Monday, September 10, 2007

Motorcycle Camping

In order to enjoy your camping you have to pack your bike to the nuts with all the things you may need to make life comfortable. Saddlebags, trunk, and a tank bag can accomodate a lot of your stuff, plus you can pile more on top if need be. Thats where a good supply of bungee cords or cargo netting strap comes in handy.
When planning for motorcycle camping, smaller is better and most camping outlet stores have smaller items that are perfect for motorcycle camping. One burner stove, small lantern, folding fry pan, pots with folding handles, paper plates and plastic cutlery will all do the job for you. Think small and buy accordingly and you can pack everything you need.

I even manage to carry a fold up camping chair with me, because one my pet peeves is that when you arrive at the campsight the only place to sit is on the ground or at the picnic table.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Logan Pass-Going to the Sun Highway

[Click on pictures for full size version]
Ian, Darcy and I met up at Grants house in Calgary and started our five day-three-state-two province tour which would include Logans Pass, also known as "The Going To The Sun Highway".

With fresh faces and no lasting hang overs, we assembled the packed and ready bikes and crew for the obligatory line-up and photo op. Seems to be some one missing, never mind he is taking the photo.

We burned a lot of rubber heading south out of Calgary on Highway 2 heading for our lunch stop at Fort MacLeod. I held the big Silverwing back and took up the rear riding position as I expected to have to stop and pick up Yamaha and Harley parts along the way.

Nanton was our first breather stop where we could stretch our legs, scratch our butts and take a picture of an airplane on a stick.

After crossing into Montana, which has some of the best motorcycle roads on earth, we stopped to load the bikes with cheap beer, gas and smokes.

We entered Waterton National Park from the eastern side, stopped and had another photo op, after paying the $12.00 entry fee. I must have intimidated the attendant at the gate as he over charged me outrageously and then had to refund me twice.
The first few miles of the park are rather tame, but a scenic ride none the less.

This stopping point over looking the lake is your first hint of what is to come.

Lots of curves and twister's along the way but the amount of traffic thru the park curtails any canyon carving.

The road that was first blasted thru the mountains in the thirties slowly descends along some sheer cliffs and even the local mountain goats get nervous.

Lots of bike traffic carving its way past the tunnels and waterfalls along the route. Even if you had the road to yourself you would be going slow gawking at the marvelous scenery.

Lots of little pull offs to take a peek over the edge and shoot some pics.

Had a little construction delay that only amounted to about 10 minutes. Had to curtail my nasty smoking habit as there was a fire ban on with a no smoking in the park policy and the cruiser behind us looked ready to enforce the law.

Even the construction stopping spots offer up a great view. They were rebuilding some of the retaining walls.

Logans Pass has to be one of the most scenic rides you will find anywhere, with deep gorges and towering mountains.

After the pass and a night in Kalispel, we headed west towards Libby and Bonners Ferry, Idaho where we consulted the map and looked for the most scenic route.

Great stopping spots along the Thompson Lakes region on Highway 2, Montana.

North of Newport Washington where we found a great little road that took us back up to Canada. Highway 41 north is not a very heavily used road but it was a surprise to us as what a great motorcycle road it turned out to be, if you get the chance check it out.

We wimped out when we made it to Fernie B.C. and stayed in a motel for the night rather than taking a camping spot. In the morning a photo op presented itself and we indulged.

After getting back into Canada the ride to Creston B.C. was another great motorcycle road.

Last day heading home we stopped for a break, some were reluctant to come this route through the Crowsnest Pass as the last time we were thru here in September we were stopped two days in a motel with no power because of an early snow storm. Thankfully this year there was no snow and we made it through.

Just short of Longview Alberta we stopped to suit up as it had been threatening to rain and the low dark clouds ahead had lots of rain in them. We ended up riding the last two hundred miles home in a steady down pour.