Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 6 - Golden BC to Banff AB (150 km)

"Embracing the Burn"
Today was one of our longest days, with a relatively slow start, returning the U-Haul around 10am. It was sort of sad to see our portable campsite go, but exciting to be on the road again together. We had to climb across another pass again today (the Kicking Horse pass - elevation around 1674 m), and at one point climbed over 6 km without even a plateau. It was a great ride though, with sunshine and minimal traffic. We followed the river for a while, and it had that brilliant blue colour of mountain water. We stopped for lunch at the side of the road, and again at the Alberta Tourism Centre right before the pass. We chatted with some people who passed us on the road, including a friendly couple from California. From there, we continued on, expecting to see signs telling us how much further to the pass but it wasn't really clear we were over the pass until we saw "Welcome to Alberta" signs. We stopped for chocolate milk and to put air in our tires in Lake Louise and continued along the Bow Valley Trail to Banff. We were both really looking forward to arriving there, but the last 40 km of the day were painfully slow as we were both wiped. J was afraid of being eaten by a bear - we didn't stop much. The Bow Valley Trail closed at 6pm due to bears on the road, and so we had to cut up to HWY 1 which was just as well since it was mostly downhill (thankfully). We limped into Banff as the sun went down and the rain was starting (ugh) and went to the first fast food restaurant we saw. J: "I never thought I'd say this, but I don't think my McDonalds meal has enough calories!" We set up camp ultra-fast in the rain in Banff National park (Tunnel Mtn. Village 2) and chatted with some friendly fellow-campers who offered us their left overs and invited us to join them at their fire. We stashed our stuff in the bathroom for bear safety, and crashed. The End.
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