Jasper, AB to
Denis Kertz, ©2012
My friend Dave picked me up and drove me to
I always forget something for a trip and I remembered that I
hadn't brought along a pair of shorts, although I had a pair of gym
shorts. That wasn't a big deal because
it's easy to buy a pair of shorts and the weather was at least initially
supposed to be cool enough that I probably wouldn't be wearing shorts in the
evening anyway. Then it hit me – I forgot to bring my NiZn battery
charger. This was a serious issue
because this type of charger isn't available just anywhere. After my initial panic I realized this wasn't
quite the catastrophe I thought it was.
In the worst case I could have someone mail my charger to my sister in
My flight arrived 20 minutes early in
In any event customs went reasonably quickly given the large
crowd. What didn't go so well was
getting checked into my next flight. I
ended up at a WestJet terminal with no one around and no one answering the
courtesy phone. Eventually I learned I
was at a
The flight to
However, my Google Map was no good. It directed me to a place where there was nothing. Fortunately there was a 7-11 store where the lady knew how to get to the resort and her directions got me on my way. It was a bit unnerving when a sign directed me down a somewhat rough road but eventually I spotted the Courtyard which was attached to a casino.
By the time I got checked in it was 6pm and I still had to put my bike together and repack everything. I had a bite to eat at a bar in the casino which was very good but expensive at $13 for a chicken sandwich.
By the time I got the bike all put together and my panniers
somewhat repacked it was after 10pm, which was 11pm
I woke up at 5:30 which was really 6:30 my time. I did some more research on getting my battery charger. I finally gave up on getting it quickly and just decided it was best to go for the sure thing – mail my charger to my sister.
Just past 6:30 I went down for the breakfast buffet and was the only one there. I didn't need a big breakfast but I like the Courtyard buffet and figured this would last me most of the day. Back in my room I finalized my packing and loaded my bike in the car. It turned out my Hyundai Elanta rear seats both folded down so I was able to slide my bike in sideways after removing the front tire. I finally headed out a little before 9:30.
I backtracked to
I drove through
town to get the lay of the town, and it was just a long line of typical tourist
stops on the west side of the road. I
wanted to find 404
I discovered the
store was at 408
Then I walked down the street with my bike to a Subway for lunch. Normally I would have had a foot long sub, eating half and saving half for later but the morning had started with the feeling that I was coming down with a sore throat. It was only a mild one so far but Subway offered a special 6-inch sub plus soup so I went for that, hoping the chicken soup would help my throat.
Finally, around 4pm I headed south out of town. It was a long 2 miles and then a turn off to the Whistlers Campground where I got a walk in tent site for $22.50, not a particularly great value but about what I expected. Since this was bear country, there was a nearby food locker, a building about twice the size of an outhouse with rows of small lockers inside without any locks.
The big question
for the week was the weather. It sounded
mostly okay but some chance for rain and time would tell. Of course, the bigger question was whether I
was going to really get sick or just have a mild sore throat. Starting tomorrow there would hardly be any
The campground was a grazing ground for elk. While I was typing my notes an elk cow walked by within 20 feet grazing as she moved. Later a bull elk wandered through a couple camp sites away and later a few more elk cows wandered through, one with a radio collar. I wondered if she felt her privacy was being violated.
I wasn't in a hurry to get up in the morning because I wanted to catch breakfast down the road and wasn't sure how early breakfast would be available now that the off season had started. So I didn't leave camp until about 8am with almost nobody else up yet. Less than a mile down the road I stopped at Jasper House for breakfast which had opened at 7am. I was fortunate that they had WiFi so I was able to check my email and learned my colleague at work had a problem with something he was covering for me while I was gone. So I was able to give what I hoped was a helpful response. Breakfast itself wasn't that great – 3 medium size pancakes.
With tending to
work I didn't get on the road until almost 9:30. I learned yesterday that a number of
campgrounds were now closed for the season so the next campground was the
Icefields which was over 60 miles away.
However, I would be following the
I turned off 93 onto 93A which was a quiet road without a shoulder and didn't
need one with the light traffic. The
views were okay but things improved considerably when I reached the end of 93A
and rejoined 93. There I stopped to see
on 93 the views were much better with views of the mountains on both sides of
the road. At one point the mountains on
the east side of the road looked like someone had just sliced the sides of the
mountains off. Further on I stopped at
continued on but now I was following the
hostel was just off the road and had no electricity or running water but did
have drinking water in containers. The
hostel also used the public restroom facilities at a turnout along the
road. It was right next to the
There was a young couple already at the hostel when I arrived just after 5pm and a Japanese guy showed up later and then later a couple of young ladies appeared who had a reservation followed later by several guys. So what I hoped might be a quiet place turned out to be fairly crowded.
In any event, the good news is that my sore throat proved to be minor. It only bothered me a little sleeping last night and was no problem bicycling during the day.
I was the first person up which made sense since I was the first person in bed last night. I didn't know how to turn on the propone lights in the kitchen so I ate in the dark with just enough light to see. About the time I was ready to leave most folks were getting up.
I left just after
8am. It was a relatively easy initial 5
miles on my climb to
My right knee didn't particularly like the climb. I think it must have been tendinitis or something similar. This is the first time I recalled have any knee/leg problem on a tour and I didn't know what would have caused it.
After the steep climb I rode into what looked like a level area but I was still climbing at 5mph. This was the Columbia Icefield area and I could see the ice fields. After about 14 miles I stopped at the huge Icefield Centre. The icefields were the site of a massive glacier area covering 233 square miles with most of it invisible from the road. The Athabasca Glacier, a tongue of the Icefield, was visible from the road and a big tourist draw was taking a bus trip on to the glacier and stepping out on the glacier.
I was hoping I might get breakfast at the centre but the dining room was closed so I had to settle for a sandwich and muffin in the coffee shop. Then I checked with the park information to be sure I knew which campgrounds were open ahead.
When I resumed riding at 11:30 it was an easy couple miles the rest of the way to the pass but a light drizzle started near the pass. It was an overcast day and the temperature never got out of the 40s. Initially the drizzle was just a nuisance but then I stopped to put on my rain pants. A short time later I stopped to replace my water resistant jacket with my rain jacket. I would have opted for my cold weather gloves and waterproof Seal Skinz socks but I wasn't sure where they were packed.
With the rain I never turned the bike loose on the descent from the pass. Just when I thought I had to stop and find my gloves and socks the rain stopped and it got a little warmer. After 35 miles I came to the Rampart Creek CG. I could have gone further but the next CG was way too far away. There was also a hostel option but I decided on camping. It would have been nice to be inside but, based on last night's hostel, I wouldn't have been able to check in for at least a couple of hours. I also liked having everything with me in my tent and not worrying about disturbing anyone when getting up in the morning.
I paid $17.60 for a tent site where there looked to be only one other camper, although that changed later. I settled in, ate, and took a short nap. Later the sky cleared a bit and the Sun put in a brief appearance.
A highlight of the day was seeing a small herd of 8-10 mule deer but I didn’t stop because it was drizzling. I also saw a group of supported cyclists and a touring couple with small panniers, all headed in the opposite direction.
It was a pretty chilly night, down around freezing, but I don't think it rained overnight. However, my single-walled tent was wet inside from condensation. I got up around 7am and packed up my wet tent. There was a food place just down the road about 8 miles so I didn't bother with breakfast.
When I got up the sky was clear but some low lying clouds moved in and it became foggy so there was almost nothing to see. I arrived at the Crossing Resort right around 9am and made a beeline for the restaurant. I plugged in my laptop but there was no WiFi but I figured I would get my battery charged, only to learn later that the outlet didn't work.
So I struck out on
my PC but lucked out on breakfast. They
had a basic breakfast buffet for $15 that I took advantage of. The best part was they had French toast on
wheat bread. I probably got the
equivalent of two $15 breakfasts and I figured I would need it with the
upcoming climb to
When I was getting close to the final climb I stopped for my second, cereal breakfast at 12:30. I was looking for a good place to stop and finally realized one of the road signs was perfect. I was able to lean my bicycle against the sign and there was a 2-step platform for changing the signage that made a nice little bench.
I started the final
I made the pass at
2:30 and descended to a beautiful view of
There were some more nice views of mountains and lakes along the way. The lakes were really spectacular with their turquoise water that contrasted with the surroundings.
I pulled into
Interestingly, the campground was surrounded by an electrified fence to keep the bears out. They still required locking up food and there was a food locker nearby that was convenient for me to use. I kept almost all of my food in one of my front panniers so I simply moved the rest of my food items into that pannier and put the entire pannier in the food locker.
included with the tent site so I cleaned up and rinsed out my recent cycling
clothing. Then I walked back to the town
centre on a trail along the
Originally I was going to pack the bike and ride up to
Just after 8 I decided it was time to hit the road. It was a little warmer and the first part of the 2.5 mile climb was steep so that helped warm me up. It was a good thing I left everything in camp since I don't know if I could have made it up on a loaded bike. After the initial steep mile it wasn't so bad.
It was a good time to arrive at the lake with the morning light was just right for lake viewing. The lake, a glacial lake of emerald color from the rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake, is also the site of the Chateau Lake Louise, a grand hotel on the east shore of the lake. The hotel is a popular place for weddings throughout the year and I saw a couple of newly weds that were evidence of that. There was a large 18-wheeler truck in the parking lot that was transporting a group of cyclists riding for cancer but I didn’t know if the truck carried the cyclists up to the lake or whether they rode up on their light racing bikes.
As I wandered around I decided to spend the day in
Since I hadn't gotten on the Internet since Tuesday
morning I signed up for an hour of service since this appeared to be the only
WiFi source in town. I also stopped at
the park information place where I inquired about riding to
After taking care of these things I decided it was time to
replenish my cash supply but found the ATM machine in the grocery store
rejected my request. Later after
thinking about it I remembered having trouble getting money from my savings
account when I was in
So I called Chase on a pay phone since I couldn't get service on my cell phone. There I learned the problem almost certainly was that my cash card only worked with a couple of financial networks and the local ATM machines didn't work with them. Very strange that a major bank's cash card doesn't work in a major Canadian tourist spot. I know the local ATM machines worked with Cirrus which is one of the major networks but my cash card doesn't think so. So I was stuck with little cash and having to manage until I could find an ATM machine that works with it.
With that disappointment, I rode back up to
I found the road was just fine. It only had a little shoulder but there wasn't very much traffic in my direction. So it was an enjoyable ride although it was almost 7 miles and took about an hour. Mostly it was some climbing with about a mile descent to the lake at the end. Most of the ride was through forests and the scenery didn't get interesting until the last couple of miles.
The ride back was fantastic. I thought the climb out of the descent to the lake was going to be a bear but it was just modest climbing. After that it was mostly downhill and I cruised mostly in the 20s but had a couple of stretches in the 30s and hit a max of 41 mph. This return was really an enjoyable ride so the combination of the scenery and the ride was well worth it.
I made it back to town just after 7 with over an hour of daylight left. I stopped at a service station and picked up a sub and a couple of cinnamon rolls for $10, a fairly reasonable price for this resort area. Then I rode back to camp and settled in for the night.
I slept much better last night, probably because I slept so poorly the night before. I packed up and rode into town just a little later than yesterday. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the bakery they were out of ham or bacon sandwiches so I had to settle for a plain egg and cheese sandwich. This place is popular and you would think they would have a better idea of their customer base. They could have sold many more ham/bacon sandwiches if they were prepared.
After eating I did some grocery shopping at the food store next door. While I was packing my food away, a lady from the bakery came out to ask some standard questions about my bike and trip. Apparently having to watch me pack my food made questions inevitable. Interestingly, when I said I started in Jasper she said “Oh, you left yesterday”, having no clue 150 miles in a day would be unreasonable.
By the time I left around 8:30 the temperature was
fine. It seemed that this morning was a
little warmer than yesterday. I rode
straight out of town and picked up the
It was mostly gradual downhill for the 20 miles to Castle Junction with some nice views of the mountains on either side of the valley. Along the way three riders passed me and a fourth one tried to catch me. However, he didn't quite make it and then there were some downhills where my weight disadvantage became an advantage and he disappeared from view.
Just before Castle Junction there were some mountains,
I picked up 93 west and soon was passed by some of the same cyclists again so I presumed they were on the way to Radium Hot Springs as I was. This promised to be a long day. Radium was over 80 miles and farther than I wanted to go but a potential intermediate campground was closed for the season. My only other option was a park lodge which I considered a fall back.
I immediately had about a three mile climb to a pass. This was followed by a descent through some
nice mountains that were somewhat marred by the aftermath of a forest
fire. After descending for a ways the
route turned 90 degrees left and headed south following the
The entire day was mostly gradual downhill but I also had
a modest headwind which offset this somewhat.
After about 12 miles the route turned 90 degrees right and headed
west. At Kootenay Crossing it veered
south again following the
I continued south with the
Late in the afternoon I saw two loaded cyclists heading north and I wondered where they were going to stay for the night. I also stopped at a rest area just before the climb to the pass and saw a couple enjoying an afternoon snooze next to a picnic table.
Finally after 72 miles I started the climb to Sinclair Pass. This turned out to be longer than I expected, about 7 miles. I started at about 5:10 and reached the pass at 6:30. It was a hard climb, mostly at 3.5 mph. From the summit it was a fun 8 mile descent to Radium.
In town I chose a private campground because the park campground was off route 1.5 miles and up a steep hill and I didn't need any more climbing for the day, but it cost me. The private campground cost almost $40 for a camp site. I saw vacancy signs on all the motels in town so I wondered what they would have cost but I figured they weren’t cheap since this was a tourist town. At least the campground included showers and had WiFi.
One problem with the campground is that it didn't have any food lockers for protection from bears. The office offered to let me store my pannier with food overnight but they didn't open until 9am and that was much too late for me. Eventually I decided to just put my food pannier in the men's restroom overnight.
I got up at my usual time and retrieved my food pannier from the restroom. I left about 7:30 and had a big climb to get back up to street level. My first goal was to get cash. I tried a service station ATM machine but it said debit cards weren't working and my debit card didn't work to get cash presumably because of this. The next service station ATM supported the necessary financial network but failed to deliver any cash.
So I decided it was time to eat breakfast. I was hoping I might find a breakfast buffet but struck out on that. So I tried a restaurant that claimed it was voted the best breakfast in town. Since there didn't appear to be many breakfast places I wasn't sure that was a big deal. I had a regular breakfast and it was good with large portions but it cost $21.
As I was leaving a Canadian from
When I left breakfast there were a couple rain drops on my bicycle seat so I inquired inside about the weather forecast and was told it was 40% rain today and 50% rain tomorrow. It was very overcast so that seemed reasonable.
My goal for the day was a more reasonable 60 miles to Skookumchuck where there were a couple of motels where I could hole up if the weather was bad enough. There was an initial climb out of town that gave a good view of the valley and the mountains to the west.
It was an easy 11 miles to Invermere, a town of 2800 where
I hoped to solve my cash problem. I
crossed the Columbia River into town and stopped at the first service station
but its ATM machine was the same type that failed in
Next I stopped at a grocery store but it had the same Lake
Louise ATM machine. But a little further
I found a Bank of Montreal (BOM). Its
ATM machine supported the Plus network so I expected it to work but it
didn't. For good measure I also tried
withdrawing from my checking account but that failed too. Depressed, I decided to give it one more try
at the CIBC bank across the street before calling Chase and asking why they
Naturally I decided this warranted a celebration. With no saloon open nearby, I headed to the bakery shop with its inviting Open neon light only to discover it was closed on Sundays. But I wasn't too disappointed since the day was now by definition a success.
The route out of Invermere was West Side Road on the, as
you can guess, west side of the
After 30 miles the road rejoined 93/95 where there was a
foodmart. Brimming with cash I stopped
for my second breakfast, buying milk and a pastry. When I resumed riding I was passed by three
cyclists. I wondered where they were
headed and soon found out. I rode 93/95
only for a couple miles and then turned off on to
This lake road didn't last too long before I rejoined
93/95 for the rest of the day. Before
long I reached the end of
Despite the early morning overcast the weather had actually turned out pretty good with some sunshine. But as I headed out for the remaining 17 miles to Skookumchuck, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that the weather was no longer looking good behind me, where it appeared to be raining. I realized then that I was in a race against time. Fortunately, after an initial climb the road flattened out and descended a little. In addition I also had a healthy tailwind so I was really flying at times.
I didn’t think I could out run the rain but it didn't seem to be catching up with me and things were looking okay ahead of me although not so great to the west. Just when I finally thought I could really win this race I noticed it was raining behind me, to the west, and ahead of me. Shortly it started raining on me and I stopped to put on my rain gear. At that point the race was over and I didn't push the pace.
As I entered town there was a motel/RV complex and I immediately stopped to get a motel. The proprietor said the weather was supposed to get much worse later tonight. I got a kitchenette for $80, $10 off the regular price and moved in although I wasn't allowed to take my bike inside.
After cleaning up I walked across the street to a little general store that had some food and got a sandwich and a few other things for dinner. The interesting thing was the weather had cleared up and the sun was shining when I walked back to the motel.
After eating I used the WiFi which was awfully slow and caught up on email and weather predictions. Tomorrow remained uncertain. If the weather looked bad enough I was prepared to take a layover day.
With a little more time on my hand than normal, I investigated the problem I was having with my head lamp, a Zebra Light. This is a very nice headlamp using one AA battery with a headband. It can be used for reading or as a flashlight in camp. With its LED light it provides a uniform light source. So I was disappointed to find I was having trouble with it. The light would come on initially and then a short time later turn off. Sometimes I could turn it back on momentarily but only for a very short time. I suspected a faulty light switch and I didn't figure that was something I could fix.
So I was thinking about ordering another light and having
it delivered to my sister for pickup when I visited her in
So I saved $64 by avoiding ordering a new light. I also solved another problem with this light. It has a push button switch and it wasn’t that hard to inadvertently turn on the light and use up the battery charge. However, when looking at the light on the Internet I learned that this could be prevented by just unscrewing the battery cap slightly. In fact, it is possible I had a low battery because the light got switched on at some point although I still suspect a weak battery.
I woke up at my normal time but in a real bed for a change. The big question was to ride on or take a layover day. I had hoped to make it to Fernie before taking a rest day just because there would be more things to do in a real town. The problem with this place was it didn't have a restaurant (actually it did until it closed this summer), just a small store with some groceries. The motel's WiFi was also erratic. I debated riding down the road 11 miles to Wasa which had a restaurant but there was no guarantee its motel would be available (I noticed that the other motel in Skookumchuck showed no vacancy).
In the end I decided to stay put. The weather report was calling for a couple of thunderstorms and showers around in the evening. I also was at the point I needed a rest day within a few days anyway and I always like to use bad weather days for a rest day.
My legs did feel very tired this morning so maybe this was the right time for a rest day. The problem is if you wait too long for a rest day it may take several days to really recover. Later I laid in bed reading my book and I fell asleep. I kept waking and thinking I should get up but I kept falling asleep again. I didn't get up until the housekeeper knocked and then I saw it was 12:30. So I slept most of the morning so I must have been more tired than I thought.
The housekeeper not only woke me up but brought me a surprise. A couple of guys left this morning and had a little extra food. They suggested she give it to the cyclist. Probably they saw my bicycle locked outside and figured a cyclist could always use some extra food. So I got a turkey sandwich, some bread, and some ham. I promptly made a ham sandwich for lunch.
As it turned out the weather was okay with sun in the afternoon. The weather forecast still mentioned showers around in the evening but I obviously could have ridden all day without weather problems. But I certainly got some needed rest.
I slept pretty well considering I slept a lot yesterday. I packed up and left at 7:30. The weather website said it was 41F which seemed somewhat warm. It didn't take long to figure out that it was quite a bit colder than that. My bike computer said 26F which might have been a little overboard but I could believe 28F. The upshot was I left with no socks and my regular cycling gloves so my toes and fingers got very cold.
Wasa was only 11 miles down the road and I expected to get breakfast there. It was cold most of the way until the sun finally appeared over the mountains. Then it started warming up fairly quickly. There was a pretty fair amount of traffic on the road and a lot of it was big trucks. There was a wide shoulder so the traffic wasn't dangerous but it sure was noisy.
I stopped at a small store in Wasa and a woman outside said there was a restaurant at the other end of the lake but she wasn't sure if it was open. I took a chance and rode on where I found 3 restaurants but nothing open. One claimed to be a diner but it looked like a fast food joint.
So I rode on
another 12 miles to
The side road
provided relief from the noisy traffic and it passed through some nice ranch
land next to the mountains. It was 25
miles to Jaffray with the road rejoining 3/93 about 8 miles from Jaffray. At this point I was riding and would be
riding a route to
At 2:30 I stopped
in Jaffray for a break and had a ham/egg sandwich, a bear claw, and a
Gatorade. At this point there wasn't a
good option if continuing on other than riding some 30 miles to Fernie, which
was a little further than I wanted to go for the day. Ideally, I would have ridden due east to
Fernie but there were a couple of mountains in the way. So I had to ride south to a break in the
mountains and then make a U turn and ride north to Fernie. My route had me picking up a route to
There was a
little climbing to Elko but otherwise the route was not that hard. At Elko there was an opportunity for camping
but it looked like camping in a field along the road which didn't look
appealing. So I continued on knowing I
had a little less than 20 miles to Fernie and it was 4pm. The route from Elko to Fernie is very scenic
as I remembered. It wiggled its way
around the mountains and followed the
shoulder improved to smooth asphalt with about 10 miles to go. Along the way there were several good views
of the Three Sisters
I rode into Fernie at 6pm, a little better time than I expected. There was a campground just outside town but I was hoping to get in town. I saw a sign on the way in advertising private rooms for $40 at the International Lodge just past the Chrysler place but when I got to the Chrysler place there was no sign of an International Lodge. There was, however, the Raging Elk Hostel where I got a dorm room for $28.
After I got settled in I walked down the street a ways where I had a wood-fired pepperoni pizza which was good and just about the right amount of food for a hungry cyclist after a fairly hard day.
Surprisingly, my knee which hadn’t bothered me for several days bothered me some after the rest day.
I got up shortly after 7 and tried to get my baggage together as quietly as possible in order to not disturb the only other occupant of my dorm room. I carried my stuff out to the lobby and when the office opened at 8 I grabbed the key for the bike shed and got my bike out and loaded up. Then I went downstairs into the kitchen where the hostel supplied pancake mix and coffee. I made 5 good sized pancakes for a good breakfast. I figured this was at least equivalent to a $10 breakfast, making my stay somewhat cheaper.
While I was
eating breakfast I met Connie from
After Connie left
my roommate showed up. He had ridden his
When I left the temperature was reasonable and I stopped at a grocery store on the way out of town. As I was packing away the food it occurred to me I could have waited until I got over the pass to buy food but now I was going to have to carry it all up to Crow's Nest Pass.
It was 9:30 by
the time I actually left town, following the
I stopped at a foodmart for my second breakfast and then prepared to leave town at 12:30. Hwy 3 does a U turn bend at the end of Sparwood and I almost took the wrong road heading north before realizing my mistake. Then when I got going in the right direction I saw another cyclist ahead of me. Amazingly, he was even slower than me and I quickly passed him. However, he was towing a trailer, had front panniers, had a load on his rear rack, AND was carrying a large backpack. It was no wonder he was so slow. I assumed he was transporting all of his belongings.
It was a fast descent from the pass through several towns. I had seen all of this before but the scenery was still very nice. I made great time because I also had a good tailwind in addition to the downhill. So I thought my plan to stay at Pincher Creek was very reasonable. A little before 5pm I stopped for a drink and then was on my way.
A little while later I left Hwy 3 and picked up 507 south. At that point I had about 21 miles to Pincher Creek which didn't seem unrealistic. But then I started some significant climbing and my tailwind became a side/head wind. Suddenly 21 miles seemed a lot and it was. I had one particularly long climb of a couple miles and I started wondering if darkness could become a problem.
Fortunately, with about 12 miles to go the road turned to the east and I had a good tailwind again. There was some climbing but nothing like before and I started flying with the help of the tailwind. All along 507 the scenery was outstanding. There were no trees to block views and you could see for miles in any direction. The land was rolling and undulating with all of nature's colors – brown, yellow, green – with some mountains thrown in for background.
To prove that the
wind I was experiencing wasn't a fluke, there were hundreds of wind turbines on
ridges surrounding Pincher Creek, which claims to be the wind capital of
I finally rode into town just after 7pm and needed to find a campground. There were 2 in town, one private and one municipal. I asked a guy at a service station who only knew about the private one. So I followed his directions on into town and rode past that one to see if I would see signs for the municipal one. I did and decided to pick that one because it was closer to downtown and food and because I figured it would be a little cheaper.
I ended up with a $15 tent site and the place also had showers. The host pointed out a path I could take to walk downtown which just happened to come out near a Subway so I ate there. I walked back in darkness and then cleaned up and settled in for the night, tired but happy that I made my objective.
Yesterday, my knee bothered me even after a day's rest and an Advil didn't totally eliminate the pain. Today my knee was fine with no Advil and I barely noticed it despite the late climbing.
It was somewhat
warmer in the morning than the last few days.
I packed up and left around 8 looking for breakfast. I didn't find anything looking down
It was 9 when I left town. I had thought today would be relatively short and be a partial rest day but that wasn't the case. It was almost 30 miles to the park whereas I thought it was just a little over 20. Then it was up and down with more climbing than descending, particularly initially when leaving town. Then the last 5 miles to the park were into a strong headwind, just as it was the last time I visited. Then it was another 5 miles to the actual park village. By the time I reached the campground in the village it felt like a full day.
On the other hand the route was scenic. This was serious ranching country with many fields filled with round hay bales. These fields were set against a background of the mountains of the park. And there was the great view of the park from an overlook about 5 miles away.
When I arrived in the village just after 2pm I immediately rode down to the lakefront to check on the lake tour. I did the lake tour when I was in the park in 2005 and it was a really nice, relaxing tour. I figured I was too late but saw there was a 4pm tour which would have been fine and then I saw the $40 price. Having done the tour in 2005, when it cost only $27, I couldn't see spending that much to do it again.
So I got my campsite for $27.50 (along with the $6.80 park entry fee). It was within a couple sites of where I had my campsite in 2005. The campground also had a food locker which wasn't at all obvious where it was despite the map showing its location. The map showed a building behind a shelter building. I thought the map must be mistaken until I checked another nearby building and then I could see the food lockers sitting as a metal cabinet on the side of the shelter building.
After cleaning up I walked downtown to get food and Internet access. The place with WiFi was closed until 5pm so I had fish and chips at a restaurant. A little later the cafe with WiFi was open again and I was able to use their WiFi.
Copyright Denis Kertz, 2012. All rights reserved.