Passing Up a Free Ride, Twice!
Yoga in the Park

July 21st, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: I think it was just luck that the geography of our camp site allowed storm clouds to pass by to the east and west, without hitting us. Even as we were packing up after breakfast, we felt a few rain drops from the midnight black clouds just east of us, but again, the storm passed by without dumping on us. It made for a great day in the saddle, as the sun shone on us, and we had a tailwind the whole way into Jasper.

Did you know?? The border between B.C. and Alberta falls along the Continental Divide. This marks the 6th time that we have crossed the divide in the last year. Our last crossing was September 18th between Dease Lake and Iskut, BC.

Just past the Lucerne Campground, we spotted a pair of cycle tourists heading in the opposite direction. Taking evasive action, I rode across the busy highway to talk with the couple (man and woman), and before I could say “Hello!”, the man, Sebastien, said to me, “You must be Andrew!”. Sebastien and Claire had stayed with Bruce (Warmshowers) in Jasper, where we had hoped to be last night. We ended up chatting with Seb and Claire for 15-20 minutes, comparing routes and equipment and whatnot. The usual when intrepid explorers meet on the road. Much of their equipment is the same as ours, which was really cool. They started riding in Ontario, and then took a train across the Prairies, before cycling up the Icefields Parkway from Calgary. They hope to reach Inuvik, NWT in the next two months, and then they will cycle to Anchorage. After Alaska, they fly to Vancouver and will cycle to San Francisco, and then the Rockies..or maybe I have that mixed up. In any event, they are prepared for all sorts of weather, and hopefully we were able to give them some tips for their ride north to Inuvik.

Secretly, I wanted to turn around and ride with them. I mean, I wanted Amanda to come too! It’s just that I really enjoyed cycling in Northern Canada last year. Plus it’s always nice to travel with like-minded people. I changed my mind pretty quickly when they announced their intention to cycle from Jasper all the way to Tete Jaune Cache (120km?) today. I wasn’t able to get them to consider stopping at Mount Robson, which is a shame I think. Then again, they’re racing against the weather, just like we were last year when we were coming from the other direction. Maybe we’ll cross paths again with them in the US later this year. You can follow their adventure on tothenorth.ca both on Facebook, or on the regular inter webs. Claire gave such a look of relief when I told her that it was all downhill for them to Tete Jaune Cache, since it had been uphill for us the previous two days. After we bade farewell, I realized why – We cycled for about 40km DOWN to Jasper. It was amazing!

Pulling into Jasper proper, it really reminds me of Golden, BC…with the expensiveness of Whistler. Stopping in for a scrumptious pizza at Bright Spot, I was gladdened to learn that we had been accepted for a house-sitting opportunity in Calgary. We joined a house-sitting website to give us opportunities all over the world to rest and recharge every few months. In this case, we’ll be 10 days in Calgary which is great because both Amanda and I have friends and/or family in the area. I wonder how Amanda will do with her cat allergy, as we’ll be responsible for looking after a “rescue cat”.

After lunch we headed over to meet with our Warmshowers host, Bruce. Bruce works on the railroad, running between Jasper and Prince Rupert. He had lots of stories to tell about his experiences. He is really looking forward to retiring in 4 years to cycle around the world. Right now he settles for shorter trips every year. Last year, he cycled with his friends from Ottawa to Halifax, and then from the Sunshine Coast up to Stewart, BC and along Hwy#16 towards Prince George. We also got to meet one of his cycle-touring partners Linda, and it sounds like the two of them are going to go on a short 2-day tour next week. Then Bruce is off to Iceland for 5 weeks of pedalling fun in the sun (and ice, and snow, and cold). I really enjoyed later in the evening just sitting with Bruce in his living room, listening to the CBC, doing internet things, and every now and then pausing to converse. It was such a relaxed feeling and he is such a warm, hospitable, genuine person. Maybe our paths will cross when he starts his world tour!?!? #dreambig


Amanda writes:
Yahoo – finally some downhill! I feel like we’ve been climbing since we left Vancouver a month ago. Somehow I was expecting a hill around the next corner and it just never came. This was of course after climbing up over the pass, but we knew that was coming. Downhill, tailwind and the big glorious “Welcome to Jasper” sign. A german tourist took our picture and when we told her it took us a year to get here, she ended up taking our picture with her own camera too.

Seeing Sebastien and Claire was super cool. Their equipment was literally almost exactly the same. She had the same Surly bike as me (without disc brakes) and the panniers, fuel canisters, bar grips; everything. It was like they were our younger twins. They looked so happy and alive and excited; I love meeting other cyclists on the road as we share the same enthusiasm for life.

Arriving at Bruce’s apartment was wonderful. He was so laid back and was quick to offer me a shower after catching a whiff of me. I enjoyed a long hot shower and then he showed me where the laundry room was and off I went. I really enjoy the warm showers community because they are cyclists and they understand you need a shower and some clean clothes. Kicking back with Bruce in the evening, swapping cycling stories and just kicking back listening to CBC radio was like heaven. Bruce struck me as having the laid back mindset of a retired person but he’s still working. I think he’s got it nailed down; I really enjoyed his company.

Oh and about the cats; I’m not allergic anymore. I’ve outgrown it, Andrew just likes to play games.


Today’s Photographs

Passing Up a Free Ride, Twice!
Yoga in the Park