In the last installment our trip had been met with an early hiccup that threatened the whole adventure. We had a fixed time and destination about half way through the trip that could cost us dearly if we missed it. We were relying on the bike mechanic to get us back on the road and into the mountains.
The map for the day.
While the V-Strom was in for repairs we found ourselves with a bit of time to kill so we explored a bit of Black Diamond on foot. Along the main road through town we came across the black diamond of Black Diamond. Lots of history in coal mining and oil in this area.
Black Diamond’s main street is filled with old buildings and small businesses including this bakery which we stopped in for breakfast.
The breakfast I ordered was huge and fantastic.
Along the historic main street was this store with a rather odd combination of candy and burgers.
There were a lot of bikes going with the the most interesting of the bunch being this Russian Ural with side car which is a copy of an old BMW design.
There were plenty of traditional curbside finds around like this Advanced Design pickup with plenty of patina.
Or restored to stock.
The classics were coming to us with this 1965 Pontiac GTO parked right outside the bike shop.
As morning turned to afternoon the bike was finally repaired. It was traced down to a fault in an electrical connector buried down deep. Nothing we could have found easily at the side of the road.
Given it was already past noon we decided to bypass the rest of Kananaskis and motor up Highway One to Banff. Highway One is a busy four lane highway which is not appealing but luckily there are still some very nice roads between Black Diamond and it. The scenery was gentle rolling foothills.
There was a long line to get into Banff National Park which is Canada’s oldest national park being established in 1885.
We did not bother with the Banff town site as we both have been often and it is always full with tourists. Instead we made a quick stop at the Cascade Ponds before heading towards Lake Louise.
There were plenty mountain views to enjoy as we headed to Lake Louise where I needed some gas.
There we saw a motorbike couple from Mexico at the car station. They had ridden two up all the way.
The gas station had this interesting sticker on the door.
The town of Lake Louise was full so one could not park in town. This odd panel Toyota 4Runner was also fueling up. Unfortunately even the out of town parking lots were full so we skipped Lake Louise as well and pressed on.
Both bikes were running well with fantastic scenery as we headed northward.
At the bike mechanic I had bought a clothes peg style throttle holder that helped the hand not cramp up as we doing some decent miles. Cheap cruise control.
There are two seasons in Alberta, winter and road construction, so we saw plenty of road construction unfortunately. It was 30C+ (86F+) outside so each stop we heated up quite a bit in our riding gear.
The Columbia Icefields was not super impressive from a distance although it has shrunk massively in the last couple of decades.
A Mercedes Benz Hymermobil was hanging out in the parking lot.
The Nova Scotia license plate meant this one had driven a long way to get here.
A 1970 Pontiac Grand Prix SJ greeted us as we arrived in Jasper for dinner.
CC gold! An incredibly rare 1954-1955 Sunbeam Mk III drop head.
What a lovely part of the world.
We stopped for the night at Mount Robson campground where I got use my tiny tent for the first time.
The tent is just big enough for a person. Ironically although Mount Robson is the tallest mountain in Canada you can’t see it from campground. That will have to wait for tomorrow.
The full trip log: