Hills, hills and more hills

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Michel left Golden at 8:40 this morning, but before heading off for Lake Louise, he took a few minutes to go and take in the beauty of Kicking Horse Ski Resort, the source of such fond memories of a family vacation spent there in 2003, before he suffered his accident. A man who happened to be walking by kindly agreed to take Michel’s photo with the mountain in the background. This would make a fine souvenir for him to bring back home.

Michel thought that the worst was over. But no! Today he needed a good dose of courage because, apart from a three- or four-kilometre descent over twisty, winding roads, all that he could see in front of him was more hills to climb. Hills, hills and more hills.

When travelling at the slower speeds, you have time to admire nature and the wild animals. As he was leaving Golden, Michel spotted a mountain goat. Cool! Later, he came across an elk, a deer, five white mountain goats, including one with a kid, a bear, and numerous prairie dogs. After descending from the magnificent Rockies, everything seems smaller. Even we are much smaller when we compare ourselves to nature.

Michel stopped for several minutes 57 km further along in Field, a tiny village of approximately 130. At the information centre the people there told us that Michel would have to climb through Kicking Horse Pass. Located at an altitude of 1,647 metres, this Pass forms the boundary between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and also the limits between Banff and Yoho National Parks. It was another nine- or ten-kilometre ascent before we would cross the Continental Divide and find ourselves in Banff National Park. The Continental Divide is the dividing line that separates the Pacific watershed from the Atlantic watershed. Michel left before Fabienne was able to give him that information. It was probably for the best.

Michel stopped in the village of Lake Louise on Highway 1 at 4:15 in the afternoon, tired but happy to have racked up another 88 km.

Michel had planned to take that day off, but decided to take just a half-day to rest. He took advantage of it to go and visit Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, along with his road companions, Jean-Léon and Fabienne. After this short excursion, he took to the road again, headed for Banff, and put on another 55 km that day. He planned to take another half-day’s rest the next day.