Friday, August 26, 2011

The odd couple rides again - Into the Rocky Mountains

We were hoping that this would be the day where the 'real' riding started.

After a good night and a nice chat over breakfast a guy who also rides (and who's family was really looking to leave the hotel but he was intent on chatting with us for a good 10 minutes) we got ready to go.

The KLR was down on oil again, a theme on this trip. I'll be doing something about that over the winter I think.

I also managed to get some grease on my visor when cleaning it in the hotel sink the night before and couldn't see much when facing into the sun. Which, when you're heading east in the morning, is pretty much all the time ;)

Alpine summit lake on the way to Creston

For anyone who read my trip report from '09 you may recognize both the lake and this guy (or his grandfather ;) )

Once we were through Creston I was as far east as I've ever ridden in Canada.

We stopped in Cranbrook for some lunch and to get my my daily supply of oil for the KLR

Jerry and I tried a bit harder this year to not just go to chain restaurants, but instead to visit the one-off diners and small restaurants we found along the way.

Riding out of Cranbrook and getting a good look at the Rockies for the first time, it's pretty amazing. I couldn't really find "just the right place" to stop for a photo, so we kept pushing on.

Traffic got a bit hectic before Fernie. And it got to me. So I decided some passing was in order just to maintain my sanity. Jerry decided that he didn't always want to follow (not enough power left in the 954 perhaps?! ;) ). Anyway, we stopped in Fernie to let Jerry gas up.

Lots of mountain biking and heli skiing around Fernie from what I understand

Then it was onto the crows nest pass. The wind was blowing pretty good, which isn't the most comfortable on the KLR and Jerry once again stretched the Honda's legs, so I pulled over to take a few shots of the crossing into Alberta:

BC behind us:

Just up the road we encountered the 'Frank Slide'

All those rocks came from this mountain on the other side of the highway:

Many people are still buried under the rocks.

We turned south in Pincher Creek. Now, if we'd been smart we would have stayed at the hotel we spotted there (they had a water slide, which should have tipped us off). But, we decided to push a bit further, after all there were a number of 'dots' on the map that seemed to be about the same size.

Twin Butte ... had nothing.

We stopped south to get some rest at this amazing spot where we were looking over the high plains, to the Rockies in Montana:

We were getting pretty tired and hung out for a while, so I took more photos

When we got into Cardston, the 'better hotel' according to the person we asked at the gas station, looked flee and potentially rat infested and you couldn't pay us to stay there.

From this angle you can't see the drunk slumped in the doorway

Only one thing to do, head further east and back north (very much the wrong direction) to Lethbridge. It was a tough decision. But I think the right one. A giant almost hour long straight stretch.

Eventually we found a decent clean Super 8 with a bar walking distance (i.e. next door).

Day 2 had some nice scenery, but still none of the hard-riding roads we came for.

Maybe tomorrow?

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