We woke up today at 5:30 and hit the road at about 7:30 (just a bit before). We figured we would make the (approximately) 35km to Blue River, then take a long break and then make the 90km journey to Valemount. That way, we would split up the day a bit, and if we made it to Blue River by 9-10am, it would be as if we were on schedule, with a latish start from Blue River (not like we started from Avola). Then stop in Valemount for a bit and visit Tom then decide if we should go to Tete Jaune or not tonight. Turns out the stop in Blue River was necessary! Not long after we started cycling it began to rain. It rained a lot! We were SOAKED. There was a pass to summit just before Blue River, which wasn't so bad, although we were drenched, we were fairly warm. Unfortunately, the downhill was brutal! The cold and wind cut through all our wet clothes! It was not fun! Right when we got into Blue River, we stopped at the first thing we saw (which happened to be a Husky restaurant). We were hoping to dry some of our clothes, but the washrooms didn't have air driers so we just changed into dry clothes (not socks though because our shoes were so drenched (you could hear them squish as we walked), we figured it was pointless to get our dry socks wet). Travis opted to not even wear clipless shoes for the rest of today and changed into his hiking boots. At the restaurant, we all ordered a hot drink and a BIG burger (the biggest one on the menu!). We had a nice, relaxing time where we dried off quite a bit (considering). Then we hit the road for the 90km stretch to Valemount. We thought this would be a really tough ride, but it turns out it wasn't at all! We had a wicked tail wind, which helped a lot! But it was a really good ride, and the rain held off pretty much for the rest of the day (although the temperature did fluctuate). We made really good time and got into Valemount at around 3pm. We called Tom but he wasn't yet off work. We decided to go for a late lunch and had A&W (that's right, the second burger of the day). When we got a call from Tom saying he was home, we headed over (and stopped off at the liquor store to buy him a “thank you” bottle of wine). Tom was very friendly and let us hang out all our gear to dry. Initially we were planning to head up to Tete Jaune Cache for the day (especially since we got into Valemount so early) but Peggy (Warm Showers from Tete Jaune) wasn't in yet, and we didn't know when, or if she would be in tonight, so we figured we would stay with Tom. It was a good decision because we had a really nice evening with him. He told us a bit about his trip, a bit about the area, and gave us some advice for our tour. He also told us about some of the people that have come past on tours (sounds like it would be really interesting to open up your home to Warm Showers!). But we were very well fed, we did our laundry, and had a really good evening! (and yes, Travis and Michael thought it would be a good (or at least funny) idea to have burgers again, for the third time in one day. Although I really didn't want burgers again, I must say that the last burgers of the day were the best tasting!). But we were really grateful for Tom's hospitality, and we really felt that our first Warm Shower experience was definitely a success!
Posted by Nicole