Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Started out the day with blue sky, and some high clouds. It was a bit cool, so no chaps, but wore my jacket, and my light gloves.

First thing Jaz and I went to gas up. We were the only patrons, inside and outside of the station. While we were in paying for our gas, a guy came in and said, “Are those bikes out there yours?” Ya know, you just want to make some really smart comment, like, “No, I just wear these clothes to scare the busdriver.” Here's your sign. We were polite and just said yes.

This pretty thing was laying in the grass by the swinging bridge.
We stopped around 10:30 or so for an early breakfast, in Wolseley. There was a swinging bridge that we decided we had to see.

Jaz on the swinging bridge.

 It was great, on a little lake with a fountain.

This is the fountain with the senior housing in the background.

We walked across it and it swayed too and fro. It was like being on a drunken spree, without the drinking part. It was fun and we laughed and giggled like schoolgirls. Tee hee.

The swinging bridge and me.

The other side of the lake where we walked to, is the site of a senior home. The building was beautiful, and it looked like a very nice place to live. The grounds are nicely-kept, with flowers and grass.

It's also the site of the town's first courthouse. There were other buildings to photograph, too. It was a very picturesque little town, and the folks there were very friendly. We enjoyed our short visit.

The old courthouse ... a beautiful building that is still standing.
The plaque that goes with the building.

This little waterfall is near the swinging bridge by the senior home.

City Hall.

City Hall established 1906.

Now after realizing that there aren't a lot of rest stops or restrooms along the highways, I find myself being very suspicious of single cars pulled over next to the road. I now look for puddles.

Biker Bill, this Bear Claw is for you.
We are seeing more roadkill now that we had before … a couple of deer, racoons, coyotes. Didn't see any game at all today, alive that is.
I was so tired I could not stay awake. I told Jaz I had to stop so we stopped at a gas station and I got a RockStar java-type of drink. It didn't kick in right away, but now as I write this, I'm feeling pretty ramped up. Sitting in a bar at the Spruce Woods In in Glenboro, Manitoba, off Highway 2. The only place with internet is in the bar, so we're eating and drinking water. We want to go for a walk, too, but kitchen closes at 9 p.m. Cindy served our meals. I ate the best clubhouse deluxe sandwich ever … real roast turkey on it. It was so very tasty, and Cindy was very personable so we enjoyed visiting with her.
It was windy today, but not like yesterday when we were nearly knocked off the bikes a time or two. Riding with the cross wind yesterday coming from my left sent the heat from the engine into my leg, leaving a heat rash from the calf up past the knee. Today it didn't happen since we didn't have crosswinds from that direction for very long. So glad of that.
Finally saw some more oil derricks today so we could get some photos. It's interesting that they were in different colors, blue, little heads with yellow or orange, or orange tips. They look like those toy birds that you'd put next to a bowl of water, and they were weighted so their heads would bob up and down like they were drinking water. Some of you probably don't remember those.

The little derricks are so cute.  We found lots of them today.
Thunk, I saw it just before it hit. Something like one of those June bugs came right at me and bounced off the windshield. They don't splatter; they just hit and bounce off. I ducked … and wasn't hit, but they can feel like a stone hitting you. And that's why I ride with a windshield.

We got off of Highway 1 and dropped down to catch some country roads, 11 to 13, to 2.

There really wasn't much to see although there were lots of cows. They're such happy looking animals, always appearing to wear a smile.

And then there were the skunks. How is it that you can breathe out when you pass a skunk, and yet you still smell it? They always throw their scent when hit so it's just plain nasty.

And another animal, which is not an animal, but more like something out of a Star Wars movie, is something like looks like a giant spider. It's actually a piece of farm equipment, with giant legs on either side, a body that sits high and between the legs. We've seen a couple of them driving down the road and they appear to be giant spiders coming. Jaz and I both had the same thought, riding under the body and between the legs. But it probably is just a little too short for that.

As we entered Manitoba, I picked up a radio station out of Williston. I'm not sure since I've not had a chance to look it up, but it might be out of North Dakota. It was a great station.

We've seen something else today that we've not seen in a long time … real phone booths. Two of them. Who knew they still existed? The first was just outside of Regina.

Are the phone booths in Canada the last in the world?
The smell of dirt was strong today as we traveled lots of farm country. A lot of it had been freshly tilled. The farms are sometimes so pretty, and again we stopped to take photos of grain elevators. They fascinate both of us … maybe because we don't have them at home.

The grain elevator in the distance hardly looks real.
Interestingly, I was still wearing my jacket at 70+ degrees. I'd taken it off earlier, but got too cool, and put it back on. I'm thinking I don't take it off until the temperature reaches about 80 degrees. Funny how quickly you get acclimated to something like that.

The flooding still shows in Saskatchewan ... large puddles and mini-lakes everywhere.

We've heard the Queen of England is visiting Canada. We're trying to keep our distance, and not be in the same city at the same time as their could be fisticuffs between the two queens. I'm sure she would not understand my realm at all. I don't myself sometimes, but I, too, have loyal subjects.

Heading to Wawanesa, in the ditch was a car … in the mud and water. The road was straight. The two guys who must have been in it, were just kind of standing there looking perplexed as if they couldn't believe what they were seeing. It was just surprising since we really hadn't seen anything like that.

A delightful little village.

Found another thing to photograph for Biker Bill.  Must have been on my mind today.
We stopped in Wawanesa, hoping for a place to stay. No inns of any kind. But we wandered around a little.

There's a nice little park above the river.

The town is located above a river, and also has a monument for veterans, although it's for World War 1 and 2 lives given for freedom.

The monument ... thanks to those veterans for our freedom.

The plaque for the monument.  Amen.

More information on the community.
The community was very nice, very clean and somewhere we would have loved to stay if it had been possible.

It was a very enjoyable day. We probably did around 300 miles or so, but we're not in a rush as we still have five days to get to Vermont. If it comes down to it, we'll step up the pace and the length of the day and do the miles we need. We can ride on command … like the wind.

Tomorrow is Canada Day, July 1.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This morning was sunshine and just a little bit of cloud cover … so started the day with no long johns, no chaps, no fleece vest, light-weight socks. Was great. We did get some wind, but not too bad.

I am having the same problem I have every trip, though. My nose takes a beating. No matter how much sunscreen and make-up I put on it, it gets burned. What can ya do?

Grain elevators are all over.  They always have a name of
some sort on them.  Cool architecture.

Rode Highway 16 to Saskatoon, and figured we'd visit the shop there. Plenty of flowers, little yellow ones, and some wild roses along the way. Makes it look pretty. The ride today was mainly farmland and pasture, gently rolling hills, barns, silos. No mountains. Overall pretty flat but green, and lovely. In several places there was a lot of water off to the side of the road where you could tell water normally was not. There has been flooding down in some of these areas, and lots of rain. Glad we missed that. It must have rained really hard, though, for there to still be so much in some places. The wind blew the entire time, but we're used to that due to our training on Turnagain Arm.

Barns can be truly beautiful buildings, too.

What's been interesting in the farmland, is there are never crops planted, hardly any farm equipment and no irrigation equipment. There were only a few cows, and some horses. I don't quite understand all the land, but nothing growing.

We did pass through some oil country. There were a few little derricks, or whatever they call those things that look like those little bobbing birds, dipping their heads up and down. You could smell it as you rode by. Where we stayed last night had a lot oilfield people, too.

Saw a flock of cranes. Knew they were big birds from a distance, but couldn't tell until we were right under them. Then you could see their little legs sticking out behind … don't look up.

Stopped in Battlefords, starving. Had breakfast/lunch at a place called the Country Cuisine. Great food.

I had a Mexican skillet that was absolutely awesome.
We each parked in a different spot, with one left in between us. A couple of different cars parked in that spot at various time. The only thing I could think of was, “Do these bikes make their car look good?”

So, what do you think?  Does it look better?
We also picked up the French word of the day. Pure orange marmalade = marmalade d'orange pur. What I'm wondering, though, is if it were a licensed dining room. The other day I saw a sign on the outside of a restaurant that said that. Of course, that restaurant did not appear to have any patrons, or even be open. Our restaurant today did not appear to be licensed, and was excellent. So what is in this licensing thing?

Riding down the road you see things that no one else would even look at. Jaz and I were riding the right-hand lane. Up on our left came a little blue car … model unknown. A little white-haired lady was driving. In the passenger seat was an old white-haired guy. The seat was laid down and his head was lolling against the back, his mouth open. All I could think about was the movie “Weekend at Bernie's” which was about a couple of guys invited to a rich guy's (Bernie) house for the weekend, and then he dies. So they end up carting Bernie around even though he's dead so they can have their weekend of fun. Anyway, the car with the guy (probably sleeping, but who knows), made me think of that silly old movie.

There are other little tricks to riding … for instance, how to put on chapstick while rolling on down the road. Cruise control is very useful for this, if you have it. I keep one hand on the handlebars, and with the other open the zipper in my jacket and remove the chapstick. Sometimes I can get the top off; sometimes I can't. When that happens I use my teeth to remove and hold the cap while I chapstick up around it. Then reverse to put the cap back on and return it to the pocket. You can do the same with water bottles. I usually have one behind me bungy corded on that I can reach behind and get. Of course, I can't get it back under the bungy cord, so I just put it inside my jacket, my shirt, or the back of my jeans. It's much more difficult when you're riding in wind. Do not attempt this stunt. Only licensed professionals are trained to perform these acts.

We stopped for photos and the bikes were leaned over pretty far on a slanted piece of highway. The only way to get them back upright is to give the old road goddess war cry and heave them up straight. I would expect one could get a hernia. But hollering while lifting helps a lot. Any holler will do. But only females can do the road goddess war cry. Sexist? Yep, you betcha, ya sure.

Made it to Saskatoon. As we were pulling into town I was listening to the radio and they were talking about a fund-raising event. Wayne Gretzky was to be there, and Scotty Bowman, the coach of the Detroit Red Wings for years. You could skate with the guys and all. It was going to be at the Credit Union Center. Cool. Then we passed right by the place. Scotty is originally from Montreal, but was going to be around Saskatoon and do the benefit. At least that's what someone at the Harley shop said. Would be a fun thing to do if you're into hockey at all. And this Canada place is all about hockey. Go Red Wings!!!

Jaz and I went in the shop and were looking around. As usual, we talk to people. I was talking to a guy who said he works at the Harley Tomahawk plant. He said he had a couple of shirts to trade, so I ended up trading a new shirt I'd not worn yet from Soldotna. I now am the proud owner of a Tomahawk Plant shirt. The shirts he had are only available to employees, so I truly am proud to be a recipient.

Tomahawk Bill is pointing to the label that shows the number of the person who has completed that job.  Jaz and I were so disappointed to not find his number on the places we checked.  That would havejust been to cool to know that he had done some of the work on our bikes.  But we still have other places to check once we get the bikes totally unloaded at some point.

Tomahawk Bill (so he is not confused with my Biker Bill) and his wife, Debbie, were doing a little traveling, too. We talked some more and he said that he was trained to do nine various jobs at the plant, including painting, pinstriping, buffing and assemblying saddlebags. Each person has a number and it's on the little labels inside each piece of the bikes. So we went and looked at some of Jaz's and my bags, but his number was not on any of the ones we could get to. However, he recognized one of the numbers and said he knew that person. Tomahawk Bill's number is 64409. So you can all go look at the white labels inside bags and tour packs and such to see if he has done one of yours.

The young ladies at the shop were very helpful, and even got water for us two old gals who looked desperately in need of a drink. It helped us cool down so we could continue shopping. Shopping is hard work, too, and it's easy to work up a sweat in power-shopping mode.
From the shop we headed to a gas station so we could continue on toward Regina. While we were getting the credit cards loaded, up pulls a motorcycle policeman on a white bagger police bike. He had seen us and noticed our yellow license plates. He knew they were from either Alaska or Oregon, so followed us in. He, Constable Al, was very nice. We had an excellent visit and off he went.

Constable Al and me with his beautiful police bike. 

Once we left Saskatoon it got way more windy. But the fun did not cease. We were riding down the road and this vehicle pulls over and two guys get out, on a run toward a hill. Wondering what they're doing, of course, we're watching. One gets to the side of the little hill and starts piddling. So, we knew what they were up to. What we don't know is why they had to get to the hill, why they had to draw attention to themselves, and why they didn't just go behind the vehicle, like the guy we saw yesterday. I'd thought that guy had a car problem when I saw the big wet spot by the car. Then realized it wasn't a car problem, but a bladder problem. It's difficult not to do things like that along side the road here. The few rest stops there are don't have washrooms. So ya do what ya gotta do. I do not have photo support for this, and am thankful for that.
We stopped at Craik, the “friendliest little town by a dam site.”

You can't see the entire name, "Craik, the friendliest place by a dam site.l"
We had an ice cream and decided to go down Highway 2 to Moose Jaw to spend the night. We liked the name of the town, and it was also larger and would have hotel/motels.

I saw another coyote today, just a few miles from Chamberlain on Highway 11. This one was laying down about 10 feet from the edge of the road, where the mowed grass and the unmowed meet. His body was in the longer stuff but you could see him. He was just laying there watching traffic go by, cooling off. Was very neat to see.
Turned south on Highway 2. The wind was way worse than it had been, and to make matters worse, it appeared to be a truck route, so we had to fight the wind as well as the turbulence thrown up by the trucks. At one point, we had two oncoming trucks one behind the other. It made for a white-knuckle moment being tossed around by it all. Then we crossed into a little valley and it was peaceful for a few seconds, then out into the wind and onto a bridge where whitecaps were whipping up the water on Buffalo Pound Lake. It made for an exciting ride. I've now got an over-developed muscle in my left arm from fighting the wind all day.

This is in a park near the hotel where we stayed. 
It's part of a little amphitheater.

Here we are in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Flower photos are always a must for a post.  These were in the park.

It's a beautiful little town, and we went for a walk prior to coming back to the room to do the blog job. We save some of the best fun for last.  I have heard that we are not moving quickly enough on the Spot Tracker, we are not riding out early enough in the morning, we are eating too much, spending time shopping when we could be riding, and not getting the posts up quickly enough.  So, does that make us slackers.  Nah!!  This riding and blogging is a hard job; you work up an appetite for both eating and shopping ... but Jaz and I are truly up to the task, no matter how long it takes us, or the sacrifices we have to make when stopping for ice cream.  Seems like it's been midnight every night for me to get it all done.   But we have deadlines to meet. 

There's a little waterfall in the park, so you know who had to have
her photo taken. I'm wearing my new Tomahawk Plant T-shirt. 
Thank you, Tomahawk Bill and wife Debbie.

Some of the benches in the park are in memory of people.  I liked
this one because she was their 'bright star forever shining.'  What
a beautiful tribute to a loved one.

I cannot pass up an opportunity to take photos of ducks. 
Especially a lovely mama with her young ones.
They're just really pretty birds.
My favorites have always been the mallards, greenheads.

And yet another duck photo.

Last one for tonight.

Welcome Judy K, Kathy F, Alvin, Robin. Rode with Judy K last year and she had a Spot tracker, so that's why we have one. And Kathy F a former Chugach Electric co-worker and my wonderful biker friends Alvin and Robin.

I also want to thank the others of you who started following this earlier, before I even knew the path it would take, Biker Bill, Daisy Korn, Dave in Texas, Jaz, Jim, Jo Ann, Kendra in Georgia, Rachael in Hawaii, Rebecca, Rosie, Sabrina, Uncle Glen.

And so, dear friends and family, we are all in for tonight.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Million Mile Monday (and only a couple of photos)

First things, first, and that was to get the mileages from the bikes so we can register them for the HD million mile Monday. It won't be a high-mileage day since we needed to do services in Edmonton, but every little bit adds up in the end. It's a team effort after all.

Left Hinton a little before 8 a.m. No coffee because we didn't have cups to put it in. We need to purchase coffee cups … somewhere on the road today hopefully. So we stopped at Mickey D's for coffee. Jaz had an egg thing, and I actually ate something from there, a BLT bagel, and it was actually not so bad after all. We learned a new word, too, which is always a plus.

Serviette = napkin. Learning the language, one word at a time. I'm sure I'll forget it all by the time I get home … senior memory, you know.

Highway 16 is like an interstate. It's the Yellowhead Highway, and mostly four lanes. Coming out of Hinton it was a couple of gentle curves, and then straight, straight, straight. I thought it a bit boring … no animals except for a small flock of Canada geese. But a nice day just the same. A few clouds, sunshine. It had rained the night before, though, because there were some big puddles and the bikes were covered with raindrops. However, we did not have to ride in it, which was a plus. Ran out of the clouds by the time we reached Edson, about 60 miles east of Hinton, in Alberta. (Yesterday was British Columbia. Done three provinces now … also Yukon Territory.)

There were some interesting industrial smells today – a pulp mill, and something that smelled like clorox or chlorine. Have no idea what it might have been, but sure did not smell good. When you ride a bike, you have to take the good with the bad. The clorox with the smell of freshly mown hay. The sweet smell of flowers countered by the gagging smell of something dead off the road that you cannot see. The bad is way worth the good, though.

Sometimes when the road just isn't exciting enough you have to entertain yourself. Today I was beebopping to the music on the radio … found some good stuff, so I was moving all over the bike. It's probably like doing mild aerobics or something, so in addition to burning calories just by riding, you add to that with the biker aerobics program.Stick around, those who ride with me. You'll lose weight through biker aerobics and not being allowed to eat. Jaz is not used to mostly one meal a day. When I'm on my own I eat fiber or granola bars, a meal sometime during the day and maybe an apple and peanut butter at night, or some other snack. I don't like breakfast food and she needs to eat before riding. So we're working on a compromise. The Mickey D's bagle BLT this a.m. was actually okay, though, and I survived.

The cruise control was another function that entertained me as it's something I don't use a lot. But today's road screamed for use of cruise control. Jaz can set hers and be just fine. Anyone that is following the leader has to keep adjusting their cruise control, up a mile or so, down a mile or so, because you're either falling behind or trying to pass your leader. And that is a definite no-no. I've been chastised for that in the past. Or at the very least given the finger motion to back off. It's just hard to moderate, although a couple of times I was there, and kept the proper distance for quite some time, until we had to pass a car, or back off to wait to get by someone. Then I had to start trying for perfection yet again. And it was not the norm.

So, another area of entertainment is making up a question based upon something I saw. The question is: “Why do there seem to be more tar snakes on one side of the road than the other?”

The shop is located on the east side of Edmonton, so had to ride through town. It wasn't exactly combat riding like some we've done, but there was enough traffic to make it interesting, particularly because some of the intersections are rather strange. I ended up in the middle of a turn lane because I thought it was where I was supposed to stop. Had to try to back that girl up … didn't get very far with that. Miss Scarlet is not a light-weight. Only had one guy shake his head at me as he passed. Then there was the Scarlet sandwich, when I had a big old 18-wheeler in the lane on each side of me. One slight miscalculation on their part, or if they didn't see me, and I would be nothing more than a grease spot on the pavement. Finally got out of that … traffic was making it difficult to get away from them.

There was another very strange intersection where you went around, doubled back or something, but we arrived safely and all in one piece at the Edmonton shop a bit after 11 … it was great. For a few moments we were on Wayne Gretzky Road, the “Great One” in the National Hockey League (now retired). I was such a fan of his for a long time, until he left the LA Kings. Then not so much. But still, it was exciting to see his name on a road sign, because I can guarantee I'll never do anything famous enough to get mine on one.

Harley-Davidson of Edmonton was a great shop. They got Jaz in immediately, and me shortly thereafter for my 10-k, which is actually a 12-k to them. The young lady who helped us, tall, blond and with so much personality, was really fun to talk to. Could have stayed longer doing that. She ended up going out to the blog sites, and Jaz gave her a card so she could find it again.

When the bike was finished, she showed me a little checksheet they use to show their customers what they've done to the bikes. For instance, how much tread is left on your tires, brakes, etc. Was great. Bringing that one home. Would make a great customer service tool.

Jaz and I had a couple of hours to kill after shopping. We went upstairs to their customer lounge and played an HD pinball machine. Jaz is pretty good at that.

Jaz on the HD pinball machine.  She was putting up the points like crazy.

The HD pinball machine was so fun ... but I'm not so good.

Was fun. But then we realized we needed to get to work. Internet access was a go at the shop, so we got busy getting started on tonight's blog. Of course, I always have way much more to say, so it takes me longer. There are only a few photos, which Jaz took, so that's all there is for that today. Tomorrow there will be more.

See, I really was working on the blog ... and e-mail ... and Facebook.

We left the shop and headed east on the Yellowhead Trail, Highway 16, again. We decided to go to Lloydminster, about 150 miles down the road to spend the night. On the way we passed Elk Island National Park. We didn't go in, but I saw two bison, one on either side of the road as we went along. Later I saw a coyote. He was dirty and dingy, the color of old pavement, and just loping along on the other side of some pasture fence. Was cool to see him. Guess they're considered like rodents in a lot of places, but for me it was a treat because it's not something I see all the time. No photos of that as the highway was busy and we needed to keep moving.

There were a couple of other things on the ride this afternoon. For the second time I saw a truck with a purple tarp covering its load. I know someone in Anchorage who'd probably love to have a purple tarp … the Purple Haze (Sherry). I need to have a glossary of road names.

We also passed a sign for Uncas Road. Biker Bill has a niece, Emily, who calls him Unca Unca. I thought of that when passing the Uncas sign.

One train is now ours. We got it to blast its horn at us. It was a big old freight train. Yahoo. Another one bites the dust. It's so uplifting to get them to honk at you … and then it's arm pump time. Oh yeah.

Jaz and I are now in for the night. We unloaded the bikes and took a little walk around several blocks. It's a great way to see some of the town you're staying in. There were some very nicely-kept ranch houses, old and established neighborhoods with mature trees, and property people take pride in. Was a lovely walk, and we're now getting into our traveling routine, which includes walks. Was hot, though. I'd say in the mid-to-high 70s, if not a bit more. (Just went online … the Internet is a wonderful thing … high about 80.) No wonder I was dripping.

On a final note, I notice the roadside memorials people leave when one of their loved ones has died on the road. I forgot to mention one I saw yesterday although it did leave an impression. It was on Highway 16, coming out of Jasper. It was in the middle of the median. It was a cross, but the horizontal piece was made of two hockey sticks. It was so unique. If I get back this way I intend to stop and take a photo. It's been a thought of mine to take photos of some of these memorials and put them out there … they're interesting and each is unique in its own way.

With that, I'm done for the night. We are all in.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wi-fi just wasn't working last night. So this a.m. Jaz and I went to McDonald's, cuz supposedly they have it at their places. NOT!!! At least not here. So back to the hotel we went and sat outside (we'd already left the key and vacated the room). The signal was way weak … so couldn't post photos. Was lucky to get the text loaded. Bummer. We look for hotel/motels with wi-fi, so it was very disappointing. Things were just way slow and we kept moving benches around outside of the hotel to try to find the best signal. (Bikers do that, you know, always move the furniture.) Was never very good. Jaz had sat in the hot tub area at a little table to get enough bars to make her post the night before. Couldn't get in there this morning.

So back at the hotel this morning before the lack of blogging incident, Jaz made cofffee, Kaladi of course, in her little super duper French press coffee maker.

Jaz doing Kaladi coffee prep work on the French press.
It's purplicious from the little press, according to her. Was very nice to have GOOD coffee.

It is large enough for about two cups of coffee.  And the purple color,
I am sure makes it taste so much better. Purple Haze, eat your heart out.
Usually the stuff in the motel/hotels isn't the best but I drink it. Last year she said she would not anymore. So, I am benefiting from that. Thank you, Jaz.

I find it hard to believe that now I have to do this blog thing. Who would have thought I'd love doing it. But Jaz and I are very mindful that our followers want to read about our travels. In fact, I know I subject mine to more than just travels, but you can scan over the ramblings if you choose.

We're in Hinton, Alberta, just east about 40 miles from Jasper. We did only about 250 miles or so, because we were totally tourists today. We saw major game … and have lots and lots of photos to share.

Btw, last night I said I'd gotten off the road the earliest on the trip. Wrong. I didn't realize there had been a time change, so it was normal, about 8:30 p.m. Oh well. Time changes don't mean too much when you're on vacation, or retired, which I'm practicing for. Actually, if I were retired I wouldn't be on a schedule at all, and I still am, since I'm only off work for a month. If I were retired, and didn't want to go home at the stated time, I'd just call and say hey, I'm going to be a little later, or a lot later, than I'd said I'd be. Sorry.

You know, it's kind of funny. At night I'm glad to get off the bike, tired, dirty and roadworn. But when morning comes, and I'm back in the saddle, I feel like I'm coming home … how can a piece of fiberglas and metal make you feel like that? Miss Scarlet is more than a thing; it's like she lives and breathes. Her heartbeat and mine become one. I love how when you hit the perfect rpm's and speed, you hear this resonance. It's a sweet spot and sounds like a jet engine whirring, and droning. That's what I think of as the bike's heartbeat … as she pumps oil through her veins and arteries, pushing on for the person on her back. Miss Scarlet is definitely a lady, but a workhorse. There have been many comments on her name, in many different towns, and not just from the people who ride her own kind. A lady at a gas station today liked it … that was cool.

Left Golden this morning, and about four miles from town came across four big rams lying by the side of the road, sleeping.

These four big guys were laying right next to the road.  They were sleeping and very
unconcerned about people being near or taking  photos of them.
It was so cool … and they were not at all bothered by all the passersby taking photos of them, even getting rather close.

They were so unconcerned about people ... and didn't even
seem mildly curious about us.

They were one of the reasons we didn't make much in the line of mileage today. You've got to stop to see it, photograph it, enjoy it.

Poor sleepy ram.  But he did have one eye on me.
That's why you travel, isn't it? I love the animals … I think most of all, and could sit for hours watching it, and waiting for the perfect photo, which of course I never get.

Me with the rams in the background.

After we left there, we came around one of those big gentle mountain curves, with the dividers along the edge so you don't drive off the edge. I saw something that didn't belong. It looked like a big round thing sticking up in the air, dirt-colored. What was it? As I got closer, up popped the head of a sheep, a ewe. She'd had her head down, and must have been on her knees because it was just her butt that had been in the air. Made me laugh. She did not have the chicken gene, and didn't appear to even contemplate jumping into the road.

A bit further we saw another, so it was a good day for sheep.

It's excellent riding today with my light gloves and I can keep warm with the heated grips. Chaps, jacket. Nice. Not too cold, not too warm. That's what I like.

Ran through an area with cottonwood trees. The cottonwood was blowing and looked like snow coming down. The stuff gets in your face, your nostrils, all over. Tickles.

Stopped at the visitor center at Yoho Park. Was very nice, and we learned something about some of these stone figures we've seen. We were told they are a traveler guardian, and when you see one, you should add a stone to it, to keep it building. That's pretty cool.

The travel guardian figures are very similar to this one in shape. 

I've been noticing some of the areas have a lot of beetle kill … like ours. The park (Yoho) had quite a bit, yet other areas don't seem to have any. I've come through some where the whole hillside is nothing but beetle kill. A wildfire will be needed to take it all out of there, I guess.

Beetle kill is everywhere.
Near the visitor center is Kicking Horse River. In reading the sign, it said that while exploring a Rocky Mountain River in 1858, a surveyor-geologist named James Hector suffered a near-fatal kick by his packhorse.

Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park.

Hector survived and the river and a nearby mountain pass wer named after that incident. Thought that was a cool story.

The Kicking Horse River sign ... telling of the "incident."
Today, Yoho, Banff and Jasper National Parks, and the Promenade of Glaciers (the Icefields Road, which is also Hwy. 40 to the north). The road was wonderful, like Turnagain Arm, but lots of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and the beautiful Canadian Rockies. The lakes were the color of turquoise that no photo can do justice to. There was some less traffic today, at least in some places, but more passing lanes. People in this part of the country drive the speed limit, mostly. However, we saw a couple of whatever their cops are with a couple of customers. Maybe they were park ranger cops. Whatever they were, they had the lights a going, and looked like they were handing out tickets.

Another flower photo.  Still haven't taken enough.  Haven't really seen lots of flowers. 
I'm sure this is probably a weed, but it's bright and cheerful.
There were some parts of the road that are apparently patched in little pieces, so that when you go over it, it's like riding on a rumble strip. It jars the daylights out of you and the bike, and God help you if you have a bladder issue.

Beautiful mountain range ... photos don't show the majesty.

The drive runs through a valley between all of the mountains.

You just can't have too many photos of mountains.

And this  is why it's called the Promenade of Glaciers.

I let Vern out of the tour pack for a photo op with the Crowfoot Pass, Crowfoot Glacier and Bow Peak. He was happy to get out and look around a bit, but I had to get him back in. There were lots of people and he doesn't always behave himself. He is a bird trash chicken.

Vern is a chicken on a mission ... to get out of the tour pack. 
I keep a steady hand on him so he doesn't fly the coop.

Every direction you looked there was beauty and magnificence to be seen.

Visited the Athabasca Visitor Center. It was like Grand Central Station, so we didn't stay too long.

You never know who you'll see.
There must have been 20 tour buses there, and they had to have been full. Everyone was milling about inside the center. Used the washroom (from the bumpy pavement … remember?) and took some photos.

They just take regular buses up onto the glacier.  You can see them,
one is to the left, another more to the right, about midway up. 

The Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier were spectacular. They take buses up onto the glacier for tours. Would be a cool thing to do, I think.

Jaz and me.  Someone is always willing to take a photo of you ... and not even charge a fee.
Saw a passel of goats, including a couple of little ones. They let people come up to them, too. They were right next to the road, and you could see them digging and throwing up dust.

The little ones look so cuddly.

Dust was flying all over the place.

They mostly looked like they were shedding.

King of the hill.

There must be salt there or something from the road they like. Was great. It was the only game that we saw inside of the parks. Imagine that. We had really hoped to see a grizzly, but that didn't happen. I was wearing my camera in anticipation.

The force of the water was incredible.  You could
see the forcefulness of it just standing and looking at it.

This could be some very nasty white water rafting.
A bit further down the road we visited the Athabasca Falls. It was beautiful, and you could drive right by without ever knowing it's there unless you read a sign. And I'm the signreader in this crowd. As part of our signreading, Jaz and I are learning to speak French … arette means stop (like on the sign). Lac is lake. Nord is north. All from reading signs as many of them are in both English and French. There's just no telling wht you can learn while traveling.

Just before Jasper we saw a big girl elk. She was off to the side of the highway, and stood in all her majesty watching the traffic go by. Didn't stop since we figured she'd probably take off as she was apparently on her own.

Stopped in Jasper for fuel and sustenance, then onward since we need to be in Edmonton tomorrow a.m., me for a 10,000 check up, and Jaz for an oil change.

This deer mount was in the restaurant, so needed a photo of it for Biker Bill.
As we left Jasper we saw another little herd of elk girls … no buck. Heard later there's one that runs with them, but we didn't see him. Mostly they had collars of some sort on them.

This was the best photo of the bunch.  Again, right next to the road and not too concerned.
In the long run, we only ran about 40 more miles, to Hinton. Nice little town, and the motel (Pines) is the best. The room has hardwood floors, and it's all a light wood. There is an armoire that holds a little frig and the television. We'd give this one a thumb's up if you're looking for a pleasant place to stay, where your bike can be parked right outside the door, the wi-fi actually works and works well, and the proprietor is nice and friendly. What more could you want?

If you're reading the blogs, would you please add yourself as a follower if you haven't? Nice to know who's looking at this travelogue/blog/rambling. As Jaz and I have so eloquently said, we're biking and blogging. It's now what we do. Jaz has cards with the blog site on it and is handing them out. Wish I'd thought of that. I've asked her to give me her cards and I'll write my blog site on them, too.

Welcome Miss JGayle, my lovely Texas rose. Happy to have you on board. I'm wearing the Texas star earrings you gave me years ago, just in case you'd not read that in an earlier post.

And for tonight, we're all in.