A rest day! I mentioned that the last four days were not bad cycling, but it's always nice to have a rest day.
Last night, I was a tad hungry before dinner so I had a small tea. MISTAKE! While I was tired at 8:30 PM, I didn't get to sleep until about 3 AM. I tossed and turned. I closed the blinds, I fiddled with the overhead fan. I read a bit and tossed and turned. I searched the internet looking for cool things. At last I fell asleep and woke up at 7 AM feeling exhausted. Back to sleep for another hour and didn't feel so bad at 8.
Up and got a few things organized. Did you ever think about how much time you spend organizing your stuff? That's why camping trips are great. You bring the minimal possible and then there isn't a lot of organize. But if you're not organized, well - it's tough. I remember Jim from a cycling trip in 2011. He put what he needed for each cycling day in one ziploc bag. So shorts, jersey, socks in one bag. It works and there is never any searching. I'm all set for the next four days of cycling. Then it will be shoving everything into the one bag or the bike box and then home. Sad face!!!! But first - we have four more days of cycling. Exciting cycling.
I wasn't going to do much today. I had planned to putter around and maybe take a walk around town, although Jasper isn't that big. However as I was sitting in the lobby enjoying my tea, which I can handle first thing in the morning. I met up with Rob and Francois who were going on the SkyTram. Why not? So yes - I decided to go on the SkyTram. Now I hate trams of any kind. But what the heck. Got things organized for that and then bought a ticket and next thing you know, the shuttle had arrived and we were off. The SkyTram goes up Whistlers mountain which is about 8 KM outside of Jasper. At the base of that mountain is the campground that we stayed at in 2011. I must admit that while I like camping, having a real bed for two nights in a row (despite the fact that I couldn't really enjoy one of the nights) has been a bonus. In 2011, one of our crew members climbed the entire way up Whistlers Mountain. I preferred the SkyTram.
Keith came with us and when we arrived in the parking lot, we saw the Cycle Canada truck. Our crew was going up as well. The ride up wasn't all that bad. The worst part is going over the tower. Fortunately there is only ONE tower so I sucked it up.
Once we reached the top which takes 7.5 minutes at a travel speed of 6 meters a second, the view was breathtaking. But wait! We weren't finished. If you wanted to climb to the summit, that was also available. The hike up was 1.4 Km and was fairly steep. Keith chose to save his legs and went back down, but we met up with Nic and Megan and so the five of us climbed to the summit. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, but the scenery - well it was gorgeous and you could see behind the mountains that we were seeing from the town.
We got to the summit and saw the back side of Mount Robson - a mere speck in the distance at this point but at least we got to see one side of the peak. If you're interested in the numbers, the lower station is situated at 1,258 M above sea level. the upper station is at 2,263 M above sea level. And we hiked up to a height of 2,463 M. So an extra 200 M. Seemed like a lot more than that when we were walking up. Imagine standing on top of the world (well not quite), but at the top of the mountain with nothing obstructing your view for 360 degrees. It was spectacular. Then we took a further hike along Indian Ridge. It was so peaceful and quiet. We did meet a woman and her son who took group pictures of us which was great and I think I took more pictures today than the entire time I've been away! She was mentioning that on Amazing Race Canada that they did one of their challenges on the SkyTram. I'm not sure that I could have done it!
I think all of us could had stayed up there for hours, but the shuttle back to the hotel was at 2 PM and so we worked out way back down the slope. I think it was harder coming down than it was going up. And for Jamie's sake, we saw Columbian Ground Squirrels and Ptarmigans (a bird that looked like a rock!). Once we were all back in town, we went for lunch. Gosh - this trip seems to be all about eating!
If ever you come to Jasper, I would highly recommend that you take the SkyTram - it was so worth the money, but you have to be prepared to do the hike to really make it worth while.
My knee is holding up pretty good. Still loads of mosquito bites and nicks and whatnot. But I'll survive!
What did the others do? Some when white water rafting, visited the glacier which we will pass tomorrow and just hung around town.
A bunch of us got together for dinner this evening and the weather is just ideal. Of course, I got my package today with my big rain jacket and rain pants, extra gloves and a toque. I'm praying that I don't need them. The forecast for tomorrow looks good so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
We have no services where we are headed tomorrow so no blog, no posts. You'll have to wait for the next day.
On that note, I'm out of here. I'm in the middle of a pretty exciting book. I won't finish tonight so that will be my excuse to cruise up those big hills tomorrow so I can read some more!
Have a good day!!!
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