This morning we got up in Jasper to -20 when it was supposed to be -2C. That is Ok. That is what we are here for.
Yesterday we went to Maligne canyon. It was absolutely phenomenal. This is a canyon that freezes over and in which you can walk and see some incredible ice formation. It was a four-hour tour.
Like I said this morning was pretty nippy. After using deicer in the locks and fiddling with Joe’s 800 steering lock, we were on our way at 7:30. (Told him not to lock it at night in this cold, because the mechanism can freeze and deicer does not really thaw out mechanical parts)
The road from the Jasper (Highway 5) to the intersection of Highway 40 was clear and dry mostly. We had to sop at a pull-out because Joe’s knees were frozen. He had forgotten to put the Aerostich Darian pads under his suit. So he walked in the little washroom with Flora and they put them on. He also added one more pair of socks. We will see what happens! I told them that is not the number of layers but they layer’s ability to hold warm air between it and you. I have only my long sleeve bicycling T-shirt and one pair of wool socks.
The stretch between this junction and Grande Prairie is 396 km with not much in between. There is Muskeg, but it is nothing but two houses and an old construction building. So I decided to push it a bit and see what Joe is made of. We rode for 206 kms while the thermometer dropped to -26 C most of the time.
When we pulled over at the Subway in Grande Cache it was about freaking time. I was pretty much at the end too. I was not cold, but breathing that cold air for two hours at 100 km/h sure tires you out and slows you down.
We had breakfast and coffee. I had the richest-sweetest-fattest- artery clogging-liver stomping-stomach filling-kidney hammering chocolate muffin. Your metabolic system works overtime to keep your core and organs warm with blood and any energy you take in is pent quickly. After about an hour there and chatting with the oil workers or whatever they do. I assume they are because of the strong odor of fuel they emanate; we kept on moving.
That road is pretty desolate and it is called “The scenic way to Alaska”. It is scenic indeed with all the snow-covered peaks and immense valleys on your left as you ride pas the Rockies that are slowly fading away as we head north.
We made it to Grande Prairie at about 2 PM at the Holiday Inn where Alberta Tourism Office has also giving us each a 30-minute Spa!!! This puppy does not do Spa. Nobody rubs me except my girlfriend..
I hear the place is booming with oil patch workers. Dunno about you, but I have trouble seeing a rugged oil workers getting a hot stones massage. Maybe it is just me!
We are here till two tomorrow where we will meet with Frank from tourism Alberta. He will also follow us for a few days while we are in Alberta. We have some Hockey stuff planned I think.
All in all it was a great day. We got hit hard right away in the trip with bad stuff, which allows to get our shot together sooner than later. Joe is on a steep learning curve and he is doing great considering that he has never done this.
Looking forward to tomorrow..