Revelstoke to Golden - 160 kms total
Headed out with hopes of the mud slide being cleared and rolled out of Revelstoke only to be hit with a long line of cars waiting for the 12 pm opening as stated by the BC Highways site. So I rolled up to the front and asked if I could go. The slide was about 60 kms from Golden which would mean I wouldn't get there before it was open so they let me through. IT WAS AWESOME! For the next 60ish k I rode on a closed Trans Canada by myself. Wildlife comes out when there is no one on the highway. Saw a couple of bears real close up (don't worry Mom...I was careful), a badger and some deer. it was also the first day it was not pouring on my head so the sun was out and that really helped with the spirits. Finally I could see the views that BC had to offer and rolling into Roger's Pass was stunning.
Right around the base of the climb up to the top of the pass the line of traffic had caught up to me and the road turned into Cannonball Run. As I was half way up the hill some Japanese tourists who were stuck behind a slow moving semi were staring at me. I waved at them and they wound down their window and one woman in a statement of shock asked me "WHAT YOU DOING?!?!?!" I had no clue how to respond other than "Riding my bike" and then they slowly drove away. I should of had a better answer for them but halfway through the high alpine climb my brain was all swimmy and I was breathing heavy. Conversation was not a good thing at that time.
At the top of the pass I met up with Alex who was not feeling well in the morning so he decided to ride with me from the pass to Golden. It was really good that he did because I was an idiot and did not eat properly through out the day so by the last 40 k I was a mess and Alex nursed me to Golden. It was a long day.
We rolled though the huge decent off of the pass and then got slammed by another long line of cars as the mudslide section had been closed again. Everyone was out of their cars and people were playing Frisbee on the road. Alex and I rode on to the front and pretty much as we got there they opened to road again. WOW was the slide big. Basically it was like a huge chunk of the mountain liquified in the rain and fell off in a river of mud. It was intense but because of the all the traffic I could not stop to take a picture.
Here is what I learned yesterday:
- Alex can catch a frisbee while riding his bike.
- mudslides are scary.
- If you forget to put sunscreen on the back of your hands you are going to have a very bad time.
- Roger's Pass has to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
- Bears are cute but not for touching
Golden to Canmore - 175 kms total
Got up early because today was going to be my biggest day. The weather was absolute poop when I woke up at 6:45 am (which was actually 5:45 because of the time change) and I rolled out in the rain to the base of the 16 km climb out of Golden. I was stopped however because there was a Semi on fire in the middle of the climb and they were not opening the road east till 9:30 so I chilled out for a bit basically twiddled my thumbs in the rain dreading the climb with all my gear and the wet. They opened it up and I ground it out. The semi was burnt down. It was intense. For the most part all was left was the rims and frame of the trailer. After that shocking incident I rolled up the road to the huge bridge over the Kicking Horse river.
About 40 k in the rain trickled off and slowly as I rolled into Field the sun came out and I was thinking the weather reports were wrong. Huge climb out of Field and that was the last major climb in the mountains and at the top of the climb was the continental divide. For some reason the divide was a huge victory for me and it was comforting to see the rivers flowing with me instead of against me. I guess in my head I was thinking that now its all downhill.
I tossed on 'Rural Alberta Advantage' as I cruised across the border and made my way to Lake Louise. I was supposed to meet my friend Julia LoVeccio in Lake Louis so I was hammering to make up for the time lost with the semi fire road block. Made to the lake and stopped at a coffee shop for a sandwich and a rest. After yesterday I was eating every chance I got. While sitting stuffing my face the skies opened up again and it was really hard to get on the bike to meet Julia on the 1A. For the next 80 k we rode in 4 degrees and the pouring rain. This was by far the coldest I have been on the trip. I would have not made it to Canmore if Julia had not come out to meet me. She is a super hero.
Here is what I learned today:
- Even after being in the rain all day a hot shower is awesome!
- Lake Louise have an average annual temp of 1 C
- Julia makes bad ass pasta
Tomorrow is a short 104 kms to Calgary. Hopefully the weather will break soon.