Kicking Horse Pass


I did get out and ride in the Park today and I got 25 miles, but overall it was kind of a slow news day.  Today’s weather while being rather warm is also rather dreary.  So rummaging through the archives I found this post’s picture.  It comes from our Great Adventure, our big bicycle trip of 1982.  The date was August 22nd.  We were pretty seasoned travelers by this point, having been on the road for almost five months and having biked over 4,000 miles. 

This day was one of the highpoints of the whole trip.  Some might say it was the highpoint.  On this date we crossed the continental divide from Alberta into British Columbia.  We crossed at Kicking Horse Pass, so named by an early explorer who was once kicked by his horse there.  Anne is pictured returning the favor to her steel pony. 

We started the morning in Lake Louise Campground inside Banff National Park, which is actually much lower then the famous Lake Louise.  We started uphill and even thought it was only 2 km to the lake, we ended up stopping four times to rest.  It was worth the effort though, because the lake was gorgeous.  Anne walked around the lake while I read and guarded the bikes.  Leaving Lake Louise, we actually coasted downhill to the continental divide. 

It is not very crowded at the continental divide and eventually we are left alone.  I take advantage of the moment to send my waters simultaneously towards the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans (or maybe it was the Artic?).  Anne was not amused.  We continue on down to Kicking Horse Pass and stage the photo.  We travel downhill a total of 6.5 km at an average grade of 6.5%.  We occasionally stop on the way down and poured water from our water bottles onto our brakes to cool them. 

On the way down we are passed on the Trans-Can by a car with a trailer.  Well actually we were passed by quite a few cars with trailers.  Shortly after we are passed by this car and trailer, we were passed by the trailer’s wheel that goes careening past us and off into the brush.  The car stops and we spend sometime helping them trying to find their errant wheel, but the light is failing and we all soon abandon the search.  We also pass searchers on horseback that were looking for a young women, who has gone missing.  They were riding two on each side of the highway.  We asked about them at the ranger’s station later.

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