The Great Canadian Motorcycle Adventure - August 2009

August 13- 23 2009
Rapid City, South Dakota to Jasper, Alberta and back in 13 days. (3400 miles) This is what I bought the motorcycle for and everything I have done with it has been leading up to this trip.
This will be unlike anything I have done before, but this will be my real adventure, not an arm chair one, watching Ewan and Charlie!
My Plan is to post every evening of the trip that I have internet access.
I have 3 days of work to do on my way to Rapid City, so I will be leaving with the trailer on August 10th

PRE-TRIP REPORT August 8th and 9th

The Trailer arrives

The bike waiting patiently to be packed. (above)
The packing is fairly quick and easy. My lightweight backpacking skills mean I do not need much. (below)

All packed up! My riding gear is in the orange duffle, so when I am on the bike that bag will go away.

In honor of the US to Canada, and hopefully back ride, the cases are sporting the country flags on both sides

Bike packed away and tied down in the trailer. Might be a side story for later, (hopefully not!) but I borrowed the trailer from a friend who lives in Wisconsin, they do not require license plates or registration of trailers... hmmm. Lets see how far I get...

Continued Pre-Trip Report

August 11th
30 hours to go and I finally arrive in Rapid City. It was a lovely evening

Part 1 & 2 Rapid City SD to Helena MT

DAY 1 and 2 Rapid City SD. to Helena MT.
I stayed the night before Day 1 at Barry and Saundra's house in the black hills and they have the most spectacular deck and view from that deck toward the black hills is so great, I could sit out there all day, every day.

The morning of the departure. The bikes sit waiting to go.

We all met in Rapid City to gas up and we are off. After a brief 30 miles on Hwy 90 we turn off on Hwy 34 toward Belle Fourche, and our first stop for breakfast.


We then took 212 from Belle Fourche into Montana and a spectacular ride in sunshine through Custer National Forest, Northern Cheyenne and Crow Indian Reservations, past the Little Big Horn National Monument, then onto Hwy 90 again into the outskirts of Billings MT.

Lunch time in Laurel, MT at Little Big Men. The burger was excellent.
We cross the Yellowstone river and get into great mountain ranges. Absaroka, Bridger Ranges.

We pass Custer National Forest, Beartooth Wilderness. You can see Crazy Peak 11,214 in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. We go through Bozeman and turn onto Hwy 287 toward Helena. We ran into some brief weather with 50 mph winds that had me wondering if I was going to stay up and some brief rain and blowing dust.

We arrive in Helena. 560 miles in 11 hours and 30 minutes.

Dinner at the Moonlight Restaurant is not a success. After a long day on the bike it take almost 3 hours to have dinner and some of the dinners ended up on the floor. Barry and Saundra meal was dropped but oddly remained on the floor for about an hour. I can not recommend the Moonlight!

But the sunset was great.

Early in the morning I went with Barry and his brother and sister in law to watch the demolition of the smelter smoke stacks. This holds a lot of sentimental value for Barry and his brother Jim as they both had been employeed by the smelting plant

Thousands of people showed up starting at 5:30 am to watch the show, scheduled to start at 7:30 am

The stacks before

a few minutes before demolition they started to pour tons of water on the site

It only lasted a few seconds and now.. no more stacks

The weather was the big event on day 2. It seemed to change constantly. sunny for while and then stormy. the clouds lingered low on the hills all day

We spent the rest of the day out at Barry's families home on Canyon Ferry Lake, which is a damed portion of the Missouri River. The view from Van and Peg's house could not be beat. they are tremendously nice people and great fun was had by all. Lots of drinking and BBQ.

The weather was again very changing and cool ( around 60 for most of the day). It was fun to watch from the deck of their home. I am not sure the same will be said as we head out of Helena on day 3.

The entire gang at Van and Peg's- Photo by Kelli Shaw

Rain show at Canyon Ferry Lake

Part 3 Helena MT to Kalispell MT

Day 3
Helena, MT to Kalispell, MT. Day 3 has our first real ride of the trip. After a well deserved day off and great fun at Van and Peg's in Helena, we hit the road. The weather started out cooperating, but it was a different story later on!

The first great scenary comes as we take 279 out of Helena and top out at Flesher Pass. You can see a long way!

The pack stops to stretch and take photos

Saundra and Barry and Brian and Kelli (Kelli is Saundra and Barry's daughter and is following behind us on this trip in her car and acting as support vehicle and Brian is her husband)

Marty, Victor and Leslie and Kelly with her back to the camera.

Brunch stop in Lincoln, MT. the famous Lambkins of Lincoln.

the gang has a combination of Breakfast and Lunch. I have a Rue-n. that is a Rueben with out the sauerkraut.

Beer stop is Holland Lake Lodge. A fantastic lodge with great views of the surrounding hills and my first glimps of Glacier National Park

Barry hold court at the stone fireplace, pontificating about this and that.
Mark watches and smiles and our fury friend waits to pounce! I had a huckleberry soda.. it was delicious.

The entire gang. Photo by Kelli Shaw

Holland lake and hills beyond

Glacier National Park

Snow in Glacier

222 miles and the bikes and us arrive in Kalispell, MT and the Holiday Inn Express

The Day ended at Moose's Saloon. This was recommended by Daddy. It did have excellent pizza and beer.
Support Our National Parks - Preserve - Protect - Enjoy