Starting off in Canada

First things first, this place is gorgeous. Secondly, exploring by bike affords one ample time to look around at the slowly changing landscape.  The mountains are bigger than I could've imagined, the water is a blue color that awkwardly resembles the color of Gatorade Frost, and the air is so cool and crisp that it only makes sense to be outside. It's hard to explain the magic of this place.  You might just have to go yourself.

banffcampsite
lakemoraine

Day 1 of the trip was a little rough.  In the first 9 miles there were 3 adjustment stops to play with straps and tuck in loose items.  You learn really quickly riding on dirt and gravel trail how tight everything needs to be packed.  I threw stuff out, cut my toothbrush in half... you know, things that people do when they're exasperated. Anyway, I re-packed everything on the second morning, and found that all the gear held a LOT better... even as I cruised down some pretty gnarly trail.

onlyhalfatoothbrush
dustydorrien

The scenery was amazing, but it wasn't all smooth sailing.  About 15 miles on a VERY dusty Smith-Dorrien road left a thin film of gray dust all over myself, the bike, and inside my nostrils. It was a love/hate relationship.  The mountains were so beautiful, but the road was so painfully dry and dusty.

 Getting ready to roll around Lake Minnewanka, near Banff

Getting ready to roll around Lake Minnewanka, near Banff

Surprising to note, there has been a lack of wildlife sightings.  Only the tiny critters (prairie dogs, squirrels, etc.) seem to be curious.  I guess that's fine for now, but I could deal with an elk sighting.  Especially as I sit here in the library of Elkford, CA.

Oh, BTW, while Alberta may win for having bigger mountains, British Columbia wins for having awesome, free, camping. In Alberta, you pretty much have to pay to breathe the air.

I'll be State-side in a day or two, but for now, am really really enjoying the wilderness of Canada.