Friday, August 21: 1.6 miles / 10 ft. elevation gain / Cumulative gain 13,380

The rain that started yesterday came and went all night long. At our 8 AM tour meeting, we were told that the ride was a “go” and we should be ready to leave at 9. It wasn’t raining at the moment although the temperature was 49 F and the forecast foretold a day of rain and dropping temperatures.

Dutifully we packed up including all our rain gear in the pannier. We weren’t going to be caught by that again. We got to the bike and started loading it up. It started raining. We emptied the pannier and piled on the clothes. We hit the road while a half dozen or more riders were deciding not to venture out.

We got 3/4 of a mile down the road and were starting to soak through when we decided to opt out. We turned around, found our dry shoes and got the tandem in the trailer. More people did the same. We were told we’d hit the road at 10:30 to pick up any other riders on our way to Lake Louise.

We did some shopping, got a treat and a chai, then returned. There must have been half our group taking the vans. The rain was pouring. On the way up we gathered another 6-8 riders. We plucked one 71 year old rider who had gutted out the day before, who was so cold she couldn’t shift anymore. She was stuck in one gear going up the hills. It was absolutely miserable out there.IMG_20150821_115430

Obviously our rooms weren’t ready when we got in around noon, but the hotel was set up as a comfort lodge. We changed clothes and sat in the fireplace room in overstuffed chairs and read. Free wifi meant we could catch up on some goings on. And we read. And I napped. And it rained. It snowed on top of Mount Fairview just outside our window.IMG_20150821_182032

It was great to have a total day off. We needed it. Sheila talked to the chef of the hotel who agreed to make us huge dinner salads like we make at home. They were beautiful and exquisitely prepared. We were in seventh heaven as we crunched our way through that fabulous meal.

Tomorrow we get on the Icefields Parkway. We’ll try to go without expecting anything. Maybe that will make the day’s riding seem more pleasant.

Day 4 - Highwood Pass / Banff
Day 6 - Glaciers and Lakes