Wow, day 6. I’m just now more than 10% done with this trip. I still can’t wrap my brain around that much time yet. I awoke to a beautiful blue sky this morning. My spirits were high after a good night sleep and days of being surrounded by mountains. The sun was shining brightly; it looked warm. I suspected it would be a bit of a trick as I looked out the window, and I was right. When I opened the door to start loading the bike, the cold air snapped at my face. I drew a smiley face in the frost covering the bike. I don’t like being cold, but I’ve learned how to avoid it (most of the time) while riding.
After I got the bike loaded up, I went to the nearest ATM and finally got some Canadian money. yay! It was a relief to finally have local currency. The Canadian money sure is pretty all different colors compared to the very recognizable green of the US.
I left Cranbrook and headed north towards the beautiful snow covered mountains. Yes, they are all around me now. I just can’t get over how the scenery has just kept getting better day after day on this trip. It can’t possibly continue like this all the way to Alaska. The awesome scenery department in my brain is already on overload. I’m sure my helmet is tired of me muttering “whoaaa” and “wooow” over and over too. Did I mention I like the mountains?
I decided today would be a short day. I wanted to spend some time off the bike, and not have any pressure to “get somewhere” specific. On on vacation, and for the first time every I have time. Time to do whatever I want. Just like those awesome round-the-world riders. I’ve already forgotten what day it is, and the constantly changing time zones are doing a good job screwing up my sense of time-of-day. Dusk at almost 10pm doesn’t help either. lol. I set my sights on Banff and locked in a cheap room before I set off on an easy 250km ride.
This was my morning snack spot. (my ode to someone’s pink crocs). it was nice to sit back and relax.
The roads were quieter than yesterday. More like Day when I was on Hwy12. Not many cars passed. It was nice. I was just cruising along trying not to get drool on my clava. I started the day with my heated coat and grips going, but turned them off as the sun was keeping me warm. I was also stopping frequently for photos and just to gawk which also warmed me up.
I saw lots of critters today. First these little guys running around one of the rest areas.
Then these guys at the next one:
I also saw way too many deer.
I needed gas, so I stopped in Radium. I’m still trying to guess what is a good price for gas and convert CAD/liter to USD/gallon. Doing some quick math on my $1.49CAD/liter in Radium it works out to about $5.75USD/gallon. Yikes! OK, it was 91, but 87 was only a couple cents cheaper. I’m scared to look at the prices in Banff. I want the $1.32CAD/liter I paid yesterday which is $5.05/gallon, or the less than $4/gallon in Idaho. I understand why the guidebooks say to buy as little gas as possible in Canada. So expensive!
Near the gas station in Radium was this bizarre house:
The route today was to take me on 95/93 through Kootenay National Park. Google mentioned there was a toll. At first, I was going to go around, but then I did a quick search on the internet and changed my mind. I’m glad I paid the $9.80CAD to ride through. It was great. Sweeping road in very good condition through beautiful mountain scenes. It was the best part of my day. Sitting on the scenic overlooks or on the banks of the Kootenay River eating a snack. There were very few people around, so I usually had the road to myself along with almost every stop.
One of the things I like about Kootenay is that it is only 5km wide on either side of the road.
This is my lunch spot:
Almost all the things to see can easily be seen from the road or by a short walk, and by short I mean a block or two. No hiking involved. I found snow in several places too. None on the road, but plenty of it off the road the closer I got to Alberta and Banff.
My Sidi OnRoads make good snowboots thanks to the lug sole.
A walk through this:
Lead to this:
My sense of time is off. I arrived to early at the hotel to check in. One of my clocks was on the wrong timezone, so I went to the restaurant I wanted to try. I arrived just in time to watch them close for the afternoon break before dinner. bah! I ended up wandering around “downtown” Banff. It was nice to walk around in normal clothes for a change; I was able to leave my moto gear at the hotel front desk. I ended up walking for longer than I needed to, and further than I wanted, but I enjoyed it.
Found the plastic speedo-cable holder broke, so I ziptied it to the break line. first bike “issue” so far.
My favorite pics of today, so hard to choose. There are so many. Seriously look at the full flickr album for today. All via a very short walk through the snow.
One side of bridge:
The other side:
Slowed the shutter to blur the water. Gorgeous spot I had all to myself.
Life is good. As I write this, I’m looking out the window watching the light fade on one of the snow covered mountains. I could easily stay here another day.
Tomorrow is the icefields parkway, lake louise, and all the other goodies I can find on the way to Jasper.
Thanks for all the support and comments. :)
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