Saturday, 28 August 2010

Jasper and the icefields parkway

After three great days in Banff we moved up the Icefield parkway in the middle of the Rockies to (hopefully) spend three great days in Jasper, over Tracy's birthday weekend (She can't just have a birthDAY like anyone else, it has to be a whole weekend!)It didn't quite work out as well as I'd planned. First Jasper was a lot colder than Banff (possibly something to do with all those glaciers along the icefileds parkway) and the sun was blotted out for the whole time becasue of a forest fire.  It was really rather spooky, the sun was blotted out and there was a faint smell of burning in the air.

Can't see through the smog

As I write this there are 265 forest fires burning in British Columbia. Just think about that for a moment. There are 265 individual forst fires happening NOW across BC. Occasionally in the news on TV in the Uk we hear about a forest fire in North America. Usually if it is threatening a rich community or well know area, but 265 - 

 If this wasn't bad enough, then it was also surprisingly cold.

Tracy - birthday morning
Still, a few hours later and she cheered up a bit.

Icefields Parkway Road. The clue is in the title. Yes it was cold. This awesome road connects Banff to Jasper in the heart of the Rockies. We rode it northwards in good weather and has stunning scenery to look at, but no wildlife.  Halfway along we stpooed at the main glacier which used to come up to the road. It's now over a kilometre away.

This glacier is retreating at 10 metres a year!

The return trip three days later was still animal free but this time the weather had changed. It was about 5 degrees C and raining. With my marriage under threat I agreed to find a hotel for the night and not force Tracy to camp in an already wet tent. Luckily we found a (expensive) lodge near Lake Louise, that had a rooftop hottub. Slightly weird to be sat in a hottub in near freezing weather but Tracy was happy, which, she tells me, is the main thing. It also meant we could dry out all of our clothes in the bedroom and charge up the netbook.

Lake Louse - photos don't really do it justice. This was a spectacular place

Time to leave the Rockies and head for Vancouver and the coast. And time for a few photos of me on my bike on some excellent roads...

Motorbike heaven

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