New Phase

As I left Calgary I felt like I was entering a new phase in the adventure. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I was also going to be entering the lower 48 USA.

I decided to take Highway 2 to the Caraway border crossing. The scenery was so nice. I love it when on one side I see mountains, and when I turn the other direction I see prairie. Many people disparage the prairie scenery and aim to rush through it. I enjoy it.


I was so relaxed as I road along. It felt like a new phase in the adventure.


The Caraway border crossing was an easy one. Probably the last real easy crossing I will make in a while. The border officer was pleasant and wish me a good trip to Argentina.


The wonderful scenery continued as I took Highway 89 to Great Falls, Montana. Highway 89 skirts Glacier National Park. As a result, I continued to enjoy the beautiful mountains to my right, and the far reaching prairie, with its growing crops, to my left.

Eventually the highway turned away from the mountains and into the prairie towards Great Falls.


As I mentioned before, the cost of accommodation to date has been way over my budget. To bring this under control I would need to do lots of camping. The KOA campgrounds are perfect for this – for me. Before I left on my adventure I purchased a year value card membership for KOA that gives me 10% off.

What I like about KOAs is that they always have clean washrooms with showers, a swimming pool to relax around, and good WiFi. Of course you pay a premium for this. However, it is still below my budget.

I wish I was into wild or bush camping some some of my other blogger friends out there. It would cut down on expenses immensely! But that is not who I am and this adventure is mine, for me.

Anyways … I had booked 4 nights at the KOA in Great Falls. The weather forecast was for great weather, and I was in need of a break from riding for a few days.

I finally arrived and set up camp.

Route for August 4, 2016


Daily Journal Writing

Today was mostly about catching up on my daily journal.

The Daily Journal has several purposes. First, it is like a diary for me so that in my old age … ok … in my older old age … I can read what took place and bring back memories. Many times I wished I had kept a record while the kids were growing up. Often I feel cheated that I can’t remember some of those precious moments as they grew up. But like many, I was caught up in career and life.

Second, I want to be able to relay to family and friends where I am at, what I am experiencing, and how I am doing.

Lastly, I have enjoyed the blogs of many other motorcyclist. For the last 5 years they have been a source of entertainment and knowledge as I lived vicariously through them. For me they are more interesting than some novel or book. They are the stories of regular people experiencing life. Perhaps there are others out there who will find my blog entertaining.


Some of you may be interested in a few statistics about my website to date, especially by Camosun College Digital Marketing classmates and friends. Here are some:



Calgary Visits

In the evening I was invited for dinner at Nancy’s. Thanks Nancy for the visit, the BBQ hamburgers were great! I was a little concerned about having hamburgers again after my food poisoning, but these were awesome.

I know I will have let people down in Calgary by not arranging a visit. I am sorry. Huuummm how much to say in this public forum about a very personal topic?

I suppose there are two shortcoming about me. Yes I know I have more than just 2 ha ha ha. But one is that I do not like to impose upon people.

Second, in unstructured social environments, I often feel very awkward and uncomfortable, especially when I am alone. For that reason my natural inclination is to avoid them. As a result, things like couch-surfing would be very difficult. On the other hand, it is important to have social contact when traveling alone. Life on the road can get lonely. A conundrum for sure. One I need to resolve and work on during this adventure.

Ok … that is enough personal information. Anyways, I apologize to those I let down.

Route for August 3, 2016


Blackfoot Motorsports Servicing

Since Fort Nelson the service light has been on on my motorcycle. I knew it needed an oil change and that the brake pads were shot. My rear fender was loose. I tried to tighten it but it was tight huuuummmm. My fear was that it would come in contact with my rear tire and cause damage. The closest authorized BMW repair shop was Blackfoot Motorsports in Calgary.

Today was finally the day to get those things fixed.




I recognize that it isn’t great for dealerships to have drop ins as it disrupts their schedule. When I arrived I was told they were booked up for a month! After I explained that I was passing through after being in Prudhoe Bay, they said they would make room for me. I settled in for a long day of waiting.


People You Meet

One of the best things about waiting at a BMW service department is the people you meet. As I was waiting another BMW pulled up. I recognized the bike from Yukon or Alaska.


I big Chinese guy got off the bike and I asked him if he had been up north. He told me he had just ridden the Dempster Highway to Inuvik! Over the next few hours Shuen (at least that is how I think you spell his name) exchanged stories of mud, dirt and rain ha ha ha.

It turned out that Shuen lives in a city outside of Shanghai and was in Montreal for cooking school. He had to be back in China August 20. But first he was heading to Vancouver for some “real” Chinese food. When he gets back to China he wants to work in a restaurant, but also do motorcycle excursions in China.


For those of you who don’t know, I use to do work in China and go there regularly. I love the people, culture and language. Although, I am not fond of their food ha ha ha. I will stick to our americanized Chinese food which you can’t get in China. Sometimes I will turn on a Mandarin speaking TV station just to hear it. It makes me “home sick.” One day I will be back there. I would love to become fluent in Mandarin. Another goal for another time.



As the hours passed, news came to me about the condition of my motorcycle and what needed to be done. Yes, the brakes were shot. The problem was that they said there were no BMW 1200 brake pads in all of Canada! How can this be???!!!

Then the news came that they found 2 after market pads in Quebec. But it would take a couple of days to get them to Calgary. What??!!! I explained that in Anchorage I had parts the next day. Different system they said.

The next news was that they discovered that Ducati uses the same pads as BMW. There was a Ducati dealership in town that had them. YAY! Rather than waiting for the delivery from them they put on pads from a new bike and would replace them with the Ducati pads when they arrived. One problem solved.

The next problem was that the bearings on my rear fender were worn out. They couldn’t just replace the bearing but would have to replace the whole fender at a cost of $230. I told them to just remove the fender.

The next problem in line was that the bearing in my front tire were gone. They had the bearing but not the dust seal. Apparently the bearing already have a seal in them. So the solution was to just replace the bearings, clean off the old dust shield and reinstall it.

The last problem was that my rear tire was worn. What???!!! I just got it in Fairbanks less than 4 weeks ago and had only put on 5,700 km! If I had to replace tires every 5,600 km this would be a very expensive trip. I am not impressed with the wear of the Heidenau K60 Scouts. I wasn’t going to get new tires at this stage and probably not the Heidenau K60 again. My old Metzeler Tourances’ lasted 12,000 km. I will be on pavement for the next 2 months, so the plan is to run the Heidenau’s bald.

By 5:30 pm I was out of there.

The Route for August 2, 2016


Calgary Food Poisoning

Usually I like to state the highlight of the day. Well …. today it is the lowlight of the day, getting food poisoning in Calgary, Alberta.

I left Whitecourt under partly cloudy skies. Of course Mr. Rain had to sprinkle a few drops on me to say Hi.

There are a couple of countrysides I think are so amazing. One is the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania. The other from Rocky Mountain House to Calgary. It consists of rolling hills of farms and ranches. I love the area.


In Calgary I attempted to book a dorm at the University of Calgary. However, they were full. But they have a place called Hotel Alma. The hotel is sort of a combination hotel and dorm. My room consists of two rooms with a common washroom and kitchen area. They told me they would not put anyone in the other room. Brent and I had stayed in a similar configuration at the dorms at the University of Alaska.





I highly recommend Hotel Alma for an inexpensive stay in Calgary. Bonus is that besides a TV and free WiFi, they have free North American phone calling. On the downside is that you have to pay $10 per day for parking.

Food Poisoning

After I settle in to the hotel room I decided to look for a place to eat. The only cheap place I could see was the Dairy Queen by McMahon Stadium, and close to the University. They had a “special” of 2 cheeseburgers for $4.75. That’s what I ordered.

After I ate them I got an ice cream cone and left to walk back to the hotel. Within minutes I felt sick. Minutes later I felt like throwing up. I managed to stumble my way back to my room. For the next three hours I was throwing up hamburger. Finally I seemed to bring it all up. Exhausted and weak, I fell asleep on the bed.

It’s not only in Mexico or Africa where you can get food poisoning 🙂

Route for August 1, 2016


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