Sunday, 3 September 2017
A Canadian Adventure - Day 31
Cycling around Jasper
Today dawned clearer. Sod's law we had decided to stay low, walking into Jasper after breakfast and hiring hard tail 27.5 inch wheel mountain bikes for the day. They were excellent machines and the trails were equally good apart from one or two short sections that were shared with horseriders.
We headed first to the east of the Athabasca River, cycling up to the very posh resort that is home to Jasper Park Lodge. Sue managed to find a coffee that we enjoyed with the aristocracy on a balcony that supported a slightly more elaborate view than our campsite.
After pottering around Lake Annette and Lake Edith, we enjoyed some more gnarly trails based on trail number 7, reaching the Maligne Canyon car park at lunch time. Bikes aren't allowed in the canyon so we walked them down to the first viewpoint and lunched on a comfortable bench.
Trail 7 then took us down beside Maligne River and across Sixth Bridge to a fairly level trail towards Jasper. This is known as Bighorn Alley and reminds me that I forgot to mention yesterday's encounter with a family of Bighorn Sheep who were intent on licking the road dry of salt.
From Bighorn Alley we ascended (tired now, some pushing needed) on an assortment of trails based on numbers 2 and 15, including some 'off-piste' non-maintained trails, to Pyramid Lake. A wedding was taking place so the restaurant was shut. Luckily the boat rental office sold ice creams that we enjoyed in comfy chairs on someone's lawn.
We succeeded in avoiding the horse trails for a very quick and enjoyable descent to Jasper, returning the bikes undamaged after their 7 hour outing.
Despite wearing cycling shorts I'm a bit tender in the nether regions. I can't comment on Sue's status...
We enjoyed the 4.5 km stroll back to camp, armed with beer and provisions for a lavish salad with chicken wings, followed by banana, raspberries and cream. The latter was not quite up to the standard of last night's restaurant's delicious goat's cheese cheesecake with blackberries.
It was spotting with rain, so we ate in a shelter that's just near our tent. As I write this at 8.30pm the rain is intensifying and it's going dark.
Today's pictures were taken on our bike ride and show that the wind must have changed as it's less smoky today. Hopefully the rain will improve things further.
40 km on mountain bikes plus 9 km walking. Charlie had a day off.