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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Rockies Parks Jonas Creek Campground, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, Monday, 29 August 2011 5:29am

I was a little slow this morning because I'm in a new time zone (Mountain). I also got off to a late start because I was waiting for my laptop to charge. I must have bumped the charging cable, so it wasn't charging while I was getting ready in the morning. Since I don't anticipate having power for a day or two, it would be nice to leave with a full charge. I got tired of waiting at 10:45.

The upshot of the delay was that I happened to be at a gas station at the same time as another biker, who asked me where I was going. He lives in Calgary and gave me some tips about which routes to take and which to avoid.

Fifteen minutes later, I was in a National Park. I spent the day stopping at random view points and turnouts for pictures of the scenery and motoring along, mostly on the Icefields Parkway. The mountains are beautiful, as you'd expect for the Rocky Mountain parks, but there are also lots of pretty plants, and the water is amazing. My first turn-out was near Olive Lake, which is an unreal transparent blue-green. A lot of the other rivers and lakes in the park are a weird milky blue because of the sediment.

I hadn't intended to, but on this trip I've visited the most important points on the Columbia River. I saw the outlet at the Washington/Oregon border, the largest dam at Grand Coulee, and I've now seen the Columbia Icefield, the ultimate source of the river.

I'm camping at a small, half-empty campground about an hour south of the town of Jasper. I'm going to experiment with not having a campfire tonight so that I get to bed early. I'm not sure about the wisdom of this—this is probably the furthest north I'll camp on this trip and it's getting chilly even though the light hasn't yet faded (nominal sunset was about half an hour ago, but the mountains meant that there was no direct sun an hour ago).

A camping first: I've finished a fuel canister with my little camp stove. This is particularly significant because I bought this canister in London and took it with me to Mongolia. (I have another with me, so I can still cook breakfast.)

185mi in 7:15

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