Wanderlust: Motorcycle Style

It all started last year when one of my friends purchased a motorcycle.  It lit a different type of wanderlust in my blood.  I borrowed a bike from my father-in-law, and I took a trip from Idaho Falls to Glacier National Park and back in 48 hours.  The drive was spectacular and the scenery was breathtaking.  I was in love.

Next thing I knew everyone was buying a motorcycle.  I was pretty excited about the prospects of having my own bike and not having to borrow, so I invested (I usually don’t use the word invest when it comes to vehicles, but I’m investing in experiences this time) in a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard.

This is my machine and I can’t wait to ride it.

As everyone started buying bikes we all got excited about doing a big ride, a Big Awesome Ride, to be specific.  It would be nicknamed the BAR 2011, in the name of the Big Awesome Ride.   The itinerary that was created was a little steep for me.  It was going to encompass over 3000 miles in 10 days.  I decided to cut that in half by only driving 1500 miles over 5 days.  This would be a pill that I could swallow.

I know that this is a travel blog, but I’m telling you that a motorcycle ride across the west is incredible.  High mountains, sharp turns, potatoes, and lakes are all around you.  We’re planning the following itinerary:

It has us leaving out of Idaho Falls headed toward Salmon, ID.  This city shares the name with the “River of No Return.” It is famous for its steelhead fish that are abundant in the fall.  Then the road will take us over the Lost Trail Pass into the Bitteroot Valley in Montana. Our first night will be in Missoula, MT.

The next day has us taking the 90 over to northern Idaho, so we can explore Couer d’Alene, Idaho and Lake Pend Orielle.  Lakes abound in the Northern part of Idaho.  I’ve heard about its beauty all my life and never been there.  I’ve been to 25 countries and never been to certain parts of my own state.  The elevation is lower up there than it is Eastern Idaho.

We will then explore into British Columbia, and Alberta Canada going as far north as Banff, Canada.  I wish that I could continue on the Jasper, but we want to keep our rides right around 300 miles per day.  The ride then takes us down the Canadian Rockies and dumps us right in front of Glacier National Park.  We would love to stop at Waterton National Park, which is just north of Glacier, but we will see how time permits.

We will then take the east side of Flathead Lake and stop and fill our cavities with delicious ripe cherries.  I’m sure that we will take some home as well to share with our loved ones.  The ride then takes us back down to Missoula, where we will have our final descent into Idaho Falls via the Lost Trail Pass.

I’m very excited to soak in secluded hot springs across the west.  All in all it is going to be 1500 miles of beauty.  I only wish that my wife could come along, but with a new baby it would be impossible.  We’ve committed to to a couple’s BAR next year, so let us know if you would like to join us, or where we should stop along the way if you’ve been there.  We need to sleep, eat, and see the sites the whole way up and down.

Not from Idaho?

If you’re interested in a ride like this you might consider flying into Idaho Falls via the Allegiant Air flight from Las Vegas.  The Idaho Falls airport is also serviced by Delta and United Airlines.  Grand Teton Harley Davidson rents motorcycles by the day

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