You know when you have been planning a trip for a while and are so excited to get going that you maybe forgot one or two things.. Angela arrived at Troy’s around 10am on September 2nd, we sat on the front step discussing our trip and in a joking manner, Troy says” You got the baseball game tickets right”? Angela’s face went white and she let out a screech, OMG! The thing is, Angela lives 75km from Troy’s house, the opposite direction that we are heading so it was not a matter of driving around the block. We called Angela’s son Brandt to meet us halfway with the baseball tickets, our trip started 2 hours later than planned, and that was when we knew making strict traveling/riding plans is not our style.
DAY 1:Calgary, AB—Kettle Falls, WA approximately 700km, about 10 hours of riding time
Now we have everything (we hope), we traveled south on highway #2 to the Alderside turn off, we took highway #2A to just north of High River, AB then west on highway #543, where you get to see an unbelievable panoramic view of the southern Alberta foothills and the eastern slope of the Canadian Rockies
From here we went south on highway 22(the cowboy trail) to highway #3 ** NOTE** those with small gas tanks will want to get fuel in Longview, AB as there are no gas stations until you reach Blairmore, AB in the Crowsnest Pass which is close to 130km. While stopping in Longview, AB you may want to stop at the Longview Hotel for a quick beverage and one of the greatest hamburgers in Alberta, you will enjoy it on their west facing deck. **CAUTION**: be aware of the west winds as they are almost constant and gusts of 60-80kmh are not uncommon on highway 22.
West on highway #3 will take you through the Crowsnest Pass.(elevation 4455 ft., across the Continental divide over the rocky mountains) with towns of Frank slide (stop for a picture at the very least), Bellevue, Blairmore, Coleman and then into BC. Passing through the towns of Sparwood, BC (biggest dump truck in the world display) and on through to Fernie, BC. From Fernie to Creston, BC is a nice easy ride (those with small tanks may want to stop in Cranbrook, BC for fuel)
We stopped in Creston for a late lunch, Jimmy’s Pub & Grill; it was fantastic food with great service. We fuelled up here at the Petro Canada and continued west on highway #3 through the Selkirk Mountain Range and the Kootney pass (over 5200ft) absolutely beautiful at dusk. Onto highway#6 and south to the Washington/BC border crossing at Nelway. **NOTE** there are no services and the border is open from 8:00am to midnight.
Nelway Border Crossing Officers were quite friendly, we think she must have been bored as she searched our bags in a friendly manner, as she talked about her former marriage to a Canadian and a bunch of other stories. Since we left 2 hours later than planned, we were a bit shocked to hear it is 75 miles to Kettle Falls, WA from the border, which meant we were going to be riding in the dark. We headed south on highway #31 through Metaline Falls, WA and Ione, WA (gas available here). This is a beautiful ride with many switchbacks and recommended to travel during daylight hours due to wildlife. From highway 31 go west on highway 20 through Colville National Forest which is again a beautiful ride but also recommended to ride during daylight hours due to abundant wildlife and great scenery. Continue into Colville,WA where we fuelled up and eventually Kettle falls, WA where we arrived around 11:00pm. We were tired, worn out but very happy for a great day of riding. We stayed at Kettle Falls Inn, a motel with parking at the door and received 10% off as we were on bikes..cheap $50.00. The picture above is at KettleFalls WA.
Kettle Falls Inn Super Clean Rooms, Super Cheap and Rider friendly (discount)
Longview Hotel, Great food, real rider friendly, good prices
Jimmy’s Pub & Grill in Creston BC, Great food, outdoor patio, good prices
Longview Esso, Longview Alberta
Petro Canada in Creston BC
Conoco, Colville, WA