Wonderful. By Nature. Formidable. Naturellement.
The Icefield Parkway, Celebrating 75 Years!

July 22nd, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: Bruce was back to work today, so after sitting around the kitchen table for a bit listening to the news, we all headed out the door at the same time. The plan for today was to connect with Erin from Parks Canada, who has been kind enough to hook us up with a pass to explore Jasper National Park over the next week. We stopped in at the post office, the grocery store (food shopping yay!) and then got some well-needed stretching in at the free “Yoga in the Park” event.

I’m sore all over, both from cycling, and also from hiking the Berg Lake Trail a few days ago. Yoga was just the ticket! Now I feel terrific…well, except for a slight crick in my neck. This was probably caused from sleeping in a real bed last night, instead of on the ground in a tent. So, since we’re at the Whistlers Campground, everything should be back to normal in the morning.

There are also scores of other cycle tourists here in town! Yesterday we met Gilles, from Switzerland, who is riding south to Argentina. He has also already cycled from Switzerland to Australia about 10 years ago, so he has so much knowledge that he is ready to share. I think he left Jasper today, but chances are we’ll pass him again in the near future…unless he is one of those crazies who cycles 150km a day!

Then there was Frank Rubio, from Los Angeles, who stopped us on the sidewalk as he was unpacking his car. He’s going to tour from Jasper down to someplace in Colorado. It sounds like we’ll likely run into him on our way to Yellowstone. Frank is…like a kid who has just finished school for the year and is excited for the summer ahead. His youthful enthusiasm is infectious, and he sounds like a great person for sitting around the campfire with at night. Hopefully we do meet again sometime soon.

Working with both Bruce yesterday, and Erin today, we’ve mapped out some places to go, hikes to hike, and sights to see over the next few days as we cycle south on the Icefields Parkway, from Jasper to Banff. I’m left wondering about wild camping along the way. There are a dozen or so campgrounds, plus hostels, but they’re all quite expensive. Then again, it’s likely that we’ll meet more cyclists if we stay in the more populated spots. It’s a trade-off I suppose.

Random; I found some fresh rolled italian meatballs at the store today, and am looking forward to making a delectable pasta sauce, and some noodles for dinner.

I’ve been typing this in a cafe, and it sounds like Amanda wants to move to a pub, where hopefully we can find some baseball on TV to watch, while quaffing a sudsy beverage, so I’ll cut this now. See you tomorrow!

But wait! there’s more! So after we left the pub, we were cycling out of town to find one of the 500-site campgrounds when Sonya and Jimmy passed us in their van. They invited us to camp with them at Wapiti Campground, which is only 4km down the road from Jasper. We made our way there, and in the playground area was a herd of elk; super cool! Then we got to the Frenchie’s campsite and made a campfire, and just sat and talked until midnight. It was amazing!

Andrew: Jimmy, what you you guys doing tomorrow?

Jimmy (french accent): First, I wake up and have a coffee…then I have a second coffee..then maybe I decide.

These are our kinda peeps! Cheers.

Amanda writes:

We were lucky that Bruce didn’t have to be at work at the crack of dawn. We enjoyed some coffee and eggs with him before heading out. His job sounds pretty cool working for the railway. If I were going to work again I wouldn’t mind that gig. Two weeks on, two weeks off.

We went to the bike shop and found chain lube for $15. We decided against buying it because we can buy it in Calgary for $5. We’ll just keep applying some vegetable oil to get us the next 500 km. After the bike shop we went to Canada Post to see if our mail package from Parks Canada had arrived. No arrival yet, so we decided to stay in town all day. We went to the visitor centre and met Erin from Parks Canada. What a gem! She is originally from the East Coast and has officially made the move out here, and why not; it’s beautiful! She shared some information about the community and set us up with some important hash tag information for our posts and sent us off with our pass; what a relief that is. She also told us about yoga at lunch which is exactly what we needed.

After yoga we headed to a cafe and blogged and interneted for hours! It was almost therapeutic. We tag teamed the different sites, Andrew did his picture magic and we just plugged away. Jasper is busy! So many tourists and it’s so nice to see the community thriving. It was interesting to develop the Mount Robson and Berg Lake pictures. While the pictures are spectacular, they don’t do the real thing any justice.

As we were leaving town we hooked up with Sonya and Jimmy and ended up sharing a campsite with them. It was nice to spend a little more time with them and get to know them. It also afforded us a good sleep, maybe these big campgrounds aren’t so bad after all. I sat at the table for some time watching all the little kids run around and ride their bikes. They were having so much fun! It reminded me of camping trips when I was a kid. As a child we had total freedom. We could roll around in the mud all we liked, scream and yell at the top of our lungs and be free for hours on end. I have such fond memories of camping with my family as a kid and it was nice to watch children in the campground enjoy these freedoms.

Today’s Photographs

Wonderful. By Nature. Formidable. Naturellement.
The Icefield Parkway, Celebrating 75 Years!