Before entering Smithers we got in touch with Emily to she if she could take us in when got to Smithers. She couldn’t but put us in touch with her friend, Kerrith, who did. In turn, Kerrith put us in touch with her friends Carol and Wayne who would treat us to a night of warmth in Prince George. From Prince George we had planned to dart south down the Caribou Highway to the Sea-to-Sky highway, Whistler and then Vancouver. The ride into Prince George had been dull, pastoral farmland, traffic and uninspiring riding, a theme we expected to continue down into Vancouver. Fortunately our Prince George hosts were able to direct us down the more inspiring but slightly longer path; continuing on the Yellowhead Highway east into the Rocky mountains before coming back west towards Vancouver. We’re now two and a half days down that road from Prince George in a cosy little town called McBride. Over the last couple of days we’ve being mulling over detouring from our detour and have subsequently made the decision to continue east up over the Yellowhead Pass (1131m) in the shadow of Mount Robson (the Canadian Rockies highest point) to Jasper. From Jasper we’ll ride south-east down the legendary Icefields Parkway to Banff. From Banff we’ll take the long ride back to Vancouver. At this time of year it’s slightly risky but we’re both confident in our abilities to cope with whatever climatic obstacles come our way.
When deciding to ride End-to-End in the Americas people will make the choice of either riding the coastal route through Canada and the US or taking the inland route through the Rocky Mountains. Justin and I have decided to be greedy and ride both. We are likely two of the latest starters from Prudhoe Bay so such audacious plans are pretty ambitious considering the turn of the seasons but it is the changing seasons that have been inspiring us. We’ll be getting the National Parks to ourselves (like I did in Denali in May) and be enjoying the joint challenges of difficult topography, short daylight hours and freezing temperatures. How could we possibly pass up such an opportunity!
Justin reckons that we’re the sweepers… it is as if we’re flushing the roads south out, just ensuring that no other cycle tourists have been left floundering along their lengths. I’d be surprised if any other cyclists are following us down and combined with the end of the RV season we are starting to feel more like cycle tourists than just typical End-to-Enders, more like adventurers than vacationers and more free than ever. No longer shackled by thoughts of distance, time and destination we are a duo of free minds and capable bodies. The to top it off, neither of us consider that the tour really starts until we hit Mexico… this is all just a prologue!