June 16, 1999
|Hmmmmmm... today is my brothers birthday...
happy birthday Rick!!
I had the same breakfast as yesterday in the cafe'. While outside getting ready to leave, Simon walked up to check out my bike. He was in the same room as me and slept in the bunk below me. Simon was with a friend that is travelling and he joined her for a few days. Their plans are to head to Lake Louise and possibly stay there. I planned on going to Mosquito Creek Hostel or whatever place is around when I decide to stop. Riding into town, I went to one of the bike shops to stock up on Powerbars. Inside I saw THE shirt!! man I had to have that bike shirt. With all the looks I get in stores with my tight bike clothes and noisy shoes, I decided it was time to give them something to look at :) It was the most obnoxiously bright shirt with an alien on it. So I bought it and wore it out of the store :)
Leaving town I hopped on 1a since it was less crowded. It was a good choice with very little traffic and surrounded by forest and quiet. When I reached 93, I soon encountered a station that checks the park passes. Mine was expired so I had to purchase another which will be good until 4pm tomorrow. Another 5 bucks, but maybe I can get by the next few days without having to buy another one. The girl at the station told me that it was a good thing I wasnt here 2 weeks ago since they had a lot of rain and snow. Wow, good thing I stayed in Whitefish for 2 weeks so I could come through here during good weather. The road to Lake Louise looked too touristy, I saw quite a few RV's in that direction and that turned me off, so I kept riding. My max speed today was 46 mph wooo hooo! man that gives me a rush every time! I just can't seem to break into the 48+ mph range. Oh well many more mountains yet to come :)
When I reached the Mosquito Creek Hostel, I was ready to stop for the day. I got a late start at 11 am and it would be too late by the time I made it to the next campground or hostel. The hostel was set in the trees and was very rustic and primitive. No running water or electricity. Inside the community building with the shared kitchen and living room area were, I met some guys there that informed me that the manager was not there and laughed at the fact that no one knew where he was. Several others had come in and there was no one to pay, so no one paid to stay there for the night. After I had settled in, I met Lauren another cyclist staying here for the night. He is a very unique man that left a career in the corporate world with a high salary to live on an island in a bus that has been converted into living quarters. There is no running water or electricity in his little piece of paradise. He doesn't own a vehicle and bikes everywhere he goes. For lights in the summer months Lauren uses solar panels to generate electricity and in the winter it is mostly candle light. He has many stories and seems to very much at peace with himself in this life he has found. Lauren told me that he keeps a daily journal as well but no one reads them. They are very personal and reflect his inner thoughts as he is riding. I was told of how his writing is up and down just as the roads are. While going over one pass, he broke out in a loud laughter as he became overwhelmed with an indescribable rush of emotion. He seems to be very connected with his surroundings and allows the intensity to travel through him while he rides on this emotional rollercoaster. Lauren is indeed a rare man, and one I was happy to meet and hopefully someday our paths will cross again.
In the community kitchen I met Jason, Eric, Andrew, Shawna, and Melissa. They are all there for the summer working on various research projects for college. Jason and Eric go to the University of Alberta and Andrew, Shawna, and Melissa attend the University of Ottawa. I spent some time talking to them about there research and just biology in general. There has always been something about the typical biology major. They always seem to be real cool down to earth people and sort of connected to the earth. They were all fun to hang out with and joke about stuff. Later in the evening, I was approached by Simon from the hostel. He introduced me to Alison, the girl he was with. Alison and Simon are both from England. Simon is working in a National Park in Wisconsin as part of is doctoral I think?? I know he mentioned something about a doctoral and he has come overseas to work in the park. Alison had begun a 'round the world journey and got in touch with Simon to join her for part of it. He took a week off to hang out with her as far as Jasper and then he will be going back to Wisconsin. The 3 of us were the last ones to hang out and talk in the kitchen into the late hours. Alison had quit her job to travel the world for a year by herself to just discover the world out there. I've been encountering several people like this lately. A girl in Banff had told me she was planning to go travel Europe so she can help answer the question "Who am I". I hope to take a bicycle ride around Europe someday, then New Zealand, then Australia... etc... just keep riding :)
Today - 55.9 miles
My biggest regret on this part of the trip is not seeing Lake Louise. I went there a couple of times since and it is an incredible place. Do a google search for Lake Louise and you will find some spectacular photos of that area. The hotel has a website here: http://www.fairmont.com/lakelouise