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Wapiti Lake to Fernie

Written on: Friday August 1st, 2008

A journal entry from: Fishes and Bicycles

82km, our longest day yet. We spent six hours in the saddle, mostly on rutted, hilly logging roads. Certainly the rail trail is done, and our legs can feel the steeper gradients. But, the downhills are fun, and the trailers handle descents on washboard gravel roads well. We rode out of the trench, away from Lake Koocanusca (the Kootenay River) and the town of Baynes Lake up into the heart of the Rockies. Every adjective I can think of to describe the approaching west-slope of the Rockies (grandiose, awe-inspiring, etc.) sounds cheesy. From Elko, we climbed into the sub-alpine and dropped back to the Elk River Valley several times, new peaks appearing with every turn. Dark rain clouds seemed to follow us the entire way, overtaking blue skies ahead. Each rest break, it seemed the front caught us and strong, cold winds started to blow. The threat of heavy weather followed us all day, but at most it was a pleasant tail wind. Finally, we reached Fernie. We were surrounded by mountains. The sun came out, and we were rewarded with fresh vegetables and beer. It's a fun town! Our legs are tired, and there is world class fly-fishing. We took a rest day and stayed at the funky Raging Elk Hostel. The trip is almost over (too soon it seems), but the best is yet to come I think. From here, 60km of highway and then 150km of back country logging road over Elk Pass and into Kananaskis.

-A