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Day 11 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Lethridge, AB to Billings, MT

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Lethbridge, AB to Billings, MT ride map

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Leaving Lethbridge, AB Canada early morning.

Today is day  11 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 we are riding to Billings, 404 miles of just riding. There are no planned stops except for the occasional photo, gas and food. For the most part, the trip was miles and miles of Great Plains farm and ranch land… Some may consider this boring but I actually liked it. Having grown up on a farm in Texas I do appreciate this type of living and do see beauty in this landscape. You can see for miles and miles with the occasional view of the mountains in the distance to the west. Cattle and crops all along the way. These people work hard and do provide the good food that we enjoy on our tables all across the Canada and the U.S.. If you are riding out this way it is a good ride… maybe not as spectacular as the mountains we just rode through but beautiful in its own right…

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Visitor’s Center at Milk River, AB Canada

At Milk River, AB we made a pit stop at the visitor information center and visited a bit with the young attendant who answered several of our questions. Larry asked about the town of Milk River’s  namesake. He figured it to be a big dairy area… When  The Lewis and Clark’s Expedition passed through here they described the river as appearing to be the color of a cup of tea with milk.  Apparently it looks like more milk than tea…  She also answered our curiosity about what the many fields of yellow we had seen since leaving Banff. She said they are most likely Canola. Now we know where all the Canola oil’s source comes from…

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Queued up at customs head back to U.S.A.

At the border crossing it was a bit busier at this crossing than when we entered Canada. There were several cars in front of us but the line moved fairly smoothly and quick. I was wondering if all the customs agents were so matter-of-fact with no sign of personality as this one was… It seemed Larry was taking a bit longer to be processed through. I asked him what took so long and if Mr. Personality was as personable with him. Larry said the agent was until he finished with the questions… then the agent loosened up a bit when he asked about Larry’s Victory Vision. That’s what took so long… 🙂

 

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More farm and ranch land on our way to Billings, MT

Our route today took us through another of the larger cities in Montana. Great Falls is the third largest City in the state with a population estimated to be 58,950 according to the 2011 census. Great Falls takes its name from the series of five waterfalls along the upper Missouri River basin.

Through out our National Park motorcycle ride we have crossed paths of The Lewis and Clark’s Expedition and Great Falls is another place they have been. We may need to retrace their expedition as a motorcycle ride someday. I will look into that when I return.

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Billings, Montana from cliffs over the city

We rode into Billings from the cliffs that border the city to the north and east. The cliffs to the north being 500 feet (150 m) tall and to the east of downtown, the face rises 800 feet (240 m). The views from the cliffs give good views of Montana’s largest city, which had a 2012 population of 151,882. The GPS routed us through the older part of the city to our motel. It had a quaint and inviting air to it that made me want to explore Billings’ history a bit more and check out some of the many sites in and around Billings. We will have to leave that to another time on a return trip.

Today was another good ride with more great scenery and good weather, a bit warmer today but still a good ride…

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 to Gillette, WY via Little Bighorn Battleground. So until then, we will get a good night’s rest. 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 10 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Banff National Park Canada
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