The clouds hung low over Golden as we started to peddle up the long hill leading out of town. It was quite cool although we soon warmed up with the pedalling. Soon we emerged above the clouds to a good view over the valley. At about 16 km we crossed a bridge high above the river. A few km further we reached the summit and soon were descending back into the cloud and cool. Before long the sun had burned the low clouds off and we had a gorgeous sunny morning for our ride. The view was spectacular.
We pulled into Field for a washroom break at the Information Center only to find that there was no power anywhere in the valley as the thunderstorm yesterday had knocked it out somewhere and they were still trying to locate the problem. Therefore the washrooms were out of order. We sat for a bit, had our lunch, and forged on.
Just past Field we started the climb up to the summit of Kicking Horse Pass. The climb was reasonably steep at a 6% to 8% grade. About half way up the 7 km climb we stopped at the viewpoint for the Spiral Tunnels, a series of tunnels cut through the mountain to allow for a fairly gentle grade for trains. About 3 or 4 kilometers past the viewpoint we reached the summit, however, unlike Rogers Pass, there was no sign announcing the summit. A short distance past the summit was the Great Divide Lodge where we stopped to get something to drink. Sitting on the deck, sipping on ginger ale, we had a wonderful view out over a lake to the mountains beyond. It was very relaxing sitting there and we hated to leave but Lake Louise was beckoning.
Somewhere along the highway, in a construction zone, we crossed into Alberta. Presumably due to the construction the sign that normally announced this wasn’t there. The first thing we saw that officially indicated that we were in Alberta was the sign for the Icefields Parkway (the road to Jasper). Quick to improvise we stopped there for picture taking.
An old road into Lake Louise was closed due to bears so we continued on the Trans Canada. We found out later that many in our group took the road anyway without incident although one did see a bear.
By mid-afternoon we had arrived and our tents were set up after a ride of 85 km. On the hills today I could definitely tell that me legs have got stronger over the past week and a half.
A quick shower and it was off to the truck to cook dinner. It was our team’s turn. On the menu was Mexican Rice, Caesar salad and Pineapple Upsidedown cake. The rice and salad actually were quite delicious. Greg had some trouble with the cake that was supposed to be cooked in a frying pan. Parts of it were cooking and parts weren’t. Dan came up with the idea of scooping out the uncooked parts and frying them like pancakes. Surprisingly it worked very well and the cake “pancakes” were delicious. The parts of the cake that did cook in the pan could cut out and were very good as well.
At dinner we learned that one of our members was going to have to drop out, at least temporarily. She’s been having some trouble with her knee and is hoping that by returning home and getting some physio that she may be able to rejoin later.
After we had cleaned up the dishes and cooking area we had to load everything, including the stove, back into the truck so as not to attract any bears. Our chores done I met up with Mike and we cycled into Lake Louise Village to the Post Hotel for a beer. I was back at my tent by about 10:30 and pretty much fell instantly to sleep.