June 22, 2004 GMT
Turning North Towards Canada

It was with the best intentions that I left Bozeman, Montana for Missoula. I had seen an website for a campground in St. Ignatius, Montana, some 60 kilometres or so north of Missoula. St. Ignatius, in particular is nothing spectacular: a little provincial place in northern Montana, with a supermarket a hardware store, a bar and a gas station.

What had made it seem attractive was the fact that it had a campground with offered accommodation in a Indian Tipi tent and the fact that is was close to the Glacier Natl. Park, with the special attraction of the Highway to the Sun - a scenic ride in the Rocky Mountains that should rival some of the best routes in the European Alps.

So far so good. The positive surprise was that one of the Tipis was actually available when I arrived (it saved me to set up my own tent). The next issue was that the place was run by a German lady, Ursula. The really funny thing was that the most, if not all of the guests on the first night of my arrival were from Germany. What more reason go have a “German Dinner”. See below under “People met on the Road”.

I stayed there for two nights, hoping that the weather might clear up. Instead in got progressively worse and I cancelled me trip on the “Highway to the Sun”. It was not without regret but I was certainly not in the mood to risk permanent rain (or worse) in high elevations.

In the end I had to face hard rain on the way to Canada. I crossed the border at the rather quaint Roosville: nice reception by Canadian customs officials, easy crossing.

The first stop in Canada, was Cranbrook at the Campbell/Yard residence. I had not met Alison and Steve before (there were family of another Frankfurt friend, Susan Baumgarten), but they were extremely hospitable – the spaghetti dinner was excellent – and they made we feel very welcome in Canada.

I left the next day in the direction of Calgary. On the way I passed the small town of Sparwood, a mining place in British Columbia. The biggest attraction can be seen here:

Truck Sparwood.jpg
Click for bigger version - By the way, the small black something at the bottom of the left front wheel is yours truly…

Before going to Calgary, I stopped at “High River”, Alberta. – Accommodation at this place seemed problematic (an oil conference in nearby Calgary had occupied all motel room). By chance I was referred to a B&B place in a quiet residential place. Joan and Murray Hay run a very civilised B&B. The discussion with Joan about the politics and life in general were quite stimulating.

Click for picture of Joan and her “watch frog” – which croaked each time someone approached the front door

Next was Calgary – which is something special. I had briefly mentioned in an earlier piece on this weblog that I might be visit Canada. Brian Smith of the Calgary community had picked this up and sent me an E-Mail offering to be of assistance if I needed help finding things, looking for accommodation or else. After a number of E-mail exchanges, he even offered me to spend a day or two at his home.

So – following a first meeting in the hamlet of Priddis southwest of Calgary (I called him, Brian then met me on his motorcycle), he took me to his home. He and his wife Sandra were extremely hospitable. The guided tour through Calgary (with a skyline not unlike that of Frankfurt, Germany) was enjoyable, but the grilled salmon, the homemade pizza and the curry chicken soup which they served during my two-day stay were excellent. I was also impressed with Brian homemade red wine. I mistook it for some very decent Italian merlot.


Sandra and Brian Smith – bidding me farewell

Banff National Park and Jasper National Park were next. The whole scenery is fantastic. Columbia Icefields (several glaciers forming a gigantic icefield) somewhere in the middle between Banff and Jasper should prove to be a highlight. Again the sight was fantastic but the real excitement came just before arriving there: a veritable snowstorm.

Columbia Icef.jpg

Columbia Icefields

Click here: Icefields – also on the motorcycle

Fortunately, this was just a freak occurrence, the snow/ice storm was gone in a matter of an hour and the sun broke.

I stopped for the night in a hostel in Jasper. From here I went on to north via Grande Cache and Grande Prairie (Alberta) to Dawson Creek (Br. Columbia) – the beginning of the Alaskan Highway:


People Met On The Road – II:

The ad-hoc dinner group at the campground in St. Ignatius, Montana. From left to right: Alrun from Berlin on a 4 week trip in the north-western US, Ursula running the campground, Rolf and his wife from Frankfurt on a 1 year camp mobile tour through the US, Mexico and Canada.

Click for picture the German Dinner Group

Michel from Zurich. Met him in Sparwood (the mining city with the world’s largest truck on display). Michel was on a 3 months leave of absence from his job in Switzerland to learn improve his English and to explore northwest Canada.

Click for picture of Michel from Zurich

The friendly shop assistant in the”Bradley’s” saddlery and cowboy outfitter in High River, near Calgary. As a child she had to go to school on horseback. “Bradley’s” is the oldest saddlery business place in Alberta, founded inn 1902.

Click for picture of the shop assistant in High River

Jerry Mulhall, hobby painter born in Ireland and emigrated to Canada a couple of years ago. Visited the Lake Louise region together with a group of other people on a guided “painting outing”.

Click for picture of Jerry Mulhall, testing the BMW for size….

Martin and Katja Wickert from Hildesheim, Germany on two African Twins, currently in Canada. On a two year trip through Canada, Alaska, then all the way down to Patagonia. We met after the snow shower on the Columbia Icefields and went to Jasper together. Their website (great picture gallery):

Click for picture of Martin and Katja

Elaine and Peter Haworth on vacation from the UK. Peter has a Honda ST Pan European back in Europe. The couple saw me packing my bike and we had a nice “motorcycle” talk in front to the local McDonalds outfit.

Click for picture of Elaine and Peter

Food Feature III:

This time it was somewhat difficult to find a Food Feature. But something that came as a real surprise was this:


The “Colossi’s Coffee Shop” was hidden in a side street of High River. The coffee there (or rather the espresso and cappuccino) we of such quality that it could have been served somewhere in Italy. The biscotti which came along with the coffee were equally good.

Posted by Heiko Neumann at 07:45 PM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!