Northern Rockies: Trip Summary

This trip could have easily been called the ‘Canadian Hot Springs Tour‘, but Northern Rockies was much more inclusive of our trip. This was our first trip since completing our move to Colorado and Abby had been away in storage for the past six weeks. The poor girl was not in travel ready condition. Time was spent Friday night and Saturday morning to get Abby back in fighting form, or at least something that we could pass off as fighting form. We left at 10:30 Saturday morning, August 20th, which was much better than what Jess pessimistically envisioned.

We achieved an exciting first on this trip – Penny, Chewie, and Buster all crossed an international border (Canada) and were allowed re-entry into the United States! Our fuzzy fur creatures did not cause any international incidents while in Canada! Fantastic wins. Canada National Parks also allow dogs on trails, unless restrictions are posted. Penny and Chewie were happy to join us hiking.

NortherRockiesRoute
Route traveled for our Northern Rockies adventure.

Check out our Going to the Sun Road post.

Mileage and Fuel Consumption:

We discovered how expensive diesel (and gasoline) is in Canada. Charged per liter, we had to multiple the by 3.785 to obtain the per gallon price. So $0.939/L became $3.55/gallon, which was a solid $1.00/gallon more than our most expensive price in the states.

Total days: 12

Total miles: 2800

Total gallons diesel: 175.3

Average miles per gallon: 15.9

Best miles per gallon: 17.6

Worst miles per gallon: 13.2

Our last tank reflected the slog it was driving Abby home down I-25S. We fought a headwind and hills the entire way. Despite the one poor mileage tank, we were very pleased with the mileage for the trip.

Campgrounds:

For our campground summary post, follow this link.

  1. Dispersed camping, FSR 20, Bighorn National Forest, WY (1)

    2016NR_Dispersed
    View of Bighorn National Forest near our dispersed camping site.
  2. Many Pines Campground, Lewis and Clark National Forest, MT (1)
  3. Two Medicine Campground, Glacier National Park, MT (2); link to hike

    Abby with Rising Wolf Mountain in the background, Two Medicine Campground
    Abby with Rising Wolf Mountain in the background, Two Medicine Campground.
  4. Calgary West Campground, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (1)
  5. Two Jack Main Campground, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (2)
  6. Dry Gulch Provincial Campground, British Columbia, Canada (1)
  7. Apgar Campground, Glacier National Park, MT (2)
  8. Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, MN (1)

    Abby at campsite number 6 in Missouri Headwaters State Park.
    Abby at campsite number 6 in Missouri Headwaters State Park.
  9. Lake View Campground, Bighorn National Forest, WY (1)

Breweries:

  1. The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
  2. Banff Avenue Brewing Company, Banff, Alberta, Canada
  3. Ten Sleep Brewing Company, Ten Sleep, WY

For more detail regarding our brewery visits, check out this post.

National Monuments/Historic Sites:

  1. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument – click here for more details.
  2. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site – click here for more details
  3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

Acadia National Park

Acadia_RouteWe decided to squeeze a trip to Acadia National Park before we left the East Coast and moved west. As any good trip planners would, we visited with good friends who live in New England. It was also a fantastic way to burn up the remainder of Jess’ vacation time before she quit.

We were pulled over by police two times on the trip up to Acadia. Ticket free both times – out of state plates and Alex’s red wagon made for a sympathetic combination. The first was entering the GW, where contrary to what the Canadian border crossing agent told us, we are required to adhere to all truck restrictions. Thus we were not allowed on the lower level of the GW bridge. Apparently others have made this error before and there was a special ramp for us to  us to get to the upper level. The second was driving through Connecticut – we were not allowed on parkways due to size restrictions. The signage informing us of this restriction was not observed. We had to exit the parkway three miles short of our target destination (the interstate) and got to explore small town Connecticut as we worked an alternate route to the interstate.

We arrived in Acton, Massachusetts and spent a couple nights with Jess’ good friend from high school. As always, we added class to the neighborhood with our RV parked near her house. We also met up with some of the New England motorcycle group. After good times catching up and exploring Acton, we pushed on to Acadia National Park.

We camped a Blackwoods Campground, which was heavily wooded. This was a problem for the time of year with limited daylight hours combined with the fact that it was overcast and raining the majority of the time we were there. We had to be very conservative with our batteries since our main way of recharging them was not functioning due to the lack of sun. We could have run the generator, but that gulps propane and we had a limited supply.  An important note – when traveling to an area at the end of the season make sure your key amenities are full. We could not find an open propane station and needed to have enough for the furnace. We did not do our pre-trip preparation well at all. We could not recharge the coach batteries while driving because the solenoid was disconnected (did not discover that until after the trip).

Picture taken when we briefly had sunshine.
Picture taken when we briefly had sunshine.

Despite the rainy weather, we were able to get a few hikes in. We were very please to discover Acadia is dog-friendly and allows dogs on most trails. Penny, Chewie, and Buster enjoyed the opportunity to hike with us.

On the way back to Delaware, our overnight stop was at the house of friend’s from Dave’s motorcycle group. It was great catching up and great to be able to enjoy a real shower. We pushed on home the next day, and 15 miles shy of our goal, the great transmission failure occurred. Such things happen, we managed to get home in a friend’s truck.