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BORN TO RIDE, CANADIAN ROCKIES STYLE

Author: Mhairri Woodhall

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Mhairri now lives in Calgary with her husband and young daughter. Specializing in family, luxury and culinary focused travel, Mhairri loves exploring her new province, nourishing her wanderlust and writing about her adventures.

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With the cool wind on my face, I feel the Harley’s deep growl reverberate through me. Over my right shoulder I can see the glassy surface of an azure coloured lake. To my left, the soaring snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies glitter in brilliant sunshine. Ahead, the world famous Icefields Parkway stretches out. Urging us forward with the promise of great adventure. Stan, our Jasper Motorcycle Tours guide, kicks it up a notch and we fly along what National Geographic considers to be one of the 10 Greatest Drives in the World.

Just an hour and a half in and my cheeks already hurt. Laughter and an ear-to-ear grin will do that. I’m sitting behind Stan, riding pillion. My husband Curt is in the Harley Davidson sidecar – for now. Our friends Ivan and Heather are fast approaching from behind with their driver Karl. It’s our first time visiting Jasper National Park and we’re clad head to toe in black leather – riding the open road. What an amazing way to explore this pristine wilderness.

Breathtaking Panoramic Scenery

The 200 km (124 mi) round trip Icefields Parkway Tour, from Jasper to the Columbia Icefield, came highly recommended and was simply too cool to pass up. We’re now experiencing the thrill of the ride amidst a visual ecstasy of ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls and turquoise lakes. Stan knows all the best places to stop. His enthusiasm and love for the area is infectious. Jasper National Park is a wildlife hotbed that’s home to grizzlies, black bears, elk, moose, deer, cougars and bighorn sheep to name a few. We’ve heard about the many sightings his passengers have experienced on this very route. Thus far we’ve been dazzled by the alpine scenery. Spotting an animal or two before day is done would complete our grand adventure.

Calling Thrill Seekers of All Ages

Jasper Motorcycle Tours has shared the joys of the Canadian Rockies with young families, adventure seekers in their seventies and every age in between. We went whole hog – mind the pun – with a five to six hour tour, but you can book a one-, two- or three-hour experience as well. All the safety gear is included, so you’ll look and feel like a bad-to-the-bone biker.

We’ll definitely return next summer with our thrill seeking four-year-old. Perhaps we’ll ride up Mount Edith Cavell to the base of the Angel Glacier or head out to Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake. Or maybe Miette Hot Springs where I’m told the journey and the destination also get equal credit.

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