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Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada

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Banff National Park Ride Map

Today is day  10 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list. Today I will finally get to see Banff. When I was working, I did a lot of work in Canada. While in Canada, I was told to visit Banff many times. I never seemed to have the opportunity… I was always putting out fires (fixing problems) and never had any time to spare. The best thing about finally seeing it for the first time is I am riding through it. The best way to see Banff is from the seat of a motorcycle!

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Nice cool clear morning heading to Banff National Park in Canada

We took Hwy 1 from Golden, BC to Lake Louise Drive in Banff. Lake Louise was the one place I was told I must see.. We were not disappointed. Lake Louise is an alpine lake, known for its sparkling blue waters. It is situated at the base of impressive glacier-clad peaks that must be seen to be appreciated. It has been said,  “A pictures is worth a thousand words” but I say the heck with pictures… You need to experience this to fully appreciate its beauty.

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Early morning Banff National Park Canada

While stopping at the Information Center we were told we needed to visit Lake Moraine too. They said it was even better than Lake Louise. It was a 9 mile/14 km ride from Lake Louise. Lake Moraine is 6181 feet/ 1884 meters above sea level.  Lake Moraine is a bit higher in elevation than Louise with many scenic views on the ride up. Parking at the top was a bit of a hassle. We ended up parking in a couple of triangles by a walkway. It was perfect motorcycle parking and we didn’t get in anyone’s way. Once I saw the lake I realized I had seen pictures of it before. The lake seems like something unreal or made up. Both Lake Moraine and Louise are a deep-turquoise color with beautiful glacier covered mountains reflecting from its surface.  These lakes must be seen to be fully appreciated.

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Lake Louise Banff National Park Canada

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Lake Moraine Banff National Park Canada

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Glacier at Lake Moraine Banff National Park Canada

If you are into hiking, there are many trails in Banff and is probably the best way to see Banff up close and personal. The rest of our ride through Banff was filled with beautiful views of the surrounding glacier covered mountains with some of the most pristine sparkling clear streams all along our route. While on our ride we were told about rides we needed do while in the area.  Because of time constraints we were not able to do them… but when we make it up this way again I will include them in our plans. Several people told us we must ride up to Jasper. We were told the scenery is outstanding and is a must see. The other place is highway 40 between Highway 1 and Longview, AB. It is an outstanding motorcycle ride. So if you are headed up that way you may want to check these out and include them in your travel plans

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Riding down Hwy 1 Banff National Park Canada

As we rode closer to Calgary the landscape started to flatten out… a noticeable contrast to Banff but pretty in its own right.

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Riding through Calgary, AB Canada with rain clouds rolling in.

It’s been a long time (10 years or more) since I’ve been to Calgary. It too has probably changed a lot since then. I would have liked to spend some time in Calgary but we have miles to go before we sleep… so we rode the outskirts of Calgary on our way to Lethbridge, AB, our destination for the day. As we headed south from Calgary the scenery was mostly farm and ranch land… Very nice farm and ranch land… As we left the Calgary area the clouds got darker and we did encounter some misty rain from time to time. We seemed to have ridden between several of the rain showers that were all around us all the way to Lethbridge. The clouds and rain showers did keep the temperature down for some nice riding.

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One of the many farms between Calgary, AB and Lethbridge, AB

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Riding past one of the many rain showers on our way to Lethbridge, AB

Riding into Lethbridge we rode into a canyon and over the Oldman River. We had a good view of the railroad bridge above the canyon. It was a very impressive sight. The bridge is a bit of good engineering and construction… A good end to a very good day… Today was another good day of riding (296  miles) through one of Canada’s best National Parks. Scenery in and out of the park was outstanding with good weather all the way. I even enjoyed the ride from Calgary to Lethbridge with its scenic farm and ranch land. I enjoyed seeing some nice farm and ranch houses and barns as well as some that have seen better days. I always find myself wondering what life must be like living  there. Farming and ranching is a great life that takes a special kind of people to do it… It takes a lot of hard endless work with uncertain weather and economic futures always ahead.  A gamble when you do everything right… but very rewarding in the end. Having grown up on a cotton farm in Texas, I admire farmers and ranchers everywhere.

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time to leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow we will be riding to Billings, Montana. There are no planned stops, just riding more scenic Great Plains .So ride safe and I hope we will see you somewhere on the road…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

 

Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada

Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada

Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada

Today is day  9 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

Normally we are up at 5:30 getting ready to ride but today we slept in a bit since today is an easy ride of  just 260 miles. I didn’t want to be rushed leaving today. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with Avis, Ed and Avis’ mom. I hope it won’t be another 41 years between visits.

Yesterday, one of Avis’ neighbors gave her some huckleberries. I have never had huckleberries before. I liked them a lot so Avis made crepes with a huckleberry topping this morning for breakfast. A mighty good breakfast… The best we have had on our trip…

It was really nice to visit and catch up after all these many years. I just wish Janet could have made this ride so she could have met Ed and Avis. After taking parting pictures and saying our good byes we were on the road about 9:00.

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My friends Ed, Avis and me

From Troy, MT we are heading north on Hwy 2. Hwy 2 ends at the junction of Hwy 95 in Idaho.When we reached the U. S. Canadian border we had to go through customs. That went rather smoothly & quickly. Once through customs,  it was on to Golden, BC, Canada. The route today, for the most part, was traveling through the valleys between distant mountains. Beautiful scenery with crystal clear streams and lakes  with nice cool riding temperatures.

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More beautiful scenery riding to Golden, BC

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Heading to Golden, BC with rain in the distance

We stopped in Cranbrook, BC for lunch at Denny’s. The service was slow because they lost our order. I miss place my camera memory card and needed to buy another. The slow service and having to replace the memory card did slow us down a bit. Later we encountered some lite rain and considered putting on the rain gear but it never got heavy enough for rain suits. We were a little behind schedule…

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More beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountain scenery

It was a bit different having to remember the speed limits were Kilometers per hour. I was glad my speedometer had both miles and kilometers per hour. The kph numbers were small and  a bit hard to see in some light. I kept letting Larry know what the kph were in mph. We tried to obey speed limits but the locals seemed to be fly by us…

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Another ride by shooting…

The other thing different was the gas prices were for a liter of gasoline. Also, some of the pay at the pumps operated a bit differently from those in the U.S. Nothing that we couldn’t deal with but did give us pause the first time…

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More rain in the distance.

We arrived in Golden, checked into our motel and walked next door to a nice restaurant for dinner. It was another good riding day with more beautiful scenery and perfect riding weather…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new posts by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow will be a leisurely ride through  Banff  National Park. So until then, we will get a good night’s rest and dream about what tomorrow will hold for us. Ride safe and I hope we will see you somewhere on the road…

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

Day 8 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park ride map

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Heading to Glacier National Park early morning From Kalispell, MT

Today is day  8 of our national park motorcycle ride. Over the course of 16 days we will ride some of the best national parks, historic sites and national monuments in the U.S. and Canada (Pikes Peak National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, Banff National Park, Little Bighorn National Historic Site, Devils Tower National Monument and Mount Rushmore National Memorial). Come follow along as we ride one of our dream rides on our bucket list.

We were up early and headed to “Going to the Sun Highway”. My friend Avis and her family brought me here 41 years ago. I have looked forward to this leg of our trip because of those fond memories. It is my favorite national park (so far). I can’t describe the amazing scenery here… You must experience it for yourself…

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West entrance Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

Our ride today will make a big loop through Glacier National Park back to Kalispell via  Hwy 2. We then head north-west through Libby and to Ed and Avis’  just outside Troy, MT.

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McDonald Lake Glacier National Park early morning

“The Going-to-the-Sun Road,”  borrowed its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Local legend told the story of the deity, Sour Spirit, who came down from the sun to teach Blackfeet braves the rudiments of the hunt. On his way back to the sun, Sour Spirit had his image reproduced on the top of the mountain for inspiration to the Blackfeet. An alternate story suggests a white explorer in the 1880s concocted the name and the legend. No matter which version is accurate, the road named Going-to-the-Sun still inspires all who travel it. Riding into the Glacier from west to east, this morning, I could see why the road is called “Going-to-the-Sun”… It seemed we were always staring into the sun…

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McDonald Lodge Glacier National Park

After entering the park, our first stop was the visitor center and our first view of McDonald Lake.  The lake, surrounded by the mountains, is such a peaceful view. The water’s surface was like glass, reflecting the surrounding mountains through the rising mist.

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Rushing stream McDonald Lodge Glacier National Park

Our second stop was at McDonald Lodge. The lodge and grounds are a must see. The lodge, a Swiss Chalet, opened its doors on June 14, 1914.  The  lodge is a three-story structure built on the eastern shore of glaciated, picturesque Lake McDonald.  The lobby is a large open space built from large tree trunks with balconies surrounding  it on three sides. It has a very inviting rustic decor that is something to see.

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McDonald Lodge Glacier National Park

The lobby floors have messages in Kootenai (a local Native American dialect). Some of the messages translate into phrases such as “welcome”, “new life to those who drink here”, “looking toward the mountain”, and “big feast”.

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

There is a good view of McDonald Lake at the rear of the lodge. I could have sat for hours and listened to the rushing stream that runs into the lake. It was so peaceful sitting in the cool morning air….

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

“Going-to-the Sun Highway” took us through some of the most spectacular scenery we have seen so far on our ride. Parts of the highway hug the mountainside with a few tight curves. Heading east toward Logan Pass, you are able to look over the edge of the road in a few spots. The speed limit is 40 on the lower part and 25 for the higher part of the road. This pace allows for an enjoyable ride through all the majesty of this very scenic road.

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

A must stop is Jackson Glacier Overlook. The Overlook is located on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Logan Pass and St. Mary.  Jackson Glacier Overlook allows the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park Up close and personal

Glacier has wildlife along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The most likely place to see Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep are typically near Logan Pass. I was on the lookout for the sheep and goats but luck wasn’t with us today… 🙁

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

We have met many people since our trip began and today was no exception. Everyone was talking about the scenic beauty and offering their suggestions. One suggestion was to ride/drive the “Highway-to-the-Sun” in both directions because you get a whole different perspective of the park on the return trip. We thought we would do that if we had time. Once we got to the other end, we realized that time would not let us to ride “Going-to-the-Sun” road back… If you are planning a trip to Glacier make sure you plan seeing the park in both directions… On our next visit we will do that…

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Going-to-the-Sun Highway Glacier National Park

Our ride down Hwy 89 to East Glacier (the town) had many scenic views of  mountains on our right and large (relative to Texas) hills on our left. Picking up Hwy 2 back to Kalispell, we had more beautiful scenic views of the glacier capped mountains at times.

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St. Mary’s Lake Glacier National Park

From Kalispell we rode Hwy 2 through Libby to Troy. We saw more beautiful mountain scenery all along the way.

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Rolling down Highway 2 toward Troy, MT

Today we are staying with a good friend, Avis and her husband Ed. We had a lot (41 years)  to catch up on. Ed and Avis were great hosts, feeding us a good home cooked dinner with fresh veggies from their garden. It was nice to have a home cooked meal after 8 days on the road.

After dinner we walked to the Savage Lake across the highway. From the highway the lake is hidden from view by the trees. The reflection of the mountains, across the lake, was beautiful. Ed and Avis sometimes see moose across the lake in the evenings… but not today :(…

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Savage Lake near Troy, MT

Ed and Avis have a beautiful home out in the country with a beautiful view of the mountains from their front lawn. I would love to get up every morning and have that view to look at while I drink my morning coffee. Yes, I am a bit jealous…

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View from Ed & Avis’ front yard…

Today was a great day with beautiful scenery and time spent with good friends…

For more pictures of our ride click here and don’t forget to like “The Texas Rambler” Facebook page. Look for the “Subscribe to Texas Rambler via Email” at the bottom right column to receive notifications of new post by email. Also please take some time and leave us a comment. We always love hearing from y’all…

Tomorrow we will be an easy day of riding. Just 260 miles to Golden, BC, Canada. We don’t have any planned stops except when we see something interesting…  The following day we will be riding Banff National Park. I hope we see you down the road somewhere. Ride safe…

Checkout the slide show of the ride below:

This has been one amazing ride for Larry and me. Check out the other post from this ride using the links below…

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013
Day 1 & 2 National Park Ride -Getting There
Day 3 National Park Ride – Dalhart, TX to Georgetown, CO
Day 4 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Georgetown, CO to Pinedale, WY
Day 5 National Park Motorcycle Ride: Grand Teton & Yellowstone
Day 6 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Yellowstone National Park
Day 7 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Gardiner to Kalispell
Day 9 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Troy, MT to Golden, AB Canada
Day 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT
Day 12 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Little Bighorn Battleground
Day 13 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Devils Tower National Monument
Day 14 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Mount Rushmore

The Night Before Christmas (Texas style)

T’was the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue,
A dreamin’ of Christmas, like me and you.

Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed,
For this was Texas, what more need be said,
When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,
There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.

 

And I saw ‘cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,
A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run,
The driver was “Geein” and “Hawin”, with a will,
The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.

 

“Come on there Buck, Poncho, & Prince, to the right,
There’ll be plenty of travelin’ for you all tonight.”
The driver in Levi’s and a shirt that was red,
Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.

 

As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,
With his beard and moustache, so curly and white.
As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,
And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.

 

And he filled up their boots with such presents galore,
That neither could think of a single thing more.
When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws,
He asked in a whisper, “Are you really Santa Claus?”

 

“Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?”
And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.
Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,
“To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, You-all”

 

We Texans are a proud bunch. We are proud of our state and culture and are happy to share it with whomever we meet. I hope y’all enjoyed this little poem. I have seen it many times and I am not sure who to give the credit but rest assured he/she is a proud Texan. The above picture I got from Facebook. It originated from Jack Miller and I’m not sure it is his or someone else’s. I thank whomever it belongs to. The picture has to be a picture of the early morning sun rise as Texas doesn’t have a west coast.

 

Well, I will leave you with this last thought and wish.

Luke 2:1-20

New International Version (NIV

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah,the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

Ride safe and may y’all have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.