Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bonus Panorama Image

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Monday, August 10, 2009

In conclusion, I would like to conclude

The short story of our trip:

On June 26th, 2009, Scott and I each hopped on our own Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycles and left Edmonton. We rode  through the Canadian prairies, northern Ontario, and up through Montreal. We came into northern New Brunswick, and spent a couple weeks exploring the Maritimes, including PEI and 8 days in Newfoundland. Then we drove through Maine, New Hampshire and other states to Brooklyn, New York City. Crazy on a motorcycle, I'll gotta say. We came back to Ontario for a day through Niagara Falls and re-entered the states at the Sarnia/Port Huron Blue Water Bridge. Several days (and states) later, we got to Mount Rushmore. Then we visited Yellowstone National Park, rode the "Going to the Sun" road in Montana, and came into Canada (the border guard said "What is this, the Wrong Way Around*?" Up through Banff and back home to Edmonton.

All our posts are now reverse chronological, so you'll have to start from somewhere around here and work your way to newer posts to read the whole thing from the start.

*A pun on Ewan McGregor's "Long Way Around" motorcycle journey.


Provinces/States (26):
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
New Hampshire
New York
New Jersey
South Dakota

Quarts of Oil Consumed:
Scott - 6
Marc - 22

Distance Travelled:
16,686 Km
10,368 Miles

Accommodation nights:
Camp - 22
Motel - 9
Other - 5

Souvenirs bought:

Average Km/day:

Moose spotted:
A dozen or so

Half Dozen

Bald Eagles:

A whole bunch

Acquisition and consumption of home-baked goods:
(special thanks to Erin, Nancy Cook and Scott's Aunt)

Dropped Bike:
Scott - 3
Marc - 3.5

Hats acquired:
Brought 2, Acquired 4, Lost 2.

Approximate trip cost:
$67 (Canadian) per day.

Legal costs:

35mpg (US gallon)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The last day of fun

So once again (yay!) we doubled up. This time from Banff all the way home to Edmonton. A very long ride. Scott left his bike and every bit of all our gear at the side of the highway. This day of riding started at 6:30am because we were "questionably-legal-camping" the night before and had to abondon camp post-haste.
This is fun!

So this is the tire that we were doubled up on. For about 5 hours we both feared it'd shred to pieces beneath us. But it made it home.
This one didn't make it home. This is the inside of the tire. The tube was a melted goop-mess.
So we packed up in Edmonton at midnight and headed back to Banff to retrieve Scott's bike.
We were tired. Riding all day (8am to 10pm) and driving all night (11pm to 9am) takes it's toll.
We're crazy. Please don't lick the broken KLR.

Upon returning to our home Country

Getting back into Canada looked like this. Wet.
Scott is rain-soaked happy!
This is the only picture I took along the Spray Lakes route. This was likely the best 60km section of the whole trip. it ends right at Canmore. The riding was simply too good to stop for. The views were like no others. And we saw three moose.
In Banff, shoulder riding with a flat tire. Remember that old saying "a motorbike trip starts with a bag full of luck and and empty bag of experience... you hope the experience bag fills up before the luck bag empties." Well, I think we broke even. Scott's tire lit on fire and melted because of the tire sealant.

Going to the Sun

"Going to the Sun" road in Glacier Park, Montana. This is a fairly famous, fairly crowded road. If you ride a motorcycle within 10 hours of this road (as in, Edmonton) you must roadtrip here. The road was completed in 1932.

This is called "the weeping wall." Basically a waterfall that goes directly onto the road. If you get close enough you get wet!
Steep but wide part of the road with a very good view.

You can see how the road follows the edge of the cliff.
Bicycle flavoured!
Cheese flavoured!

Skalkaho Pass

Tucked away somewhere in the Montana is a twisty gravel closed-in-winter mountain pass called "Skalkaho." We rode it.
There are no directional (arrows) signs nor speed limit signs.
Looking down. If you swerved off the side of this road, you'd never ever get your bike back. And you'd be dead. Simply riding this road can give you vertigo.
Switchback. Don't take these too fast!
We found a waterfall halfway through the pass. Scott was waterfall happy!

The pass ended with banked S turns perched on the edge of a very steep slope. Don't worry, I had both hands on my handlebars.


So in Wyoming we got arrested.
When the pigs try to git at you, drop it like it's hot!
Scott practicing. Shootin' skinny beer cans.
A big smile for a big cinnamon bun.
Huge switchbacks. Loves it!
I went there!

Yellowstone National Park

Coming into Yellowstone we got a little wet, but this day we were just passing through. The next day was for exploring, and it turned out to be mint conditions.
I hate to use the word epic yet again, but that this sunset was.
This is the "Grand Prismatic Spring." It's a big colourful hole. I really really liked it. One of the highlights of Yellowstone. 
Another hole.
Scott fell into this, and I haven't seen him since.

The four corners of the earth. Wait... what?

14 alt

We rode Highway 14 Alt (Wyoming) to get into Yellowstone. It is a breathtaking mountain pass with open cattle ranges throughout, and it is closed in the winter. 
The bikes literally chug for oxygen at the top. You could see FOREVER from the top. Have you ever seen forever?
This is Scott standing at the edge of the world.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What happened today

So a live update now that we have wifi and have updated ya'll of the last few days.

First we rode in over 35 degree celsius heat through South Dakota Prairies. These massive grasshoppers were everywhere by the hundreds. My boots wet with guts and shins kinda bruised (through motorbike pants!) Getting one just below the adam's apple at 120km/hr was both hilarious and painful.
Went to Mount Rushmore. Took a picture. Had fried pickles in Custer, South Dakota. The highway from Custer to the Wyoming border was one the the twistiest and funnest roads, yet.

Barely dodged (okay, we got a bit wet) that cool looking storm back there. The helmetless Harley riders in tank tops (there are hundreds of 'em) like to comment on our gear: "Packin' lots of gear, are ya?".... yes. We are packing lots of gear. And we are comfortable and dry and laughing while we pass you in the storm.

The plan for tomorrow is to specifically ride roads that are closed during the winter, the arrive in Yellowstone National Park with enough time to explore.

A trucker I met said: "I'd tell you to keep the shiny side up, but your bike's not too shiny. Keep the scratchy plastic side up!"