Tag Archives: Jasper

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 5 – Harrison, AR Motorcycle Ride: Jasper Disaster & Twisted Lady Rides Combined and more GPS Confusion.

Today’s Route minus detours. 120 miles

Jasper Disaster & Twisted Lady Rides

It’s another cool morning. The kind of weather I enjoy riding in the most. We were up again at 6:00 and on the road around 8:00. We started with partly cloudy skies turning to clear blue skies and sunshine. The high temperature climbed into the upper 80’s before the day’s end.

Today we are riding the Jasper Disaster and Twisted Lady ride. These rides partly overlap the Eureka Spring ride we didn’t ride yesterday. So we got to ride it today. Combining these two rides made the route look like a figure eight except for a detour caused by me not reading the signs and the GPS trying to route us down a gravel road.

The Jasper Disaster ride between Ponca and Jasper via Hwy 74, mile for mile is the curviest riding route of the 7 motorcycle rides out of Harrison. Traveling down Hwy 43 we ride through Boxley Valley then pick up Hwy 74 just south of Ponca and ride toward Jasper. You know the ride down Hwy 74 will be a good one when you see a sign which says “CROOKED AND STEEP NEXT 14 MILES DRIVE WITH CARE.” Hwy 74 was very scenic, with massive drops in elevation. There was the possibility of seeing deer, turkey, elk and eagles but today there wasn’t any that we saw. Just before getting to Jasper we turned onto Hwy 327 and headed to Parthenon.

The sign says it all…

I thought there was an old store in Parthenon still in business. I had intended to stop and checkout some of the history there. Frank James’ grave is near there and on July 4, 1888 Wash Middleton, AKA Wash Gibbs of “Shepard of the Hills” fame was shot behind the Parthenon store. But there was just a large old building which I’m assuming was the store. It was obvious the store did not exist any longer.

Maybe we should have stopped and explored a bit but we rode on toward Deer. At Deer we turned on to Hwy 16 heading back to Ponca. Because “Goldie” (the Goldwing GPS) had tried to route us down a gravel road earlier I had turned her off and was following signs instead. I miss read a sign and we took a detour. To make matters worse I dropped my bike turning around. No damage done except to my pride and the embarrassment of it. I was not happy.

Lunch…

We eventually made it back to Ponca and had lunch at Buffalo Outdoor Center. We enjoyed visiting with several of the young ladies who served up some good sandwiches, the local judge and several local workers who had dropped in. For a judge he was a nice guy. He told us about several good roads we should ride in the area. Maybe another time…

After lunch we walked over to the Elk Education Center across the street. It was free and had many displays of elk and other animals of the area.

We continued our ride heading south and riding Hwy 74 again from Ponca all the way to Jasper where we picked up Hwy 7 heading north back to Harrison.

Hotel Seville where we wanted to stay in Harrison but were booked

For dinner tonight we walked down to Dixie Café. Dixie’s serves up some good home cookin’ and deserts. It was a good thing the cafe was a ways down the road from the hotel because I ate too much and needed to walk some of it off… Yes, it was that good. A fitting way to end a good day.

In conclusion is was another fun day riding with good friends, over very scenic mountain roads with lots of curves and elevation changes and great weather.

If you want to follow us on the other days of our trip click the links below…

Ride introduction…
Day 1 – Georgetown, TX to Bowie, TX via scenic FM 4. (250 miles)
Day 2 – Bowie, TX to Wewoka, OK to Holden, OK  (193 miles)
Day 3 – Holden, OK to Harrison, AR  (263 miles)
Day 4 – Ride 1 out of Harrison, AR  
Day 6 – Ride 3 out of Harrison, AR  (207 Miles)
Day 7 – Harrison, AR to Jessieville, AR (149 miles)
Day 8, 9 & 10 – Jessieville, AR to Scroggins, TX to home