Lake Louise to Chateau 10 km
Lake Louise to Calgary 209 Km
Highlights from Today:
- It was s rough night for my two North Korean friends and me putting up with a drunk guy at the Lake Louise Hostel! All was quiet when I finished my awesome and gigantic meal of sweet potato fries, Beef chilli and ice cream and retired to bed. I quickly passed out and probably snored!
- We awoke with a start to the bright lights from the bathroom and the return of the drunk at about 3 a.m. The next hour was a complete annoyance of the drunk talking to himself, singing, popping cans of beer and rusting and noisily crunching his way through a large bag of chips. Ugh. I quickly got up and went to complain to the front desk next time he went to the bathroom, but it was s cavernous, quiet place illuminated by a computer monitor. Went back to the room, bumped into the drunk and asked him to please go to bed and be quiet. After another bag of chips and a beer, he did retire. Within a minute, a chain saw noise started and would not stop! Arghh!
- Jaewoo got up and disappeared into the hallway. He later returned and had some sets of ear plugs. What a god send! Thanks Jaewoo!
- We three awoke at 6:30 and didn’t spare any noise and commotion. I quickly packed, complained to the front desk and went for breakfast with Jaewoo and Jin. Good times!
- I left my gear at the hostel ad cycled up to Lake Louise. There was already a rush of RVs on the narrow road and tourist mayhem at the top. I strolled around and got some photos. After raining most of the night, the sun made an appearance. Great to run into the group of youth and leaders from Two Wheel View here and to chat with Shasta.
- After a nice descent back to the hostel, I met a guy who is bike packing backroads and trails from Alaska to Argentina – and busking on classical guitar on the way. Cool!
- Time to get on the road (already late morning) for the long ride to Calgary. This was a fun day of mountain vistas from the Bow Valley Parkway, a grizzly bear sighting, the Legacy Trail through Banff and Canmore, and the quiet 1A highway back through the foothills..
- It was well into evening (around 8 pm) by the time I ascended the long, final hill out of Cochrane! Never easy, and extremely hard with a load of bike packing gear!
- After a quick stop to see Brian and Candace, I was home….exhausted! What a fantastic trip, made better by all the people along the way, including the drinkers!
- This marks the end of the first of three big trips. The next tour takes me to Emma Lake,SK FOR A FAMILY REUNION. And then it’s time to paddle the Bow River in early September.
Golden to Emerald Lake to Lake Louise
Highlights of Today:
- The apologetic drinkers argued in the night around 3 a.m. They are peacefully sleeping today as I pack up with some of the other campers!
- Golden campground is shady and cool in the morning. The towering mountains of the Kicking Horse Pass hide morning sun. I walk to the nearby soccer field to find some sun to run my solar panel for some battery charge. It’s hard to keep electronics (phone, lights, Garmin GPS, Garmin InReach) charged on this trip and the solar panel is awesome!
- The ride up out of Golden to the Pass begins. I meet an indigenous couple who have hitch hiked from Manitoba. Happy Canada Day! We are blessed to meet each other.
- After the pathway ends, it’s on to a few km of winding road with steep cliffs, disappearing shoulder and frequent semis and campers. I often pull over to let s line of traffic pass.
- Down the hill where I had a terrible speed wobble on my carbon bike in 3016, and all goes smoothly! Onto the nice big shoulder of the new stretch of highway and the big bridge towering high above the turquoise Kicking Horse River. Tail wind – woohoo.
- I can see some little specks that are rafts descending the River when I stop at the top of the Pass. We are all little specks in the passage of time and nature.
- On along the beautiful stretch of highway to Field. The RCMP are out in full uniform (red serge) and ticketing a speeding motorist. Most are respectful and leave ample passing room!
- A last minute decision to take a side trip to Emerald Lake. I thought it was one or two Km, but it turns out to be several. Seeing s skinny black bear prowling around at the roadside, I pause to wait for the safety of s passing car. The first one to pass slows down – perfect! And then they stop right across from the bear to take photos! I continue on, flying by them!
- Emerald Lake is packed wth tourists! Ugh! It’s really pretty though. Continuing back to the Natural Bridge, I meet a friendly New Zealander called Pete. We have a long chat about bike packing and also mental illness. I leave feeling inspired and energized. I pull into the little town of Field and stop for some snacks, contemplating the long ride up the Continental Divide – the border between BC and Alberta. At some point, my colleague Andrew drives by on his way to Calgary from Revelstoke, but he is past me before he thinks it might have been me.
- The Pass is a long grind, with a threat of rain, but it stays dry from there, over the summit and down to Lake Louise! It started pouring 10 minutes after my Hostel check in.
- Turns out I’m sharing a room with a drunk guy at the Hostel – awesome. He is a friendly guy between jobs and seems depressed. A couple of South Koreans join us in the dorm – two brothers traveling through the Rockies – great to chat with them.
- I go in search of dinner, but nothing is open in town! I meet a retired English couple looking for s bar. The lady says she’s just going to buy a bottle of vodka if nothing is open, and drink it in their room! They are staying at some expensive hotel. I tell them there is good food at the Hostel and they could eat there. They have a hard time hiding their disgust! Haha! The guy discovers I grew up in Scotland (accent give away) and I tell him I’ve been in Canada about 25 years. He said ‘Oh, you must be quite civilized by now then? Canada is quite a civilized country’! Pompous fool. I silently hope they make good pickings for the grizzly bears, but it’s unlikely as they’lol likely not venture out of their snobby bubble! Lol!
- Back to the Hosel for an amazing meal (actually, two meals)!
- The drunk is not there when I head to the dorm to go to bed —to be continued!
Kayak: 12.5 Km
Family Hike: 2.4 Km
Spillamacheen to Golden Bike: 67 Km
Highlights of today:
- Mosquitoes gone with the sunrise (after hordes of them covered the outside of my tent the previous event no)!
- A morning paddle to Bristol, into a slight headwind and realizing I would not make it to Spillamacheen on the river in time to meet the family at 11 a.m. Easy revision of rendezvous with a quick phone call to home base in Invermere.
- Hiking with Lorisa, Ryan, James, Brennan, Mio, Jim (just off a plane from Iceland), Bean, Mike and Seb to Lower Bugaboo Falls. I love this raging waterfall and the viewpoint. A lunch stop there while the mosquitoes fed on us!
- The Icelandic chocolate bar the Jim brought back! Thanks Jim!!
- Transition unpacking and packing from kayak to Hike to bike.
- Meeting the owner of the frisbee golf course in Parson and having a great chat.
- The apologetic drunk couple at the Golden campground. Super nice people that we’re enjoying the Canada Day Weekend, and good to share a laugh with (and thanks for sharing some dinner)!
- The incredible staff at the Wolf Den Restaurant and Bar in Golden – thanks for serving food late! I was starving. I love this place!
Invermere to Brisco Kayaking
Highlights of today:
- A fairly relaxing morning spent with the family while doing some reps king of cycling and kayaking gear.
- Game of basketball with Brennan, who has some seriously good skills!
- Late afternoon start on a beautiful day with no wind. Paddled from Kinsmen Beach on Lake Windermere to the river.
- Peaceful evening paddling towards Brisco, and I managed to find the best camping spit and watch the sun setting on the Rockies.
- Perfect timing getting into the tent before billions of mosquitoes emerged after sunset.
- A short and easy-going day.
Fernie to Invermere
… some catching up after wind and weather delays!
Highlights of today:
- Cycling through the Elk River valley on the way to Elko. Beautiful river. Not much traffic on the road.
- Getting off the busy highway onto a small road towards Fort Steele (avoids the route to Cranbrook). This offered absolutely stunning views of the Kootenay River.
- Fort Steele lunch stop – delicious sandwich packed with everything nutritious!
- The hill ride after Skookumchuk, then the long flats and descent to Canal Flats.
- Getting to the hoodoos at Fairmont Hotsprings and knowing there was only Westside road separating me from my in laws’ place in Invermere and a short family visit.
- Cycling some of the Westside Trail, but then regretting the steep rollers and worrying about bears and cougars – at dusk and all alone!
- Invermere family reunion!
Old Man River to Fernie
…Cycling day cut short by a massive thunderstorm in Fernie!
Highlights of today:
- Lundbreck Falls – The twin falls on the Crowsnest River at the eastern entrance to the Crowsnest Pass.
- Discovering that the Crowsnest Pass is the lowest elevation highway pass between Alberta and BC!
- No headwind to contend with!
- Meeting up with Lisa and Luc as they moved their household to Creston!
- That thunderstorm in Fernie – thankful I was able to make it to some shelter!
- Lovely lady at the tourist info who persuaded me to call it a night in Fernie – good advice! Locals know best.
- Riding up the short, steep hill to Fernie Provincial Park only to discover every camping spot was booked! But, back to town to stay at an awesome motel, complete with s hot tub and breakfast.
- Fernie is awesome! What a great vibe. We need to come back here!