Finally on the road and headed north in the SUV.
We met with Phil earlier this week and he brought over his bike and almost all his gear, holding back just enough to fly with. Jack will fly from Atlanta with his boxed bicycle and gear to Calgary. Phil will fly from Chicago to Phoenix to Calgary as well. From there we’ll all meet up in Edson Alberta, not far from our start point in Jasper.
Linda and I took our sweet time, taking six full days of driving and golfing to get there. Non-stop drive the first day to Provo Utah. We made the first-but-not-the-last observation that northern Utah is a little bit creepy. Too starchy, you know, appropriate to nearly a sickish level.
Day 2 to Butte Montana. Dined at Sparky’s, then caught some of the festivities at the annual Evel Knievel Days celebration. Check out this car jump as the show-ender that night:
On day 3 we played played golf at Old Works Golf Course, then continued the drive north. I was texting with Jack and Phil during the drive, and at one point was kidding around about losing Phils’ bike off the back, further kidding that we’d at least found all the pieces except the seat. Yeah yeah ha ha.
But still driving an hour later, I started thinking, where ARE the bike seats? I could not recall where I’d placed them. Instead of disassembling the SUV cargo bay, I instead called Johnny to peek into our garage at home. Sure enough, both Phil’s and my seats sat there on the sofa. Shit!
My first instinct was to FedEx them up here to Edson. My second instinct was to buy 2 new seats and seatposts in Jasper where there are bike shops. Linda’s instinct was the best, though. We could ask Phil to swing by our house on his way to the airport to grab the seats, then check them with his baggage. A couple calls later and it was all set up. Whew. Ass crisis averted. Can’t believe they went unpacked!
We crossed into Canada and logistics forced us to take a small portion of our cycling route. Some huge hills right at the border were not lost on me. Stayed in Pincher Creek, Alberta. Day 4 we played a round of golf at Waterton Lakes. The beautiful mountainous surroundings were accented by black bears on at least 5 of the holes. What a kick! On one par 3, Linda hit her ball “bear-high” on the fairway. Goodbye ball – we weren’t about to retrieve that one!
On to Canmore, where Linda and I stayed at a charming B&B (A Bear and Bison Canadian Country Inn) for 2 nights and played the Sundre GC and then the Pine Hills GC, both in Alberta. There was lots of smoke in the air, hazing up the long views, but at least the golf is unaffected by it. I’m already wondering how it might affect cycling.
The evening of day 6 we reached Edson Alberta, east of Jasper. The town is plebian but that doesn’t matter – all the motels are booked solid. This is a prime gateway to the national parks.
Jack and Phil showed up a couple hours later, along with Jack’s bike, gear, and yes, the 2 seats. A whole lot of planning and decision-making and scheduling and reserving and ticketing and shipping and fussing has finally brought us all together in the right spot at the right time. I’m certain I speak for everyone to be excited and a little nervous about the tour. Going to be a challenge.