Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Banff, Bozeman, Beartooths, Back home

It has officially been a month since my last post. I made it back to Tofte Minnesota and it has taken me a couple weeks to get this together.

June 11. Grand Prairie AB to Hinton AB. 207 miles/ 333 km
Grand Prairie is the last place I posted in a hotel waiting for a KTM dealership to open. The Campbell highway mud killed my fork seals. Both were leaking bad. This guy Dan sent me an email that I could use his shop and have a place to stay in Hinton. A couple years back he rode his KTM 950 ADV from Alberta to Argentina. Its great meeting people who have traveled... Especially those who are KTM guys!
Dan in his shop

There isn't supposed to be mud in the seals like that.... 

Dan's daughter

June 12. Hinton AB to Canmore AB (near Banff) 250 miles/ 403km
Dan rode with me through Jasper to the Columbia Icefields on the Icefields Parkway. The Icefields parkway is a beautiful 2-lane that winds through the mountains from Japser to Banff. The rock formations in the mountains are crazy in the Canadian rockies. On one side of the road, the layers would be horizontal and a few miles away, on the other side they would be vertical and jagged. I stayed the night at the "Hostel Bear" in Canmore Alberta just south of Banff.
Horizontal Layers

Vertical layers

In front of the Columbia Icefield

Columbia icefield

Notice the critters at the bottom..

Lake Louise

June 13. Canmore AB to Missoula MT. 502 miles/807km
Early morning. On the road by 8:00 in order to make it to Missoula while it was still light. I was planning on riding the "To The Sun Road" in Glacier National Park but it was not open yet because of snow. I made it to Clare and Dan's house in the evening. They greeted me with cold beer, stuffed pork chops, and a hot tub soak (Tofte style). I am so glad I have great friends spread out around the world to drop in on! Thanks Clare and Dan!
For some reason there were hats nailed to the top of nearly every fence post along this guy's field

Almost into Montana


June 14. Missoula MT to Bozeman MT. 303 miles/488 km
After a quick ride to Hamilton Montana, I ate lunch with Lynda and George Corn. I love these guys.. they are always smiling! My plan was to ride the Skalkaho Highway from Hamilton to Anaconda but there was road construction that was closing the road for 2 hours at a time. The road would be open for 15 minutes ever even hour. I got there at 12:19. So instead of waiting around for almost 2 hours, I decided to go south toward the Lost trail ski resort and take the pass over to Bighole. I took secondary roads into Bozeman and made it to Bop's house early evening. Good to be back in Bozeman.
Miss Montana!

These guys were riding across the US. They ran out of patches and were on their last inner tube.

the last best place.

June 15, 16, 17 Bozeman MT.
It was not a mistake that I hit Bozeman on a weekend. I have many friends from living there who I needed to see. After 3 days in Bozeman, the liver needs a break.. Jeff Hawe took some of these pictures. Check out his website and blog 

Hjalmar on his sweet 70s 125 2-smoker.  Thanks Jeff Hawe!

Thanks Jeff Hawe!

Thanks Jeff Hawe!

Don't ask questions.. Just go with it..  Thanks Jeff Hawe!

Thanks Jeff Hawe!

Thanks Jeff Hawe!

can you find the sisters?


A sweet CB750 at the "bike shop" in Bozeman MT. 

June 18. Bozeman MT to Cooke City MT. 139 miles /224 km
I left Bozeman with every intetion of going to through Yellowstone, over Beartooth pass and into Billings. The travel gods had a different plan. I put the bike down in Yellowstone. The damage to the bike: leaking gas tank, scraped up hand gaurds, and shreded pannier. The damage to me: Hurt pride. The Klim gear worked amazing and I didn't have a scratch on me. I sat in a pull off for about an hour waiting for the adrenaline to wear off then made the short drive to Cooke City to get my head back and get some sleep. The power went out for a few hours when I was in Cooke City. Luckily one of the restaraunts let me right an out of state check because I didn't have any cash. What a day. Glad it was over.
Looking south on Trail Creek Rd toward paradise valley 

Damage to the jacket

Crack inside the tank. Rally Raid is sending me a new one. 

No longer waterproof...

This is why you have aluminum bash guards

June 19. Cooke City MT to Lovell Wy. 220 miles/ 354 km
It felt like I was snowboarding park and crashing hard for the past few days. The beartooth pass is was so beautiful, when I got to Redlodge Montana, I turned around and went back over the pass. The second time over the pass it snowed on me. Nothing stuck but still snow. I had heard from my friend Drew that Chief Joseph Highway was amazing. He wasn't lying. I stayed that night in Lovell Wyoming.
Looking back toward Cooke City MT

Looking down at the switch backs of the bear tooth pass (north side)

Snow.. ? 

Snow removal tool

A bridge on the Chief Joseph highway

June 20. Lovell Wy to Rapid City SD. 343 miles/ 552 km
The day started out with the last stretch of road I was looking forward to. Hwy 14 over the Bighorn mountains is a must for any riders "to do list". I met some German riders who rented Harleys and were touring around the states for a while. I'll have to go see them when I get to Germany this fall. I was beginning to have the sinking feeling that the Pirelli MT90 rear tire was not going to make it to Minnesota like I had hoped. I had about 4k miles on it and it was spent. Almost on threads. Every place I stopped or called in WY didn't have a tire for me. A shop in rapid city said they had an 18 inch street tire. I spend the night at my friend Liz's parent's house. Thanks to the Sandviks!
She had a great dinner and got the honors of Wyoming

Germans on Harleys


South Dakota!

June 21. Rapid City SD to Watertown SD. 362 miles/ 582 km
At the shop in Rapid City, I see that the 18" street tire is a front tire for a Harley. This might work but I don't feel like getting bent over a stump for it. They had a 18" trials tire for cheap so I bought that as a spare and continued across South Dakota. By the time I hit Watertown the rear was showing threads.
Almost spent rear

June 22 Watertown SD to Mille Lacs. 324 miles/ 521 km
I started the day changing out the rear tire in the rain. After 50 miles every block on the center of the tire ripped off. It was such a soft rubber it could not handle the road. A Honda shop in Willmer MN had a used tire off a XR650 with plenty of tread left. Finlay I will be a able to make it home. I met up with my friend Matt in St. Cloud and rode up the Mille Lacs for a little gambling. He has a Harley but I think his next bike will be a KTM or something off road capable. I had some good luck at the black jack table and was able to pay for prime rib that night for both of us.
Trials tire on an adventure bike. 
June 23 Mille Lacs MN to Tofte MN. 236 miles/ 379 km
With all the rain in the past few days and flooding in Duluth we went north to Eveleth MN to see my grand parents. The Mississippi was swelling up pretty bad and many of the roads we tried to ride were closed. It took about an hour longer to Eveleth then we had originally planned because of all the zig-zagging. We took back roads to the North shore. It is good to be back in familiar territory!

My Granpa Nick! Mr. Minnesota.

Matt and Grandpa

Matt on Palisade Head

Temperance river. There should not be this much water. 

Tofte/Grand Marais Minnesota
I planned on staying in Minnesota for 3 weeks to work on the bike, catch up with family/friends, get some fishing in, and get logistics for the next couple years done. I still plan on heading to Europe the first part of August. My "East Coast Loop" might have to be more like a "sprint to the coast to catch a flight" depending on when all my parts and gear get in.  

New prototype for a countershaft protector

Fixed the cracked sharks fin

New Regulator/Rectifier

Fishing with dad and brother

First fish of the day!

Walleye is the best fish ever. 

Happy 4th!

The moon over lake Superior

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