Lake Louise – Golden – 83 km
We get up the earliest in the world, because at 5:15 am we start packing. Last farewell to Gini, who hosted us for the last two days and set off for the bus stop. The action of “un-baging” the bikes and fixing them on special racks at the front of the bus is done efficiently. 25 minutes later we get off at the train station in Banff and we do everything not to freeze. And the city is slowly waking up. 🌞
The long-awaited bus to Lake Louise is coming (it’s free of charge), so we fill it with our equipment and a touch of curiosity, because of course everyone immediately draws our attention to us. Unfortunately, only 3 bikes have entered the racks, so Monika stays and promises to catch us by car as fast as possible. 🚘
The decision about using the “replacement communication” on this part of road was quite simple, because we have already overhauled the road between Lake Louise and Banff once. And we couyldn’t resist to use free bus… 💲:D
After a day of rest, we felt inspired by a beautiful, frosty morning – not a single cloud in the sky, only white peaks around us – we couldn’t wait to get on our Kross-bikes and continue the journey! 🚵♂🚵♀🚵♂🚵♀
The stop in Lous is magical. Little shopping center with public toilets is the only center that has this small town – two cafes, shop, post office, toilets and several souvenir shops and equipment – attracts a lot of people and always does not stand up with curiosity, which usually results in a smile, short conversation, or the exchange of courtesies or relay stickers. This time we met a folk from Poland. 👍
Monika arrived shortly after us, the Czechs brought her up, which is also quite a lot in Canada. Around 10 we moved towards the sun!
The enthusiasm dropped quite quickly, because of the dust caused by the speeding truck on the right. The cult of the car is also one of the characteristic features of Canada. Unfortunately, the only road that we could get out of Alberta is the main trans-canadian highway No. 1 – the main artery for the 65-ton colossos that supply this country, running from port to port. 🚛🚛🚛
A few kilometers elapsed before we warmed up properly, we raced along the rather dry roadside covered with small stones. Roadworks enabled us to unrestricted 6 km descent with a 7% slope, after which our fingertips were quite cold. The rule is simple: stand in the sun – drive in the shade. On the way, break for pancakes made by girls the day before. There were probably a thousand of them, and a thousand too few! 🥞🥞🥞
The whole way to Golden is the splendor of mountain landscapes and not covered by the end of the road. However before entering to the city we experienced moments of doubt. As far as running down the hill on a stretch of 4 km and a slope of 6% was quite fun, escaping from the trucks on narrow rock shelves or bridges without any sidewalks, not so much. Fortunately, the drivers in Canada are good people who have proven more than once that “big” does not always means “more important”. Cheers, folks! 👌
We enter Golden after dark. A short tangle in square arranged streets and find the place of our host. The night spent for us in a huge house packed with various equipment – between several 🚲 bikes, 🏂snowboards, kayak and definitely too much ski board ⛷, we found the entrance to the house.
A few people inside. Pierre is our first host in our age. We quickly get acquainted with several people at home – they are Qubec buddies who moved to Golden to live their dreams. They spend days on climbing, skiing, walking or cycling in the mountains. And when the funds end after some time, they think about some work, to quickly return to their real activities. Even for such a gadabouts, our trip is quite awesome.
We eat curry and our relay map to the boys and soon – fall on a large sofa in the living room, next to drums and a few guitars and bikes hung on the wall. It was a long day! 😴
Golden – Donald – 22 km – Revelstoke
We slept on a large corner sofa in the living room, like a flock of small, sweet puppies 🐕🐕🐕🐕. Late wake-up, slow breakfast. Although everyone shouted “we will help”, yet there wasn;t much fighting spirit in the nation 😆. Wojtek went to the bicycle shop to mount a new spoke, and the rest very slowly packed all the stuff and together we set out on the road. We had quite a road ahead – another crossing through the national park, and hence – through the mountains! Unfortunately, the forecasts showed snowfall, so we deliberately divided the distance to Revelstoke into three short – though steep – sections. 🏔
We were ready to go at noon. Not too late, because we had less than 50 kilometers of defeat. It was snowing in the morning, but mercury in the thermometer jumped above magical 0, which meant that we will again fight with sluch on the highway 1 and wet clothes. 🌨
Since the begining, it was going hard. One could get the impression that everything was saying “NO” on that. Of course, we pedaled in the accompaniment of the roar of powerful trucks that rushed down Canada’s main road, doing nothing about weather conditions. We stood on the side of the road to eat – no, to devour! – another chocolate and then HE appeared. Red pickup. 🚗 There was consternation, because none of us stole anything, nor ordered a pizza. 😀 The door slammed and the driver came up to us as if we had an appointment, which we hadn’t.
A moment later, we were loading the bikes for the car package efficiently. We were offered a ride, and as the conditions were simply dangerous, we applauded the proposal. Initially, we wanted to drive only to the top of the pass, but seeing a truck that split the railings on both sides of the road, we decided to go all the way to Revelstoke. The drive done the hill in these conditions the next morning, when everything would be frozen, was not an option. We covered the distance of three days in two hours, passing another huge monster with a semitress lying on its side in a ditch. 😱 And the snow continued lazy falling down from the sky …
The story of our helper was interesting. He saw us in the morning in the city, then he passed us by on the road and decided to turn back. He traveled to the town lying further behind Revelstoke and worked on the railways. He lived a normal life in Golden with his wife and four children 👨👩👧👦. He was skiing ⛷, watching hockey 🏒. He was several times in Europe, he taught English in Uruguay. 🇺🇾👨🏫
In Revelstoke we had an overnight stay, but unfortunately for two days ahead. We quickly corrected the date and hoped that we could sleep under the roof today, even though we just used the shower this morning. 🚿We entered the city and waited for positive news in the world-famous McDonalds restaurant 🍔. Usually we go to the railwaystation, but unfortunately not in Revelstoke. This is by far the largest city on our way to date, the entire 6,000 inhabitants ❗ It has reportedly the best ski slopes in the world, but there is no train station :D. Although we saw the train passing by with our own eyes. Oh, detail … 🚂🚃🚃
It was the first time we had some warm time and we could talk. Everyday driving or related activities do not always allow free conversations. After tasting local (!) dishes, which are not in the Polish menu, we decided that we need to find a place for a tent. And that’s when the news came that today overnight would be possible too! Along the way we were also accosted by a boy in shorts, very fascinated by four cyclists, riding a November night on the Canadian pavement. As it turned out, it was a local newspaper journalist, so we arranged an interview and hurried to our hosts. 🙂
And there – a picture that we have seen several times in Canada. A large and very neat house with many pairs of skis, different types of bikes and other sports equipment! 🎿🚲🏠🚲🎿 Everyone here loves outdoor! This time we slept in Suzanne and John’s house. He is a retired Parcs Canada employee and mountain rescuer. Now, together they ride bicycles with cycle-bags and explore the world. 🧓👵 It took us some time to talk about the project, exchange ideas for the next path and politely put out the light. 🛏
Revelstoke – Halcyon Hotsprings – 70 km
Quick granola for breakfast and we had to leave, because the interview! 📰⭐ Liam was waiting for us at the popular Tim Hortons cafe on the city’s outskirts. Very cordial and full of energy, again in shorts, he asked us about everything and took some pictures [SEE POST with the link to the interview: https://bit.ly/2DnvKKX). We also arranged a few kilometers further to catch us in a nicer scenery, already riding on our steeds. And later – on the road! 🐎
Due to the saving of two days on bicycle-hitch-hiking, we decided to extend our road a bit longer by the exit from the highway no. 1 already in Revelstoke on the highway No. 23, heading south. It was a very good decision because traffic on it was insignificant. 👍 Probably because a long weekend started in Canada (Memorial Day was celebrated on November 11th), and also because the road breaks off at Arrow Lake and you have to cross it by the the ferry to continue your ride. 🚢
We were glad that the temperature was warmer than in Banff or Canmore a few days ago. We left the mountains, so higher snow-capped peaks ceased to set us individual landmarks. Again, deciduous trees began to follow us, which have already dropped most of the leaves and complitely bold waiting for winter, and this is a further hilly road, intersected by streams, forest, protruding rocks. The biggest attraction of the day was to be a boat trip.
Arriving at the ferry, we packed up with several cars and one only truck that passed us that day. Ready to cruise in the truly Norwegian nature, of course, we were a real attraction for drivers. One of them, very enthusiastic, gave us contact to his children who have just returned from a bicycle trip around Europe and for sure will offer us a overnight in Kelowna. The whole ferry crossing lasted less than hals an hour and ended with a lunch of porridge on the shore of Lake Arrow Lake.
It was supposed to be onbe of that days that should only be piled up to be closer to the goal. Slowly it was dusk, and we drove into the area of the only inhabited place, famous for its hot springs. When looking for a campsite that was “out there somewhere” on the map, but in fact it was not there at all, Maciek, whose curiosity always leads for every corner, hill or bend, thinking “maybe something will happen”, rode a bicycle behind the gate And it happened. The owner of the entire area, which was hidden behind the trees, and only the music was heard, just drove a truck. After few minutes chat, we had place for a tent and an invitation to hot springs, and these were not just any hot springs. Believing the host’s story, it was the only private hot spring in all of Canada. They were older than all of Canada! 🤔
Half an hour later, we were already sitting in the pool from which a hot couple was bursting. What a feeling when there is a minus temperature outside and you can not sit in the water from the heat! 🤯 Doug’s house was on a hill by the lake and consisted of terraces. The pools were also cascading. A few of them, one below the other, powered naturally with hot water differed only in the size and temperature of the water. We of course spent the most time in this biggest one, relaxing and talking on various topics. Our host was asking about Poland, because he was in Warsaw in the 1980s. He also joked about historical issues. That evening we also met a dozen much younger people who were invited to hot springs. And all this happened in the light of thousands of Christmas lights, diodes or halogens hung on trees growing around. Magic! 🎇
Magic numbers crayon:
Distance traveled: 831 km
Sum of the driveways: 6474
Tubes broken: 16
Bath in hot springs: 1
Birthdays celebrated on the way: 1
Hitchhiking with bicycles: 2
Accommodation under the roof: 6