Hi there

I just got back from a 12-day trip on my new Honda CB500X and thought I'd put up some pics and info. Here's the route I took:

June 12th: Vancouver to Princeton, BC
June 13th: Princeton to Creston, BC
June 14th: Creston to Fernie, BC
June 15th: Fernie to Waterton Lakes Nat. Park, Alberta
June 16th: Bike day off. Went hiking
June 17th: Went down to Glacier Nat. Park and did the road to the Sun, in both directions.
June 18th: Back to Fernie
June 19th: South thru Missoula, Montana, to Lolo Pass
June 20th: Lolo to Orofino, Idaho
June 21st: Orofino to Davenport, Washington
June 22nd: Davenport to Omak, Washington
June 23rd: Omak to Vancouver

This is from the Manning Park lookout, about 45 minutes west of Princeton.

This is Lake Koocanusa. It's a huge lake caused by a dam somewhere in the US. I never knew it existed until I discovered it - I was just trundling along between Cranbrook and Fernie and saw a sign for a coffee shop called 'First Perk', in Jaffray. I stopped there and got a coffee then instead of turning back onto the highway I decided to explore for a while the roads south of the highway, and found the lake. Random explorations are the best part of bike touring for me.

This is a few miles west of Pincher Creek, Alberta, and a few miles north of Waterton National Park. It was extremely windy, but the scenery was fantastic. I love the combination of rolling farmland and distant mountains.

Here I am a bit closer to Waterton, now south of Pincher Creek with the park only about 15 minutes away. This is one of the best vistas of the whole trip. If you look carefully you can see a small union jack.

I had been to Waterton on my other bike in 2011 and sadly I didn't make it down to Glacier that time around. So part of the reason for this trip was to try to get to the Road to the Sun. I'd been watching the road status website closely and wasn't sure that it would even be open, but happily for me it did, the day after I arrived in Waterton, so I got to ride it. What an amazing road. It was busy but that didn't detract too much from the scenery and experience. I rode it in both directions, as I returned to Waterton that evening.

Road to the Sun, in the morning.

Road to the Sun, coming back the other way. A bit cloudy in the afternoon.

Before I left Waterton the next morning, I had breakfast at the famous Prince of Wales Hotel (quite spectacular: google it), then did this short but very rewarding hike above the town of Waterton, with a great view of Upper Waterton Lake, which stretches into Montana. While I was there I stayed at the Bear Mountain Motel, which is the cheapest stay in town, unless you stay in the campground. The staff are friendly and the rooms are fine, if you are ever passing that way. The rest of the town is mainly gift shops, restaurants and hotels. There are two general stores but the grocery selection is very limited.

After a long and not very enjoyable day riding the fast (70 mph) and heavily-trafficked roads south from BC to Missoula, I made it to Lolo Pass, which was lovely. A huge eagle flew low over my head as I rode along in the evening light, truly a magic moment. This was the only night of the trip I camped out. I wish I had done more camping, but it was often too cold and/or wet. By contrast to the roads in Montana, Lolo Pass was basically deserted and I really enjoyed the 60-odd miles of gentle twisties that followed the river as it flowed west into Idaho. I rode up to Greer and then did the interesting historic byway that goes in a big loop to Orofino. Again, pretty empty roads (My Own Private Idaho), and lots of new pavement. Thanks to "alba" for the Idaho route suggestions.

Next day continued on to Lewiston and did the wonderful, if disappointingly short, old spiral highway.

My plan A for this day was to continue north in Idaho to Coeur d'Alene and beyond, but it looked like being a lot of traffic, so after I got to Moscow I headed west into Pullman, Washington, and then made my delightful way north west through endless fields of wheat in their first summer green. Again, beautiful newly tarmacked roads, and hardly any traffic.

After many miles of wheat fields, and some badlands, I fetched up in a small town called Davenport and found the delightful western-themed Black Bear Motel. The owner has put a LOT of love and thought into this place. Each room has its own American history theme.

My final day. Lovely scenery through the Cascades. This is Diablo Lake. Awful rain then ensued, during which I discovered that quite a bit of my gear wasn't as waterproof as I'd thought!