Rocky Mountain High
And just like that, the most difficult part of the trip (in terms of terrain) was behind me. It was time to enjoy the last day going through the mountains and soak in the insane views.
Before leaving, I enjoyed one last campfire and tea chat in the rain with my new friend, Joe. I wished him luck in his mission to get the perfect shot of Lake Louise, when the fog and sky are just right (he had driven out from Saskatchewan to get this shot, amongst a couple others. I told you this man is all about being patient + not rushing.)
I took Katie up on her recommendation to take the alternate route, Hwy 1A (AKA “Bow Valley Parkway”, for the Lake Louise to Banff stretch.
Let me tell you, I did not regret this one bit.
This patch of road was closed off to most traffic, and made for an absolutely beautiful ride, immersed in the forest, with what were easily the best-maintained road of the trip so far.
The roads swirled, had their hills (nothing too crazy), the scent of pine made the air incredibly fresh, topped with the classic views of the mountains. Pure riding pleasure.
A nice break from the ripping semis and general business of the Hwy 1.
Within 3 mins of entering the parkway, I encountered yet another little black bear. This time on the opposite side of the road. He just chilled there and did his thing as I cruised by, in disbelief at how cool it was. Once again, no pictures, but got it on the handy-dandy GoPro, which I keep accessible from my handlebar bag side pocket.
This could be the last bear I see, and unless I cross anymore in Ontario, looks like my very own brother, Sylvain, could run away with the “W” for his prediction of 9 bear encounters.
Burger Break in Banff
Apparently I get a massive craving for burgers while riding out. That, and Gatorade (The best, when ice cold. Ahhh)
I rode through the town of Banff, and I really loved all the outdoor patios and sitting areas. I don’t remember those from the last time I was there a couple years back, although I had probably just not taken the time to explore.
Even though a storm was on the horizon, and most people went inside to duck for cover, I did not mind sitting outside. Mostly to watch the bike, but also, I was so used to being out in the rain, so what difference did it really make?
I demolished this bison burger from “Eddie’s Burger Bar.” Really hit the spot.
All the Way
Just as I had made it to what I felt was the finish line of this challenging passage through the Rockies, the rain had been switched off, and I looked up to see this magnificent double rainbow, directly above me, as if timed and placed just for me.
I laughed to myself at how crazy once again this all was.
Later on, the wind was getting pretty feisty, so it was time to call it. I completed the ride, and found a random, nearly empty campground somewhere near the little town Seebe. It felt kind of wrong to pay for a campsite after all the sleeping situations I had been through in that past week.
Time for a good rest before hitting up Calgary!
- Route: Lake Louise, AB —> Bow Valley, AB
- Distance: 115km
- Elevation Gain: 676m