NOLA to Canadian Rockies 2018-Overview

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 10, 2018/ BMW R1200RT, New Orleans to Canadian Rockies 2018, Touring/ 0 comments

Since our adventure to Nova Scotia in the summer of 2017, opportunities to ride have been few and far between.  Work, life, and weather have each played their role in making riding my motorcycle “less important”, or at least that is what I keep telling myself!

In an effort to make up for some lost riding time, this year’s adventure will exceed our previous mileage total by a sizeable margin.  At close to 9000 miles anticipated in our ride plan, we will cover more miles in a few weeks than many folks ride in a lifetime.

Trip overview:

Departure Location: New Orleans, LA

Furthest Destination North: Western Canada, with the Columbia Icefields in the Canadian Rockies as our primary objective

Total Miles Anticipated: 8600-8900

Trip Highlights:

  • Yellowstone National Park, including Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pots, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Chief Joseph Scenic Highway
  • Beartooth Pass
  • Seattle Space Needle
  • Columbia Icefields Parkway
  • Going to the Sun Road
  • Custer State Park
  • Mount Rushmore
  • The Badlands National Park

I will be riding my trusty BMW R1200RT, and my son Steven Jr will be riding his R1200GS on this adventure.  Both bikes are more than capable of doing trips of this nature, and then some.  We simply have very different opinions as to which one is better suited.  Of this I know, I will be very happy riding my RT!

It doesn’t get much cooler than this… At least not to a dad that loves to ride

This will be my sixth adventurous journey with the most amazing group of friends a man could ever hope to have.  Our diverse backgrounds make our time together fun and interesting, but we also share many commonalities.  The love of music is one; some of us play or have played at some point, all of us listen and have our favorites, several of us are involved in music ministry, and one of us is a virtual encyclopedia of popular music with a song lyric for virtually any moment in the conversation where a musical reference would add something memorable or comical.  One of us even owns a music store.  (can you guess who?)

Over the past few years, we have covered tens of thousands of miles together, logged hundreds of hours of conversation (thanks in part to our group communication devices), ridden all of the 48 continental United States and portions of Canada, shared personal triumphs and tragedies, laughed with and at each other, and we have experienced destinations that most people are not even aware exist.

Funniest thing about this photo is that I am the only one standing!

We all love motorcycles, (thank you captain obvious!) however, we do not see eye-to-eye about what is the most desirable brand.  (On this trip, BMW’s will outnumber the other, lesser brands 2:1 for most of the trip)  We have two riders flying in and renting at various stages of the journey, but even there, one will select a BMW and the other, I guess, whatever else is available.

But our most important shared commonality is our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  This bond is unbreakable, and the core of who we are as individuals, but also the foundation of what has made us not only brothers in faith, but brothers in this life.

A few points about our trip:

  • We ride.  Rain or shine, hot or cold.  We ride!
  • Most days we are in the saddle by 0700 and ride 12-14 hours at times.
  • We ride until we get where we need to be for the next day’s route
  • The daily average for this trip is projected at 488 miles each day, but some of those days will be far less, and several are closer to 700-800 when we need to get where we are going
  • We camp, but our notion of camping is a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn.
  • We attempt to eat at local joints.  Sometimes, they wind up being “choke and pukes”, other times, most times actually, they are terrific places that represent the local flavors and culture.  Local chains are avoided at all costs unless there simply is no other option

Packing is similar to last year in that we will see some cooler, if not cold weather for a good portion of the trip.  My trusty BMW dry bag has been replaced by a new MOSKOMOTO Scout 60 dry bag that I have high expectations will deliver similar performance with 10L more capacity. (   Otherwise, most all equipment that has been acquired over the past few years will still be in service and is good working order.

Lastly, I hope to blog each day, some will be shorter “status update” type of posts, others will contain more details of the days’ adventures as time allows.  A few days, I am certain, we will be without internet or any means of communicating with the outside world.  On those days, I will still likely create the post, but post it when we are back in service.

We will also have a spot tracker along for the journey, for anyone that is interested in seeing our real-time position.  The link is here:

Is it time to ride yet???


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