Kristen and I could have never imagined that we would meet so many people because of a little motorcycle. The Ural is the ultimate icebreaker - in the sidecar world it's known as UDF (Ural Distraction Factor). Every single time we stop we are swarmed by people that want to hear about our trip. It honestly may be the most redeeming part of our travels. We've received a multitude of business cards and phone numbers scribbled on napkins from absolute strangers offering food, lodging or aid in case of emergency. It has really opened our eyes and I feel as though we're being taught a lesson in generosity.
Before we left Pincher Creek today we had a nice breakfast with a family we met in Glacier the day before. The Callaways are great and their two young boys were absolutely in love with Elga. We said our goodbyes and headed off across the windy Alberta farmlands towards Banff.
We stopped for gas in Longview and saw a three-wheeled contraption for sale that we should buy for our next big trip.
A local gave us some advice that differed from our plans, so we took off west of 22 towards Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and the Kananaskis. Despite the rain and wind and cold, the views were worth it. It is a wild park full of uncultivated beauty.
We had to laugh at the name of the cattle guards here in Canada. Texas Gate!
We then kept heading north until we ran smack into the superslab that is Highway 1, then headed west to Banff National Park. Upon entering the park, the weather turned sour and seeing as Kristen was threatening physical pain if I made her sleep in the wet and cold outdoors, we headed to the town of Banff to find a hotel room.
After I turned around on the highway, we were suddenly being followed by a suspicious red BMW. They followed us for several miles and even into the gas station we stopped at when we arrived in town. It turns out that the owner and his wife almost bought a Ural for their current cross-country trip and were super excited to see one on the road. It turns out that they weren't quite as sketchy as we thought, and we ended up having dinner and sharing an expensive hotel room with them.
Here's to you Kim and Johnny Big Lure!
Tomorrow we head through the park!