Bow Tie Tour

Alaska and back again, our motorcycle tales

Day 14 – Bozeman to Calgary

We awoke early, loaded our bags back on the bikes and I led us through a few wrong turns on the way to the dealership. When we pulled up, we knew that this was going to be a good place.

A smiling employee greeted us with a handshake and welcomed us to “Team-Bozeman Motorsports” I browsed through the tire selection and found the exact set that I was hoping they might have. After turning the tires over to the mechanic, Ethan and I set about looking around the expansive showroom.

That’s where we discovered this high priced beauty:

Yamaha LE R1 by Eric Farewell

After hopping on the dealerships wireless internet and putting up a post here, Ethan and I discovered something interesting… A board with details about the “World’s Fastest Yamaha Warrior” which is ridden by the dealership’s owner.

We tracked down the owner, and asked to see it… A few minutes later, we did more than just see it!

Eric Farewell World's Fastest Indian wannabe

It currently runs 174.5mph, and with the new parts (See below) he’s hoping to make it up to 200mph :-D

World's Fastest Yamaha Warrior

After getting the tires mounted and balanced (and hearing the insane noise that it makes when running… Shakes the building!) Of course we had to get the rider/ owners signature, so we did!


And the coolest signature yet:


Pretty cool eh?
We also snagged another cool signature… His son’s!



Signed by Eric Farewell

We didn’t leave Bozeman until around noon, but we figured that it was time well spent, and I wasn’t riding on threads anymore! We shot North towards Canada and made fantastic time up the Interstate until we neared the border and started hitting massive patches of rain.

We stopped twice just before the border, first to put on our rain gear and then to pull out our passports and prepare for the crossing. At the second stop, I grabbed the camera and started shooting. The scenery was wild; blue skies behind, dark skies ahead, and nothing but distance in between.

Truly “Big Sky Country”

Looking North into the storm:

Looking North

A look to the East:

A look East

The path we’ve followed thus far:


And of course, a look to the stark West as well:

The West

At the last minute, we decided that we should get some fuel at the border to save at least a few dollars before we started buying in Liters. It was a good decision too, since we were practically out of fuel.

The problem was, that the entire town had their power knocked out by the storm we’d just ridden through… So, we waited.


After about an hour, hanging out in the liquor store/ gas station, we decided that we’d had enough and that we were going to attempt to make it across the border and then the 8 miles to the next gas station.

To Canada by Eric Farewell

We crossed the border without any major issues (It pays to carry your passport!), and made our way through the rain to the first gas station. I smiled when I saw the “$1.15″ sign, before remembering that they were talking about Liters, instead of gallons… $50+ later and both bikes were filled, so that we could be on our way.

As we rolled North towards Calgary, I was struck by the stark differences in the land, the signs, the people, heck even the bloody metric system. NO WHERE did you spot any trash by the road, NO one refused to return our waves and smiles, some how it just felt “lovely”. :-)

Less then 150 kilometers into Alberta the rain stopped. Ethan and I pulled off the main road to do our ceremonial urinization on new territories and take a few pictures (Not of the ceremony, don’t worry ;-) )

The sky looked amazing and we were even blessed with a beautiful rainbow:

Canadian Rainbow by Eric Farewell
A better shot, sans bikes:

Canadian Rainbow by Eric Farewell

This was NOT the road we were riding on to Calgary, but it was our first adventure on gravel, so I had to document it!

Gravel Road

As we rode, we began to see yet ANOTHER storm system growing rapidly as we approached. It was awe inspiring to look at, as lightning crackled from one end to the other, but I have to admit that I was worried as we rode towards our “impending doom” and the promise of a warm shower and drink.
We stopped to put on our rain gear (again), and I snapped this shot:

Jet bike?

Just as we entered the outskirts of Calgary, the storm hit… And did it EVER?!?!

The rain was incredible, I couldn’t see more than 50′-100′ ahead of my bike at any given time, the water was puddling between 2″ and 6″ deep across the entire roadway, and the glare from the streetlights made it nearly impossible to see out of my helmet at all.

With Ethan guiding us towards our hosts home, we slowly wove our way through the streets that were rapidly becoming waterways.

As we crested a hill, I saw that the roadside was lined with WHITE… Shocked, I thought to myself “SNOW, in August?!?!” and though it seems that I was wrong and it was actually small hail, it was still a startling thought.

It was quite late when we finally rolled in to our hosts home, and we were both fairly exhausted… So, after a round of drinks and some great conversation, we headed off to bed.

(All through the day, I’d been experiencing extreme amounts of pain in my upper left molar tooth and wisdom tooth… With great joy, I was told that an appointment would be made for me to see a dentist on the ‘morrow)

Eric Signature

P.S. More photos and posts coming soon, we’re about 17 days behind currently, and will have to catch up when we get home… Currently tired, blessed and heading to bed, in a lighthouse hostel… Northern California

Ethan’s side –

A new tire was the first order of business for the day so got to the bike shop just as the service door opened and re-shoeing of the horse commenced. Killing time a motorcycle shop is always fun though it does tempt one towards covetousness :-) while perusing we ran across some newspaper clippings and picture of a motorcycle that looked like the one in The Word’s Fastest Indian (Which if you haven’t seen it you need to.) We chatted with one of the ladies and she said that that was the owner. We met the owner and he showed us his world’s fastest Yamaha warrior his current record is 174 mph and he hopes to break 200 with a new body kit. A very cool guy and a nice motorcycle shop.

With the re-shoeing complete we headed north to Canada. After mountain passes and hills we descended into the plains, and boy are they plain. We saw a thunderstorm in the distance and pulled over to don our rain gear. Standing in one spot I turned all the way around and saw a lot of absolutely nothing.

Our port of entry into the Canada was Sweetgrass and when we arrived they had a surprise for us. We pulled into a gas station on our side of the border to fill up on gas that cost only a few fingers instead of the whole arm and leg. Our tanks were on empty and we dismounted only to discover that the power was out. So their we waited for the next hour for the saving graces of the power company to rescue us from our plight. It was fun to observe the other people as the came into the gas station and, after being told their was no power proceeded to try and buy things with their credit cards. And after being told that the credit cards need electricity to work they pulled our their debit cards! We have truly become a society totally dependent on electricity.

Waiting is my favorite thing to do so after an hour we pulled out in the hopes of gas somewhere north of the border. Customs was a breeze and we entered Canada eh? 15 miles north of the border was a gas station and we paid the price and I didn’t even bother to convert liters to galleons, not because I was lazy but because I didn’t want to know how much I was actually paying per galleon. Another thing that is different in Canada, besides the shorter stature, the communism and the endless supply of eh?s is that gas stations don’t have a covering for the pumps, so if it’s raining you have to stand in the rain to pump your gas. I guess the whole roof thing hasn’t caught on up there yet.

Our destination that night was the Knights (pun intended) in Calgary. Good friend of the family and the Canadian reps for Math-U-See they had invited us to spend the night with them. We rode north and into a nasty storm. It was so bad, we discovered later, that peoples houses had had windows blown out and roofs destroyed. It was dark, it was very wet and raining, it was cold and it was late. But we made it! We pulled up to the house, got out of our wet gear and went in. Inside I discovered that Canada has an excellent redemptive quality to it, beer. Canadian beer is full of flavor, it’s smooth and you get to say eh? a lot :-) After Canadian goodness we partook of Canadian hospitality and went to bed.


12 Comments so far

  1. Ashley-Kaye August 26th, 2006 10:50 am

    Well, you guys seem like you are having a blast. I have always wanted to go to Alaska by driving, though not on a motorcycle. Although I have always wanted one. I hope the rest of you trip goes well! Blessings

  2. Jenny K. August 26th, 2006 11:26 am

    Wondering where you are now? Love hearing about the travels! God speed and keep you both! Jenny

  3. Julie August 26th, 2006 12:21 pm

    Mi madre wishes me to bear you an advisory of safety as you worm your wily ways down to Mexico; though all of it, I’m sure you already know. In Mexico, they do not like motorcyles, white folk, and especially people from other countries. They also, apparently, have a bad knack for arresting visitors without reason, and holding them for a good few weeks, months, ect. It happened to one of Heather’s co-workers, even, and he was doing escentually the same thing you were. So, heads up, we’re praying for your safety in Mexico, and otherwise. Oh, and Jesse, Heather’s padre, says that it hasn’t rained that much up there in aboot 10 years. We hope you’re safe, and enjoying it (though you definately are missing all the great scenery and things to do because a) bad timing, and b) definately not spending enough time).

    Uh yeah. kbye.

  4. Broncomom August 26th, 2006 1:13 pm

    LOL…zi rather put the money towards a fast car!

  5. Joseph August 26th, 2006 1:51 pm

    NIce header.

  6. Lonnie "BP" August 26th, 2006 7:58 pm

    What’s 25 grand after all? Just get out your wallet and plunk the dough down. I’ll be that bike isn’t going to need new tires anytime soon. Hope you all are well.

  7. Joseph Obenschain August 28th, 2006 2:09 pm

    This is so sweet. I am very jelouse now. Later bro.

  8. Joseph August 28th, 2006 2:15 pm

    That’s pretty cool.

  9. Lonnie "BP" August 28th, 2006 8:08 pm

    Yes, what did you decide?! OK I do cliffhanger posts, but that doesn’t mean I like other people doing them. This is not convenient for me!!
    That bike is really cool!

    Awaiting anxiously you’re next post. :-)


  10. Megan August 28th, 2006 9:24 pm

    Can’t wait for you to post more!

  11. Nancy (mommyfish) August 29th, 2006 2:15 am

    This has been so much fun to go with you guys…sorta… I’ve been too busy to keep up until today, so I had a lot of reading to do. I love it that you’re getting signatures of awesome people…I’ll have my pen ready when you visit Santa Cruz…hahahaha.

  12. Broncomom August 29th, 2006 2:27 pm

    Wonderful revision!
    Scary look on your face pretending to ride that motorcycle!!!
    The rainbow image withour bikes is wonderful…you’ll have to clean up the waterspots and make it perfect for printing.