Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 7 - Into Canada. The scenery begins to get dramatically better! Haven't seen any bears yet but I have seen prairie dogs and dinsoaurs!

Day 7 – Wednesday May 27, 2009
Start: Shelby, MT
End: Banff, Alberta, Canada
Trip Miles Today: 323
Total Trip Miles: 2949

After days of viewing the eternal sameness of North Dakota and Montana, things began to pick up a bit today. The morning's ride started out with two new features. Rather than head West, this morning I started out Northbound, up I-15 out of Montana and toward the Canadian border only some 35 miles distant from Shelby. Secondly, it was warm right from the start - over 60 degrees right out of the blocks! By 9 AM, the border crossing painlessly behind me (Hey! The let me into Canada again!)I was making my way rapidly North toward Calgary. As I mentioned yesterday, my current modus operandi is to make time for more stops, more interesting side trips, and more photos. That plan was put into play almost immediately after my entry into Alberta. The Alberta Tourist Welcome Station became a "must stop" the minute I laid eyes on the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex in the parking lot! The heck with free maps and discount coupons for touristy stops, let me see that Dinosaur! Alberta (and to be completely fair, Montana too) are justly proud of the fossils and relics that have come from the ground in this area. I couldn't resist the photo op! Then on northward. My other interesting stop was in the tiny town of Claresholm, Alberta. Enticed by a "rest stop" sign, I found myself deposited in a rest stop centered in this small burg. An 1800's railroad way station, Claresholm became an important location at the edge of the prairie and they have, today, a wonderfully kept little museum in the former train station. I spent nearly an hour there with the chatty docent, Bob from Quebec. I learned all I could ever want to know about the place and checked out all the displays. Further, Bob more than earned the nice little donation I made to the museum by producing a bottle of plexiglass cleaner/polish to clean my totally "bugged" helmet visor. Then it was on to the city of Calgary, second largest in all of Alberta. In Calgary I made a brief stop at Blackfoot Motorsports, the local BMW (and several other brands)motorcycle mega store. Showing good discipline, I limited myself to the purchase of one bungee elastic cargo net. When I left Blackfoot it was only 3 PM and I felt compelled to keep moving a bit further. As the weather continued to be perfect I decided to actually go further than planned so I continued on to Banff where I stopped for the night. This positions me perfectly to make a leisurely ride tomorrow of the 170 miles up to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway and through what is reputed to be one of the most incredibly beautiful drives anywhere. While shopping for dinner tonight I came across another of my very favorite Canadian "things". Ketchup flavored Potato Chips! I have never seen these in the states but seemingly always find them in Northern Canada. Dinosaurs, Tim Horton Donuts, and Ketchup flavored Potato Chips. There's your little dose of culture for today! Thanks for browsing!

If you want to see lots more pictures from my ride, unsorted, unedited, and without captions, then click here.

A couple of other web sites have picked up the story of my ride. Check 'em out.
First go to and scroll down till you see the May 25 article - you'll find it! Then check out a story from last week in an online business pub called Keystone Edge. To read it, Click here

If you go to the RevZilla Motorsports blogsite at you can see more pictures and find more info on my ride.

The 2009 Ride to Alaska for The Austin Hatcher Foundation is supported by
RevZilla Motorsports at and by Hermy's Cycles in Port Clinton, PA


  1. Outstanding Jack!
    I just finished reading from Day 1 to Day 7 after stumbling onto your blog from the BMWMOA site. What a great ride! And what a great cause! You are living my dream. Best of luck! I look forward to reading all your future daily updates. May the two wheeled gods smile upon you the entire trip!

    Paul Farrell
    Westfield, MA

  2. Thanks Paul. Hope you'll keep checking back as the ride is REALLY hitting full stride now!
    Cheers, Jack