Yoga in the Park
Feeling Self-conscious, Fat, and Slow.

July 23rd, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: I think that we rolled out of bed just as Jimmy was drinking his first cup of coffee, and eating breakfast. I was granted access to their amazing kitchen area to make bacon and eggs for my beloved. We had a great time with Sonya and Jimmy all morning, including playing some music. Jimmy started playing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” on his travel guitar and I figured out how to play the melody on my tin whistle. Sonya says that she thinks I should learn to play the guitar since it sounds better than the flute. Amanda wants to get a guitar too, and judging by the size of the one that Jimmy was playing, I think we’ll add one shortly.

It was close to noon before we broke camp and went our separate ways. Amanda and I headed into Jasper to see if some mail we are waiting for showed up. It didn’t, but of course, standing outside of the post office with two fully loaded touring bikes is just asking for trouble. Sure enough, I ended up talking with Guy de Guy, who just started cycling two years ago, and now wants to cycle in Cuba this winter. Everyone’s a cyclist right!? Next up was a group of Aussie tourists who waylaid us by the firehall. Although we did have time to stop in at the thrift shop where Amanda bought a new cycling top. Finally she has added some colour to her wardrobe!

Cycling along Hwy#93, the Icefield Parkway is pretty painless. It will be uphill for much of the next two-three days, then downhill, then uphill again (like a horse saddle) and finally downhill all the way to Calgary. So we’re cycling along and we climb this gruelling, long hill when Jimmy and Sonya pass us and wave. I think they are camping about 60km further down the road, and there’s no way we’re going to make it there tonight. When we got to the top of the hill it was the Athabasca Pass Lookout. Such views! Looking across the valley towards the pass I could picture a group of people on horseback, or on foot, carrying canoes etc. as they made their way from Jasper to Golden or Kamloops.

Three guys on road bikes pulled in while we were at the lookout. Jamie, from Toronto, Dean from England, and Eric from Sweden. They are all distant relations, and are embarking on a 4-day whirlwind, fully supported ride from Jasper to Banff. Their SAG-Wagon was pretty impressive, and I can certainly see the appeal of travelling not only with friends, but also having the backup behind you if the crap hits the fan. I offered to race the guys to the next lookout, and off we went! I could keep up on the flats and the downhill, but struggled on the uphill. Heck, Amanda even managed to pass one of the guys on the downhill section, which their skinny little road tires had trouble with.

Next up was Athabasca Falls, which…I dunno, it was OK I guess, but it was one of those places where about a hundred tour buses all roll up at the same time, and you’re just tripping over other people as you walk around the concrete walkways trying to enjoy nature. We bid adieu to the roadies and their support crew, and ended up at nearby Kerkeslin Campground.

No sooner had we pulled in when Felipe Gomez ( caught my attention and we started chatting. He is a kindred spirit who has spent the last few year cycling all over Canada, including the ice roads this past spring up in the North-West Territories. His work and his passion are his music. He travels all over the world playing his bass. Felipe invited us to share his campsite, with his friend Sebastian. We sat around talking, cooking, eating, laughing, and listening to Felipe play his bass.

Bugs are awful tonight, I gotta cut this short. On the one hand we bought a little green mosquito repellent ring that you light on fire, and it works very well! Unfortunately, the mosquitoes UNDER the picnic table are having a feast. Hopefully I don’t contract malaria overnight and die. Wish me good health!

Amanda writes:
It was a little disappointing the mail didn’t arrive but I made some arrangements with Canada Post and we hope to receive the mail in Calgary. While I was making arrangements Andrew spent over 40 minutes talking to Guy. He seems like a nice fellow and very friendly. After that we chatted up with the Aussie’s as Andrew mentioned. While sometimes chatting all the time slows our travels, meeting people is what it’s all about. There are some days where we enjoy the solitude of just the two of us and no one to talk to, but most days it’s such a pleasure. It’s a pleasure to share our journey, passion and enthusiasm for seeing this great planet with others. People are so interested in us and every now and then I feel like we’re movie stars; everyone wants a piece of us. We’re so lucky to have so many opportunities to share our story and inspire others to follow your dreams.

Our first taste of the parkway didn’t disappoint and it is fabulous, just as advertised. It’s also lovely to see so many other cyclists on the road. Not just supported road cyclists but each day since nearing Jasper we see at least two other touring cyclists. And then icing on the cake was sharing a campsite with Felipe and hearing his stories and seeing his passion for life.

Today’s Photographs

Yoga in the Park
Feeling Self-conscious, Fat, and Slow.