We knew today would start with the huge hill we had been delaying with our two previous short days. After a good breakfast we started off in the rain. Riding uphill right away and with the rain easing we were able to take off our rain pants. It was a long steep climb, but we made it to the top and were congratulated by the construction crew at the top. It was mostly downhill from there to the Icefield Center where we stopped for lunch. Jesse asked at the front desk about the road ahead and was met with incredulous stares – “you don’t know?” We were shown some of the photos of Calgary so we quickly knew our route would have to change.
We went upstairs for lunch in possibly the most overpriced place on the trip – especially given it was still fast food. However being behind in schedule and not having tons of food with us we couldn’t worry too much about this. We ate hungrily while looking out at the glacier.
With the sun out we were able to take in the full scenery of the area. Though the glacier itself didn’t amaze me, the area around it was stunning and exciting to ride through.
A quick downhill took us to a warmer elevation riding along the river. We could see thick clouds ahead and the wind did pickup, slowing us down. We seemed to miss the worst of the storm, seeing the rain on the street. We kept going until Saskatchewan crossing. The rooms here were very expensive but again being a bit stuck we decided to stay. Another overpriced dinner in the ‘grill it yourself’ pub, but at least it was a nicer atmosphere. We started talking to a man there to ask about highway 11 – our new route. When he realized we were on bikes he asked if we were going to Newfoundland. He had heard about us earlier on the construction site at the Sunwapa pass. Jesse talked to one guy there and apparently after we were the talk of the site, being discussed over their radios.
After dinner we got some ice cream and were given a huge serving of ice cream at the lowest price – making up slightly for some of the other high expenses of the day.