Zamboni Roads

I thought of talking a rest day in Jasper but the weather was just so perfect, it felt like a good day to ride. I did take it slow, beckoned by a local bakery with the smell of fresh baked bread. Shared a table with a couple of young climbers who drove all the way to Jasper from Victoria in one day. She, a nurse, he am engineer. I am humbled a bit to think what has taken me nearly three weeks to cover, albeit a very different route, they did in a day. But I am on a bike tour not a race.

Walking through town I hear my name called out from a restaurant door. It is Chris, Pearson College Year 38. He lives in Jasper. In my effort to find alumni as I travel,I realize I am neglecting current students. I will remind them all.

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The ride out of Jasper is aided by a nice tailwind and made interesting by showers drifting into and out of the valley that is leading me away from the Rocky Mountains.

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Soon I see a herd of something I’ve never seen before. Bighorned sheep? First they move away from me then the circle back and check me out.

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Some of the small glacier fed lakes look like water in the Caribbean.

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The park is a geologists paradise.

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Before long, I am out of the park and on my way to the town of Hinton. The interesting thing to watch now is the sky. But a look back into the park first.

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Outside the park looking east, the view is now very different.

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The wider road shoulders in Alberta are welcome and, after a shower, along with a nice tailwind, it is like the Zamboni just put down a new surface for me to ride on.

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At a rest stop I am surprised to notice that my chain, changed less than a week ago, is already rusting. These frequent showers are tough on the equipment.

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I find myself a full meal at a family style restaurant in Hinton then cycle another 16 km to the Willowbrook Campsite. The sky cannot decide what it is going to do next.

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And one last look back from where I have come.

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It is unusual for me to get to a campground before sunset but as the sun is now setting at about 10:30 pm, it is hard not to.

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I set up the tent next to my own little pond and fishing dock and settle in for what will be about twelve hours of rain. But I am cozy and dry and thankful the temperature got no lower than about 2 degrees Celsius.

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Stats – for Monday 18 June 2012

Start: Jasper
Finish: Hinton (16 km east of)
Distance: 92 km
Average Speed: 20.9 km/hr
Time on Bike: 4:23
Distance to Date: 2,068 km

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