Burns Lake, British Columbia to Jasper, Alberta (600km)
The highway to Jasper was good, the weather so so. But the time passed by quickly, since the scenery changed again to mountains and a BMW GS driver joined for a while. I ran out of fuel and needed to refill from my spare cannister again. I was a little nervous since bears have been arround and close to the highway. So while running almost empty I thought better I choose the place where I refuel and not the place choose me. Just before a bridge there was a little rest area on the other side of the street. I refueled and all of a sudden rustle out of the bushes behind me … my attention was right there… and I was in alert mode… can’t believe what I saw, … a japanese guy with his bicycle came right out of the bushes. Dont know what he did in there, suddenly got disturbed by me. I was off 3 min later, no time to ask him. Clouds on the sky that didn’t look good.
I passed the park entry of Jasper and they ask for the entry fee of course. I said I stay in Jasper and then go to Banff and then Calgary, so basically driving through. The girl at the counter said, I have a promotion pass for you and your motorcycle, you only pay the 4th day. Perfect, since I stayed 3 days. Maybe I need to shave I thought, because she might think I can’t afford. ….
Arrived in Jasper looking for a Hotel was not so easy, since that place is quite expensive. 1st attempt 165USD for one night, 2nd attempt far outside 135USD, coming back to the village center, because a potential hostel is far out on the other side, I checked one more Hotel down town. 95USD, Great I thought and checked in. Arriving in the room I found out that it was quite a small room, and then on a 2nd look, no bathroom, but on corridor with 30 others. Mmmmh I thought, for one night, nut 95 USD … ok. If you are not yet ripped off, come here and “Welcome to Jasper !!!”
The village is quite nice though and the locals say that ist quite cheap in low season … 😉
Jasper Alberta to Banff Alberta (300km)
I woke up in the morning and drove a few kilometers over to the Mount Whistler. I took the cable car up and then walked another 200m up to the top of the hill. I should have left my motorcycle jacket at the station, but i made it in motorcycle gear up. on the way down i met some Germans and we talked like 30 minutes about my trip and this and that. Was a good part to start the day, since the view on Jasper from Mount Whistler was really worth the efforts to come up. Arriving at the motorcycle I took off immediately but stopped at a little lake that I saw from the top that had a blue colour like in the Caribbean or the Swabian “Blautopf” (Blautopf in Blaubeueren bei Ulm).
The ride from Jasper to Banff was great. Mountains left and right. Lakes. Curves. Indian Summer colours. No tourists. Great Great Great.
I stopped at Lake Louise for a picture. Really nice place. A little commercial though with the big hotel just at the front of the lake, almost making it private property. But nice though.
I met stylish Germans from Donauwörth in Lake Louise. Stylish, because they traveled with a rented E350 Limousine (Mercedes). I saw them earlier in the highway and they came over and asked if i am really from Regensburg.. I said no, i am from where your E350 is from, but I lived some time in Regensburg. We went on the highway together but then I lost them, since they drove according their age, and the local speed limits. Not that I am speeding, but I had a fast car passing my by that I followed at higher speed and made me arrive in Banff a 30 minutes later.
I tried to check in at the hostel, but they couldn’t find my reservation. Not by number, not by name, not by visa card. I had my reservation done online, and my mobile’s battery went flat, so difficult to load it. 20 minutes later we found out that i am in the wrong hostel and that the one I had a reservation for was like 40m down to road. After a good laugh I went over, checked in there and came back to a party there where I had food and drinks.
I had a really great day !
Banff, Alberta to Calgary, Alberta (140km)
When I left the hostel I took a few kilometers to the Banff Gondola to go up to the Sulphur Mountain. Again a great view over the close by Canadian Rockies and Banff. I got in touch with a couple from San Sebastian in Spain (or they would say from Basque Region). We talked a little. They took pictures of me from the lookout and I took pictures from them.
It is a breath-taking view from up there. Amazing.
Returned to the valley I took off for Calgary where I had an appointment to change tires the next day. I checked in in the hostel there and met a guy from San Salvador and one from Cuba. We talked about this and that and latin america and my trip. Was good talks and insight information from locals. Went out down town and found some bars but nothing special.
So I had my tires changed and my engine bolts tightened (Almost lost one, incredible, must have been the 1800km of gravel roads) while waiting for my motor bike I met Mark who had is BMW GS in service there too. Unbelievable from German perspective that a shop runs Triumph, BMW, Ducati and BMW in one shop. But it was like that.
Talking to Mark was enriching, since he was in South Africa riding the motorcycle (rented) there and he knew most of the areas where I have been and where I will go in Canada and the US. So we had a coffee together and time passed by very quickly. His motorcycle was ready and he dint leave without giving me his details so that we can stay in touch. He can call me when he comes over to Europe and then we will do some great rides in my “home region” together.
While I write this I realise how perspective changes after these distances I did already. Crossing all North America by motorcycle makes the Alps feeling like the little playground in the back-yard. But no I am not suffering megalomania.
So, new tires on, time for a hair cut. Lessons learned: No more hairdresser in the business district. I got out of there with the standard business men hair cut. I didn’t like it but it appeared the guy was only able to that cut, no matter what I wanted. To bad.
After a day at 27 degrees celsius I felt like a beer would be good to have. I went to some bar but didn’t find what I was looking for. The waitress looking at me gave me the following recommendation: The Craft at 345 10th Avenue South-West.
Who ever is in Calgary, and enjoys a good beer and descent conversation of the same kind, please go to The Craft. They have a minimum of 100 different beer to choose from, and since back at home the it was Oktoberfest season I ordered a “Maß” there, and got the whole attention since most people don’t know that size of glass. I had fun, discussing with an other guy about beer here and back home in Europe. Time passed by fast and back in the Hostel I packed my stuff for the next day.
Calgary, Alberta to Kelowna, British-Columbia (again) (620km)
This ride was long and in half rain / half dry conditions. I enjoyed the ride though but almost no picture. The last 3rd I rode through an area that was on the one side looking like a little like the Toscana and on the other side was like the “Alte Land” close to Hamburg in Germany. It was called the fruit valley as there have been many fruit farms and more and more fruit stands on aside the road. It’s a pity that I have so few spare storage to carry fruits with me. The climate was as such. Dry and warm. Cool ride.
When I arrived in Kelwona, I checked in at the hostel and learned that there is a HopScotch-Festival. I drove over before having a shower to get a ticket, but it was sold out. Then a lady came over to me and said “If you want a ticket I have one for you”. She gave it for free to me. I went back to the hostel, had a shower and went back. Basically it was tons of different Scotch/Whisky/Beer producers tasting of their products. A good booster to accelerate to the parallel world. 🙂
I had a good night out, and found my way back to the hostel gathering a good number of bars hopped.