Day 10 Albert Canyon to Golden
3 Jul 2006
|DAY 10 ALBERT CANYON TO GOLDEN (AKA ROGERS PASS)
DISTANCE TRAVELLED 116km RUNNING TIME 5 hrs 45 mins
AVERAGE SPEED 20.3 km/hr DISTANCE PLANNED 115 TOTAL TIME 8 hrs
Another wonderful hot sunny day - high of 32 deg- a little cooler at the summit.
The last 9 days of cycling was all in preparation for today - a long 35km climb (mostly climbing , but some downs also) to the summit of Rogers Pass - 1350M , a quick descent (20km and speeds of 60kph) followed by two very long hills, both longer & steeper than the climb to the summit.
We entered Glacier National Park shortly after leaving the Hot Springs - spectacular views of the mountains...
With all the hills I have developed a simple classification system: the Good
, the Bad
& the Ugly
The top of the summit is busy with tourists - lots of busses ( mostly German & Japanese) . Interesting interpretive center. This is the only commercial outlet on the route today & we refill all our water bottles ( I carry three - a few of the group have camelbacks - 2 litre waterways on their backs - but I do not like the extra weight & tightness on my back) .
At strategic points along the highway there are "gun " placements -
concrete pads with are orientated towards a regular avalanche area. This is where this pad is pointed.
These are used to site artillery guns that are used throughout the winter to shoot artillery shells into the heavily compiled snow to pre-empt untimely avalanches.
Today is the day of the snow tunnels -
- these are to protect the roads from snow avalanches in the winter - these tunnels were ok - good bike shoulder and they had light vents on the side. Passed through 8 tunnels - across the valley we can see several of the same tunnels for the railway tracks.
There is a fair amount of road construction - although today being the holiday Monday - no work in progress- a lot of paving has been completed so it is nice new bike lanes for us. Had first miss-q today - in one of the construction zones , the paved shoulder ended abruptly, we had slowed to a few kph, and were changing paths , I was too close to the rider in front of me and a bumped his real pannier and tumbled into the roughed up pavement - a few scratches and bruises but the bike is ok!!
Apparently some of the riders saw a bear today - a big black bear crossed the road about 50 feet behind us after we had gone by - we did not see it - if it was after us it obviously did not catch us..
After coming down from Rogers Pass we had another landscape change as we entered the Columbia River Valley - very wide valley ( 1 km+) with high mountains on either side - fairly flat and the Columbia River down the center - fairly smooth flowing compared to what we have experienced over the last several days. (see pics) .
Just as we were entering Golden we experienced our first rain . We stopped at a gas station for a cold drink - stayed there for 30 minutes and the thunder storm had passed - lots of rain as the water was flowing heavily down the road curbs. By the time we got to the campsite 20 minutes later the ground was essentially dry.. We stayed at the municipal campsite in Golden - Golden as mall town of about 3000 - it is a railway line maintenance center - also a hub for water rafting - 9 companies in the town catering largely to Banff and Lake Louise tourists.
One casualty today riding in the truck - Merv with broken spokes and a misaligned wheel. Stu is hurting badly with leg cramps & headed for the medical clinic - some good drugs later he should be ok for the Wednesday ride.
Tomorrow being a day of rest we headed for the pub and some cold refreshments.
pics to follow