Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Carlsbad, CA and Los Cabos, Mx
Ok, sorry I've been lagging, part two...
September 13 we crossed into Canada at Kingsgate. What a fantastic ride up highway 95/93 passing lakes and rivers of incredible beauty. Amazing sight for a parched Southern California boy. And somehow the Canadians have figured out how to keep water in their lakes. Go figure! I also couldn't believe that I had come all this way on my scoot. Turns out it is an excellent ride for this sort of thing. Would never have considered it if I had not read accounts of long journeys here on burgmanusa.
We made the right turn at Radium Junction on 93 and into the national park. This was undeniably the most beautiful valley yet. Some of the rivers were a light milky green like I've never seen. It just got better and better with stunning mountain views on both sides, my head on a swivel. At last we approached Banff and pulled of the side of the road to marvel at enormous tilted slab of a mountain that defines the area. It was getting late in the day so we made our way to the campground near town and were very pleased to see there were tent sites available. Even though we were at the end of the season there were still a lot of campers and town was hustling. Next time I will make a reservation. After setting up camp we rode into town to the Irish Pub for a spendy night of food and drinks. Well, we deserved it! Back to camp well sated, we slept well again.
WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!!! That is what is says in my journal on the page dated September 14. Bob decided to explore town for the day but I was determined to experience the Icefields Parkway that runs up the big valley to Jasper. Knowing that I had to get back to Banff that day I rode up as far as the border line between Jasper and Banff National Parks, a 240 mile RT. Every few miles on this ride you are compelled to pull over and stop to gaze at utter magnificence. And the fun thing is that you are stopping with the same people who are doing the same drive as you. So you kind of become friends, swap cameras and take photos of one another. The mountains, glaciers, rivers and lakes were the most awe inspiring geology I have ever seen. Teal green lakes like giant reflecting pools, craggy mountains with brilliant white glaciers rising up beyond belief to meet the sky, all had me slack-jawed with delight. This was the big payoff, the highlight of the trip. I will be back, and I will bring my wife next time. Couldn't stop thinking about how much she would enjoy it.
The next day we said our farewells to Banff and headed off west on Canada Highway 1. The turnoff west is very close to Lake Louise which is one of the gems of the whole region. There is a very large hotel right on the lake that at first seems a little incongruous, but it is all very well done and allows for a lot of folks to experience the beauty of the area. What a view from all the rooms!
We thought after we exited the Banff National park that we would be done with the glaciers and such for the trip, but wait a minute, we still had Canada's Glacier National park to drive through. More and more amazing vistas this day. At long last we made our way down into a long valley to Revelstoke and on to Sicamous (Sik a moose?). There we made a left turn to the south on highway 97A down through the Okanagan.
Our original intent was to go west to Vancouver and over to Victoria before heading south. But a rainstorm was coming in from the Pacific and we chickened out. Neither Bob nor I has any real experience driving in the rain. It never rains in California as the song says. So south we would run, along the lee side of the Cascade Range.
After riding about 260 miles that day we found a nice little RV/camp ground along the river in the little town of Enderby. We walked along the river to "downtown" and had a great sushi dinner in a little old converted house. Perfect end for the day, except they didn't have a liquor license. More cocktails in camp.
To be continued.......