Early in September I hit the road from Salt Lake City, Utah bound for Alberta, Canada. My mission was a simple one: a solo road trip to explore the mountains, rivers, and trails surrounding the Banff, Jasper, and Kootenay National Parks.
With a small truck and a light load of camping and bike gear, I had the freedom to stay or go as I wanted and to explore at my own pace. The US and Canadian highways took me through truly epic mountain passes, through glacial parkways, and into some of the most intensely gorgeous forests I’ve ever seen.
It wasn’t long before I had tucked away hundreds of photos and racked up more than 2,500 miles between Utah, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, and eventually, Idaho.
Below are a few images from my trip. For the really curious, I created a more extensive gallery on Exposure—enjoy.
|| Although I picked the spot and did the riding, I have to give the shutter props to photographer Re Wikstrom. Re snagged this photograph while we were ripping along the McKenzie River Trail in Oregon. Although the trail starts in a mass of volcano rock, it slowly snakes its way down to the river.
Despite the fact that you shuttle this trail (drive to the top, leave a car at the bottom), there’s lots of pedal time. A downhill bike would be fun for a few sections, but a mid-travel trail bike is definitely the way to go. My Santa Cruz Heckler held its own* through twisty forest sections, slick roots, and the technical bits of rock at the beginning.
No one mentions the bridges you have to cross during this ride. Some are wide enough to ride across, some have railings on both sides, and some are so skinny your bars barely creep through from start to finish. The rhythm goes: ride, ride, ride, pedal, pedal, pedal, StairMaster, and repeat.
|| Moab is a place of drama, but not for the people in my experience… only the landscape. The trip from Salt Lake to Moab is pretty straightforward: hop on the highway, take less than a dozen turns, and cross your fingers that the campsite you’re aiming for isn’t already occupied. Campsites go quick, this is more common than not. Provided you have the storage, the fresh water spring outside town has all the water you need. Turkey snacks and a radar detector never hurt either. ||