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 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 Canadian Rockies: Days 1-5

Friday, July 22 to Tuesday, July 26—Novato, CA to Shingletown, CA; to Bend, OR; to Baker City, OR; to Moscow, ID; to Christina Lake, BC

Let me digress before I start telling you about what is obviously another journey on my motorcycle, and bring you up to date on my goal of reDeploying. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Days 13-14: The Everglades

Saturday, June 6—Leesburg, FL to Venice, FL

2015-06-06 13.34.14After a good night sleep and a great spinach omelet by Chef Rick, I headed south towards Venice, FL. It was another beautiful morning but with dark skies to the west…the direction in which I was headed initially. I was planning to leave around 1:00, but the threat of rain encouraged me to leave much earlier. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 6: Big Bend National Park

Saturday, May 30—Van Horn, TX to Sanderson, TX

New flash! It’s raining in Texas!

I rose early this morning in hopes of making a correspondingly early departure. Unfortunately, there was a thunder and lighting strike alert notification on my weather app, so it made sense to wait out this relatively small storm for an hour. When I left clouds filled the sky and the road exhumed the smell of dampness that one can only associate with a downpour. I was undecided about taking the short or long route to Big Bend National Park. The decision didn’t come until I literally hit the fork in the road. Based on the direction of the storm, I decided on the long route to get as far away as possible from any chance of a lighting strike. It rained for about ten minutes, then the clouds moved on. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 5: White Sands

Friday, May 29—Las Cruces, NM to Van Horn, TX

Approaching White Sands Missile Range

Approaching White Sands Missile Range

It was a short ride over the Organ Mountains into the White Sands area. I hadn’t planned on it specifically, but decided to go to the White Sands Missile Range. Two young men with smiling faces calling me, “Sir”, greeted me! They then escorted me into a visitors clearing center, did a quick background check, and issued me a visitor’s pass. One of their colleagues was wearing a hat declaring, “I love Jesus,” and a shirt defining “Sacred Heart” on the back. He was all-in! Continue reading

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