Jasper, AB

Just rolled into Jasper after having crossed into Alberta a few miles ago (also crossing the continental divide for the 4th time this trip).

Two days ago an English cyclist, Cass, caught up with me, and we ended up staying at an organic gardner’s place that night (more on that later…).  We cycled together yesterday, a rather rainy day, and made it to a campsite after dark last night.

Cass left a little earlier than I did, we had made plans to meet up in Jasper and see if we’d do some more riding together later today.  On my way out of the campsite, I rode by Sean, Ingrid and Kate, the Scottish cycling family, they were packing up and headed out as well.  They had had a few short days due to the awful weather and so I had caught up to them after my days off in Prince George.  I biked the 20 miles into Jasper with them.

And so we’re all in Jasper running errands and doing some shopping, with the idea of meeting up and conquering some of the Icefields Parkway together.  I think we’re all feeling a little frazzled by the circus that is Jasper National Park.  I kind of had a inkling about this when I saw that the first campground headed south from Jasper had over 700 (!!!!) campsites.  Apparently you are supposed to phone somewhere and make reservations, etc, etc.  There are all sorts of price categories, with or without this or that, showers or not; we are used to just biking till sometime in the afternoon and looking for a rest area to camp at.  Cass was told all the sites at the nearest campgrounds are booked, being Labour Day weekend at all.  Not sure what they do if cyclists show up and they are “full”, but I guess we’ll find out.

The threat of more cloudy and rainy weather is a little discouraging.  I planned this route over the coastal route particularly to pass through Jasper and Banff.  To not see anything and be wet the whole time would be quite a pity.  But I’m in good company with the other cyclists and we’re determined to make the most of it rain or shine.

Well Cass is outside the cafe talking to some other touring cyclists that just showed up.  I am going to go say hello to them.  I’ll most likely next update you from Banff.

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