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Riding Dirty - A North American Motorcycle Tour

In the morning we continued south where we got back on the Alaskan highway. We retraced our route through Whitehorse, back into British Columbia and through Watson Creek on a cold and cloudy day.

Cyrus, using his tailpipes to warm up a corndog he bought at a gas station.

It got late, but we kept moving, looking for a place to camp. Lots of wildlife seems to come out at that time of day, and we saw another moose on the side of the road and then a couple bison. Finally found a free campground called Whirlpool Canyon. It was next to a really cool spot on the river where it turned sharply, creating some giant rapids. I think that was our highest mileage day, at 520, since we were trying to make it back to the states by the 4th of July.

The next day was probably my favorite day of riding. It was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies and a warm sun. Right after pulling out of the campsite we saw a small black bear on the side of the road. We circled around and took some video of him, then pulled up a little closer. He was maybe 30 feet away, just sitting on his butt, chewing on some grass. We revved our bikes to try and get a response from him; he just looked up for a second, then back to the grass. All the animals on the road have been like this. They must just be so accustomed to people pulling over and taking pictures that they don't even care anymore. We saw at least 4 more black bears, a couple moose, mountain goats, lots of bison and finally a few grizzlies. That was all in one day. The scenery was great as well, with some big mountains and valleys, and good roads to boot.

Above is Munacho Lake, which was a brilliant blue. We rode closer and walked to the shore to take pictures. As we stood there, Cyrus simply stated "I'm gonna have to jump in that." So we got down to our skivvies and dove in one at a time. We weren't in for long, on account of the freezing water (fed by a glacier). It felt great though, particularly because I hadn't had a shower in about five days.

We filled up on gas in Fort Nelson and then kept riding after dark, to make up for all the time we spent filming wildlife and swimming. It wouldn't have been a problem, but none of the gas stations have "pay at the pump' features, so when they close around 10pm, there's no gas to be had until morning. We still didn't feel like stopping so we decided to see how far we could get. After 191 miles since refueling I had to switch to my reserve tank.

At 238 miles I was dry. Luckily I'd brought a gallon of spare gas in a plastic tank. That was the first time I'd used it during the trip besides helping some Canadians who'd run out of gas a couple miles from town the day before. Cyrus and I split the gallon of gas, which got us down the road a little farther to a campground. There was a gas station across the road, so we'd be able to refuel in the morning, but the campground was closed, with a big gate blocking the entrance. However there just so happened to be a little bit of space between the edge of the gate and a ditch, just wide enough to get a motorcycle through. It was a tight fit, but we both made it through and tried not to make too much noise as we drove by the Camp Host's RV and found a site. No one came to yell at us, but we skipped making a fire; just made dinner with my stove and hit the sack.

June 30th we rode through Fort St John on another beautiful day. It got pretty hot, around 85, which the locals said would set a record for that time of year. We rode through some beautiful mountains and saw a caribou and more mountain goats. The next day we got to Alberta, Canada and rode through Jasper and Banff National Parks. I'd heard great things about these parks, so I was very excited to see them. Unfortunately the weather didn't hold; it was cloudy most of the day and poured on us for a bit. The place was still beautiful though. Lots of mountains with big glaciers creeping by, and more crystal clear lakes.

It was a Tuesday, but for some reason the place was absolutely swamped with people. We got to the city of Jasper and it was ridiculously packed. There were cars and RVs lining both sides of every street. There must have been something going on that week. As we drove through the parks, we were constantly getting stuck behind RVs, which would pull over randomly to take a picture of a rabbit or something, and not even bother to get completely off the road.

The scenery was worth the drive, but we were both fed up with the crowds after that and decided to skip going through Yellowstone and Teton National Parks on the way back, since they'd be even worse due to the 4th of July weekend. It rained several times that day, but stayed hot, so we'd shed our rain layers when it looked clear, then around the next turn it would pour on us again, so that was fun. We were hoping to make it to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho that day, where Cyrus' sister lives. But it got late and we were still in Canada, so we found another campground for the night, just north of the border.

Comments


Chopperjake says:

Awesome article!!! Very inspiring and sounds like one helluva good time.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM

DrAlloway says:

Excellent !

June-July 2010 I started on US-50 in Ocean City Maryland. Put my rear tire in the Atlantic Ocean and rode US-50 all the way to San Francisco where I put my front tire in the Pacific Ocean.

Then up the coast into Canada; back into Washington State; and home on US-2 along our northern border.

60 days, camping and cooking, just over 12,000 miles.
Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Puddlejumper says:

Great story telling. It is an adventure you will remember your entire lifetime. My husband and I are both retired Army and from one vet to another, thank you for your service. Not many are willing to risk all as you did. Well done and welcome home. Keep those wheels turning!
Fri Dec 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM

NC_En4cer says:

Awesome story bro. I enjoyed reading about your adventure. That's my kinda riding. Great trip and pictures.
Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM

tortuga-mike says:

Great trip...Great story!!! I'm leaving Afghanistan in June, will start my trip in Aug...I plan on taking
about two months also, but I'm going all the way up to Prudhoe Bay, and down to Anchorage, threw Fairbanks, and maby a ferry one way there, and drive the other way...THEN, I'm doing the 4 Corners Tour, with the Great American Motorcycle Adventure together, and plan on hitting all 49 states before I'm finished.

Starting at Fort Hood Tx, and Ending in San Diego, Ca. But probably have to go it alone. Should still be fun!
Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 5:35 AM

UtahDave2 says:

Great read - I've ridden from Alabama to Utah via South Dakota and Yellowstone, and need another long trip. You have inspired me. I've been chained to my desk for too many years.
And, most importantly, THANK YOU for your service to our country! We have the freedom to be able to ride because of you and all of those like you. An Air Force vet.
Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

SoapSuddzin says:

I was at a point where i was debating getting out of the service. ive loved every minute of it but am ready for a change. reading this article was a great influence. to be able to go out whenever without having to take leave. awesomely inspireing. thank you for serving.
Go Boilermakers!
*indiana born and raised
Wed May 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM

jwittner says:

Really great travel log Trevor - truly inspiring. Thank you.
Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM

trev1300 says:

Thanks for all the comments guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Check out the video at: www.trevstravelblog.com

I'm riding the Dragon in TN next week, and might be heading to Mexico this summer; best of luck to everyone taking on their own adventure.
Tue Mar 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Nowheels says:

Awsome, reminds me of Redline America
check it out if you haven't yet. Definately worth it.
Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 10:53 PM

davidtn says:

Excellent, excellent, excellent!'

I'm riding from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska this June and I vicariously already made the trip thanks to your great article.
Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM

kshief50 says:

I had many such adventures thirty+ years ago. Well told on your part, live large. I'm thinkin perhaps I have one more left in me. Don't get chained to the wants of life, it will destroy your best. Ride, Ride, Ride!!
Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Doc2nd2 says:

Im glad you got the opportunity to pull off an epic ride like that. I try to do that every couple of years. And now you have fired me up for my next ride! Very well written, I could relate with the different aspects of your ride as I am sure others can too. I often felt as if I were on the road with you guys. Im old Army and want to thank you, from one soldier to another, for your service. It seems vets really can appreciate the freedom of an epic ride for what it REALLY is, a chance to enjoy the freedom that we fought for and our buddies died for. Ride safe, ride long and always remember to ride for those who can't.God's speed brother.
Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 9:08 PM

zgun says:

Again, a great story. As I wait here in Georgia to get thru one of the coldest winters on record, I dream about getting on my new Yamaha vstar 1300 and doing something like this. I am glad you were able to do this after serving time in Iraq. Welcome home!
Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM

mitrocop says:

A buddy of mine and I are in the planning stages of an approx. 6-week trip from Charleston, SC to Denali park in AK and back, with lots of off-road routes through the wild wild West.

Great story - thanks for the insight on good stops through Canada, it gives us food for thought before we head out later this summer. Keep on with the Roads Less Traveled, they're definitely WORTH it!

*BTW, we are leaving my Honda VT800 and his HD Road King at home for this long ride - we're guessing about 10k+ miles roundtrip - and taking our new BMW dual sports bikes instead...F800GS & F1200GSA, respectively. Don't think our road cruisers would handle the trip as well as the Beemers. Also hope to post a good story & pics like yours when we make it back.
Thu Jan 7, 2010 at 6:50 AM

DonutmanBob says:

Just wanted to say what a great read. I've ridden further in one day but the riding conditions were about as perfect as could be. P.S. I hate being cold and wet!
Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 9:14 PM

BDKrivit says:

Nice job, dudes.
Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 3:13 AM

larrykennis says:

Thanks for the ride friend. Felt like I was with you.
Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 4:53 PM

redhogg says:

Sounds like the trip of a lifetime. It's been on my list of trips I want to take but will have to wait until retirement for the time needed but your story rekindled the fire.Great story and pictures, Thanx
Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 7:22 AM

Teehaml says:

Absolutely fantastic journey! Memories for your later years. Keep riding and ride safe!
Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 6:02 AM

DR_STRANGELOVE says:

Dude, thank you so much for the temporary escape from my desk. I am an Army vet and a native Montanian so I didnt have a very hard time relating.
Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 5:28 PM

RoadGlider06 says:

Ride on Marine and great story! Semper Fi!
Mon May 25, 2009 at 8:01 AM

SocialOutcast1313 says:

Looks like fun. Reminds me of what I have been cooking up in my twisted head for after I get out of the Navy in a year....
Sat May 23, 2009 at 4:07 PM

felon says:

Outfrickin'standing!!! great journey, people, scenery, pictures, a brother to do it with and I'm sure lessons learned for the next ride!
Wed Apr 8, 2009 at 11:16 AM

troy30455 says:

Great story, Great trip. That makes me want to pack!!!
The pictures were awesome. Hope to read some more of your adventures.
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Anonymous_Motorcyclist says:

I'm inspired - well done
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 5:32 PM

biskitdg says:

I hope to get the chance to do a ride similar to this one day, after reading this it might be sooner than I planned! :) Loved the article.
Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 5:43 AM

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