US took about 10 seconds although the officer seemed to have had a sense of humour bypass. Into Montana the commercialism was a bit of a shock after the isolation and big scenery of Canada. Whatever you need you can get hold of it even in fairly small towns- well in this part of Montana anyway. Pie, Doughnuts, Milkshakes and Coffee retailers seem to be the mainstay of the local economy.

    Next we gained entry to the Glacier National Park - $12 each covers a week - and then joined the Going to the Sun Road. It's about 50 miles of 'two lane blacktop' that I've been looking forward to riding. No sooner had we started though and we turned off into the Apgar campsite. Bit different to UK sites - all allocated spaces, fire pits and picnic tables as well as storage bins to keep food away from the pesky bears. Got a site (not that easy in Summer) and they even threw in 32c weather, no wind and no rain ! These are things I have not previously encountered when putting up a tent ! Went for a little wander and stumbled across a huge glacial lake with mega views. Hired a little boat and did the tourist thing and went for an hours spin. Rule 9 was don't swim from the boat. That was never going to be kept to so I jumped straight in. It was hilarious when JB 'forgot' how to select neutral or how to steer so he kept just burbling past out of arms reach going in circles. I shouted I was drowning but I think he actually had forgotten. Eventually I managed to drag myself back on board using all my inconsiderable strength. Oh, how we laughed ! Well, come to think of it it was just JB laughing. Found a shop and supplemented dinner with Cherry Ale. Trying to get to sleep and the thunder and lightning started ! Drizzle all through the night but stopped at day break. Another wet tent to pack away. On the bikes we went up the Logan Pass - phenomenal views even in the low cloud and single digit temperatures. Down the other side of the national park and an uneventful run across northern Montana. It was the non commercial side this time - vast spaces and lots of ranches. I can see why it is called 'big sky country'. A few bikes around - and even the Harley riders wave. Stopped to top up the oil and within seconds a couple had stopped to check we were ok. Overnight stop in a Days Inn in the state capital Helena - doing the blog and planning our foray into Yellowstone..
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Comments

Mark on

Looking good, but your biggest fail is the lack of stickers on the panniers!

cristina baker on

Love the dog on the bike!!! Glad to know that you are finally getting some lovely weather.

v5rcb
v5rcb on

Yep, lot hotter now - and no rain at all today ! We have bought stickers - unfortunately they don't stick to mud !
Rob

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