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34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada
34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada
13,000 Miles Beyond Incredible
Published by Helmetdance
Page 27

Day 23 – Sunday August 21st
Kamloops, British Columbia to Jasper, Alberta
Mount Robson National Park

I spend Saturday night as a pampered guest at the home of Alan and his wife Judy. I am treated to an excellent home cooked Italian dinner – with Canadian beer of course, topped off with a most restful night’s sleep. Alan and Judy’s kind hospitality is a very welcome treat after so many miles on the road.

Sunday morning I sleep later than my customary pre-dawn routine. I attend the 7:00 am Mass at Kamloops’ historic Sacred Heart Cathedral. Alan meets me in front of the cathedral after Mass, and we’re ready to roll.

This morning’s ride follows the North Thompson River on scenic Yellowhead Highway 5. As we head north out of Kamloops and the Okanagon Valley, we share the surrounding terrain with very few people. We pass through the small towns of Heffley Creek, McClure, Louis Creek, Barriere, and Darfield, yet the terrain along Yellowhead Highway is for the most part uninhabited. The greenish-blue hue of the Thompson River paints a beautiful picture as it flows through the forested hillsides and grasslands of the Thompson Plateau.

North Thompson River from Yellowhead Highway 5, just north of Little Fort

Two Wings along the Yellowhead Highway

When the first explorers came to the Thompson Valley in search of gold in the 1860s, the region was inhabited by native bands known as First Nations people. Many places in the area take their names from battles that took place between First Nations bands such as the Okelhs, Canims, and the Chilcotins. The Valley was settled shortly after the turn of the century.

View north along the North Thompson River, just north of Clearwater

Canadian National Railway Bridge crossing the North Thompson River just north of Clearwater

A work train crosses the river

Another view of the North Thompson

North Thompson River between Birch Island and Vavenby

View north from bridge over North Thompson River at Avola

View east near Blue River

View north on Yellowhead Highway just south of Valemount

Alan and I stop for lunch in Valemount, about 200 miles or 320 kilometers north of Kamloops. After lunch Alan and I part company as he turns back for home. At Tete Juan Cache, 12 miles north of Valemount, Yellowhead Highway 5 meets Yellowhead Highway 16. From here I head east toward Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Fraser River east of Tete Juan Cache on Yellowhead Highway 16

View east of Yellowhead Highway 16 with Mount Robson in the background

The peak of Mount Robson was veiled by cloud cover during my pass through the park. Mount Robson is the highest in the Canadian Rockies at 12,972 feet.

Entering Mount Robson Provincial Park

Mount Robson is famous for being one of the most beautiful and impressive sights in British Columbia. Yellowhead Highway that passes through the park takes it name from a blonde-headed early 19th century fur-trader and trapper. Mount Robson Park is home to a myriad variety of wildlife including mule and whitetail deer, moose, elk, black bear, grizzly bear, coyote, cougar, wolf, caribou, mountain goat, big-horn sheep and almost 200 species of birds.

The Robson River and Mount Robson

Moose Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park

The tracks of the Canadian National Railway along Moose Lake

View of Mount Fitzwilliam in Mount Robson Provincial Park along the British Columbia and Alberta border

An artistic sign marking Mount Fitzwilliam

A view of Yellowhead Highway 16 and Mount Fitzwilliam

The British Columbia and Alberta border is 48 miles east of Tete Juan Cache. This is also the border between Mount Robson Provincial Park and Jasper National Park.

Leaving beautiful British Columbia behind...

...Entering Alberta

Crossing spectacular Yellowhead Pass at 3,730 feet, the overcast skies begin to clear as the afternoon sun casts a warm glow on the snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Red Wing on Yellowhead Pass

Yellowhead Highway 16 crossing Yellowhead Pass

The Mietta River

An old CNR locomotive on display in Jasper

The national flag of Canada

End of Day 23
Location: Jasper, Alberta
GPS Mileage = 8571 miles
Today’s Mileage = 289 miles

Route: Day 23

<<  <    Next Page (Page 27 of 40)    >  >>
By Chocoholic on 07-21-2006, 09:20 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

great story and trip...thanks for sharing it with us. Give me more chill wanting to go cross country......
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By G8ESCAP on 07-22-2006, 06:48 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

What a great job you did putting all this together Mark, and I'm only on page 12 so far! Has to be the finest post on the forum. Well worth the wait! Makes me want to get on my bike and go, if only it wasn't going to be 110 degrees here today!
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By goldwinghen3 on 07-23-2006, 04:58 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

THAT was one incredible ride...Your pictures are fabulous !!!! it took me 6 hours to read and look at your trip....You should publish this with some one...That has got to be the most amazing picture story around...I can't imagine how long it took you to publish this on here...How did you remember all of the names of the pictures and you amaze me that your spelling wasso good.......I am going to read it again when I have more time,,,I loved it !!! Isn't the Western U.S. GORGEOUS ??!!!!!!!!.......If you are ever in California again...look me up.....Thanx for the wonderful trip !!!!!....Henry
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By Helmetdance on 07-24-2006, 03:19 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Fenny - That's great that you have been inspired to do some long-distance touring by reading my story. Even if you don't do that right away, you are lucky to live in the land of the best motorcycle roads in the world.

Dale - Thanks for the kind words. Still working some bugs out of it with Gary's help, but its nice to have it up on the board where the Pashnit gang can finally read it.

Henry - Thanks for the compliments. My intention is to eventually condense this down into a book. I didn't keep track of the hours, but there were many all-day as well as all-night sessions. There are a lot of hours wrapped up in this piece. Remember the names? If only I could do that, the amount of work would have been a fraction. I identified the names from maps, info on the internet, google earth, and lots and lots of internet searching. Tagging the pics with names required a whole lotta searching.
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By JimmieS on 07-24-2006, 07:55 PM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada


Truly a spectacular way to spend 30 + days and nights. You have seen the best of the best with the best of the best out there, and I have to give huge Kudos to you for the execution of this most amazing trip, and the all out perfect photo essay to accompany it. I can't imagine what it was like for you to take on such a huge ride, and still be able to communicate your daily excitement a year later. Well done. Well done indeed.

As I mentioned on another forum to you my wife and I just completed our 30 day circumnavigation of the US, and I am just beginning to put that story together to share here on Pashnit. I'm humbled by your style and class. Next time your in Ca. you had best remember to include me in your ride plans along with DaleC and Dorian - (man am I irritated with those two for not letting me in on the time they spent with you....)

Great job!
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By gpickren on 07-25-2006, 09:57 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Fabulous ride pics and commentary, Mark. We live in So. Cal and as soon as we are able my wife and I will ride most of your route. Omitting the Kansas and eastern Colorado part I think.

We have been unable to travel for a long time do to caring for her 94 year old father, but when his race is finished we will plan to go. Thanks for the inspiration.
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By Michael Bishop on 08-06-2006, 07:14 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Mark you did a great job giving a us a taste of your experience. I have been waiting for this from the time I read you was doing the trip.
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By harryvbr on 08-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Great trip! I enjoyed the beautifull pictures. I was so lucky in 2002 to make almost the same trip by Goldwing. That Goldwing I could rent at Everett Motorsports.
Every now and than I look at the pictures I took.

Harry Vanbruggen
the Netherlands
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By bangladave on 08-13-2006, 11:04 AM
Clapping2 Re: 34 Days Through the Western United States and Canada

Mark, GREAT POST I have followed Pashnit for that last couple of years and your story is truly a great one. I have been looking at some of the same areas to ride through one day soon. We would be heading there from Minnesota so we need some extended time to do it. Keep following you dreams.

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