June 17, 1999
|As I was leaving the hostel, I said goodbye
to everyone and then headed north. What a spectacular ride!!!!! The mountains are just so
close and so incredibly large. When I reached the road to Peyto Lake, I debated whether it
would be worth the trek off the main road to go see it. Lauren had told me to go see it,
but I've seen so many lakes already. As I started riding up the road to the lake, I met
Murray and Ingrid. Both of them were on a short trip testing out there new BOB trailers.
Ingrid told me that it was nice to finally meet someone else pulling a BOB. Everyone else
they've been meeting has had panniers. Both of them were very pleasant as we talked a bit
and exchanged some riding stories. They told me about a list that you can get your name
on, and when you do, you can contact anyone on the list to provide you a backyard to tent
in and give you a hot shower. Wow that would be cool. They said they'll e-mail the
information so I can contact some of those for free tenting and shower :)
I parked my bike in the snow and made the trek up the path to see Peyto Lake. OH Sh$t!! What an incredibly beautiful lake!!! The most beautiful I've ever seen!!! As I stood in awe, I studied the shades of blues across the vast lake. The colors changed slightly from the shore line to the middle of the lake. My mind wandered beyond the surface and through its depths. Being fully immersed in the cool water, I floated through a timeless space filled with beauty while allowing my consciousness to penetrate this pristine ethereal liquid. How glad I was to take this side trip off the road. What a rush of emotion!
I continued to ride north and achieved 47 mph on another downhill. Come on what about 48? :) I flew by a female cyclist and said hello as she was approaching a lake where a male cyclist was sitting and waiting. Soon, the male cyclists had caught up with me and said " So are you the guy cycling from Florida to Alaska?" I said that I was and he went on to say "We've heard about you since we entered Montana from Colorado". Somehow they just happened to get on my same route and apparently people were talking about me in my wake. Geez, I didn't realize I made that kind of impact on people. Maybe it is just because I'm so crazy, ay. Patrick and Rocio were several weeks behind me and he couldn't believe that they caught up with me. I told him I had taken 15 days off in Whitefish, that's why they caught up with me. We rode together to The Rampart Creek Hostel and I immediately headed for the cold creek. I was smelling pretty bad by now without a shower for 2 days. So I decided to submerge myself in the numbing 35 degree Fahrenheit water. It was soooooo cold!!!!! They couldn't believe that I actually got in there with the rapidly flowing glacial water. So Rocio was brave enough to try it next. Then we decided no one would believe that we bathed in ice water so we took photos of it. My second time in wasn't as bad since my body was already a bit numb. After Rocio went in, Patrick said "I have to do it now". Then it was a beeline for a warm spot in the sun :)
For dinner, Patrick made some curry and cous cous for the three of us. Wow that was a good dinner mmmmm. Both of them are very neat people. Patrick is from Switzerland and Rocio form Mexico. They have been together living in Costa Rico for 4 years and decided to go a bicycle ride together, the first one for both of them. She will be leaving by train for Vancouver to visit her sister when we arrive in Jasper. Later in the evening Hamish and Dennis arrived on their bikes pulling homemade trailers. Wow those were cool trailers, with a kickstand that was similar to the type you see on motorcycles. They had 2 legs that came down from underneath and propped it up, supporting it and the bicycle. The trailers are also adjustable on the width and length to accommodate different size bags. I took some photos so they will be posted soon if they are not here now. Hamish is from New Zealand and Dennis is from Australia on a short ride through Canada. There was another young couple that came through hitchhiking across Canada. Both of them worked on an organic farm and had the hippie/granola type image.
Today - 42.39 miles