(left to right):
John (Capt. Unbound)
Unbound '04 took on the Canadian Rockies with the largest group yet -- 11 bikes and a total of 16 people. Even though we had to say goodbye to Bill and Tim before we crossed the Canadian border, we want to thank Bill for bringing the "Portland Posse" and Tim for his humorous Unbound commentaries.
The trip checked-in officially (my bike's trip odometer) at 2,100 miles and was a huge success. While I never thought we could do better than the '99 ride, this one came pretty close. The Canadian Rockies along the "Icefields Parkway" from Banff to Jasper will surely take top honors for the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen. Moreover, let me extend a warm Unbound welcome to newcomers Ray, Ian & Susan, Rob & Wendy and Chris' son Christian.
The weather was just spectacular for the entire trip and even the summit of Mt. Robson was visible when we stopped by for a group photo. There was a stop at the Columbia Icefield where we all (well almost all) climbed up onto the glacier. There were also quick excursions to tour the famous Banff Springs Hotel and see how rich people view the world, as well as a visit to Lake Louise. Special thanks go to Ian for his guided tour duties for this portion of the ride. Sometimes it's nice not to have to lead and just ride at the back of the pack.
The ride through Glacier National Park on "Going to the Sun" Road over Logan Pass was breathtaking in spite of the aftermath from forest fires that kept us out of the park last year. While the setting of the Many Glacier Hotel was even more beautiful than I'd imagined, not all of the crew were as enchanted with the accommodations. However, I think the accommodations in Whistler made-up for any shortcomings for any other lodging choices. While in Whistler the crew enjoyed a farewell group dinner and then later, drinks and Cuban cigars at an outdoor cafe.
Even though it was a large group, everyone found their own pace and took breaks that suited each individual's unique style. Even so, the entire group often hooked-up for a lunch stop or a roadside shade-break. And of course, there was the obligatory photo of Big Dave with one of the more vertically challenged members of the group.
Special thanks also go to the "Unbound Mule Driver" -- brother Dave. It sure came in handy this year -- especially during the flat tire fire-drill with Rob's bike. I understand that the Mule Driver's services were much appreciated by the ladies when the farm they stopped at was "posted" as a panty-free zone. I'm also guessing that "Kujo" and the other watchdogs had some explaining to do when the owner of the farm returned to learn that Dave & Co. had used his tool-shed for a tire-change. And of course, THANK YOU to all that contributed to the "Unbound Mule Fund". I really appreciate people pitching-in to cover the cost of "Unbound Mule" this year.
Stay tuned for more pictures and famous quotes..
FYI -- I've created a photo album on the UNBOUND MSN Group page where you can post pictures for sharing. The photo quality gets compressed when you post a photo, so if you want a "picture quality" image, you should contact the person who posted it.
...and for anyone who joined us on the trip, here is just my preliminary list of famous quotes and memorable moments: