C – After a lovely sleep (despite the party goers across the river letting off copious amounts of fireworks around midnight), we woke to a lovely warm and sunny sky. After a very blissful coffee, sitting in the sun, we packed up the tent and got moving at what we thought was a very reasonable hour. I dared to take off another layer (my jumper this time) and took off into the sunshine with just one thermal layer and my leather jacket on, not a care in the world!
T- I was expecting a very wet and muddy ground this morning. I had been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of rain absolutely pelting the tent. I thought it was hail for a minute and contemplated poking Chantelle until she was awake so she could stick her head out and see what it was. Don’t poke the bear Todd….
The people over the other side of the river had been having a grand old time. Lots of yelling, laughing and firing of guns for a while. But apart from that it was a quiet little free camp. Just how we like them! Oh except for the train that came through at 2 am. Longest train ever! I didn’t realise there was a train track behind us. The train was so long, I’m sure I fell asleep for a few more hours, and when I woke up it was still passing by. I calculated with my mathematical genius of a brain, that the train was about a month long!
C – We meandered towards Grande Cache, passing the Milne Power Generating station along the way. We were both amazed and saddened by this site. It was a saddening to see our reliance on coal powered stations, but also quite amazing to see the engineering of the station and the rockfaces were the coal was obviously extracted from.
T- From the road we could see the bending waves of different layers in the rock face from where the hills had been shoved from their flat resting places and pummelled into the sky. It was both beautiful and ugly all at once! What mother nature does over millennia, we take apart over decades.
C – A moody cloud was gathering over the mountains ahead of us and I relented and put on my wet weather pants. We cruised into Grande Cache, stopping at the visitors centre to check out their free museum. We had a lovely chat to the lady, who was South African and had some Australian connections.
Upon leaving, it was definitely time to don all the wet weather gear. The clouds were gathering over the mountains and it looked quite ominous, and outstandingly beautiful.
T – Well the road was nearing an end. And we were both glad of that. At the next junction it meant we could turn west and then directly south again. I love the mountain terrain and I had been teased by glimpses of them all day today. Then the road would swing away to the left and the mountains would disappear from view. I worry that all this beauty, day after day, will become so normal that we will eventually no longer recognise it for what it truly is. I hope not!
Then the rain came down. Immediately my crotch became a sponge and for the rest of the ride collected enough rain water to fill a lake. Maybe I’ll call it Groin Lake. Anyone want to go for a swim? Don’t drink THAT water….
C – The highway became quite monotonous after Grande Cache, and with the drizzle well and truly set in, the ride into Hinton was not the most exciting we have done. We were both cold and wet by the time we arrived and decided to stop for a coffee and wifi.
Once we had warmed our tummies and updated the blog and Facebook, it was off to the visitors centre, where we gathered an abundance of information about the route we should take to Drumheller and down into Montana. It is such a wonderful thing to have a locals perspective on which roads to take. We also got a free admission to the dinosaur museum in Drumheller – WOOHOO!!!!
We followed some directions given to us by the visitors centre and found a lovely free camp. After setting up and chilling out by the fire, it was time to hit the sack. We plan to ride through the Icefields Parkway tomorrow, as we only purchased a one day pass to the park. It will up and at ‘em early tomorrow!
T – The camp tonight was down a little dirt road. It was super wet, super slippery, super soft, and super fun! The little postie bikes sliding and slipping all over the place. Until I nearly ended up in the ditch, sideways. That made the smile falter a little and I may have even added some of my own water to the lake in my pants.
It was a fun but short ride to our little camp.
Tomorrow we hit Jasper! I spied a pass of over 2000mts on the map. But I haven’t told Mabel yet….Shh.