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Old 8 Jul 2007
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 33
the bc/alberta "wild-thing" highlands tour commences

Going to do the bc/alberta rocky mountain parks tour.

After much heming and hawing about where to go this year (vancouver island is always favourate), I decided to visit all the incredible mountain parks that straddle the bc/alberta border. Many of these, I haven't visited in 20 some odd years (come to think of it, I've been married for 20 some odd years). We're talking: Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kottenay, Glacier, Revelstoke parks and the Kanaskas country.
This pretty well encompasses some of the most spectacular sights this country has to offer. The jumble of mountian passes, hotsprings, waterfalls, and plain old "If we get lost here, not even God is going to be able to find us" should sate my overwelming craving for the wild (O.K.,for the moment).
I do not look for people places when I travel. I look for the wild.
So, now, with only a day and a half till I plan to leave, the frantic rush to pack is on. What to take.... what to take.

The steed: klr650
Bedding - grab the heavier sleeping bag, the highlands get cold at night. The thermarest replaces the light closed cell foamy. Stuff a travel pillow in for comfort.
Clothing - 2 fleece pants, 2 river pants, 1 fleece shirt, 2 teeshirts, hat, touque, 1 pair heavy hiking boots, 1 pair river socks, my riding gear, (oops, remember the bathing suit this time).
Camping - tent, peak1 stove, 1 pot with cover, a spoon.
Food - some freeze dried, some gorp - stuff whatever else in you can, 2 liters of water and water treatment kit.
Other - bear spray, bug spray, mesh hood, sun screen, led flashlight, chain lube, tube patch kit, spare tube for rear tire, tool kit, first aid kit, compass, gps, one map showing all the fun bits, batteries (flashlight, gps, camera - all run on aa batteries), the camera dammit don't forget the camera this time, one bush knife, one swiss army knife, one multi tool.


The rest will have done be done without. Tires will be pressured up to 35 psi and rubber will hit road at 0530 Tuesday morning.

Expected travel - about 2500k. Expected time - don't care - till I feel like coming back - better make that till I feel guilty for leaving my old dog at home at the mercy of my wife and daughter and just have to come back and rescue the poor thing.

So there you are - roads will be ridden, trails climbed, pictures taken, and nights under starlight skies slept. There may also be pubs visited, drank and glances at pretty women stolen.

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Old 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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First part of the trip is done - scenery is unbelievable - 400k and it just doesn't stop. Thankfully, the riding isn't technical, otherwise there'd be a lot of accidents.
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Old 15 Aug 2007
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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home again

Trip’s done. Rolled through 2000k of mountains in 4 days.
The first run from Calgary to Jasper (with side trips) was a pleasant surprise. The weather was perfect. Hard deep blue skies over snow covered mountain passes. Never cold enough to have to stop and layer up, nor hot enough to have to peel off some layers. Ran into a lot of Americans on this route. Most commented that they had seen bits of scenery like this, but never this seemingly endless stretch of stunning mountain vistas, hour after hour. I tend to agree. This ride is not at all technical. Lots of Harleys were on the road here. Smooth black top; no real hard work for your bike. So don’t come here for the “ride”. Come for the scenery.
Once small bugbear. When I did this ride 26 years ago, this other fool and I were on a a pair of beaters – 10 speed bicycles. Cheap ones. The road was complete crap, broken up pavement, road shoulders were 8” of wishful thinking, and our equipment…. That consisted of 2 pairs of sweats each, plastic raincoats that didn’t make it through the first drizzle and, well, a two man tent make for very, very, small people (I am the smaller at 6’3”). There was few people, no help and a whole lot of wild as it gets. Now. Now there are “eco” bicycle tours. A mini bus with an open trailer (with bicycle racks) follows follows a bunch of riders (down hill). When they reach the next up hill, they throw their bikes into the trailer, jump into the minibus and catch a ride up to the next crest. I doubt if these cyclists peddled 50 meters in the 100k they claimed to have done. When I get old (er), I’m gonna take one of these tours and hit the next bar in my spandex outfit (Ah, maybe not) and revel in my biking accomplishments. On the other hand, maybe just skip all that and go to the bar.
On with the trip.
Ticks. Yes, Virginia, there are ticks here. At night, do check your hairy self out for ticks. Found one of the little bastards looking for a good place on my neck to dig in.
Elk. In a campground called Wapidi, what did your expect. Lot of them… and ticks too. Jasper is definitely the place to find not-so-wild elk. Enjoy.
Remember I’m on a klr. How did it handle the road? Like a charm. Most of the ride was 90 to 100k per hour. The one car I had to pass, was done uphill. The klr wicked up to 140 without a problem. Gas mileage hovered around 4.3 liters per 100k.
The stock seat is comfortable enough for 400 to 600k per day.
My solution to butt burn is very simple: a piece of non-skid material used in motorhomes under plates. Your butt stays where ever you place it and do not inch forward toward the gas tank. Occasional standing on the pegs gets blood back to the butt, and all is well.

Second leg of the journey was through the Kanasakas Bragg Creek section. Most of this was on gravel roads. Because I was on highway there and back and didn’t bring an electric pump to air up the tires after the gravel, I just left the tires at 33 psi and rode with a little more care. Bike did fine. The Canyon Creek road is shut to the public (the gas plants have it all to themselves now). However, mountain bikes and dual-sports have no problem getting around the barrier and continue to enjoy the area.

On the 4th day, I picked up some company to ride with. It is nice to take pictures of the road with another biker in it. It make the stops more pleasant too.
The only bugbear in the whole ride was getting back on the highway and getting boadsided by a very stiff crosswind. I swear to god, I had that klr heeled over harder then I have in many a corner. No accidents, so there is another “not-an-adventure” to log up (an adventure being discomfort recalled at leisure).
Good overall ride. The Kanaskas country area is fantastic to ride through. Not to be passed up if you get a chance.

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Old 20 Aug 2007
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rockhampton, Australia
Posts: 890
It sounds like a great trip, I will be over that way and I think I shall add this type of trip to my itinary.

A couple of comments, pictures, I hope you took some, can you post them?

And your numb bum problem, I can tell you on my weestrom I had it all the time, bought an Airhawk, problem gone

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