Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Bicycle Adventures - Back to Jasper


Two days up to the Columbia Icefield, only one back down to Jasper!

While camping overnight at the Icefield, I decided to bike back to Jasper rather then ride down to Lake Louise.  I hadn't reserved a seat on the bus from Lake Louse to Jasper, and didn't want to chance it.  It turned out to be a good decision.

The weather was awesome as I left.  Not too hot, but not too cold.  Going back was easier as the winds from the glacier pushed me along.   I watched as the Icefield disappeared.   Going back up Sunwapta Pass the other way was so much easier, it was much shorter then coming up the other way.  Though going from Banff to Jasper, the hill that heads up is much harder then going South.

I made good timing getting up, I didn't even have to hop off my bike.  Now it was time to enjoy going down the big climb that I had worked hard at getting up the day before. I was careful to not go too fast as I had been told someone had been going down a hill fast and hit a hole and was killed after falling off his bike.

Lots of wildlife today

I stopped to check out the viewpoints along the way.  Even with my many stops, I was making very good time as it was mostly all downhill.  Got to love it!

I rode right past Honeymoon Lake Campsite.  I then decided that I could easily make it to Jasper in one day.  I did stop over at the Sunwapta Falls Restaurant to have a bite to eat and some real coffee.

As I rode into Jasper, I decided to camp at Wapiti rather then at the Whistlers.  I did check the neat hiker biker site at the Whistlers later, as Wapiti didn't have that.  But I did get the hiker/biker rate.    Wapiti means elk and the campsite was full of them!  Whatever you do, don't leave ANY food around.  I learned the hard way, not to overlook anything.  I had to also watch out for the bears too, they like free food just as much!

While camping at Wapiti I met a nice couple from Arizona who were camping beside me.  They were going to be hiking Edith Cavell, but got rained out.  It was a good thing I went straight to Jasper as the weather went bad and it even snowed in the Icefield! I hanged around town and the pool to keep warm.  After two wet days camping, I stayed the last few nights at the hostel, to keep dry.  Good thing I kept the reservation!

I was supposed to ride the train home, but it turned out to be a bus instead. I also found out that Via Rail prefers bikes in bags, so I didn't have to pay extra for a box.  I just took the pedals off, and moved the handlebars in.  They put it in the same compartment as a wheelchair.  The person with the wheelchair almost didn't make it on the bus!  That's because it's not wheelchair accessible like the train is.  Via Rail was almost going to send a cab from Prince George (5 hour drive) to pick them up as there is NO wheelchair van/taxi in such a worldwide tourism place such as Jasper National Park!  Luckily they lifted him onto the front seat instead.  Still....
My 'Train' home

My bike is in where the man is sitting inside

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