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Part 2: Grand Tetons to Durango, CO

My Cross Country Trip in 2012 part 2.pdf

Sunday, August 11: I rode through The Grand Tetons National Park (Fig. 1) by way of Rt. 26 and was captivated by the beauty of this mountain range. I followed Rt. 26 into Jackson Hole, WY and visited some historic sites, then took Rts. 22 and 33 to Rt. 28, also known as the Nez Peerce trail and later called the Sacajawea Highway which ends in Salmon, ID at Rt. 93.  I spent the night at The Trails End Inn where the very friendly owner let me use her personal computer to check my emails and pay a few bills online. (520 mi)

August 13: I stopped across the road and had a greasy omelet for breakfast and was back on the road by 8 AM wearing a sweatshirt and leather jacket. It was a bit nippy. I followed Rt. 93 into Missoula, MT, then jumped onto Rt. 12 through Lolo Pass (Fig. 2) back into Idaho. The pass has beautiful cedar lined roads with 99 miles of curves and streams. Forrest fires made for hazy skies and I could not take too many pictures, so I could only record the beauty of the area with my eyes. I stopped for lunch and then headed back into Montana on the advice of a park ranger I met when I stopped to take some pictures.  My GPS totally wiped out just when I needed it most. I stayed on Rt. 93 through The Flathead Reservation along many lakeside resorts and spent the night at a Motel 6 in Kalispell, MT. (260 mi.)

August 14: I had planned to head for Glacier National Park, USA and Canada, but spoke to a truck driver at a gas stop and was advised that the roads were under construction and traffic was very heavy and backed up for miles. So instead I stayed on Rt. 93 to Rt. 3 through some small towns and lovely scenery, travelling through the Kootenay Mountains and Kootenay Pass and Bonanza Pass from where I entered Canada and spent the night in Kelowna, British Columbia. It is a tourist town on Lake Okanagan and is very expensive – gasoline is more than $5.00 per gallon for example. (430 mi.)

August 15: The middle of my trip. I pulled out of Kelowna at 7:45 AM by Rts. 93 and 93C which go along the lake and through the mountains of the surrounding provincial parks. I picked up Rt. 3 though Manning Provincial Park (Fig. 3) and enjoyed more great views. I stopped for gas and lunch at Hope, then headed west on Highway 1 to Horseshoe Bay and the ferry to Vancouver Island to hook up with my friend Rod, whom I had met in 2010 when he stopped to help me fix my shifter linkage. The ferry ride was nice and the other bikers on board were friendly. I departed the ferry and headed for Parksburg to meet up with Rod. We met in a parking lot and showed each other our new bikes, as we had both gotten new ones since my last trip there. We stopped to pick up his friends Moe then headed for Deez restaurant/bar where Rod and his friends hang out. We had a great meal and a beer, then rode to Rod’s house. There are two homes on the property, the main house and the guest house. Both are on the beach facing the Pacific Ocean. I had the guest house to myself. Rod and Amy live in the main house (Fig. 4). They introduced me to their pets, a full blooded wolf and the only friendly Cocatille I ever met. Both pets show how gentle love and care affects behavior. I jumped onto Rod’s PC and finally deleted most of my e-mails: only 340 – mostly spam or BS. (340 mi.)

August 16: Rod and I met with his friends Bart, Moe, Curt and Phil (Fig. 5) and headed for Port Renfrew on the south side of the island, about 110 miles south of Victoria, along some great back roads with fabulous scenery. Some roads were very narrow and twisty with drainage ditches alongside them and two way traffic, besides. We stopped a few times for food and beers. I have learned to speak Canadian: “Bout time for a beer, Eh?” We stopped and took pictures of the second largest Spruce tree in British Columbia and also of the surrounding area. I was doing a lot of shifting because of some tight loops and going up and down mountains. Since it was getting late, we headed back by the ocean route as much as we could, passed through the Malahat Mountains and its summit on Highway 1, and stopped at another bar/restaurant for dinner. So far, every place where we ate had good food; and, these boys sure do like their beer. We stopped at Moe’s place to drop off his jacket and headed home in the dark. We arrived at home in Coombs at 9:30 PM. Amy was on the deck barbequing chicken after fishing which she loves to do almost daily. Today a seal stole a salmon right off her hook. I checked my e-mail and sacked out. It had been a long day with a lot of riding. Zzzzzzz!

August 17: I woke at the crack of dawn the next day and enjoyed some quiet time on the beach watching the whales and sea lions, along with a few bald eagles. Rod and I decided to ride north on the island today, but we first had to stop at Moe’s house as something went inside his engine. He followed us to a small repair shop so far on some unpaved gravel roads that only the locals know about it; the mechanic has a stellar reputation and a large following. After leaving Moe there, we rode a few back roads and visited Little Qualicom Falls. We stopped home, ate some lunch, and then headed north toward Campbell River, stopping along the way for some pictures. Just as we arrived in Campbell River, I started having problems with my electrical system which I determined to be the voltage regulator because of a recall advisory put out by Harley. I decided to keep riding rather than shut the bike down and take a chance that it would not reset. After riding fifty miles or so at speeds that would have gotten us a large fine had we been stopped, the regulator cooled down and reset itself. We stopped for a rest and some liquid refreshment. The bike now started easily and was running fine. We stopped at the house, then headed for Deez and a great steak dinner, then headed back home, arriving there at   9:15 PM. I did my laundry and went to bed. Leaving for the Lower 48 tomorrow; it’s time to go home.

August 18: Rod and I left his house at 8:15 AM and headed for the ferry in Victoria, BC (Fig. 6). We stopped at a Mickey Ds on the way for breakfast, called Steve Drane Harley Davidson to tell them we were heading there and what my problem was. We arrived there after 10AM and Jackie, the service manager was waiting for us. They checked my numbers and put the bike on the computer, then replaced the voltage regulator. The entire job took less than one hour. We then headed for the ferry. Thank God for Rod – I would have followed the signs and headed for the wrong ferry. We arrived at the ferry terminal, said our goodbyes and I parked the bike and waited for customs. The ferry ride took about 90 minutes and I was on my way through Olympia and the National Forrest by 4:45 PM. I stopped to take some pictures along the way, and then spent the night in Shelton, WA. (125 mi.)

August 19: I left Shelton by 7:15 AM heading for Mount Rainier (Figs.7, 8, 9). In Olympia, I picked up Rt. 5N and then took Rt. 410 east all the way. This is a very scenic road and not highway. I headed for Sunrise, the road that goes up the mountain, and took some great pictures, spending close to three hours there. After leaving the park, I headed east on Rt. 410 again. The road is also known as Chinook Pass. It is a great road with very scenic vistas. I followed Rt. 410 to Rt. 12, stopped at the Oregon Welcome Center, then headed for Pendleton, OR, passing Camp Pendleton, then stopped at a motel to spend the night. I had started out wearing leather in the morning due to the cold and wind, but the afternoon was hot as hell.  It was worth it though: I saw some really beautiful countryside most of the day.

August 20: I rode most of the day through Oregon and Idaho.  I took Highway 84 to Highway 15 through Salt Lake City, unfortunately during rush hour, and then picked up Rt. 6 through Price Canyon and many beautiful mountain passes. It was getting late and dark, and the deer were plentiful, so I only took a few pictures. I spent the night at a Hotel 9 in Price City. I rode 698 miles today.

August 21: I headed east on Rt. 6, took some pictures along the way, and then picked up Rt. 70 east. I then took Rt. 313 to Canyonlands National Park, (Fig. 10) spent at least three hours there, awestruck by its beauty, then headed back to Rt. 70. At Grand Junction, I picked up Rt. 50, then Rt. 550, also known as The Million Dollar Highway (Fig 11), and followed this scenic road with no guard rails, hairpin curves and 100 foot drops from Ouray to Durango, CO where I spent the night. (400 mi.)

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