Crossing the Icefields
Praise be to the Irish

July 26th, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Nothing much to report today. We met a German cyclist, Peter, at the campground who had two huge rubbermaids full of stuff, all attached to his crappy bike, by means of a rickety trailer. According to Peter, his bicycle had been stolen in Kelowna on his way to Jasper. That bites. Still, I don’t know if I can shake that image of all that stuff spilling out everywhere from that trailer. That’s one of the things about cycle tourists, and I touched on it yesterday. We all have idiosyncrasies.

Everyone always comments on how much stuff Amanda and I cart around, but for the most part for us, it often feels like we travel with the bare necessities. Even Paul and Jayme were saying how they spent an hour or two last night at camp, thinking of all of the things they had seen us using, that they would like to have on their next trip. Or Yichao yesterday, easily had 50lbs of items, lashed haphazardly to his bicycle, for what? A week long trip from Calgary to Jasper? Then again, today I was thinking about the 10lbs of clothing that I’m carting around, in a bag that I haven’t opened in 5 days.

The Silverhorn campground where we are camping is weird. It’s built on a plain, rather than in a forest. It’s nice having 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers, for sure..but the layout of the place is just weird. Picnic tables are about 15 feet away apart, and the tent sites are practically on top of one another. Yet, the size of the campground area itself is immense!

It was a strange ride today. Ok, first, it was really great for Amanda to give me the green light to ride with Paul, Jayme and Echo today. Yet, what with stopping to let Echo in and out of the trailer, Amanda was never far behind. She’s just such a dependable little diesel engine, always running, low torque, but super-steady; slow and steady wins the race. Where was I? Oh right, so it was weird because there were a lot of climbs today, that didn’t appear easily on the elevation profile I have. So perhaps it’s the mental preparation again. We haven’t started the second big climb up to Bow Pass (2067m elevation), but I’m mentally prepared for it, and I’m pretty positive that tomorrow will be an easy day.

I love, love, love days where we can setup camp by 1500hrs, and just sit and read, play music, make dinner, take photos etc. It’s so much more enjoyable that arriving at a campsite at dusk, and then rushing around trying to get everything done. Maybe we’ll end up falling asleep early tonight and waking up early tomorrow for our “easy” day of climbing out of the Icefields, and down to Lake Louise.

Amanda writes:
Our early day wasn’t meant to be. Maybe our early days are past us now. We crawled out of bed at 9am after a great sleep. After making a nice breakfast and chatting with Patrick, another cycle tourist we only left camp at 11:30. Oh well, we had company! We managed to leave at the same time as Paul, Jayme and Echo (their dog). We got to ride with them for a couple of hours, well Andrew did because I’m slower than most everyone. It was nice for Andrew to be able to ride with people that go faster. Andrew is very patient with my speed, so I’m grateful when someone else comes along to keep him company. As a little fact, I have yet to meet a cycle tourist who rides slower than I do.

We decided we didn’t need to ride far so called it quits in the early afternoon after riding 40km. It was nice to make camp without rush. Andrew got to do his manly man things again (build fire, hang tarp) and I was able to erect our tent and make our home for the night again. Sometimes I think we don’t ride far enough but what’s the rush? Oh ya – we’re retired there is no rush. And so the rhythm of riding a distance that allows us to sleep until our bodies wake and ride until we choose to stop seems to be working well for us. We need to be in Calgary by 5pm July 31st and I think we can achieve that at this point.

Today’s Photographs

Crossing the Icefields
Praise be to the Irish