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Saturday 2 Jun 2007
Jasper, Canada

Pics uploaded

OK, I've just uploaded 9 of the best pics from the trip so far. Enjoy!

... later...

Jonny and I decided to do our own thing today.. I was keen to get some hardcore exercise either through hiking or biking, and Jonny wanted to ride a horsie.

I decided on the mountain biking. Jasper is a mountain biking paradise (Banff is apparently just as good), and as soon as I had rented a front-suspension monster I was off down the dusty tracks before you could shout "Don't slip on the bear scheise!"

Biking was a great way to experience the scenery, and allowed one to get off the beaten path.

I decided to first of all try a hardcore route off Fort Point called route 9 (apparently the term 'Fort' in the name doesn't refer to an auld English building, but was created as a result of mis-spelling 'Ford').

It was REALLY tough on the old muscles, considering I haven't been cycling for 6 months, with really steep inclines, and rocks/tree stumps all over the shop. The route was supposed to be around 5 km and all was going well until I got to a crossroads with no signage.

hmmm... I had been going straight for about 1 hour at this point - and considering that the route was supposed to be clock-wise - I deduced that taking the right route would be the wise thing to do.
I was starting to get a little worried since I was deep in forest, sweating in the 30C heat, and running out of water... plus to make matters worse there were numerous sightings of bear and calving elk in the area (calving elk are extremely dangerous!).

This route was 9c. I later found out that 9c isn't included on the biking maps since it's considered incredibly difficult....even for pros!

Indeed, I spent the next hour in stinking hot temperatures with my heavy bag on my back (400D digital camera in tow) jumping over foot-high tree stumps and charging down 45 degree hills packed solid with large rocks. At some points I was on a ridge barely the width of my bike wheels with a steep drop 10 metres down the side! Occasionally the path was impassible with a fallen tree or bear crap in the way. Plus parts of the track were completely overgrown hinting that noone had been down this route for a few weeks.

It was such an adrenaline rush. I had run out of water at this point, and was seriously considering drinking from the passing river (with the risk of getting "Beaver Fever") since I was becoming delirious. Plus I was getting bitten by mozzies from all sides!

Thankfully it was at this stage that I heard a distant car engine...

Following the sound, I eventually ended up at the top of a lookout (?!?) and finally made contact with civilisation again.. nice trip eh Cheesy

My rear-end at this stage was incredibly sore from the bumpy ride, but I persevered for the next 4 hours and took tours of the rest of the area (on the PAVED roads of course!) which included a lovely golf course, several hidden blue lakes and even a lake-side beach!

Jonny and I finally met back up at 8.30 and regaled our tales over a few brewskies.

We were both so shattered we crashed early that night!

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Travel blog by peterforan

Lake Louise (with ice!)

Lake Louise (with ice!)

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