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Yesterday was the most beautiful motorcycle ride I’ve ever been on, especially the section from Canmore to Banff to the Saskatchewan River Crossing. The huge snow-riddled Rocky Mountains were looming on both sides of the road for a hundred miles. The piercing freshness of the freezing air was exhilarating. The scent of the fir trees, the gorgeous white birches, the trembling of the leaves on the quaking aspen, and the sheer silence, all combined to make the place feel serene, magical and sacred. It’s not often I feel in awe but I was on that ride.
We passed signs warning of avalanches and could see huge dammed bodies of snow high on the mountains just itching for a reason to fall. We stopped as a herd of bighorn sheep passed through us for inspection.
We stopped at the restaurant at the Saskatchewan River Crossing, took a break and gassed up. Next fuel stop wasn’t for over 100 miles.
The next half of the ride to Jasper shared the same beauty only with added wind, snow on the side of the road, and a glacier you could see, (Big Red wanted to ride her but I said: no. I have to draw the line somewhere. Glaciers are a good a place to start as any.) But it got colder, the road way too bumpy, bouncing me out of the saddle now and again. Then the rain started to fall. So the sheer magnificence of the unfolding scene became slightly tarnished the wetter I got. But only slightly. Still, nothing that couldn’t be healed by a fake fire in the hotel room and a pint of pilsner beer at the Jasper Brewery.