Tag Archives: scenery

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

national park, motorcycle, ride, travel, trip, touring, adventure

Lethbridge, AB to Billings, MT ride map

national park, motorcycle, ride, trip, travel, touring, adventure

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…

national park, motorcycle, ride, trip, travel, touring, adventure

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…

national park, motorcycle, ride, trip, travel, touring, adventure

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… 🙂

 

national park, motorcycle, trip, ride, travel, touring, adventure

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.

national park, motorcycle, ride, trip, ride, travel, touring,adventure

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

National Park Motorcycle Ride – 5542 Miles in 16 Days 2013

 

National Park Motorcycle Ride Route Map

National Park Motorcycle Ride Route Map

WOW, I can’t believe we did it and it’s in the books. We just rode 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).

We had a great time and everything went pretty much according to plan. I thought I would be worn out physically and mentally but Larry and I felt really good for the whole ride. I got back July 29th around 4:00 PM and felt so good I mowed the lawn the next morning!

 

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

Me and Larry at Pikes Peak

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but experiencing it is worth millions. There is no way pictures can capture the adventure nor can I describe it all with words. It can only be experienced… Traveling by car gets you there but is only a few notches above watching the scenery go by on TV.  Traveling by motorcycle is the ultimate way to experience travel. You are in the environment, feeling the wind, sun, cool, heat and rain. At several points along the ride we could hear the rushing water in the streams and rivers. The smells are incredible. The smell of crisp cool air in the morning, pine forest, flowers, rain in the distance, food cooking, fresh-cut grass, fields of corn, fresh-cut hay and many unidentifiable smells… and yes the occasional not so good smell of dead animals, feed lots etc… Many of the smells took me back to my boyhood when I lived on a cotton farm in Texas. Those were good memories.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Beside all the great national parks, monuments and historical sites on this ride there were many beautiful farms and ranches in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains and on the Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada. Having grown up on a farm I have a great appreciation for the land and the people who work it. Rural life is a great life but a vulnerable one. There are many perils from Mother Nature and the economy. I also enjoyed seeing the many old farm houses and barns. I can only imagine the  many lives and stories of love, laughter and tears could be told about each and every one…

National Park, motorcycle, ride, travel

Lower Falls Yellowstone National Park

Another part of the ride I enjoyed was the many small towns and the people who lived there. I enjoyed the local businesses and the architecture of the many old buildings. Some buildings were still in use and some have seen better days. If walls could only talk… what a story they could tell.

National Park, Motorcycle, Ride, Travel

Glacier National Park

Larry and I met so many nice people on this ride. Our motorcycles and our tags from Georgia and Texas were always getting comments. Larry’s Victory Vision got most of the comments and questions. My mascot Kow A. Saky started many conversations too. We met people from all over the world. To name a few… a nice couple from England riding a rented Harley, a guy from Belgium riding with a motorcycle tour group, a group from Europe who shipped their antique cars over and were driving the Lincoln Highway, a couple from Ontario riding a Goldwing and many more. There were so many riders we met and riders traveling by car wishing they were on their bikes as well as many “want to be riders” and people just interested in where we were from and where we were headed. To those of you whom we met, who may be reading this, we would like to say thanks for making our ride that much more enjoyable. Please take the time to comment and say hi. We would love to hear from you again…

The other special part of this ride was stopping to see a couple of friends I had lost contact with over the years. I have just recently reconnected with them…

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

My old friend Jimmie and his wife Diann with Larry and me in Georgetown, Colorado

We stayed in Georgetown, Colorado on July 16th. Jimmie drove from Aurora and met us at the Super 8 where we were staying. I first met Jimmie when I went to work for Geophysical Service Inc. in June of 1965. I had just graduated from high school and was attending college part-time. He was about 10 years older but treated me as an equal from the start. We worked in Houston, Texas; Sydney, NSW, Australia; Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado. Over the years we worked together at different companies and I owe Jimmie a lot for my success in business. It was great seeing Jimmie and his lovely wife Diann, again, after so many years. We ate dinner at a little restaurant down the road from the motel. It was a great time but much too short. Now that we have reconnected I will have to get back up there to see him… Thanks Jimmie for all the great times and memories and a special thanks for all the support you gave me while working with and for you…

National Park, motorcycle, ride, travel

My friends Ed and Avis and me

While I was in the Air Force, Ben, my roommate in tech school was always writing friends back home in Montana. One of those friends was a girl named Avis. I told him to say hi or something to Avis. She wrote back and we became pin-pals for four or five years and became good friends. I went to visit her, a couple of times, over that time. The last time was 41 years ago. Life got in the way and we eventually lost contact with each other. I have wondered many times what had become of Avis. I hoped that life had treated her well… About ten months ago, I tried to find her when I started planning this trip. I did find her and we have reconnected!  We stopped by and stayed with Avis and her husband Ed. Life has been good to her… Avis has a great husband and two great kids. Avis and Ed are very proud of their kids, as they should be…  They live outside Troy, MT on beautiful acreage. It is so beautiful and peaceful with views of mountains and a lake hidden across the road from them. I’m jealous… While there we caught up on what has been happening with us over the last 41 years. We still have more to catch up on. It was nice to finally meet Ed too. Avis and Ed are great hosts. Someday, I hope Janet and I can return the favor and show them part of our great state of Texas. Our time there was short but good. Thanks again to Ed and Avis for being such great host…

national park, motorcycle, ride, travel

Lake Louise in Banff National Park Canada

While on this ride we visited Pikes Peak, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Banff (in Canada), Little Bighorn, Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore as well as many other sites along the way. I will be posting about each day of our 16 day ride in the coming days… Please, follow along as we ride some of the most beautiful scenic country in the U.S. and Canada.

National Park, motorcycle, ride, travel

Little Bighorn Historical Site

 

National Park, Motorcycle, ride, travel

Devil’s Tower National Historic Site

National Park, motorcycle, ride, travel

Mt. Rushmore

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 left 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…

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

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 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 15 & 16 National Park Motorcycle Ride – Heading Home