Looking at the route south, from one of the plentiful scenic turnouts on the Icefields Parkway.
Today was a comparatively short day, although I took my time and averaged a record 56 km/hr door-to-door! This at the expense of an unhurried brunch, photo stops along the drive of a lifetime, a mid-day chain cleaning, a construction delay for rock scaling, and a reduced pace through snow.
Wildlife update: One deer today, and that is all. A hoppy little fella, though, who ran in front of me between Hinton and the Park Gates. But I saw him first, and had slown down, and I didn't fall for his deke when he took his first two steps away into the ditch, before doing a 180 and bolting across the highway.
Wildlife update, yesterday edition: Two deer, and a young lynx (I think). Definitely feline, standing in the ditch; not cougar, not wolf, not fox. Looked like this (not my photo; I was busy riding a motorcycle in traffic!).
Now, three days and 1900 km into the ride, I still have yet to pass another rider on the road. I saw a parked street bike which was being used as a chair by a dude talking on a cell phone yesterday in Bezanson, AB. This morning, entering Jasper, I saw a cruiser coming at me along main street and got excited, only for it to turn, park, and be dismounted by a dude wearing shorts (did I mention it was about +3 Celsius? He hadn't travelled far...). It's weird. Although I did have a brief moment of clarity as to why, while riding through Bow Summit on the parkway. It happened to be that same moment when the temperature drops below the dew point or freezing point and the inside of your faceshield instantly fogs.
It was cool and drizzly from Sask. Crossing through Lake Louise and west to Field, but from there the sun was shining in the valleys and it was downright pleasant for the short leg of the TCH into goal.
Thumb down: I had been looking forward to stopping for a coffee at the new cantilevered glass-floor viewpoint which I'd seen under construction my last time through, but was bummed to find it as a paid tourist attraction requiring free parking "just 6 km away," followed by a captive-audience shuttle bus ride, then a non-free admission fee to walk around and look down. Lame.
Thumb up: It's a passing grade for all that Gore-Tex and the heated grips! The Klim Caldera gloves are nicely breaking in, and the thin palms to receive grip heat are the best. Not sure how I managed without these gloves for this long.
I've now safely arrived just outside of Golden, BC, at a good friend's rustic mountain cabin where I'll be roughing it and taking a maintenance day to swap on new tires and catch up on old friendship.
Day total: 412 km, 7h20m
Trip total: 1920 km
Start: Hinton, AB. End: Golden, BC.
Soundtrack: K-OS, Cash, Digawolf.