Saturday August 7, 2010 – Day 2 – “Through Banff to Jasper”
Morning came early; just like it usually does. Terri and I managed to get up and head out for breakfast at IHOP. With some food and conversation I head north. It was cool out but the sun was sharing its red brilliance and warming the world with a fiery light.
On the way to Eureka, I see this lake through the trees and stop to take a picture. Smooth as glass…holding my breath so I don’t cause a ripple in the water.
Eureka was having a quilt show and was snuggled up with over 400 blankets. I made a quick stop to pick up some Canadian currency and kept rolling north to the border. A quick scan of my passport and I was in British Columbia. I also learned that I could have taken bear spray into Canada, which would have made me more comfortable camping. Oh well, next time.
I stopped at a view point and decided to try the timer on my camera. I tend to wear a fair amount of gear while riding.
I stopped at Wasa for fuel and a quick snack. It was a quaint little town and not much happening this Saturday morning.
If I remember correctly, this is the Columbia River, near the little town of Radium. Smoke was masking the mountains across the valley hazy.
I turned at Radium and headed northeast into Kootenay National Park.
With a purchase of a park pass, we dove through this the tunnel and into this canyon.
As the smoke was interfering with my pictures of the mountains I took some pictures of the flowers that were alongside the road.
… more flowers.
I was travelling through the park at a fairly good clip, thanks to some bikers in front of me. As I headed north on highway one the clouds finally gathered together and it started to rain just north of Lake Louise. The forest and mountains were now in muted shades of green that the rain displays so nicely.
I stopped at the Saskatoon River Crossing for fuel and a sandwich. The views of the mountains were outstanding so I stitched together some pictures of the mountains. The area was pretty, even with the clouds.
Continuing north on the Icefields Parkway, the road winds its way under these cliffs. While driving through some of the curves, it suddenly dawned on me what the pock marks on the road were from. Like the signs say, “Caution Falling Rocks”.
The mountains were rocky and sheer, with the clouds hanging low over their peaks. At least it wasn’t raining.
The road climbs up out of the valley floor with a couple gentle switchbacks. It winds through the peaks above the treeline and finally drops into Jasper. The rocky escarpments offer stark contrast to the tree lined valley below.
The road continues on through the mountains following the river from Jasper to Hinton.
I pick up some gas in Hinton and make my first stop at a Tim Horton’s for a sandwich.
The plan is to travel along highway 40 to Grand Cache and Grand Prairie. Most of this will wait until tomorrow as I’m camping at the Cache lake campground in Switzer Provincial Park a few miles out of Hinton. This was the most expensive campground at $27.
All the mountains in these parks were very beautiful, definitely worth a return trip. The elevation is lower than the mountains in Colorado so it may be a little easier hiking.
Stats for Day 2: 504 miles, 9.1 gallons of fuel, 12.25 hours