We got up at 5am today, and packed up for the day’s ride. It was 41°F, and partly to mostly cloudy. Our bikes were parked under the carport, so they were dry, and we saddled up and headed a bit further down the valley to a gas station.
After filling up, we began the long ascent up the valley towards Jasper. It was an hour long ride, quite steep in places, and several narrow hairpin corners. Then, about a third of the way up, it becomes 4 lane, for much of the way, and the going was easier.
We fueled up again in Lake Louise before heading out to the scenic Ice Fields Parkway. We were there quite early, so there was little traffic, and no wait for gas pumps. It was still quite cool when we headed out for the gorgeous ride on AB 93 – the Ice Fields Parkway.
This road is everything I had read about, and more in real life. The views are spectacular for every inch of the 155 miles.
We had a beautiful ride today. As you can see in the slideshow, the views just keep impressing me with every turn of the road. I had been anticipating this day’s ride for months, and had read about it, as well as watched other ADV Riders’ videos, and while they were cool, to be there in person made the trip for me. This is why I ride!
We met a 72 year old man at the Crossing Resort who was taking a bicycle trip (yes, peddle power) from Anchorage to Mexico. He was traveling light, and staying in motels/lodging. He said he was retired and had no set schedule. He was obviously in superb shape, and I can not fathom the effort, and mental stamina it would take to complete the trip solo. His is a REAL adventure. WOW.
The road north of the Crossing Resort is really beautiful, as we ride through the glacial river valley we’re headed towards the big switchback near Parker Ridge. The scenic overlook there is really amazing, as you can see way down the valley and the road we we on. We stopped here for some photos, as this was a stop I had read about when planning the trip. It was well worth it. We visited with some tourists from China, and they were really interested in our motorcycles. We were able to converse a little, and they were fun to talk with.
We headed out and shortly passed the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center. We did not stop here, but took in the view as we went by. One regret of the trip is that we tried to cover too much ground in a day, which limited out ability to stop and spend time at places like this. I would like to visit it again and have more time to see the sights. The interpretive center is pretty cool, but the Glacier Skywalk overlook just up the highway is killer. We did not stop here either. There was no place to pull over when we got there. Apparently, you need to take a bus from the Interpretive Center. Sad to have missed this too. I recommend that you check out this link if you are interested in seeing this attraction.
The scenery was just breathtaking all the way to Jasper. Then we got on Highway 16 and headed west towards Prince George. The highway was pretty the whole way, though not far west of Jasper we were riding through wider and wider valleys and eventually farm land areas. We booked it through this area, and headed for our AirBNB in Prince George.
This evening, we were staying at Reza’s place. He was not home when we arrived, so I called his cell and he told me where to find the key. We let ourselves in, brought in our gear, secured the bikes, and made plans to visit a brewery and get somethign to eat. I thought they had Uber here, but it had not started up yet, so we got a cab to take us downtown,
We stopped for a beer at Crossroads Brewing Company. I asked another guy at the bar if the food was good here, or if there was another place he would recommend downtown near this place. He was a beer geek too, and recommended another spot that had good food, and great beers on tap. He was going to eat too, so I bought him another beer, and we then we headed over there with him.
We had a good meal and awesome beer at the Kask Taproom and then got a cab back to Reza’s place. It was only 10:15, but when we got there, he must have been asleep, as we did not see him. Reza’s place was clean, and we had the whole finished basement. Nothing special, but good enough to sleep and shower in the morning.
Another exiting day, with lots to see, and more adventure tomorrow.