Saturday, August 28, 2010

Towards Jasper and the Icefield Parkway.

And early it was. Jill was up by 0630 and we were ready to go by 0830. Retracing our path again towards Revelstoke we met some more bikers riding Harleys on the ferry who told us of places to visit and things to see. There is just so much. If we are going to make it back in 2011 rather than sometime this decade we have to be very selective. That selectiveness comes from not doing any research into what we should see more than a rough outline which usually means the National Parks. If we are meant to see something somebody will tell us about it and then we will decide if it's where we want to go. Seems to work to a point. After lovely warm weather during the meeting in the 80's, it had now started raining as we made our way up the 1 through the Glacier National Park towards Roger Pass.
On the way down there were a lot of road works and at one of these hold ups I looked in the rear view mirror to see a blue sports bike coming up rather fast before landing on it's left side with a shower of sparks. I was just about to take to the pavement as I thought it was going to wipe us out, but it came to an ungainly halt, luckily without crossing into oncoming traffic. We went back to administer TLC to the driver who couldn't hear anything we were trying to say because he had his Ipod on so loud. He had padded jeans on, that were soaking from the rain, which helped his fall and his gloves were badly ripped but no other damage. After straightening his gear lever we said our farewells and he sped off towards Calgary about 200 miles further on into the rain. Turning onto the 93 Icefield Parkway towards Jasper just before Lake Louise, the traffic calmed as no commercial traffic is allowed on this road. We had crossed a time zone from Pacific to Mountain time and lost an hour so we stopped at the first camp site called Mosquito Creek at about 1800 meters above sea level. The temperature had dropped to 2C on our way up there so the chance of any Mosquitoes was minimal. Having set up our tent we joined a group of push bikers in the communal building were they had a large fire going in the stove. The rain was pounding on the roof as Jill cooked our meal and the fire dispersed the cold outside. Having said our good nights we ran towards the tent only to find a small river trying to break it's banks and flood our sleeping accommodation, so the next while was spent on water management, ditching and culvert building before we put all the clothes on that we possessed and raped our sleeping bags around us. The night was cold but we were just about warm enough. Snow had fallen on the hills around and the bike thermometer read -1C when I got up in the morning so we gladly retreated into the shed to share again the push bikers stove over a slow breakfast. The rain had luckily stopped and the cloud base had lifted so when we set off the mountains were truly magnificent, so good in fact that we turned around after 25 miles and drove back 10 miles to see the sights from the other way. Stopping at Saskatchewan Crossing for fuel and we thought a cup of coffee would go down nicely but at $5.30 a cup we decided to travel on to the Athabasca Glacier. Having done what we shouldn't (walked on the glacier) Jill helped with the Glaciers retreat by breaking off a bit.
After we had lunch having made ourselves a cup of tea, we proceeded to our camping spot at Honeymoon Lake were a romantic night was had dressed in full thermals, cocooned in sleeping bags with only our nosed on view to each other. Camping doesn't do much for your love life!

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