Valemount to Jasper
A Google search for breakfast spots identified a wonderful Swiss Bakery the other side of the railway tracks, by the Valemount Via Rail Station. Run by a Swiss woman and her professional baker husband, it offers full European (Swiss) breakfasts, sandwiches and a tantalizing selection of pastries, cakes and cookies, as well as good espresso. Breakfast began with a huge stack of thickly-sliced fresh bread, butter, homemade raspberry jam and a plate of Swiss cheese. This was followed with another plate of freshly-baked whole wheat bread to accompany eggs scrambled with tomatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms. Almost too full to move, we pedalled off with a packed lunch of thick Swiss cheese and veggie sandwiches and a couple of pastries, including a mini Stollen!
After 20 kilometres, we joined the Yellowhead (Highway 16) (the wide shoulders do continue!) as well as the Fraser. We stopped at the memorial, which points to Mount Terry Fox, where we also had a splendid view of Mt. Robson. Just after entering Mount Robson Park, we began a steep climb for a few kilometres. At the summit, a road maintenance crew had stopped traffic in both directions to repair the shoulder, which was slipping down the mountain. We were allowed to cycle past both lines of traffic, which on the opposing side was a kilometre long.
It was quite blissful cycling down the open highway, free of traffic for a short time. We finished up the stollen beside Moose Lake. The sun was out and the cycling was good until we entered Alberta and Jasper National Park, where we soon got caught in a torrential thunderstorm, with the winds against us. We finally arrived in Jasper at 9:00 pm local time, weary, wet and cold. But tomorrow is a day off. Lois’ sister and brother-in-law are driving from Prince George to meet up with us – bonus! We have now crossed one province , 9 more to go (sorry Territories – Nunavut you know we love you!).
Wildlife sightings surprisingly sparse, only 3 elk.
We are now on the traditional territory of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. In 1907, Aboriginal Peoples in the Jasper area were evicted to create the national park.