Paradise is not where you go but how you feel for one moment of your life.
Wow, threw the leg over the saddle to begin today, and wondered what will the day bring, what will happen on the trip. A new trip, a different trip. But I get to ride my bicycle, which for the most times, always brings me wonder. Whatever the day is.
Immediately I noticed the bike is light, being a supported ride the sleeping bag, tent, stove, food etc are in the van. The bike is light. I carry rain gear, arm and leg warmers, and extra gloves in stuff sack on front handle bar. The frame bag has a bike water bottle, spare tube and big camera, and bike lock. Nice. Almost like riding a day ride, but the stuff sack in front fell out, as I had not fully attached it, in Banff, in the middle of crossing a busy intersection. Not enough stuff in it to make it tight. I do not remember our bags being a problem 4 years ago. Today the problem was too many choices of stuff. I am understanding the saying we had 4 years ago of “the luxury of not having luxuries”. Deciding what costume to wear for the day. Easy when you have only one, or what to change into at night, what to eat. Where are the extra chairs as this one in camp is not fitting me right tonight. Oh the problems.
But the van is carrying food water, extra clothes. Tonight for dinner we had beer on arrival, wine with appetizers of crackers and hummus, spaghetti for dinner with wine, and makers mark bourbon now as I sit next to van listening to the generators of the Winnebagos in campground. The van cannot go where we camped last time next to the lake with the views we had then, but the woods here are nice.
I have discovered or rediscovered I am very comfortable in a sleeping bag. Often more comfortable there and on the ground than a fancy place. I guess I am in the minority but still feels good. As Steve McQueen once said “I would rather wake up in the middle of meow here than on any city on earth.” Quite true. Guess I am weird and am quite ok with it. Taking a bath in the lake after arrival was quite ok. I feel good.
I did seem to forget that it was up hill from banff south. Some climbs, with a total of 640 meters (2000 feet) of climbing. But in three days I will be in shape.
The Canadian Rockies are absolutely incredibly beautiful rising steeply with their sedimentary layers, twist and twirls, of rock layers. Stunningly. But nice to be out of banff and the trailer court they call camping. (not even close to resembling what I call camping).
And of course problems, the generator hub stopped working today. Has worked great for the three weeks since I installed it, but part way through the day it stopped working. But in checking it the bolt which holds the fork on seems to just be spinning the star nut. This is serious and requires a trip to a bike shop. Seems to work for now but ?? Always will be something. Deal with it.
Whew day 2. Boulton creek campground. Maybe 5 miles shy of last time although that was a tent only camp. Am getting into this supported ride stuff. Nice riding with minimal gear, although I may reconfigure tomorrow. Move front bag into visacha rear saddle bag. Drop the camelback (I have forgotten to pick it up twice now, recovered by group)
Jeannes tire blew out today. Totally delaminated. I believe it is the stans fluid which is rotting the rubber. Twice this has happened to me now new tires in Kalispell..
So day three was great. Up over elk pass our first official great divide tour continental divide crossing from st. Lawrence seaway to Pacific Ocean side and from Alberta to British Columbia. A grizzly bear along the way got hearts pumping for a bit as we walked around. He was more interested in eating grass than us. Closest we got was maybe 20 yards when first seen but we backed off. Met some researchers on way down collecting hair samples from the 187 bears in the area. In Elkwood tonight in motel ate out for pizza and doing laundry. A fifty mile (80 km) day very pleasant.