Kaslo, BC

They thought they needed a festival to bring people to this place?  They have a jazzfest going on right now.  I think it was  perfect as it is.  Charging battery while drinking  local brews.

Tough life.

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Kootenai to Canada

Since I was so close to BC, and I have  never been, I decided to roll up to Kootenai Nat Forest to camp and pre-exploreIMG_20160730_134814 the area. Found a fire tower yesterday and enjoyed a nice windy day of riding in N. Montana.
This morning I rode from Montana into Idaho and then crossed the border.  Currently I am in Kimberly, BC, having some poutin for breakfast.

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Outside my window at the restaurant

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Kaniksu Nat Forest

After overnighting in Coeur d’Alene I realized I needed to gain some elevation and get a bit closer to the forest, and Canada. I found most just outside Sandpoint,Id. in Kaniksu. I also found John and Josh, who were riding this week on the same trails I was interested in.  Not only did these guys let me tag along on their dirt-day, the next day the invited me out on the boat, for dinner, and to hang out with the family.  I had a great time.
Headed towards the Canadian border, and hopefully a couple days of touring the valley.

Lolo & Clearwater Nat Forests

Missoula is an awesome town.  I only left Thusday because it was 101° inside the bus. I had to get out of the city, and find some shady mountain to park. Luck for me, Lolo Nat. Forest was less than 20 miles away. After rolling up to 4600 feet, just west of Lolo Peak, I was filled with bliss for the next 3 days. Perfect temps allowed me to ride 200-300 miles every day, then return to camp for dinner, beer, campfire. IMG_1768  I found myself riding in some of the most scenic areas I have ridden, all with near perfect, unlimited dirt. Much of the FS roads were once traveled wy Lewis & Clark on their journey west. I am finding this history much more compelling everyday when I see the terrain they crossed.

Freshwater tank empty, phone completely melted, I was forced to return to civilization, and head towards Idaho tomorrow to find a “Sprint phone seller”.  Lucky for me, Idaho has even better roads and hills to spin my wheels in.  Might even do some paddling and fishing?

Glacier Nat Park

I knew what I was in for.  I knew what to expect.  National Parks, especially popular ones are designed/modified as big, long cattle-chutes to herd the animals from one end of the park to the other.  I get it.  I even understand it.  Cattle do terrible things to the landscape, you MUST keep them inside the fence.  It was a nice visit, despite the 3/4 BILLION cars clogging up the amazing roads.  I shot some nice video, and then hauled ass out of the park to find some FUN things to do.  Enjoy the scenery!

Flathead Adventure

I spent five days in the middle of bear country, camped on the North Fork of the Flathead River, about 45 miles south of the Canadian border.  The promise of my forgotten little town – Polebridge, was a bit disappointing.  Turns out, that riding down a dusty dirt road for 30 miles will lead to Polebridge, a small, off-grid community from the turn of the century, but all the tourists have found out about this quaint spot.  I thought I might be one of 5 people to grab a huckleberry bearclaw (it was 10x better than it was described even) along with a goat-cheese, sundried tomato thingie that was almost as good.  The coffee even washed MOST of the dust down too.

Deer were everywhere.  They used the roads as a salt-lick, and could barely care about your bus or moto.  A large elk came crashing thru the camp one night, between my fireplace and the river, while a visitor that had paddled in late (10:30) and I watched.

IMG_1739The most striking thing I noticed about Flathead, and Glacier, was the amount of damage to the forest caused by the 2003 burn.  While I read Glacier suffered a 13 percent loss, I think it might be double that in Flathead.  I used several trees as firewood.  Sorry for the lack of pics, my camera was damaged after being ruunt-over.

As I mentioned in a previous video, the day I had planned to run over to Glacier early, was the day I lost my valve-stem on the rear tire(almost crashed at 70+).  I spent the pre-dawn hour walking back to the bus, and was picked up by Border Patrol agent, and that is how I found out about the grizzly killing(in more ways than one).  IMG_1744I spent 1/2 the day finding a tube. and 2 more hours replacing, then patching my pinch, but did get a short ride in.  As much struggle as I had, I thoroughly enjoyed my time up there, topped off by a trip to Canada.

I am so banged up from riding, paddling, and walking thru the bus (no I was NOT drunk), that it may take a few weeks for the cuts and bruises to heal.  Fortunately, the smile will last much longer than that.

Bear Scat Woods

One single day of riding led to a chilling reminder of how we are not always at the top of the foodchain.   No matter what kind of badass you think you might be, you are a play toy for the right size beast.  Oddly enough, I just finished watching The Revenant two  nights before, and the hero bounced down rivers, and escaped a deadly grizzly attack.  Well it all seemed to gel in my mind that day.

Even worse, my rescuer the day after told me of the USDA ranger that suffered a fatal grizzly attack just two weeks prior, in the very same woods.  Chilling.

Kalispell Impression

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Awoken to a road-painting crew on a closed street, beside a brewery.

120 miles over a few mountains, and I rolled past a HUGE blue-green, amazing lake to roll into Kalispell. I will use Kalispell as a launching pad for Glacier and the Flathead.

I intend to reach a remote town called Polebridge almost in Canada, and I am pretty excited about it.
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On to Kalispell and Whitefish

So my attempt to paddle Alberton Gorge yesterday was a fail, but I will make another attempt next week – it looks WAY too awesome to miss.

 

On a lighter note, I just filled the tank with 250 miles on it, and only added a quart (rather than 2 gallons) so I think the takin-er-easy method is working on the sprinkler system. Which is why I am headed north.

Baby Steps

I have decided that maybe the answer is to take baby steps – 20-30 miles at a time, slowly crawling across Montana, and staying clear of the mountain passes.  I think this might be the answer to the leak, as it seems to leak very little on slow, gentle rides, and let’s face it, I am in no real hurry.  This is still, after all, an adventure?

Doing laundry on the “crappy side of town”.

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