Pedalled – 47 km’s
Destination – North west corner of Calgary
Some Notes – I bike along the Bow River trail system towards downtown Calgary. On my way I saw 4 (bucks) deer. All 4 deer had a good set of antlers. The irritating part was the “walked” right in front of me and I could not get a decent picture with them right in front of me. Oh well.
In the city I took a few photos of the Bell Tower and the Central Library. I actually went into the library and took some photos. It was pretty cool inside. I continued to bike in circles around the downtown. Calgary is a pretty cool city. Along with a world class trail system along the Bow River. The Bow River and it’s beautiful teal colour.
The Bell Tower & Central Library
The Peace Bridge
I saw Calgary Batman on 9th Avenue SW and 1 St SW riding his 3-wheel Slingshot motorcycle. He was stopped at an intersection and then in a second was gone. I really enjoyed touring Calgary.
Calgary Batman in his Slingshot (not my photo)
This evening I am being hosted by the Starkham family. I met Nicole at Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Marshal, Leia, Nicole and Noah Starkman
Km’s Pedalled – 87.5 km’s
Destination – 14 km’s east of Canmore
Some Notes – I am taking the 1A to Canmore. I am back in very heavy traffic. Ever since getting off the TransCanada west of Swift Current Saskatchewan I have had quieter roads. Now I am back on the main highway again. But a good day to be on the bike.
Getting closer to The Canadian Rockies
A sunny day but in recent days the temperatures have dropped.
Tips and notes for cyclist – Cochrane is not bike friendly town with no road shoulder. The shoulder reappears west of the town. And then the shoulder disappears west of Ghost Lake but reappears at Seebe. So this is not the safest section of highway. I was actually lucky as I found another pool noodle in the ditch just before I ran into these no-shoulder sections. And it worked wonders.
Rocky Mountain Legacy Trail runs roughly parallel to the TransCanada Highway from the Visitor Centre in Canmore to the east end of Banff Avenue – a distance of just over 20 km.
I did not take this trail because it is not so great for photos because trees are too close to the trail. The highway allows for better photos and views of the mountains.
Km’s Pedalled – 82 km’s
Destination – East base of Castle mountain
Some Notes – It rained all night. Today was a beautiful sunny day but with lots of headwinds today The headwinds never quit even in the evening. I didn’t sleep great as I felt my new sunburn (on my legs) every time I moved last night. So much for wearing shorts this summer.
I basically saw no wildlife except for the signs of a bear.
The only signs of wildlife
I pedalled into Banff and grabbed a coffee at Tim Hortons and then pedalled out. There were 1000’s of people in Banff but many campgrounds are closed due to Covid-19. Masks are mandatory in public all the way west to Jasper.
I hiked Johnston’s Canyon to take photos and video of the waterfalls.
Km’s Pedalled – 60.5 km’s
Destination – 2 km’s from Bow Lake
Some Notes – Today is the coldest day of the summer. They were calling for sun but I slept in because it was cloudy and the heat of the sun did not wake me up. Fortunately for photos the clouds are at a fairly high altitude. But I am missing the blue skies already.
I met a couple at the internment camp memorial just west of Bow Lake. The wife recognized my Voortman Cookie hat and mentioned that they had over the years purchased 4-5 Airedale terrier puppies from my grandparents. That is the second time my hat has initiated some interesting conversation.
I noticed very little birds calls/noises in the mornings here in Banff. I am use to way more bird singing in the morning.
I stopped at Lake Louise just long enough to fill my water bottles. It felt like very slow progress today; which it was. I always seem to be climbing; which I am. A tough day, even mentally.
Very hard to find stealth camping north/past Lake Louise. There are no utilities or industry making inland roads off the highway.
Km’s Pedalled – 85 km’s
Destination – Sunwapta Pass
Some Notes – Today I stopped at Bow Lake, Mistaya Canyon and Saskatchewan River Crossing.
The North Saskatchewan River
Another cool cloudy day today. I saw my first black bear but he bolted.
At the Saskatchewan River Crossing grocery store/restaurant I paid $7.00 for a can of chunky soup. The hamburgers in the restaurant were $20 (no drink or fries). No thanks.
Tip for cyclist (and anyone for that manner) – you do not want to have to get groceries here because the prices are outrageous. Because I pull a trailer I did my grocery shopping in Canmore. But most cyclist can’t carry that much food.
Notes Continued – Cool temperatures last 2 days have been a bit of a shock to the system. An almost 20 degree drop. A tough day physically but did better than I thought.
As far as my Sunwapta Pass climb went. I made it up to the top of the bridge nonstop. I had a 5 second wait on a red light (single lane construction zone). Just a little past on [my] left is a main look out and turn around. I took a break there. From there I made the wide curve and up to the second main look out and turn around on [my] right nonstop. At that point I was beyond beat and it was 8:30 pm. I noticed a tree line at the far end of the parking lot. Whether or not I had to camp out in the open I did not care anymore at this point. That is where I was camping. It turned out that there was a small trail system into the trees and I was able to set up camp undercover.
The falls that are visible from Sunwapta Pass
I did not take the time that evening to investigate but I could hear waterfalls and a rushing river not too far from where I was camped.
Km’s Pedalled – 82 km’s
Destination – 35-40 km’s east of Jasper
Some Notes – The sun came back out this morning. Today was beautiful, sunny warm day. With a little bit of a headwind.
I discovered a really cool section of waterfalls and river where I camped. I am not sure what it is called – Nigel Creek? (A few miles down the road was a Nigel Creek walking trail.)
And I also discovered that there was still another section of climbing from where I camped to get to the very top of Sunwapta Pass.
I stopped at the Columbia Icefields Centre and had the customary $15 hamburger. Given what we sometimes pay for a hamburger at some places their $15 burger isn’t too bad for what you pay. At the centre I dropped and busted one of my Nalgene water bottles. I am told that this is impossible. I guess drop one full of water to find out?
The Icefields Jasper
I stopped at Tangle Falls and took a quick photo. There was too many people there.
I saw my second black bear in my rear view mirror. I pulled a u-turn but I couldn’t get a photo. I got about 10 ft from him but he didn’t know I was there so I backed off. And he was too well hidden in the bushes.
The only photo of a bear I got through all of Alberta. SMH
Lots of downhills yesterday and today. Pretty scared about backtracking out of Jasper and Banff.
Later in the afternoon I saw my third black bear (since coming into Banff) but he also ran off pretty quickly.
Alberta – The Hoodoos to Calgary – August 2 to 8