The Icefield Parkway, Celebrating 75 Years!
Crossing the Icefields

July 24th, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Good news; I’m still alive and kicking! Despite going to bed early, for some reason I can’t seem to wake with the sun yet. I guess my circadian rhythm still isn’t rhythm-ed yet. Part of me would love to wake up before 6am, refreshed and ready for the day, and then start riding bikes a few hours later. The other part of me doesn’t mind snuggling with Amanda until 0900hrs…except, Amanda woke up cranky today, and so snuggling wasn’t really an option.

I elected instead to cook up some bacon and eggs, and oatmeal, washed down with coffee. It was a veritable feast! After talking with Felipe last night about he pretty much just eats peanut butter sandwiches when he tours, and how that’s also all Amanda ate for a week last year when cycling from Dawson to Whitehorse, I still scratch my head. Isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? Shouldn’t eating a hearty meal set you up for success? I thought it was delicious!

Felipe and Sebastian slept until about 1000hrs. If we had been a bit quicker on the draw today, we might have avoided having to pay for our campsite. Just as we were leaving, the park ranger showed up, and we grudgingly paid half the fare ($7.50), while Felipe and Sebastian paid the other half.

The cycling today was a constant uphill battle. Literally uphill for 45km, with a headwind most of the day too. We were passed several times by a group of Quebecois cyclists, again fully supported. They make it look so easy, and they always remark on how much I am carrying, and it has made me feel really self-conscious. I feel fat and slow…well not me, so much as Diablo3, my bike. Then Amanda reminded me that our friends Janick and Pierre Bouchard have cycled around the world, and are doing it again, with even more stuff than us.

I had my eyes set on climbing up the Sunwapta Pass to 2030m in elevation, which would have been about 65-70km of total cycling. Instead, I ordered the day cut short at 4pm, after 45km at an elevation of approx. 1600m , and also just as the rain started. This gave us the best opportunity to erect both some tarps, as well as our tent, allowing us to keep dry before, during, and after dinner. I also took a bit of a bath in Jonas Creek, and I was left feeling all refreshed. So you know what? I don’t mind. I’m not in a hurry. I think I bought enough food to last us a couple of extra days on the Icefields Parkway, and I might have an opportunity to eat-out or buy some more food in the next few days anyway.

Tomorrow will be a day of ups and downs. We’ll finish cycling to the top of the pass, go for a hike to view some more glaciers, and then enjoy a nice long downhill where we’ll camp at Rampart Campground I think. I’m really looking forward to seeing more glaciers, they’re awesome!

Amanda writes:
I did not sleep well. I woke up a couple of times in the night. On one instance I went to the bathroom and then could not go back to sleep. I just laid there tossing and turning and thinking. I hate it when I just can turn it off. I was left wondering if there was something I could have done differently to get the package from Canada Post. The woman asked me if it was in an envelope and I said I think so. Maybe she didn’t look at boxes too, maybe it was a box and was there the whole time. Maybe I should ride back to Jasper and ask her to check the boxes. Doesn’t matter … go to sleep. Toss, turn; my neck is so sore.

Then I just started thinking of other things, my mind just kept going! For those of you that have been following for some time, know that in Mexico I changed up my normal hormone medication (woman stuff). Well since we left Cuba I haven’t had my monthly cycle. Since I was a teenager my cycle has been clock work with the exception of a handful of times in which I had double cycles (that was fun while cycling to Mexico in 2007). In any event this is the first time I can remember not having my cycle in as long as I can remember. So here I am thinking about it again at what is probably 2 a.m. Not that thinking about it is going to help. While I’m hoping that it’s just my body changing with age, there’s a part of me thinking that if I’m pregnant, that would really throw a wrench in our travels. Let’s just hope I’m cranky because I’m premenstrual. After stewing over this for some time, I finally dosed off only to wake up Mrs. Cranky Pants.

Andrew was very understanding and patient with my mood. I declared the situation immediately when we woke up and he thanked me for telling him and proceeded to be patient most of the day. I had every intention of doing the 75 km hard climb right from the start of the day but when Andrew suggested we pull the plug early I didn’t argue. And good thing he did because shortly after we stopped riding it started raining.

Tomorrow I hope we can get up earlier than we did today and get an early start. If we’re going to try and hike after a big uphill, having extra hours will make it easier to handle.

Today’s Photographs

The Icefield Parkway, Celebrating 75 Years!
Crossing the Icefields