Bedroom? Check - right pannier. Closet? Check - top bag. Garage? Check- left pannier. Pantry? Uh??

Well, it was a quick blast from Calgary to Jasper for Day-1 of the trip. And by "blast", I mean the kind of thing you see coming out of the back end of one of those ski-hill turbine snowmaker machines. Or the back of a 737 engine, on the runway, in the winter!

My friend Chipp came along to join me for the first day on his BMW 1150 GSA, and was 'in for a penny - in for a pound' once the conditions got interesting.

We left Calgary later than expected, after making the final services to the bikes and finishing up some odds and ends. I ride a 2007 BMW F650GS Dakar, and have done some modifications to it. The latest of which was the addition of the Touratech skid plate and fuel bottle + water bottle holders.
A big thank you to Wally at Blackfoot Motorsports!!

Riding west out of Calgary on the 1A, was the perfect start to the trip. And a perfect start to what I'm sure will become many more days of that kind of gorgeous, twisty, picturesque, highway that I've been dreaming of.

We hit Lake Louise and watched for a moment as tourists gathered to take pictures of a bear on the shoulder of the highway. She was huge, and the thought of great Alaskan Grizzlies crossed my mind. The weather was starting to get pretty soggy, and we knew it was only going to get colder. Piling on the layers, we looked forward to pushing on before losing any more light. The next few hours were spent in mountain mist, with snowmobile mitts, heated vest, extra layers, goggles + visor, and the heated grips on high. At nightfall it began to rain and as we assented higher and higher in the mountains, the temperature dropped, the rain turned to ice & snow and the foggy little highway disappeared into the abyss. We stopped a couple times, to confirm all was well, but just for a few seconds at a time. For the most part, our frozen midnight trip was spent pushing hard to get through the cold wet half frozen soup. The sky peeked out a couple times here or there, through gaps in the clouds. The view of the mountains against that dimly lit, midnight-blue sky with its ominous, werewolf-moon, crossed by those thick black frosty clouds was gorgeous. If not completely haunting.

Rolling into Jasper, after midnight, the Athabaska Hotel was a welcome sight. We dropped our bags and went to find the only food in town still available; pizza, by the slice! Later, Chipp wasn't having any of it when I told him I was planning on camping. So, I have this warm dry room now, to "rough it". Thanks Chipp! I'm very happy to not be in a tent tonight. :)

This trip has just begun, but it's been months in the planning. The support and encouragement from family and friends is incredible. Thank you guys for your constant and unconditional support. I owe this journey to you.

Next up: Jasper to Prince George, installing a GPS, and finding that damn buzz in the dash!!

Night, night.

Category: 3 comments


Rick P said...

Awesome man! Hope you have a great trip, I'll be following for sure wishing I was riding with ya!

Safe travels buddy!

Tony said...

Awesome Dave I will be living vicariously thru you! Cheers.

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