If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably become aware that the hubby and I love to take some pretty epic Harley trips. After all, we spent nearly a week on the Harley after our wedding, we took the Harley out to California last year, and this year we decided to explore up in Canada. For living so close to Canada now, I personally have never been up there. I have lots and lots of Canadian friends via social media. So we found some time between wheat harvest and the rest of harvest and planned a spontaneous Canadian Harley trip.
By the time we were done, we were gone for 11 days, traversed 5 states and 2 Canadian provinces, and a total of 3,500 miles. It was incredible, so incredible. There is honestly nothing like exploring the countryside on the Harley. Be prepared for an epic-ly long post, but the photos are incredible, I promise!
We started our journey off by heading across northern North Dakota and through Williston, which I had never been through due to the oil boom. We then headed across the Hi-Line of Montana. We’ve traversed across Montana on every highway except Highway 2 so it was neat to cross this one off the list. The Hi-Line parallels the rail line, I was pretty excited to see so many trains and snap a ton of photos of them. The Hi-Line is also a huge wheat growing area, there was a ton of fallow land as well as large grain elevators. We spent that evening in Malta, Montana meeting some social media friends.
Waterton Lakes National Park
From Malta we headed into the east side of Glacier and up into Canada. We, of course, stopped in Waterton which was incredible. What a gorgeous location and I can’t get over that clear blue water! We stopped for some drinks and found some poutine! My first poutine, when in Canada do as Canadians do right? We spent some time driving around Waterton and checking out all of the scenic stops. We also got to see our only black bear!! He crossed the road right in front of us! That evening we spent the night in Pincher Creek, Alberta.
Kananaskis Country & Banff
The next morning, we had our first Tim Hortons experience. It was surprisingly impressive, like a Starbucks meets McDonalds but with fancy donuts. Y’all got it going on there my friends. We headed up through Kananaskis Country which was gorgeous. We even got to spy some Big Horned Sheep on the side of the road. Once we were done riding for the day, we headed into Banff. Now Banff is SUPER COOL. I loved it in Banff and could have spent several days there. So many great places to eat, drink, and of course shop! It reminded me a lot of Colorado Springs or Telluride, but in Canada. We enjoyed supper at Saltlik Steakhouse and then ended up at Park Distillery. Not only do they craft some great spirits, their cocktail menu is so creative, the atmosphere is perfection, and the employees are super friendly. We had an amazing time enjoying some drinks, chatting with the bartenders, and taking in the atmosphere. HIGHLY recommend this place if you’re in Banff.
The next day we explored in and around the Banff area. So many amazing glacial lakes and gorgeous mountains, it was unreal. Totally something you have to experience in real life, photos do no justice to the beauty. That afternoon we headed into Lake Louise for the evening. Lake Louise was booming as we were there during high tourist season. We went up to the Lake and took in the sites, but there were so many people we decided to come back later on before we ate supper.Lake Louise was one of the prettiest we came across. Beautiful, clear blue waters and of course the towering glacier above it. If you ever get the chance to see it, do it! We ate at the Fairmont Chateau in their Swiss-inspired restaurant called Walliser Stube. The Walliser Stube Restaurant is our homage to the Swiss Mountain Guides who were instrumental in assisting many early North American mountain climbers to virgin ascents of our surrounding Rocky Mountain peaks, some 120 years ago. So of course, we went with tradition and enjoyed their three course fondue special. It was the first time the hubby has ever had fondue and amazingly, he liked it! Our main course was a Chateaubriand and of course, chocolate fondue for dessert.
Moraine Lake & Sandpoint, Idaho
Since we couldn’t make it up to Moraine Lake the day before, we started the morning taking in the gorgeous sister lake to Lake Louise. Then we headed back to U.S. soil since there was some nasty weather coming to that area of Canada. We ended up spending the evening in Sandpoint, Idaho. What a neat little town! We enjoyed the evening at MickDuff’s Brewing Company for a couple drinks before heading over to Eichardt’s Pub for supper. Eichardt’s was a down home place with fantastic food! It wasn’t super fancy by any means, but the service was great and the food was delicious. Our favorite kind of places! Fun fact: Sandpoint, Idaho is home of Litehouse Dressing!!
Pitstop in Montana & Onto Idaho Falls
We love Montana and we are SO lucky we have friends in Montana so we get to visit whenever we’d like! We ended up spending a couple days in Potomac with our friends, unplugged. It was so nice to be able to spend some time together and let’s be honest, do some laundry! While in Montana, we had the opportunity to attend a Long Table Dinner at Paws Up. Think renowned chef’s menu in a long table in a Montana pasture. A gorgeous evening for the event and we even made some small world connections. There will be a whole post about the Long Table Dinner, it was THAT good.
After spending a few days in Montana, we had the decision to head home or continue on. We decided to continue on. We headed down to the Idaho Falls area to see some more social media friends. I even got to ride along combining some peas while there! Until we came through on our way back from California, I had never been to Idaho and didn’t think much of it. Idaho is SO diverse and has some incredibly gorgeous scenery. There’s everything from mountains and beautiful rivers to lava rock desert-like scenery. And some nuclear wasteland, essentially. I couldn’t believe how freaking windy it was! We were dodging tumble weeds like crazy. It was quite comical when we stopped in Idaho Falls, we literally had to pull tumbleweeds out of the spokes of the bike!
Through Wyoming and Homebound
After being out for nearly nine days, we decided it was time to head home. We left Idaho and made it across the entire state of Wyoming in one day. That was quite a ride, but we’ve spent quite a bit of time in Wyoming before so it wasn’t a big deal we didn’t make many stops. The West is just beautiful and Wyoming is no exception. It is gorgeous in its’ own way. Most people I don’t think appreciate the vast landscapes of the West. We spent the evening in Custer, South Dakota. The Black Hills (I’ve shared before) is one of my favorite places in the country. I could have spent a couple days there simply because it feels like home to us. We did hit up a new restaurant, Black Hills Burger and Bun. Even at 7:30 at night there was quite the wait, but this place was worth the wait. I enjoyed their Hot Granny which included bacon, cream cheese, fresh jalapenos, and sweet-spicy jalapeno jam. Holy yum! We may need to re-create that!
11 days. 5 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and nearly 3,500 miles. All on the Harley. And with my best friend. Can you say EPIC? These are the trips I live for!
Have you ever visited any of these places? Love it? What are your must-eat, must-stop places!? Please share because we WILL be back!