posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Canyon Hot Spring

Today was my longest planned day, hundred and fifteen kilometres to be cycled but mostly Rogers Pass, climbing up to 1330 metres. Leaving around seven,  I wanted to give myself plenty of breaks. The first hour was under torrential rain but even more worryingly the clouds were at their darkest and least welcoming, exactly where I was going. Eventually as I am getting used around here, the day turned completely around and after drowning it was time to get baked again, under a scorching hot sun. I was again surprised to realise the total lack of facilities once inside a National Park. In the noble effort to not spoil nature and to leave no trace of any human intervention, cyclists had been completely forgotten and my vain search for survival and some water, just as I was almost completing the climb, had to resort to begging car drivers for a spare bottle; luckily my begging didn't go unnoticed! Google Maps were not perfect after all; my internet searches and planning, imagined that a dot and a name must surely mean at least a shop and some food but it often turned out to be just a dot on a rather empty map...! On the plus side, today's prize was gaining an hour of life, crossing the line between Rocky Mountain Time and Pacific Time. I was expecting a large display celebrating the event but in the end it was just a little sign hidden by the side of the road and so unremarkable that I am sure I was the only one going slow enough to even notice it! I arrived in good time at the Canyon Hot Springs campsite and my faith in Google was duly restored. In my searches online it was always praised as a good place to pitch a tent provided that your allocated spot was not under the reach of watering sprinklers and that you didn't let the eagerness of the chinese owners take over your wallet. These comments were most accurate and it turned out that my pitch would just be on the limit of the effort to keep the beautiful green grass happy in the worst of canadian droughts and flood the rest of the campsite in the process. Apparently the owner's favourite pastime was proudly driving his golf cart around the place, loading, moving, collecting and planning where his next sprinklers adventure would take him. Entering the shop to buy some food also meant that one had to sprint the last few metres to the door in an effort to not get soaked under a pouring sprinkler induced rainfall! On the financial side, tokens seemed to be needed for everything that involved whatever you were planning to do! Still Canyon Hot Springs had the best and cleanest bathrooms I had ever seen in any campsite, so spotless and luxurious that they seemed borrowed from a five star hotel room. Now seven hundred kilometres after the start I am happy that over half of my trip is completed yet sad that only half of the trip remains!