Kansas to Banff Canada Trip Story


Check out the story attached and route

Road Trip 2003
Kansas City to Banff British Columbia

Steve Phillips, Gloria & David Bross

It all started about a year ago when we started to talk about planning a road trip to Banff National Park of Alberta, Canada. Here is the story of our 2-week adventure.

DAY 1 We left KC on September 12 around 7:30 a.m. and met Steve at Cabela’s around 8 a.m. Due to the weather (raining of course) we decided to head west on the turnpike and drive out of the rain. The weather cleared just west of Topeka when we found out that Gloria had already lost a Highway Peg. We stopped in Junction City and installed a new pair then headed further west to Colby, KS.
We cut north ending our first day at Imperial NE. A Great Day. A local stop at the Nebraska State Line showed us that we were in the Buckshot State according to the sign.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
DAY 2 Hit the road about 7 a.m. (45º - 80) and went to Ogallah NE for breakfast and to let things warm up a bit. We traveled NW through Scottsbluff and finished the day in Shoshoni WY around 50 degrees. The huge ant trying to get into our room fascinated Gloria. No way, says Gloria, he lost. It was sooo big, I was looking for a nuclear plant.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
DAY 3 Left around 7:30 a.m. (39º) and headed west to Riverton WY for breakfast. Just outside of town a huge elk passed in front of us. This is the first day of really cold mornings. Finished breakfast and headed for the Grand Tetons. We traveled to Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain, Jackson Lake and pitched camp at Colter Bay campground.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
DAY 4 We got no sleep, the temperature dropped to 23 degrees according to Steve’s digital thermometer oil dipstick. We were the only people in the whole campground. Gloria was sure there was a bear outside our camp last night. We walk to the camp restaurant, which warmed use up a bit. Later we packed up camp and headed to Yellowstone National Park. We rode through the park stopping at Old Faithful and on to West Yellowstone to get a room for a couple of days. We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
Finally some sleep.
DAY 5 We spent the day riding through Yellowstone NP. The weather changed from warm to cold, rain, snow, wind that blew trees across the road, and in a flash warm again. We saw animals galore from eagles nesting to a herd of elk. The most interesting thing today was the traffic jam in the park for 40 minutes due to a herd of Buffalo on or near the road. As we approached our turn to pass by the Buffalo, Steve putted by, and then Gloria with her stealth pipes (stock) made it safely by.
However as I approached to pass the herd a large Bull decided to charge at me at which one point I could see his head in my mirrors and gave chase for about a block until traffic thinned out enough to twist the Throttle and gain some distance. Don’t know if it was the pipes or the Orange colors.
Later that night we watched “Dances with Wolves” on the tube. After a little drink I kind of wanted to get on the ground and make horns with my fingers. “TATANKA”.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.

DAY 6 We left West Yellowstone after a hotel breakfast and pulled out of the parking garage into blowing snow. After a brief Kodak moment we headed north and rode out of the snow after about an hour, but the most beautiful clouds danced just over our heads. Needless to say the temperature forced us to stop and warm up a few times. We stopped in Belgrade Montana H-D for their only pair of heated grip installed on Gloria’s bike. After about 3 hours and a charge card we were on our way to Missoula for the night. As we headed NW we lost track of time changing 2 time zones and we almost ran out of gas on David & Gloria’s Bikes. After about an hour outside of Butte we ran into some rain, sleet, hail, snow and sunshine all in about 30 miles. We spent the night in Deer Lodge MT.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.

DAY 7 We left Deer Lodge (30º) and headed for Glacier National Park rumbling past Swan Lake. We arrived at Glacier NP on the west side to begin our ride on the “Going to the Sun Road.” This is a 50 mile road that in about 6 miles will take you up to about 6600 ft. and back down with a temperature change from 70 to freezing and back. The road was closed yesterday due to snow in the higher elevations. This road is a must to do for all motorcyclists with breathtaking drop off, no guardrails, switch backs and tunnels. What a rush. After ending up on the east side of the park we stayed the night at Saint Mary, Montana, an Indian village which fed us very well at their restaurant. The wind was picking up out of the north around 30 gusting 45.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.

DAY 8 We left St. Mary’s with a strong head wind (33º) and headed for the Canada border. We came upon some rangeland with cattle on the road and we lended our hand at driving cattle on our bikes for a while. We arrive at the Chief Mountain border crossing early and the gates were closed. After a short wait we rode to the gate and were greeted by Karen the Mountie, with no sense of humor. She acted more like a schoolteacher and scolded Steve for not listening to here questions. Bad Steve. We entered after questioning into Waterton Lakes NP of Alberta. We came upon the Prince of Wales Hotel for an attempt at breakfast. The hired help scattered when we looked like we might be staying the night. Needless to say the waiters in Kilts and us in leathers looked like a stand off at the OK corral. After a few questions like “You want to eat here” we were seated and served with a great view, great service and great breakfast. We hope that by the size of tip we left they had a better perspective of bikers.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
DAY 9 We continued NW over Crowsnest Pass, with rain, cold, hail, snow and sunshine to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia for the night which is on the west side of Banff NP. The town was packed with an antique car show and hot rods of all ages were cruising the strip. It rained and hailed and lightening but it did not seem to bother the car guys. Steve and Gloria stayed put while Dave went in search of a motel for the night. He returned shortly with the only 2 room’s left and grabbed them without delay. Most everywhere we stopped, the same question was asked. “Where are you headed?” Banff Canada. The next reply was that we were either stupid or lucky. We think lucky.
We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
Re: Kansas to Banff Canada Trip Story day 10-17

DAY 10 We left Radium Hot Springs and headed through Kootenay NP in the sunshine, cold, snow, ice fog, more cold and sunshine and on to Banff NP in Alberta Canada. We cruised up to Lake Louise which is breath taking and sat for a while just soaking in the mountains the lake and realized that we made it. We took the scenic route in Banff and walked the strip of shops. We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
Day 11 Gloria and Dave headed east while Steve traveled north to Jasper NP and meet us in Calgary. Needless to say Steve forgot that the Canada map reads in Kilometers not miles, so he ended up with a 400-mile day. We ended up in Calgary looking for the H-D dealer for about 2 hours due to construction, lost, etc. When we found the dealer it really was a Harley Diner. I asked the waitress where the dealer was and she pointed out that it was a long trip of about 15 steps out the back door. We obtained our shirts and headed east out of town as quickly as possible and met up with Steve in Strathmore. Steve pulled in at dark thirty, at 38 degrees. Shortly after 3 others bikes showed up, one of them was on a 66 Triumph hard-tail from Germany. We ended the day with a Metal Cup of Makes Mark.
And shared it with our German friend.
Day 12 We pulled out around 7 am and headed east to Medicine Hat H-D for some shirts and rode on to Moose Jaw for the night. Ever passed a house on the highway doing 70 and a side wind? Not much fun, thank God for a shoulder, because that’s where the wind put us. I’m not talking a doublewide either. Up here it’s the whole house. This house had a truck in the front and one in the rear to push.
Day 13 Today we head South east to the USA. When we get to the port of Ongury (NW corner of ND) we were greeted by Customs Officials which made us strip down our saddlebags, looked in our tour packs, looked in Gloria’s gas tank and we were on our way. Gloria had some Tide detergent for laundry that looked odd to them. We tried to get them to taste it. They figured the only female was packing. Gloria was looking particularly suspicious and we thought we might have to come back later to get her. We headed south and ended up spending the night at Medora ND, the entrance to the Teddy Roosevelt NP.
No Markers Mark here. We made sure not to have any open bottles before we got there.
Day 14 We left all our gear at the motel and rode through the Roosevelt NP before breakfast where we came back upon more elk, mule deer, prairie dogs, and another herd of buffalo, once again Steve and Gloria made it trough the herd without problems, during David’s turn the herd moved on the road and shoulder and decided to graze and walk down the rode toward him, at which he was walking the bike backwards maintaining distance of about 75 feet. Dave finally made it through, dodging buffalo exhaust. We returned back to town and had breakfast at the Cowboy Café before pulling out. This park is similar to the Badlands, however much better. Continuing south in that constant crosswind, we arrive in Sturgis SD. Of course on the way into town we had to ride Spearfish Canyon before finding a room in Deadwood.
Day 15 We left our gear for the day to ride Needles Hwy, Custer State Park, highway 16A and other cool roads. Took a ride by the 4 stoners (Mt. Rushmore) and on to Crazy Horse. We rode as much of the back roads as possible then headed back to the room for dinner. Gloria had to try some luck on the slots.
Day 16 We packed up and headed out in the rain toward the Badlands. The wind was still gusting 35 and wearing our sidewalls out after 3 days of cross winds. We spent about 2 hours there then headed SE to spend the night in Norfolk, NE. We lost another time zone hour somewhere so we traveled in the dark for about an hour. Of course David was out on point searching for the critters. Most of the last 5 days we did not know what time it was, some of the places we were did not observe daylight savings time, and the central-mountain time-zone line was definitely drawn by politicians.
Day 17 We left Norfolk, NE and headed south toward Nebraska City, figuring since there was a Chapter ride headed for the SAC museum that we would cross paths. No such luck. We arrive back in KC around 4 P.M.
They are right about what they say, “the closer you get to home the more dangerous it gets.”


Steve caught a cold about 3 day’s into the trip. Gloria caught a cold about a week and a half into the trip. David caught a cold about 1 week into the trip.
The trip was successful with the help from Sudfed, Tylenol,2 bags of cough drops, Slim fast bars, apples, and lots Makers Mark a..k.. SNAKE BIT KIT.
Traveling during the off-season was worth the minor weather inconveniences The road was ours, the motels cheap, and the food great, the sights, even Old Faithful, were there just for us.
We endured weather from below freezing to 75 degrees. Most of the days around 50 for a high. A total of about 1 ½ of rain the whole trip.
The trip totaled 4500 miles, a lot of great times, laugh’s and fun.
The full-face helmet is a must for long trips. Make the investment
Silk glove liners are a must, more than 1 pair of long johns.

If you would like more information on our trip, we have detailed items of what each other carried, to eliminate duplicate items. We took few items that we did not use.
David rode point on most of the trip, except for the National Parks. It was his keen vision for varmints. Gloria refused to lead although Steve said she led him around just fine.
Gloria packed tide soap for laundry in zip lock bags that looked like she had a small stack of cocaine.
Don’t let get-home-it is get you hurt.
We had an Excellent time. Got to see the video.
Can’t wait until 2005 for the Southwest Road trip to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas and much more.

Until then, Ride Safe
Live to Ride-Ride to Live
Re: Kansas to Banff Canada Trip Story day 10-17

Sounds like a great adventure. Thanks for sharing.
Sounds like a great trip other than people getting a cold, I drove through Banff on the way to Alaska hauling snowmobiles it sure was pretty up there, didnt get to see to much of it because of driving an 18 wheeler but sure loved it up there. Would love to do it on a bike. Lots of animals along the road to watch out for!!!!!!!!!
I live about 100 miles south of Glacier, There are a few great roads in that area, but Going to the Sun has got to be one of the best!