Fostership 3500 Km Challenge, Trip 1, Day 6

Golden to Emerald Lake to Lake Louise

Bike Packing

105 Km

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!