2012 Nakusp HU Trip – Day 2

16 Aug 2012 – Neither of us slept too well – too hot, then cold, and it wasn’t until 5am or so, that I pulled up the comforter for warmth. So we got up, got ready, and headed off to breakfast at Craig’s Wayside Diner, right next door, where breakfast was really good.

Back at the motel, we packed up and then I spent half an hour looking for the remote for the GoPro camera. I was sure I had it when we left so I kept looking. Eventually I found it lying on the bed where it had fallen out of the charging stuff bag. Now that I’d found it, I attached all the GoPro stuff to the bike and finished packing everything else. Finally we were ready to leave.

Canmore to Jasper – Bow Valley Parkway to Icefields Parkway

We stayed on the TransCanada Highway until just past Banff, where we turned off and rode the Bow Valley Parkway, otherwise known as Highway 1A to Lake Louise. This used to be the old highway to Lake Louise and nowadays pretty much the only traffic it gets are hikers and tourists heading to Johnstone’s Canyon. And talking about tourists, there were frikkin idiot tourists doing the stop in the middle of the highway to get out and get a picture of the bear, goat, sheep, gopher, butterfly or whatever. Never mind that the bear, possibly a Grizzly Bear, might get pissed and try to eat them. Even a tour bus driver decided to get in on the non-action – stopping in the middle of road. Actually, for all the stupid tourists that get out of their vehicles to tempt fate with the wild animals on the side of the road, I cannot recall ever hearing about a stupid tourist getting eaten by a bear on the side of the road. I guess if the bear or moose or elk or whatever is down by the side of the road in the first place, it’s probably OK with the people being close and staring at them.

Anyway, being motorbikes we were able to slip through the stopped cars and carry on, eventually stopping for gas and a bio break at Lake Louise. While we were there, we started chatting with a couple riding two-up on a cruiser, that the couple had trailered in from Saskatchewan for a few day trips around Banff National Park.

Fueled up, we headed out again, following the Icefields Parkway north – where the scenery is amazingly dramatic.

Scenery along the Icefields Parkway

Looking north along the Icefields Parkway

It seemed that almost everywhere one looked, the vista and scenery was amazing – there’s been plenty written about this highway but you really have to see it with your own eyes to truly appreciate it.

By lunch time we were pretty close to Saskatchewan River Crossing which is about halfway to Jasper from Lake Louise. Lunch was soup and a sandwich from the cafeteria side of the restaurant. This place hasn’t changed much since the 1970s I think …

Sask River Crossing Cafeteria

View SW from the Sask River Crossing parking lot

More great scenery!

Back on the road again, we continued on up into virgin territory for both of us. I had been through Sask River Crossing back in the early 1970s, with my Mom and Dad and brothers in Dad’s converted 1960 school bus. I think we had come up the highway, then headed east from Sask River Crossing through Nordegg and on to Rocky Mountain House and back home to Hanna, but I have never been north of Sask River Crossing. Well, except for the Columbia Glacier area, but that’s only a few kilometres north of the Crossing. We’ve been there a couple of times, but no further north.

Anyway, we passed glaciers on the left …

Stark rocky ridge on the right …

And mountains straight ahead …

Later in the afternoon, we rolled into Wapiti Campground, 5 minutes south of Jasper, where we set up camp.

Campsite at Wapiti

Once we’d cleaned up a bit, Louise and I went into town 2-up on the FJR to see a bit of Jasper and get some dinner at the local Greek restuarant.

The official steam engine …

Jasper Park Administration Building

Then it was off to bed and sleep …

Our home for the night

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