03-25-2011, 08:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Lowry Crossing, TX
Banff NP, Alberta to Dawson Creek, BC
Day 8 - June 7, 2010
Mileage Today - 483
Total Trip Mileage - 3,351
We awoke to the pitter-patter of rain falling on the tent fly. It's bad enough that every morning you have to stuff all of your living/sleeping quarters into a couple of small stuff sacks, but when it's raining, it makes it that much worse. The motivation is gone at that point, and you try to sleep some more so that maybe when you wake back up, the sun has come out and everything is dry. This hasn't happened for me ever, and today would be no exception. So we pack up everything in the rain, roll the tent up (wet) and hope that wherever we are camping tonight will be sunny and the tent will have time to dry back out before we have to get in.
Hiding out from the rain, having our Canadian (Columbian) coffee:
The stretch of road between Banff and Jasper National Parks is known as "Ice Fields Parkway" or something similar to that. There are several glaciers that are viewable from the roadway during this stretch. Many have melted and retreated tremendously (argue amongst yourselves to determine reasons, i.e. global warming, smiting, friction). It was a truly beautiful ride, but it was also slightly miserable with a hint of numb extremities thrown in for good measure. Something about "Ice Fields Parkway" and 43 degrees does not mix well. At least it was raining and not snowing.
Ice Fields Parkway:
We took this crappy picture of our first Bald Eagle sighting:
Showing off my fancy rain gear gloves. I think I can also handle a fairly stiff concentration of sulfuric acid with them as well. Thank you Harbor Freight.
After about 3 hours we were finally heading East and descending from the Rockies into the foothills where we would again turn North and head for Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
We headed into the town of Hinton for gas. It was early afternoon, and we talked about potentially camping somewhere around there. It had been a pretty cold ride so far, but the weather seemed to be better in the direction we were headed, so we decided to push on and see if we could make Dawson Creek. A few weeks later, I found out that Hinton had a pretty gnarly hail storm later that day, so it was a good thing that we pushed on.
Backtracking a couple of miles after filling up. That would be our turn:
Almost to Dawson Creek:
Something about the BC sign has always bugged me. I have seen it a ton of times in other ride reports, and it just seems out of place. Looks more like a sign for a shopping mall or something .
And so it begins...
Camping tonight was at a camp park on the edge of town.
The time changed again when we entered BC and we had no idea what time it was. Subsequently we missed the "last load" deadline at the camp laundry, so we sauntered into to town to waste away the remainder of our evening doing laundry.
Tomorrow is our first day on the Alcan - not quite what I was expecting .