July 2008

North to South Tour - Day 9

07/03/2008 13:00:00 by Administrator

From: Rampart Creek Campground, Alberta
To: Lake Louise Campground, Alberta
Today: 60 miles - 423 miles total

Broke camp late (9:30) we were trying to give the Rear Admiral some more sleeping time, besides we only had to do Bow Pass (7,003 ft.) today. No big deal, right?

About 3 miles down the road, SeeMore's front chain lost a link. While talking to the couple yesterday about their new Seavo, I did not pay attention fully to SeeMore's chain and idler repair. I just love talking to people about their ride, especially another recumbent tandem! We were riding along when all the sudden we heard a jingling sound, then the front chain came off. I walked back to see if I could find the chain link, but you guessed right...it was missing! I have 4 spares, and I spent a lot of time making sure this one was on right.

If you get on the road before 10, it seems like the Canadian campers love to sleep in, so you have the parkway to yourself. So far, the RVers and trucks have been no problem. We do have a wide shoulder. The only thing is the noise. The engine noise of the motor vehicles seems to vibrate off of the mountains. Besides the noise, what a way to see the Icefields of Jasper and Banff from SeeMore's seats. We are just plain "blown away". I might be bias, but because we are traveling north to south, I think we are seeing more glaciers. My theory is that most of the glaciers are north facing because they are hidden from direct sunlight....then again, I could be full of it.

Compared to yesterday's lung donating event, Bow pass was easy. We stopped one time to get our heartbeats back to normal, then about 2 miles from the top we had lunch, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Doritos! PBJs never tasted better. At the lunch break we also encounter two ladies, one in a convertible, and one in a Volvo station wagon. We had seen these two a number of times over the past two days, passing us...then at a rest stop...then passing us again. Not sure what they were doing, we were afraid to ask!

After Bow pass, we stopped at Bow Lake for a walking break. What a beautiful glacier lake, as pretty as any you will find, and quiet. In the parking lots or pull overs in the park, there are a lot of Asian tourist, and they all seem like they want a picture or video of SeeMore. He is becoming pretty hard to live with. He thinks you will see him make "Asian YouTube top 10" watched video list!

Tonight we are in busy Lake Louise campground. We are surrounded by electric fence which is supposed to keep the bears out, and the campers in. It reminds us of the movie "Jurassic Park". We had diner at the deli in town, can you spell E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E? Tomorrow we will join the tourists at Lake Louise. I am wondering if I will get a good night sleep tonight. Last time we were here, I did not sleep a wink. The trains run all night long and for some reason they sound their whistle as they pass the camp ground? It was pretty loud inside a camper not sure what it will be like while outside in a tent? I expect to hear them 10 fold.

North to South Tour - Day 8

07/02/2008 13:00:00 by Administrator

From: Jonas Creek Campground, Alberta
To: Rampart Creek Campground, Alberta
Today: 43 miles - 363 miles total

No rain the rest of the night, but the Rear Admiral did not sleep very good. Breakfast was oatmeal and bananas.

Over cast in morning, bright sunny day after lunch. Sunwapta Pass (6,676 feet) had our full attention before we stopped for lunch. What a climb. It seemed like we pedaled for 100 yards, took a break to fill our lungs again and take pictures, then pedal another 100 yards (repeat, repeat, repeat). As we allowed our hearts to return to normal, before the next attempt, all around us were glacier filled mountains. This scenery made recovering so easy! When we got to the top well almost the top, we encountered some pretty intense wind and had some problems with the chain. After some minor repairs and a bit more pedaling we made it to the visitor center. We had lunch at the Athabasca Glacier visitor center, watching the large wheeled buses deliver tourist onto the glacier. The glacier has really receded since the last time we visited (with Dustin and Katelyn) in 1998. Remember those buses guys? We wonder what it will look like, ten years from now. The lunch at the visitor center was ok, and price a little high...not like the prices for food at other stops so far in the park. We understand it is really remote, but we are warning other travelers about sticker shock. After lunch, we had just a short climb to finish off Sunwapta Pass. It feels like you are on top of the world up there. Going down was not that much fun, but it wasn't very long. We had a nice wide shoulder, and the traffic wasn't a problem. At the bottom of the pass, before the Athabasca Glacier, SeeMore's front chain fell off (knocked off by a huge cross wind?). As I fiddled with the chain, and the front idler, a couple pulled up to us. They had just purchased a Rans' Seavo (big brother to SeeMore) after 11 years of riding an upright tandem.

We are camping here at Rampart Creek, there is no drinkable water. Good opportunity to try out our MSR water purifier (which works really great). It is very quiet at all the campgrounds (besides Whistlers) so far. We have not seen very many campers/tourists from the US. There are a lot of mosquitoes here, so I am going to go hide in the tent.

North to South Tour - Day 7

07/01/2008 13:00:00 by Administrator

From: Jasper (Whistler's Mountain Campground, Alberta
To: Jonas Creek Campground, Alberta
Today: 53 miles - 320 miles total

Happy Independence Day - Canada

We are sitting here in the picnic pavilion, and the heavens have opened up and it is a complete downpour, with hail! We arrived at Jonas Creek Campground, chose a site (which in near this pavilion) got SeeMore inside the pavilion....and it started. So we are waiting Mother Nature out, before we set up our tent.

The skies were overcast for much of the today, which was a true blessing. After being in the hot sun for the past couple of days, we needed the relief. Boy what a ride today! 53 miles of snow laden mountains to the left and snow laden mountains to the right. The Endless Chain Ridge (east side) look like alligator teeth stretching towards the sky, on the west side were the Winston Churchill Range. These rugged mountains reach to the sky, casting shadows over the forest below; AND waterfalls, giant cascading waterfalls seem to appear around every bend in the road. We climbed 2000 feet today towards Sunwapta Pass. SeeMore had his first bear encounter, a mother black bear with cub were about 10 yards off the road. Some how SeeMore started picking up speed after seeing the bears, almost like having an engine of full throttle! Let me not forget the wild flowers! The park is full of wild flowers (clover, White mountain aven, wild strawberry, daisies, and indian paintbrush to name a few).


Jonas Creek is a planned stop, we want to be ready for Sunwapta Pass...oh boy the climbing begins tomorrow!