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post #1 of 11 Old Jan 27th, 2008, 6:16 am Thread Starter
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Question Canada route suggestions ?

The world's greatest pillion rider and I are thinking about taking the northern route to CCR. We are thinking about picking up CN route 17 around near Ottawa and heading west around the northside of the Great Lakes and then staying on CN route 1 as far west as Medicine Hat before turning south and returning to the US around Glacier National Park. We would then head south to Utah.

Anyone familiar with the route and roads in Canada, please make suggestions for places of interest or alternate roads that might enhance our journey.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions,

Chilling out in the deep south of Vermont.
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post #2 of 11 Old Jan 27th, 2008, 11:14 pm
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Canadian route..

I am originally from western Canada and have made several trips along the route you want to take. The Ontario portion is outstanding. I have not taken the northern route, but have done the route thru Sudbury / Sault St Marie / Thunder Bay, highly recommended. Biggest problem might be construction. Depending on what is happening it can really slow you down along this route. From there to Winnipeg is also good. I can also put you onto a route a bit more to the south that will be less interstate like and more scenic. Once you hit Saskatchewan the sites are few and far between. Saskatchewan can be very boooooooring, hot, dry and occaisonally windy. Email me if you want to get on the phone and discuss any route / planning, etc. Or I could send you a S&T maps with options.

Ron - Cypress, TX
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post #3 of 11 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
The world's greatest pillion rider and I are thinking about taking the northern route to CCR. We are thinking about picking up CN route 17 around near Ottawa and heading west around the northside of the Great Lakes and then staying on CN route 1 as far west as Medicine Hat before turning south and returning to the US around Glacier National Park. We would then head south to Utah....
Have not been into Canada in 30+ years. All I remember is how nice the western provinces are!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #4 of 11 Old Jan 28th, 2008, 1:36 pm
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I've ridden and driven this area frequently. If I wanted to go the way you suggest and was looking for scenery and interest points along the way I would follow the 401 along to Kingston (there are frequent scenic byway turnoffs that bring you alongside the seaway) and at Kingston I would turn north and follow the smaller county roads along the Rideau Canal up to Ottawa. From Ottawa take the #17 alongside the Ottawa River heading north and then west over to Lake Superior.

At Thunder Bay you have the option of continuing west along #17 to Kenora and then Winnipeg or continuing along Lake Superior shore to Duluth, Mn. If I had the time I would go down to Duluth, but if I was in a hurry at this point I would stay on the Trans Canada route. From Duluth I would work myself over to the Black Hills and then to Yellowstone before turning south or head to the CCR depending on the schedule.

I've picked routes that give you good scenery and some good riding but of course in summer expect lots of congestion, Rvs and trucks most of the way. If you have specific interests let me know and I'll try to point you in the right direction. Remember distances in Canada are further than they appear!

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post #5 of 11 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 9:39 am
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We did part of that route last summer. Crossed from NY into Canada at Cornwall - I do NOT recommend that route as the roads up from Cornwall are truly among the most boring I've ever ridden! A H-D rider in BUrlington told me the road from Plattsburg through Dannemora to Malone was a nice ride - don't trust H-D riders when they say 'nice ride'. What they mean is straight, wide and boring... I do know Saranac Lake is nice, though.

Anyway, Rt 17 is a really great road and the area around Sudbury is quite spectacular.

Enjoy the ride!

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post #6 of 11 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks, keep suggestions coming

I appreciate the suggestions so far.
I wondered what the ride across Manitoba and Sasketchewan would be like in comparison to crossing the Dakotas and into Montana. I suspected that it might be kind of boring.

Here's another question about riding in Canada (BTW I am rather fond of my Canadian neighbors to the north, including the French speaking Quebec'ers.) What is the tolerance level of excess speed? How hard are they on you if you are 10 clicks or 20 clicks over the posted limit?

Here's a funny story: I was a college student in 1972 riding a Honda CL350 from northern Vermont to Montreal with a coed riding the pillion. I observed the posted speed limits very carefully when passing through towns so was very suprised when I got pulled over. The Canadian cop who spoke English with a significant French accent asked me several questions, like where was I going, where was I from, etc. I finally asked him why he stopped me. He said apologetically, "oh, you don't understand me. Most of the motorcycles who come through here go too fast. You respect the law." He then proceeded to tell me I would get an invitation to some motorcyle meet in Quebec (I never did).
After we drove off, I told the girl on back that that was the first time I had been pulled over for obeying the law! And looking back on more than 30 years ago, it is still the only time I have been pulled over to be told that I was "special" because I obeyed posted speed limits. Of course, mostly I don't obey posted limits.

Again, Thanks for the route suggestions!
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post #7 of 11 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 2:57 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
I appreciate the suggestions so far.
I wondered what the ride across Manitoba and Sasketchewan would be like in comparison to crossing the Dakotas and into Montana. I suspected that it might be kind of boring.

Here's another question about riding in Canada (BTW I am rather fond of my Canadian neighbors to the north, including the French speaking Quebec'ers.) What is the tolerance level of excess speed? How hard are they on you if you are 10 clicks or 20 clicks over the posted limit?

Here's a funny story: I was a college student in 1972 riding a Honda CL350 from northern Vermont to Montreal with a coed riding the pillion. I observed the posted speed limits very carefully when passing through towns so was very suprised when I got pulled over. The Canadian cop who spoke English with a significant French accent asked me several questions, like where was I going, where was I from, etc. I finally asked him why he stopped me. He said apologetically, "oh, you don't understand me. Most of the motorcycles who come through here go too fast. You respect the law." He then proceeded to tell me I would get an invitation to some motorcyle meet in Quebec (I never did).
After we drove off, I told the girl on back that that was the first time I had been pulled over for obeying the law! And looking back on more than 30 years ago, it is still the only time I have been pulled over to be told that I was "special" because I obeyed posted speed limits. Of course, mostly I don't obey posted limits.

Again, Thanks for the route suggestions!
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are definately boring. I would cross back into the US at the Sault. Much better ride though N Dakota. Bye the way the Police Officer in Quebec was probably just bored and wanted to check out your girl friend.

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post #8 of 11 Old Jan 29th, 2008, 8:18 pm
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The north shore of L Superior from Sault Ste Maria to Thunder Bay will probably be one of the more rugged, isolated and scenic stretches you come across. This is a 700 kilometer stretch and has numerous provincial parks for camping. Big hills, deep rock cuts and crystal clear lake water and views. Stop in Rossport and eat at Serendipity, a small restaurant with incredible food, another good eating place is Kinnewabi Pines just south of Wawa, both worth the stop. Its a 7-8 hour stretch in a car but an easy 2 day ride by bike.

A great place to stay is the Willows B & B in Rossport, but you'll have to book ahead.

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post #9 of 11 Old Jan 30th, 2008, 1:23 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
....What is the tolerance level of excess speed? How hard are they on you if you are 10 clicks or 20 clicks over the posted limit?

The Canadian cop who spoke English with a significant French accent asked me several questions, like where was I going, where was I from, etc. I finally asked him why he stopped me. He said apologetically, "oh, you don't understand me. Most of the motorcycles who come through here go too fast. You respect the law...."

Of course, mostly I don't obey posted limits....
From my exchanges with the highway boys, they are very similar to our highway cops. Getting a break out of the highway patrol/state police can be tough!

Charlie, I'm sure glad you didn't ask that French-Canadian Cop where he hung the back-up lights?!

You're not going to believe this, BUT, you're the only one on this great forum that DOES NOT obey posted speed limits.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #10 of 11 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 10:02 pm
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Charlie

I did the same route from Philly some years ago on the way to the Jackson Hole/Tetons CCR. It was a most memorable trip.

I went north on the 81, crossed into Canada at Thousand islands, headed east on the 401 and north on the 29/15 and hit the 17 east of Ottawa. After a while this road becomes quite isolated and winds along a beautiful river on its way to Sudbury. I followed it all the way along the northern shore of Lake Huron, to Sault Ste Marie, then north around Lake Superior to Thunder Bay. Please don't miss this. BTW, I have also ridden on the northern road (the 11) which avoids the lakes and this is a very ordinary ride in unflattering shield country.

From Thunder Bay I headed west thru Winnipeg and Regina, to Medicine Hat, before turning southish on the 3 to Lethbridge. I would strong recommend making an overnight at lethbridge or Medicine Hat and having an ealy start for the ride down into the US heading for Babb and Glacier National Park. Having the sun behind you or to the side as you come across the plains and have the tremendous peaks of Glacier NP slowly rise from the plains on a clear morning was one of the high-points of my riding career in America.

If you have more time, head north at Medicine Hat and do a loop thru Banff/Lake Loiuse, heading south to Glacier running close along th range.

If you don't have a route from Glacier to Utah, I can give you a beauty.

After crossing Glacier (make sure the sun is at your back when crossing, the view is greatly enhanced), head west on the 2 from Kalispell. This is a great fast riding road. Then south on the 95 (crowded). I would strongly recommend riding down thru the Palouse (south of Coeur d'lene) on the way to Lewiston, before heading east over the Lolo Pass and south down the 93 and 75. You will certainly be well rewrded by such a trip. I really envy you. The Palouse at the time of year you are going, will be miles of golden fields, like a sea of wheat, being harvested. Its a dream.

On the way back I would ride up to Cook City outside the NE entrance to Yellowstone and spend a couple of days riding the area based in Cook City....Beartooth Pass and Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (my favourite road in the US) are very rewarding.....then back home across North Dakota. great stuff.

Ralph
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but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

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post #11 of 11 Old Feb 1st, 2008, 10:13 pm
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Here are a few pictures....
On the 17 between Ottawa and Sudbury.
Coming down from Lethbridge/medicine Hat into the US, heading for breakfast just outside Babb.
Nice breakfast stop at the Two Sisters.
Lewiston at dusk, the haze is from the wheat harvest in the Palouse which lies north and west of Lewiston.
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Ralph
Located: Auckland, New Zealand...
but I left my biking heart along the Scenic Byways of America.....

"Come fill the cup that clears
Today of past regrets and future fears." ....Omar Khayyam
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