What a day! I thought I would be fatigued after yesterday’s ordeal. I had a great sleep (that always helps) at the Lake Louise Hostel and this time got an early start at 8:30 AM. It’s not sensible to go too much earlier as it is dark. Much better for cars to hit you. It also warms up the later you go but the price if you leave too late is to run out of daylight.
As I mentioned in the previous blog, I was able to get to Castle Junction by 10 AM. I seemed to be taken over by some magical force. I felt strong and invigorated. Of course, that magical force may have been the kinder grade and the westerly blowing tailwind but I prefer to believe in magic!
I just sailed, one with the bike. My legs just took over and the road was in great shape so I could just look up and admire the view.
I passed a prescribed burn at Sawbuck near the eastern start of the Bow Valley Parkway. I then flew on the Trans Canada past Banff to Canmore. I know, there is the Legacy Trail from Banff, but, with a fully loaded touring bike the road seemed more appropriate.
I had a great lunch and tea (Evelyn, your influence is rubbing off on me) in Canmore (which was open) and called ahead to make sure I would have a campsite at Bow Valley Campground that evening. I did not want a repeat of Lake Louise! They had room for a tent (another advantage of travelling light) but the operator did inform me the campground was full for trailers. Amazing! Calgarians do like to camp and who can blame them with this great fall weather. It is of course a long weekend (I do keep forgetting). Luckily, while in Canmore, I emailed a friend, Richard, who I popped in to visit. Always nice to see him and his girls (including his delightful mum visiting from England) who are much taller than I remember.
I then had a great ride through Exshaw and past a great view of Yamnuska before I turned south on the 1X towards Seebe. Many pictures were taken. The road was quiet.
I pulled into the campground having chewed up 120 km and did it in just over 6 hours. Wow! I felt so energized.
The campground is lovely and as I type, the good ole train is rumbling by right on cue. After a nice dinner, I had a hot shower and will settle into bed soon. I prefer not to use too much artificial light and instead fall into the natural rhythm of the day/night.
What a great trip this has been. Challenging yet affirming that I can still do these things. The bike is truly one of man’s/woman’s greatest inventions.
Tomorrow I will finish my trip by riding from Seebe through Cochrane and back home along the remainder of the Bow Valley Parkway. Do yourself a favour, if you have time and are not rushing west on the Trans Canada, take the slower, more considered route of the 1A. You will not be disappointed! Until tomorrow………