posted on Thursday, July 16, 2015

Beauty Creek


A very chilly morning in Jasper. I had breakfast chatting with a nice Canadian guy from Seskatchwan, having a trekking holiday for a few weeks. He put canadian distances into perspective telling me his train had been delayed fifteen hours! Now that is unheard of even by Italian railway standards! He still looked at the positive side of things remarking it had been a good thing as they were all given a free meal onboard to survive the ordeal. In Jasper Route 93 splits into two; for this return journey I took much quieter 93A. It was a nice detour and early in the morning I cycled about an hour without meeting  any soul. At Athabasca fall where the previous day I had a fight and survived against the chinese selfie stick army, I decided to avoid any further confrontation and moved on eventually merging to the main road. The morning was really fresh and I had  to wear my winter jacket, gloves and hat  each time the sun disappeared into the clouds. It got threatening and stormy too as I approached Sunwapta Falls the only hope of a decent meal for the day. As I walked in the restaurant rain started falling and I could indulge in a hyper caloric meal that lasted enough for the sun to return and shine. Satisfied and heavy, only 30 kilometres now separated me from my night stop. I struggled up the climbs to Beauty Creek where I met Theo a girl from Atlanta, cycling Banff to Jasper on her first ever solo bike trip. After having been registered by the not very sociable and quickly disappearing host, we were informed that it would be a full house tonight,  a rare event in such a small and remote mountain hostel it seemed and something our host didn't seem to be particularly looking forward to! Me and Theo had a quiet dinner in the very basic kitchen where everything in order to work involved a clockwise or anti-clockwise twist of a particular valve connected to a gas bottle; a user manual seemed badly needed... After an hour or so as the evening approached we were wondering what had happened to the crowds that were meant to suddenly animate this peaceful spot of the world. For the tired cyclists it was time to call it another day of pure joy along the Icefield Parkway. As we hit the sack the place came alive and in a dreamlike state we could hear the large party slowly trickling in and settling down on their beds for the night!