Touring the National Parks

Touring the National Parks

I feel that national parks are in my blood. Growing up in Alberta, Canada, I was spoiled by the proximity of the Jasper and Banff National Parks.

I caught my first fish in the turquoise-blue waters of a glacier-fed mountain lake. During my teen years, I summited multiple glacier-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies on excursions from summer camp.

As a young adult, I mastered the moguls at numerous ski resorts near Jasper and Banff. I can't count the number of times, since buying my first motorcycle, that I've ridden from Jasper to Lake Louise on the Icefields Parkway (Alberta Hwy 93)—a road Reader's Digest has called “arguably North America’s most scenic stretch of highway.”

Plus, during one memorable southbound childhood vacation, my family visited Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, and Crater Lake in the U.S.

The Best of Ideas

I did my first Iron Butt Association (IBA)-certified ride in 2010. In the following years, I’ve completed several bigger IBA challenges, but couldn't help feeling that I needed something more than just warming the seat and twisting my wrist.

After reading the rules on the IBA website in 2015, I knew the National Parks Tour (NPT)—which requires visits to at least 50 parks in at least 25 U.S. states or Canadian provinces, was the challenge I was looking for.