The Great White North - Day 8 - "Back to 'Murica!"

By: Kevin JohnsonOct 22, 2019

Day 8 (7/18/19)

Today would be our last day riding in Canada which felt a little like an end to a sub-quest but it was even better knowing we’d be back in the states in just a few hours.  We packed our bikes up and hit the open road, leaving the beautiful town of Osoyoos behind as only a memory.  I would actually really love to go back one day though as it was such a beautiful place.  Likely gets pretty cold in the winter though.

A lot of the Canadian terrain we rode through was all very similar in this area: smaller mountains and rolling hills, all very green with tons of vegetation.  So we rode about 220 eastbound on the Canadian side of the boarder stopping for gas and a pee in Grand Forks where we noticed the grocery store carts were locked up.  For a dollar you could use one and equally have your dollar returned once you brought the cart back, very similarly to how airports manage luggage trolleys.  Being a fan of the wonderful television program, Trailer Park Boys, all I could think about was that this must have been their way to keep Bubbles at bay.

As we rode we went through tons of small towns that were so tiny and quaint I thought how nice it probably was to be that far removed from everything.  Equally then I thought: damn…these are pretty removed from everything!  I suppose it’s all what you’re feeling at that moment.  So we continued to meander our way along the north side of the boarder until we finally reached Rykerts (Canadian side) and crossed back to the US into Porthill.  I’m not sure who had pissed in the board patrol agent’s Cheerios that morning, but he was in a mood.  Lot of “yes, sir” and “no, sir” just to avoid any unwanted heartache, and after he went through some dirty laundry he sent us on our way.  Hope those nasty skivvies did it for ya, bruh!

Not long after we got into Idaho it started raining on us again so we rode down to Bonners Ferry (Boner’s Ferry in my mind) for some lunch.  Surprise surprise, we found another brewery!  Kootenai River Brewing where the food was delicious and the beer went down smooth.  We sat and had a few waiting out the rain which was absolutely fine with us since we weren’t interested in getting drenched again.  Finally it let up some so we headed out down the road to our stop for the night in Kalispell, MT.  We caught a little rain along the way but not too much so that was nice.

Along the way between Bonner’s Ferry and Kalispell we ran into some pretty gnarly road construction where we had to follow a lead car over a decently rough road which was now torn to shit for repairs.  We pulled up to the little pop-up stoplight behind a few cars and an RV and chatted briefly with the super friendly construction lady there.  Well of course by this point I was tired of getting stuck behind RVs so I asked nicely if we could quick whip around all of these other vehicles as to not get delayed further, and to my surprise she said that’s no problem, just hurry up.  The ladies driving the RV weren’t too pleased it didn’t seem like, but we weren’t a hindrance to them so it didn’t matter.

We got checked into the hotel, into the room, and lounged for a while.  After a bit we noticed the bathroom was efficiently spaced, but also very strange.  Usually when you have a normal sized tub you can access it from the entirety of one of the long sides.  Not in this room, about 50% of the long side of the tub was a wall, so while showering you were tucked into a corner and it was so bizarre.  It wasn’t long before we decided it was time for some dinner, so we rode down Main St. into the “heart” of Kalispell where the restaurants we were trying to go to were surprisingly busy.  The lady at the first place we tried to eat at actually recommended another place since we weren’t going to wait 30 minutes, so we walked down the road to Brannigan’s Pub which turned out to be a cool little Irish bar.  It was at this bar I swiftly consumed some bangers and mash and also learned there are a lot of bar/restaurants that are simultaneously casinos…didn’t know that was a thing in Montana.  Again I lost credit card roulette…

Another thing we learned about Montana is that there are some pretty strict brewery laws.  Walking back to the bikes we figured we’d stop in at the Kalispell Brewing Company since this trip has clearly turned into one massive brewery tour.  WELL we walked in and were promptly told that they couldn’t serve us there, only give us something to take home.  What the…?  No thanks I guess.  So we headed back to the hotel and started to investigate why they couldn’t serve us past 8pm.  The abridged version is that Montana basically doesn’t want breweries taking business from the pubs so they put some silly laws on the books about how much you can serve and times based on the amount of barrels produced…blah blah blah.  If I were a brewer there is no way I would operate in Montana, but that’s just me.  It was getting late and at this point we figured enough was enough, time to rest up for the 426 miles that were ahead of us the next day.

Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!