They day started a little rough: Up at dawn, down to the pool room for a jacuzzi hot tub, into the steam room for 10-15 mins. You know, a typical day cycling.
Well maybe not exactly. Staying in the Chateau Lake Louise was really something special. Waking up to an incredible view out of the window. We really took our time this morning, for obvious reasons.
This is what I see from my window
By the time we were packed and ready to go it was 12:30, That’s ok, we enjoyed every minute of it. We said our good byes, Jen and Rob heading north to Jasper and I heading east towards Calgary.
Rob making last minute adjustments to his derailure
I had the best ride yet, with a strong wind at my back and a very slow decline, I averaged 26kms/hour. I made it to Banff, 60kms away, in just 2.5 hours. Although the highway is pretty flat, it’s incredibly scenic. You’re surrounded by rugged, white-capped mountains, many photographed by the world over.
The highway through Banff Provincial Park is fascinating. Besides having high but inconspicuous fences along the highway to keep the animals out, it also has animal overpasses to allow migrating animals to move over the highway. I heard later that many people complained about the cost of these overpasses. I think sometimes people forget why they were put on God’s Green Earth.
I waited and waited but still no Grizzly bear
Arriving in Banff I took a photo of the welcome sign and immediately heard “welcome to Banff” from one of the two cyclists that just came up behind me, out for the day. We talked for a while and I asked for lunch recommendations. One of the cyclists led me around Banff and showed me several restaurants to choose from. I chose Bisons and finally got my pasta (and beer) fix.
At this point I seriously thought about staying in Banff for the rest of the day. I finally decided against it because there are so many things to do in Banff that one day is not nearly enough. I’ll simply have to return with Vicki!
The rest of the ride was long and arduous and a little frustrating. My Garmin kept trying to put me on highway 1, and I was determined to follow the 1A. It took me a long time to find my campsite for the night. It was at the bottom of a 5km hill of course, what else? Something I’ll have to face in the morning.
But it was worth it. My campsite is situated right on the river and it’s teaming with wild life. There are only a few people in the campsite so it’s very private, and a little unsettling too, but I’m getting used to that. By the way, there are mosquitos in Alberta and BC. Not as bad as Ontario, but they’re around.
The view from my campsite at Bow Valley Provincial Park
Now here I sit, at the picnic table typing away, all my food and garbage safely packed away in the “bear box” and the sound of the train passing by on a nearby overpass (there are always trains on this route). My eye lids are shutting. Another long day cycling and time for bed.
Tomorrow, Calgary here I come.
Distance Covered – 121kms
Average speed – 22kms
Moving time – 5 hours and 31 mins
Elevation – 1085m