Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Alberta Bound

“No one-eyed man could ever get
The Rocky Mountiain sunset”

I had gone to bed when the sun went down and got up at dawn. I ate my breakfast watching the sun slowly emerge from behind the mountain. I let the intensifying heat dry the dew off my tent and gear before I packed it all back on the bike.

First Breakfast

Sun rising behind Mt Robson

The road behind

The road ahead

Starting up the first climb, I started feeling hungry again, and I knew I needed a much more substantial breakfast at the only restaurant before Jasper. It is in a cluster of services around the Mt Robson visitor centre at the foot of mountain. Joshua, a cyclist who I met in the campground came in just as I was finishing my meal, complaining of chronic flat tires in his front wheel. I showed him how to hunt for wires from retreaded steel-belted truck tires that shed and litter the highways. Tiny bits get imbedded in a bicycle tire and will only surface when you squeeze the rubber, and sure enough that was the cause of his punctures. I lent him my pliers to pluck it out. Joshua is going to Calgary via the Icefields Parkway, and since we were both headed for Jasper we decided to ride together for the day.

Joshua, my cycling buddy for the day

The big climb was up around the edge of Mt Robson, still following the Frasier River which at this point has become a fast-moving chain of rapids tumbling down the narrow valley. All in all it was about 10 kilometres of climbing, after that it was a steady incline through the turquoise cloured summit lakes.

At Moose Lake

We stopped at one such lake for lunch, at Lucerne, where a campground and beach were located opposite the craggy peaks of Mt Yellowhead. I waded knee deep in the chilly waters before deciding against hypothermia, Joshua braved a very brief dip.

Lucerne Lake panorama

I promised myself a hearty pasta dinner in Jasper, and the thought of it gave me a second wind to sail swiftly into town. Also, we were about to lose an hour going into Alberta, entering Mountain Time Zone.

Goodbye, British Columbia!

Joshua coming up behind my helmet

Jasper coming up ahead

“Alberta bound! Alberta bound!
It's good to be Alberta bound!”

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