Destination: Banff, Alberta, Canada.
So many things to see along the way, so lets get to it.
First day we... headed north!! The first day of the trip is always the best. Full of excitement and promise of what's ahead.
Check out our lunch stop in Douglas, WY. Yes, it was yummy.
Had camp that first night all to ourselves, just outside the beautiful town of Red Lodge, MT. We had a good laugh riding through town looking at all the "no vacancy" and "campground full" signs, knowing where we were headed.
Karla will take you on a little tour of our free campground for the evening:
We had it all to ourselves
Check out the sunrise the next morning
More northward riding the next day, our destination was the border of Glacier National Park.
I love gravel roads!
Mind the cows...
I give you our campsite, in National Forest just outside Glacier National Park.
Nothing like beer,
a good meal,
and some great looking bikes
at a fantastic campsite!
The next day was Canada!! But first, Glacier National Park. I've been waiting my whole life to see this place and it didn't disappoint. Actually planned the whole timing of the trip around the opening of Going-to-the-Sun road in the park.
Of course with this incredible view you can bet what Karla was taking pictures of....
Saint Mary Lake, just before we left the park, was spectacular.
Ok so evidently Alberta is really cold!! No joke it was like stepping into an entirely different season. The cure? We found it!
Funny part was we were only one of several groups of bikers in there. All in search of heat, warm drinks and a chance to put on more layers.
Onwards to Banff!
Made it! Look at our beautiful hotel
Stock photo of our honeymoon suite
Dinner on our porch
With this view
First full day in Banff, couldn't wait to check out Lake Moraine. It's one of the more famous spots in the area and certainly didn't disappoint. I'll let the photos did the talking.
We arrived early, wanted to grab the first canoe out. Not a bad spot to wait.
The color of the water when the sun hit it was unreal.
What a paddle.
How about lunch in the flowers?
Back to our suite for a quick break before heading out to explore downtown Banff
Banff Ave Brewing Company, for some poutine.
This mountain captivated me throughout our entire visit
Day 2 was a big one. We'd booked a guided hike up to the Athabasca Glacier up on the Icefields Parkway.
There are only two ways to get up on the glacier.... Here's the option we passed on, I'm sure you can see why!
Cool to see, but certainly not our style. Instead, up we go!
That black ahead of us isn't rock...
Incredible to see the gouges in the rock left from the glacier
Tasty glacier water
The ice and snow pack up on the mountains above us were unfathomable, and it was late summer!
Time to head back down
There were these waterfalls that would drop down to the bottom of the glacier. I have no idea exactly how deep that hole is but I bet it's an incredibly long drop!
Back to the bikes
One last look before heading back south
Now that we didn't have an appointment to keep, we could take our time heading back down the Icefields Parkway. We made a promise to return so we could do the whole thing up to Jasper. There's only so much you can do in a short trip, and it was a lot colder than normal so we weren't quite prepared with the right gear for an all day ride in the low temperatures.
The Icefield Parkway is famous among motorcyclists and travelers for good reason!
The road follows the river waaaay down there
Many more glaciers and ridiculous snowpack can be seen from the road
Lunch along the Bow River, popped down this little two track
You almost don't know where to put your eyes
One last shot, then back on the Parkway
Stopped at one of the innumerable lakes along the Parkway. Wonder what's down here?
Of course you can guess what Karla's taking pictures of...
Almost home, one more stop
Note the color of the water in the river
Weather was looking a little iffy for our third day in Banff, so we opted to spend some time walking around the city and the trails nearby.
We found a farmer's market!!
Back down along the Bow River
My favorite mountain still in view
Lots of great places to walk and enjoy the cool day
If you've ever been to Canada you've probably had a good laugh at how different their signage is from ours. Here's a great example. LOL!! We had no idea what they were announcing as new, but it was clearly very important!
Found a great little spot for dinner on a back patio
Local honey for your pizza crust, just like back home in Denver
Great way to end a relaxing day
Our last day in Banff was warm (relatively) and sunny, perfect for another hike! Our hotel told us about this place, wait til you see....
See the walkway in the top right?
Look at the color
Didn't think it could get better, then came to this
You walk through that little cave
And get even closer
Hello little guy.
Incredibly clear water
Trail came off the water edge
Loved this waterfall
Well that was way more than we expected! So glad the hotel recommended it. Had lunch in the woods then back to Banff.
The afternoon was nice and sunny, so we opted to get back on the water. There was a nice watercraft rental place in town along the Bow River, we opted for a pair of kayaks.
Who's ready for a beverage?
Yum, from Calgary
Headed back up river to return the kayaks, and, well...
My favorite mountain again
Dinner tonight with the local produce and elk meat we purchased at the farmer's market and beer from Nelson, BC. SO GOOD.
It was time to head home, but thankfully we had plenty of adventure left. I'd heard great things about the Smith Dorrien Trail. It's about 40 miles of gravel that would take us south back to 40.
It did not disappoint!
40 miles of an incredible road like this, something we could have done but not enjoyed on our previous street bikes.
Next day we hit Lolo Pass, another famous motorcycle road. Here's why:
We camped at the north end of the pass and headed out early. Had the road entirely to ourselves. 99 miles of twists and turns along the Locsha River.
Usually this parking lot is pretty full of tourists and other riders.
Lunch break later that day
An incredible reservoir we stumbled upon on our last day.
Incredible trip. Can't believe as I'm posting this we're only 5 hours from Banff. We WILL be back this summer!!