Yeah, the stop in Calgary wasn’t on the schedule for those of you keeping track. We originally thought we would go from Dawson Creek to Banff, but since we were ahead of schedule we spent some time with Eklunds & decided to go to Jasper & then on to a relative’s house in Foremost. Only Dad made it to Foremost.
I’ll start my update at the beginning of this ride section. We woke up to a sunny, beautiful day in Dawson Creek yesterday. Becky had an appointment, but she was so sweet & got up early to come by our hotel & visit for about 30 minutes. It was so good to see her! I don’t think I have seen her since our wedding. The time has gone by so fast! After seeing her, we headed to her farm to meet up with Rocky & Lee. What a great visit! It was so fun to see the land that Colleen has talked so much about. It was absolutely beautiful too! They grow canola & it was in full bloom with bright yellow flowers. I have never seen anything like it. The fields looked like someone spilled yellow paint on them. I loved it!
From Eklunds the GPS sent us home on an unnamed dirt road that ran between fields. I got some great pics & video until we came to a mud hole where I dropped my bike for the 3rd time this trip. (good grief!) Luckily, once again, nothing was broken & I am fine so we headed on towards Jasper.
The ride to Jasper was beautiful again. I think I’ll have to put together a few ‘lists’ from this ride. I’ll include favorite roads, favorite places to camp, best food etc… The national parks in Canada will definitely make the list! I’ll make a list of our bike repairs too. It has been growing, but the only thing we have missed is meeting our relatives & we hadn’t committed to that until yesterday.
The ride was sunny & warm. We rolled into camp at a reasonable time, walked to the river to take some photos, ate one of our freeze-dried meals & got to bed so we could get an early start towards Foremost. I wasn’t anticipating rain, but it rained in the night. Our tent floor leaked a bit so my mat was wet this morning. Fortunately the rain stopped while we packed up camp, but quickly started again. I hadn’t considered how cold it would be riding through the Icefield Parkway in the rain. Luckily it didn’t turn to snow. We did have to stop at the top & get some coffee & dry gloves. 45’F in the rain is extremely cold! Oddly, the visitor center wasn’t very busy on this cloudy, cold, rainy day….. From today I have concluded that if you are on a ride through Canada or Alaska & the weather is good, you should ride as far as you can because the next day might be yucky. When the clouds roll in, it’s not only cold, but you can’t see the mountains!
After warming up we headed towards Foremost (again). Thankfully the rain turned to very light off & on drizzle with sunshine spots so the ride down towards Banff was much better. We got gas at Lake Louise & the day was looking up! Just about 8 miles past Banff the belt on Shawn’s bike broke & went skidding across the highway in front of me. We have a spare in route to us, but it isn’t supposed to arrive until tomorrow… in Billings. We had a few very fortunate circumstances though. He was rolling downhill towards a rest stop so he was able to coast in. The sun was shining so we were warm & dry. We were carrying some snack bars & water so we had ‘lunch’. AND – AmericanSportbike.com came to our rescue for the 3rd time on this trip. Al & Joanne are awesome! Our new belt will meet us tomorrow morning here in Calgary! We have AAA so they towed Shawn’s bike the 70 miles into town. Once we had hotel reservations, a tow truck on the way & a belt in route, Dad headed on to Foremost to visit our relatives. We’ll meet back up with him tomorrow night in Billings.
Rob peeled off from the group yesterday morning. He wanted to visit Utah & Idaho on his way home. I think he said it added about 30 minutes to his trip home, but it would be some scenery he hadn’t seen before. He text yesterday & said he saw 3 grizzly bears! We watched the same area, but we weren’t as lucky. I’m anxious to see his pictures!