I did this ride in October 2017 and earned a BunBurner Silver. It was a ride I wanted to do anyway. Canada was beautiful, but cold.
I left Beaverton with excitement and a full tank. I hadn’t been to Canada since the 2014 Klondike Road Race. But that is a different epic tale.
When I arrived for my first scheduled fuel stop I was a little nervous. I should be able to travel around 240 miles per tank and at 210 miles the light had been on for 50 miles. I put 6.1 gallons in a 6.5 gallon tank and prayed for better fuel economy.
The boarder crossing was uneventful with the exception of the warning the official gave me about snow. I would be in Montana before the snow, I thought to myself.
I ate lunch at an A&W. It was much different than what I remember of US A&W’s. It was the only meal I stopped for. I had some snacks, but that was the only meal I ate in over 30 hours.
I was supposed to stop for fuel in Lethbridge but somehow missed the gas station. I think I took a bypass instead of going through town. It was dark, I’m not sure. So here I am, miles away from a fuel stop inching my way back to the boarder. 47 miles past my scheduled fuel stop I see a sign for “Services”. I am so thankful fuel is listed. I take the exit and ride about 1/4 mile before I realized I was in a residential area. It’s dark, so I stop to see what my phone has to say about the station. Passed it? I didn’t see anything. I follow my phone to the location. The one pump station closed at 5 pm. How can you close at 5 pm and claim services. I get back on the highway at 9:40 not knowing what was next. My wife called because in an attempt to place my phone on its holder in the dark I hit the S.O.S. So she tells me 13 miles away is a gas station that closes at 10. Better hurry. Not much fuel. Not a good combination.
Now it could make a great story being out if fuel late at night in unfamiliar, sparsely populated Canada, but I don’t have that story. The story I have is I made it just in time and they even let me use their restroom. Great stop in Milk River. Sorry, I didn’t see the river.
The boarder crossing back to the U.S. was smooth. Not much I can hide on a motorcycle, I guess. I made it through without any snow, but 26 degrees was plenty cold.
Now heading towards Glacier National Park I have been riding in below freezing temps for a few hours. The heated seat and handle bars are not working. I later learn that I forgot to reconnect the heated seat when I added my heated jacket connection. Honda made the two related so neither work. I have heat from my jacket and from the heater vents. Oh yes, these Gold Wings have heater vents.
In Kalispell I get fuel and determined my ability to continue. There are hotels in Kalispell and I won’t see one for a while. While fueling, warming, and assessing a couple of people walk by. I’m wondering about them because it looks like the town rolled up it’s sidewalks hours ago. It’s about midnight. They walk by, probably as curious about me as I was of them. I determine I’m good to go and off I went into the night.
People ask if I rode non-stop. Well, other than the meal in Cranbrook, BC, I stopped for a nap. It was only a 1.5 hr stop and I slept on gravel in full gear. I even had my helmet on. I was south of Kalispell and it was below freezing. I left my heated gear on durring the nap.
This was a very restful nap. Laying next to my bike at 2 am under a starry sky would make for a nice story, but I fell asleep quickly and awoke with a start. I then knew I needed to get up and press on.
Riding between Kalispell and I-90 at 3 am was very peaceful. Hardly any cars and no precipitation, which is good because it’s 25 degrees. That’s Ferinhiet I wasn’t in Canada that long.
I should back up. Since I was working on an Iron Butt Association ride I had to have documentation. At the start and end I needed a witness. All along the way I have to keep fuel receipts and record any stops. The beginning witness was easy. The gas attendant, I’m in Oregon, we have people pump fuel, was happy to sign the form and was interested in what I was doing. The end was a different story.
I ended my ride at a different Beaverton 76 than the one I started. My ending station I have gone out of my way to avoid. Before pumping fuel I asked if he could be a witness. He agreed and I got fuel. When time came to sign, he refused and so did the guy inside. They said these days no one will sign anything. Well. This left me in a bind.
Who could I get to sign this paper so I could go home? There is a Beaverton police station nearby. I have read the police will sign such a thing. They Did, but it took a rather long time to get anyone to help me.
I took my time getting my paperwork turned in but it was accepted without question.
As I complete this writeup I am on another adventure. I am just waking up in Maud county, Texas, with lots more to write.
Enjoy the adventure!