My fingers are slowly unthawing as the cold, wet grasp of the Northern Rocky Mountain Range loosen their grip. It doesn't hurt that i'm in the Pocahontas lounge sipping on a rye and coke. My comfort food, of sorts. A wooden, rustic, cabin-style hotel a la Paul Bunyan, with a heated pool off to the side. I have been on the road since 8:03 this morning, sent off with a wonderful group of friends, who, led by Bonnie, counted backwards from 10 after my prodding. Marcel chaperoned me with his bike, amicably named Pumkin, until somewhere around the bridge, where I lost him.
Sea to Sky Motorsports in Langley were open early at 830, or at least they were nice enough to let me in. They are the only store i know of that sells the type of riding glasses i like; they have 3 interchangeable lenses of black, yellow, and clear so handy for all types of weather.
So, i bumped into a friendly group of Harley riders, and some extremely curious folks who came up to me because of the globe strapped to the back of my bike.
"Are you moving?" was the most common deduction. I hated to admit the truth, as it was so less exciting: my mom asked me to bring it back to her, so I said I would. I've had the most problems with that damn thing, wrapping it in plastic twice only to have the pins denoting the cities I've been to, rip right through the plastic.
Smelling the fresh, clean air today forced me to whoop it up on a couple occasions.
The scariest story I've heard yet was about bandidos in Mexico that string wire across the road to catch unsuspecting victims. Dangerous.
My toes had better warm up soon, though I don`t look forward to putting those cold, wet boots back on. Local Alberta time is 10:19 pm. i just asked the waiter if the cost to stay here was around $200 a night. He said only $179. So it`s off to Hinton, so I gotta make another 25 minutes. He also shared that their hotel is only one of 3 that have an outdoor pool in Jasper. Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is included in that prestigious list, which boasted Lance Armstrong as a guest this week. At $700 a night. I`m sure he`s thinking those performance enhancing drugs were worth it. Ooohhh! To close, I have been in a zone for much of the last 13 1/2 hours, and, again according to my new tour guide, a 3 1/2 hour drive to edmonton going "a buck twenty". My jaw is quite sore from clenching for the last 8 hours without knowing it. Feeling coming back into my legs and hands are pretty much back to normal. I am pleased to have passed the mountains, and think I relate a bit to the Fellowship of the Ring group after passing through their own snowy clime. This is only day 1. The words of my friend Dave rang through my ears a few times as I hurried to get to the next town: "take your time and enjoy the journey". All I need to do is get to Barb & Ernie's restaurant in Edmonton for 10 am.