The Long Ride Home

Tuesday, August 9—Idaho Falls, ID to Novato, CA

I arose at 5:45 am, needing to get Lisa to the airport to catch her flight to Kansas City. Since I was already up, I decided to head out early at 6:40 am. When driving from Idaho Falls to Novato, I would typically drive 445 miles and stop for the night in Winnemucca. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to end this day that soon. Continue reading

Ride the Canadian Rockies: Days 15-18

Friday to Monday, August 5 to 8— Jackson, WY to Idaho Falls, ID

The Wyoming sky was clear and a bit chilly this morning. I made plans for lunch so decided to take the most direct route from Jackson to Idaho Falls, over the Wilson pass into Victor, ID, down into Swan Valley, along the Snake River, and into town. It was a familiar ride, and I enjoyed reliving it.  Continue reading

Ride the Canadian Rockies: Day 14

Thursday, August 4— Gardiner, MT to Jackson, WY

As Lisa reminded me, it’s much better to visit Yellowstone National Park in the Spring or Fall when summer vacations and holidays are over, school is in session, and the park is relatively quiet. The wildlife are evermore in view, and, with fewer people around, seemingly in a more “natural” habitat. Continue reading

Ride the Canadian Rockies: Day 10

Sunday, July 31—Lake Louise, AB/Banff, AB

The past three days have been a spirit-filled experience. The Canadian Rockies are spectacular. (Even that word doesn’t come close to capturing it.) Continue reading

Ride the Canadian Rockies: Day 7

(TB) Thursday, July 28— Kamloops, BC to Prince George, BC



My riding buddy, Dave and I met Joker, a well-weathered man of average size, in April of 2007 in Dalhart, TX on our ride from Charlotte to San Francisco. He had long hair tied in a ponytail, and small eyes surrounded by wire-rim glasses. Hailing from Beaumont, TX, Joker and his wife, BJ, were on the penultimate day of a 10-day ride. His bike pulled a single-wheeled trailer that was a source of much pride. Joker was a writer for “Skunk Dots”—Texas’ Original Biker News. So we asked for some advice about riding in New Mexico, explaining that we were headed west on Route 66. Joker scowled, said we could go that way, then told us the old Santa Fe Trail was much better. We took his advice, headed northwest rather than southwest, up into the mountains near Taos, and finally on to Santa Fe. Joker knew what he was talking about…it was a beautiful ride.

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Wayne and Mr.  Québec

I met a fellow Harley-Davidson rider in front of the hotel this morning. He told me that his group of three was five days into their ride and had covered 2,800 miles in five days, or 560 miles/day. They travel mostly on freeways, and cover a lot of ground in an hour. I prefer smaller, scenic byways, which just takes more time.

I introduced myself, but the man, from Québec, only spoke French. He was riding a Can-Am Spyder, and pulling a trailer behind it. Another guest by the name of Wayne came out, and the three of us started a conversation about the three different models of Harley Davidson between us, and the pros and cons of three- versus two-wheelers. Wayne translated for Mr. Québec, who was really excited about his Spyder, and for good reason. It performs well, has great safety features, and blocks rainfall from hitting any part of his body. As for me, I like the freewheeling and lean of my two-wheeler.

2016-07-28 09.31.40Wayne asked me about my route for the day. I told him I was headed to Prince George by H97. He asked if I knew people in Prince George, as though that would be the only reason to go there. I responded no, that I was just taking a loop to the north and then southeast to get to the Rockies. He said I could go that way, but if I took H5 north to Little Fort, and then headed West on H24, I’d have a much more scenic ride. “Just be prepared for the climb,’ he said. In an instant I remembered Joker, his trailer, and good travel advice. So I decided to take Wayne’s and headed to H5.

2016-07-28 13.18.26The ride was quite peaceful and scenic. It wasn’t long after turning left at Little Fort that the Little Fort or Interlakes Highway took me quickly up to McDonald Summit at 4,103 ft., the highest of 4-5 passes I traversed today. From there I travelled by another series of lakes with spectacular views. Lac des Roches was particularly inspiring.

H24 intersected at its end with H97, and I headed north. This area is much different than the Okanagan Valley I travelled through yesterday. The surrounding countryside had shorter, more compact trees reminiscent of the area just north of Bissett, MB where my sons and I travelled by canoe when they were Boy Scouts. It was a nice stretch of road, but Wayne was absolutely right about taking the Interlakes Highway.

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Lynn and Claude

I went to check out the Harley store when I arrived in Prince George. I pulled up and, as I was parking, Claude and Lynn rushed of the door to greet me. I assumed it must be part of their great customer service strategy, but it seemed a bit aggressive. As it turned out, Claude (pr. “Cloud”), also from Québec, recognized my bike. I have #933 of 1,100 CVO™ Ultra Classic® Electra Glide® limited edition model made in 2013. Claude has #169. What are the odds that the two of us would meet in Prince George?

I decided to have a bit nicer meal for dinner, and went to North 54. It is a modern-looking Italian restaurant, and lived up to all of the positive Trip Advisor reviews.

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Capelli D’Angelo at North 54

Speaking of Prince George, I’ve now reached the northern most point in my journey. The sun set at 9:14 pm compared to 8:23 pm at home in California; and will rise at 5:19 am here versus 6:10 am in Novato. If I were to head back to Novato first thing tomorrow morning, and take the most direct route possible, it would take 21:51 to cover the 1,371 miles.

Route:                    H5, H97
Miles Today:         342
Time Today:         7:25
Total Trip Miles: 2,274
Weather:               Clear skies and cool at 70°F in the morning to 95°F in the afternoon.
Lunch:                   Dogs ‘n’ Suds
Lodging:                Carmel Inn
Dinner:                  North 54

Ride Canadian Rockies-Map-Days 6-7

Ride the USA-Day 4: Coronado Trail Scenic Byway

Thursday, May 28— Eagar, AZ to Las Cruces, NM

Today was another beautiful day with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50s when I headed south on the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway. I appreciate the weather over the past four days. I know I will likely face several rainy days as I move into Texas tomorrow.

You know it’s going to be a good day riding when the music starts with Feeling Groovy by Simon and Garfunkel followed by Go by MercyMe. Most everyone knows the first song. For those who don’t know the second song, here are its main lyrics: Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 3: Petrified Forest National Park

Wednesday, May 27— Seligman, AZ to Eagar, AZ

I met Jim, a fellow Harley rider from Pennsylvania, this morning. He and his wife had flown to Phoenix and rented a Harley to enjoy a little touring in the warm, dry climate. We had a nice chat about the bike he owns, the one he rented, and mine. As is typical in front of the cheap motels, the discussion ended in a man-hug and good wishes as though we’d know each other for years. Jim was headed back to Phoenix where he will meet up with his son’s family and go Grand Canyon National Park.

Speaking of the Grand Canyon, as I planned the routes for this trip I scheduled a short day today to create space for a much windier ride tomorrow. I thought about going to the Grand Canyon with the extra time I had in the schedule. Bit a new and good friend of mine, Chris, is a pastor in Flagstaff and I decided it would be more meaningful to connect with Chris. Continue reading