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Wed Aug 01 2012: Banff to Jasper

Banff to Jasper. With terrain like this, how can a motorcyclist not drool?

Pretty stream in Banff National Park

Neda took advantage of the beautiful hiking weather to snap some pictures of Banff National Park in the morning. I took advantage of the beautiful hiking weather to work on the blog...

The trails in Banff are marked for different-sized groups depending on the bear activity in the area. There are trails suitable for solo hiking, and others that require a group of 3 people or more to hike together. The thinking is that if you hike solo in bear country, you are bear-food for sure. But if you are hiking with at least two other people, you just have to be faster than one of them, so the odds are in your favour.

Good thing Neda bought a bear bell while we were in Calgary. Not sure why all the other hikers laughed at her bear-bell, I'm sure I heard one of them call it a "dinner bell"...

Neda's bear bell comes with a built-in silencer so you can turn it off and on. Handy, because I'm sure all the movie theaters in Banff require you to silence your cellphones, pagers and bear bells before the movie begins.

Ink pots at Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon was just across the way from our campsite, so Neda took a 3.5 hour hike to visit the famous Ink Pots, which are 6 blue-green pools fed by underground springs. The colour is from glacial sediments suspended in the water.

ATGATT *especially* when hiking in bear country

In the afternoon, we rode the famous Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper to take in the view of the Canadian Rocky Mountains all around us. We pass by a couple of beautiful-looking glaciers along the way.

Cold! Gerbings to the rescue!

R12GS needs some love too

I've noticed Neda's F650GS gets the lions share of attention on this blog. I know it's a newer bike, but now that my 12GS has shed it's ugly Aeroflow windscreen, I think it deserves a bit more screen time as well. I'm proud to say that the only Touratech item I've installed are the handguard spoilers...

Checking out the Athabaska Glacier at Columbia Icefields

Touratech commercial. When do you get the cheque, Neda?

Skies are roiling on the way to Jasper

As we venture into Jasper National Park, the skies darken, so the first thing we do is immediately set up our tent before the rain begins, which is imminent. The park has provided bear lockers where campers can store their food away from their tents. So we raid the other lockers for some free food before we head out to hike around the area.

Just kidding.


Shoutout to Neda's old hometown

Jasper Tramways operates a cable car that takes you up to the top of Whistlers Mountain just outside the town of Jasper. At the bottom, is a pinboard atlas where tourists can pinpoint where they came from. Tons of pins around Toronto, so I don't even try, but Neda notices not a lot of folks from the town where she was born.

That triangle down there is the town of Jasper

We continued to climb at the top of the tram to the summit of Whistler's Mountain. Whistler's Mountain, as well as the more famous Whistler ski resort in BC, gets its name from the whistling sound that marmots make. The views of Jasper and the surrounding rivers below were amazing, and even the light drizzle didn't dampen my enthusiasm to climb higher.

Some hike all the way up here to contemplate the meaning of life.
Others just hog all the good seats...

Up at the top, we find snow!

Me and my new buddy Inukshuk check out the view together

In the evening, we ride into Jasper to get some Interwebbing and blogging done in a coffee shop. I don't know how these places make money when you can hog a table for hours and only pay a couple of dollars for coffee. We're kicked out at closing into the pouring rain, but when we ride back to the park, we're greeted with a warm and dry tent. Well, a dry tent, at least...

Singin' in the rain - Gene Kelly-stylez in Jasper

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