Friday, July 25, 2008

Biking in Jasper

After a great hot (most of our breakfasts have been continental, so today's was a wondrous treat...) breakfast, be set out to bike along one of the many biking trails in Jasper. Jasper is very bike-friendly, unlike some other towns we've been in. There are bike paths everywhere and bike stands. People are very respectful of bikers and gave us lots of room on the roads. Still, we chose to mountain bike thinking the path would be an easy trail through the woods. It was straight up! Much of the time I spent pushing the bike up the hill! Gates and Robert had more success riding their bikes. We kept ringing our bike bells because the presence of bears is very much a reality. The trick is not to surprise the bears. So we kept ringing and shouting as we biked and pushed. When we got to the top - it was amazing. The views were awesome. We were staring directly at about an 11,000 foot mountain. Fortunately the next leg of this bike-a-thon was downhill. We sped downwards and then chose to bike along the road to Patricia Lake were we had a picnic lunch. We felt safe eating there by the water because it was a picnic spot. But eating around bears is very dangerous. We've been told that you must keep food far away from you. If you're camping, you must never sleep in clothes you eat in because they can smell the food. It's a whole other way of thinking, that's for sure.

Speaking of bears, we actually bought bear spray! Maybe this was a ECF thing to do (East Coast Fools...), but the Parks Canada people in Banff recommended it and consequently it didn't seem like it was silly. They suggested each person have bear spray. We just bought one can. It looks like a giant can of mace. It also had a giant price - $35.00! On the other hand, that's a small price to pay for your life...

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