I got up early and went to a coffee shop for breakfast and coffee. The smoke really settled in overnight.
The laundromat opened at 8:00 so I went over and got the laundry started. It was a good time to update my log (yes, pen and paper!) and check out my routes on the GPS. Another traveler was also washing clothes and came over to check out the maps I was looking at. He was 75 or so and had lived in BC awhile. He suggested that I come back and ride through some dirt roads in the “ranch” country.
Finally after wash, packing, and fueling, I’m on the road at about 10:00 am. I also would change back to Mountain time today, so it was going to be a shorter ride than I had planned.
It was sad that the smoke was so thick, it looked like a beautiful area. There were shadows of mountains in the smoke amongst all the trees.
I took a little detour of the main highway to see this stream.
I stopped in McBride for fuel and then found a small café for lunch. The owners and some of the patrons were grousing about how expensive the Olympics were and the liberals plan to bankrupt the province. I felt right at home. ;-)
I drove to Jasper and then headed up to Hinton where I picked up fuel. Heading south from Hinton, the road turned to gravel after a few miles. Wohoo, this was the riding I had come for!
The road wound around some forest lands, with lots of oil, gas, and coal mining. The pickup drivers were going somewhat north of 70 mph which was more than I wanted to do, so I kept a close eye on my rearview mirror. Fortuneately it was after five in the evening and there weren’t very many. However I kept on the gas and didn’t give up much ground. I also adjusted the rear suspension preload up and forced more weight onto the front wheel which made the bike more stable when I hit some marbles.
At Nordegg I picked up fuel and then traveled on a few miles to a campground. It was 9:00 pm MST and I wasn’t paying too much attention as I hurried up and set up my tent. As I was laying in my sleeping bag and listening to the background noise I realized I was listening to a gas turbine.
I don’t know if it was a compressor or generator but it was a distinctive sound like those I have heard at work in Montana.
Stats for Day 14: 413 miles, 10.7 gallons of fuel, 10.0 hours