It was raining this morning. Shawn and I slowly gathered our stuff, packed up the car and headed off to find breakfast. We found a great little place in quaint Golden BC.
By the time we were done it was 11.30am and the weather appeared to have somewhat cleared up. I had a decision to make, I could take a much needed full day off for a rest day, or get on my bicycle and keep going. The waitress had said that getting to Field wouldn’t be too bad and that there was a lot of flat and downhill. She’d emphasized the tough part would be between Field and Lake Louise. So, I got on my bicycle and decided that I’d have a shortish day and at least make Field which was about 57 kms away.
Turns out the waitress was wrong (why do I keep listening to motorists? They really don’t pay attention to the grade of a road or have a clue what cycling the road might be like) While there was some flat and downhill it turned out to be mostly uphill. I started around 11.30am and got to Field at around 5pm if that gives you any idea. Part of it was likely fatigue cause I haven’t really rested much, but it was definitely the uphill terrain too! I pretty much dragged myself through today. Shawn was awesome, he met me part way to check on me and give me a banana. He’s been great at making sure I’ve got enough to drink and eat along route.
The first few kilometers out of Golden were scary. Very narrow shoulders on a windy road with trucks blasting by at top speed. There were points where there really wasn’t a shoulder and I’d make a dash for it pedaling like my life depended on it (which it did!)when there was an opening between vehicles.
The weather seemed to be clearing up some. There was a really cool bridge I rode over. Here is what I saw along the way
I have seen a number of crosses and memorials along my route these past 10 days, but often I am whizzing by downhill so don’t often get a proper look at them. This one I stopped to look at (it says “In Remembrance of Shaun Raymond Crosby, 9 years old who died at this spot one year ago on November 10th 1988”..) I googled him and he was from Kelowna and his parents were mentioned in newspaper this year as continuing to keep his memory alive at a minor hockey tournament.
Saw this cool sign!
More views along route:
Field BC in sight!! I went straight to the visitor centre and this awesome parks staffer put a fire on for me to get warm (the weather had not stayed dry, it had drizzled so I was cold)
While at the visitor center I met a young guy and gal (early 20s?) on bicycles from Montreal who were riding from Vancouver to Montreal. They weren’t too happy that it was going to cost them $27 to stay at a camp site. I agree, that’s pretty expensive – but that’s pretty much what the prices have been for camping in touristy spots. In Hope it had cost me $33 to camp!
Shawn and I put my bicycle in the car, and headed to Lake Louise. We decided to stay at the hostel there. Interesting side note: When I was backpacking Canada 14 years ago, I’d stayed at the very same hostel! The plan is to stay there two nights. Shawn is going to drive me to Field the next day to do the last 25kms from Field BC to Lake Louise (there is going to be some tough uphill but at least it will be a somewhat short day and I can still take a rest for the majority of the day!… I hope…unless those 25kms take me all day that is)
My next full day of riding is Lake Louise to Canmore AB. According to the route elevation, it’s supposed to be an easy day downhill (I’ll believe it when I see it. There has yet to be an easy day so far).