Make up your Mind! Berg Lake Trail

July 17 & 18, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Yesterday was a rest day for us, but today was practically one too! Read on to find out why. Ok, so yesterday the wind died down and the sun came out, making it pretty uncomfortable in the tent early. We chowed down some breakfast and Amanda did a load of laundry. Then we cycled the 3km into town and ended up spending a few hours just veg’ing out at the Gathering Place coffee shop. Afterwards, we cycled to Diamond H Donairs, which advertises itself as having the best donairs in Valemount! I’m fairly certain that they are the only donair-ery in Valemount, so yes, they were the best. While we were there, we struck up a conversation with Diamond himself, who hails from Jordan. He is quite the world traveller as well, and it’s always great to hear about what it can be like to visit other parts of the planet.

One of my favourite parts about ‘shopping day’ is all of the fresh meat and vegetables I get to buy. My creative juices really start flowing, right there in the middle of the aisle, as I mentally plan out meals for the next few days. I grab a couple of cans of tuna, some macaroni noodles, some flavoured sauce packages (tandoori, chili/garlic, szechuan stir-fry) and leave knowing that we’ll eat like kings for the next week. I think food shopping it one of the things I most look forward to on rest days now. Yesterday for dinner, I cooked up a terrific pasta sauce to go with my macaroni noodles.

Which brings us to today, also basically a rest day. It was such a short ride to Mount Robson! We took our time leaving the campground, and took every opportunity to stop while on the road. This included talking with Peter from the Netherlands, who is cycling from Calgary to Vancouver for the two months. Then we stopped at Rearguard Falls, which is a small, but strong water spectacle on the mighty Fraser River. There were these two crazy kayakers who dropped in right below the falls, and it was fun to watch them ‘paper-rock-scissors’ to see who would get to drop into the waiting rapids below.

We passed a few private campgrounds on the long hill down towards the Mount Robson Visitor Information Centre. When we got there, we enjoyed some free wifi, and made dinner. There were some other cyclists (mountain bikers) from France who had come to BC for the BC Bike Race. I chatted with them for a bit. They were hoping to find a spot to wild camp for the night, and I think they were eyeing up the parking lot. Eventually they packed everything up and headed off down the road.

Ever since we saw a picture that our Warmshowers friend Krissi (with the pink hair) posted last year, we had thought of checking out the Berg Lake Glacier. So here we were, at the start of the trail. We’re going to ride our bikes 7km up the trail, then hike 9km to Emperor Falls and drop-off most of our things. Then we’ll continue another 8km to Berg Lake. It’s really busy here, so we weren’t able to get a camping spot on the trail until tomorrow. The Visitor Centre rents out lockers for $3/day, but we figured that we would need 3 lockers each just to fit all of our stuff. I was able to sweet-talk the girls behind the counter to let us store all of our bags in a closet downstairs. Thanks!!! Then there were a lot of strange looks from all of the tourists getting off the buses, looking al 12 bags worth of our gear spread out over a picnic table and surrounding area, as we tried to figure out what to pack and what to leave behind.

Amanda writes:

Our ride was nice today, not too hard and we knew it wouldn’t be too far. Arriving at the visitor information centre was great. Mount Robson is spectacular! We had a quick conversation and decided to do the hike and made the reservation for the trail pass. Next up figure out how to handle all of our belongings as we hiked. After arranging with the visitor centre we then had to decide where to sleep. It’s seems like only two weeks ago that I would have felt uneasy if I didn’t know where I was sleeping at 7pm on a particular day. Now I just knew we’d figure it out; maybe I really am becoming a hippie. It’s probably all the positive energy that Kacey gave us today. Kacey is a nice man who introduced himself today outside the visitor centre. He himself a bit of a nomad and a great fellow to swap travel stories with, ended our conversation with sending us “love and sharing his positive energy with us”. Five years ago I probably would have thought, damn hippie; but today I just responded with a continuous head nod and said “thanks man, right back at ya!”.

Finding the stealth spot was great. Just needed a little patience. Sometimes I feel badly about not paying for the big sites, especially when there are signs that say “please camp only in designated areas”. Then my feelings turn to content as I’m reminded that the designated camping facilities are designed for those that like a shower and flushing toilet every day and we are okay without it from time to time. I mean we need to practice for other countries that have neither. In any event I am at peace as we leave zero footprint. We pack out what we pack in and we are out of sight so we don’t encourage others. Peace and love man.

Today’s Photographs

Make up your Mind! Berg Lake Trail