Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Headed South

We did a short ride though the town of Pincher Creek admiring the painted murals and the black smith tongs which the town has put up as the Pincher Creek’s symbol. They have gone a great job of making the town look very well dressed. The town camp site which is called the Veterans Memorial Campground was very well maintained, had great hot showers, and was very reasonably priced. I would definitely recommend it to anyone passing through Pincher Creek.

As we pulled out of Pincher Creek it looked pretty gray and ominous. The clouds were low and a dark shade of almost blue black. However in true cyclist optimism everyone was pleased that we had a slight tail wind. There was lots of laughing and talking as we hurried south each one of us hoping that beyond the next set of hills would be clear sky. However the rain started well before we reached Waterton and we were pulling on the rain suits and grinding away in spattering rain. We reached Waterton and low and behold the rain clouds parted and out came the sun. It was great, we had a marvellous view of the valley before us and of the mountains of Waterton National park. The towering peaks were shrouded in the mist and it was very pretty.

As we pasted the entrance to Waterton and turned towards the US boarder, Juerg had a flat tire and I stopped to help him. We had just gotten the tire off and Frank showed up with his frame pump. It was perfect timing. Although I am not sure I think Juerg is leading with 2 flats.

The road south to the boarder is a steady climb which goes on for what seems like miles. In actuality I think that there were two summits. The one had a view point which had some rest rooms. There were jokes made as to why you would put toilets at the summit. However the rain had restarted by this time and in a much more pressing manner and once again everyone was wearing the rain suits. We had organized the ride so that we would have picnic lunch just before the boarder and sure enough as we turned the last corner there was the motorhome and a wonderful picnic lunch.

So there we are at the boarder. On the US side is a solid wall of the blackest clouds you have ever seen. I am really worried at the temperature has now dipped to just above freezing and riding 50 kms in freezing rain does not sound like a great idea. However the decision is soon made for me as the sky’s open up with the fierce down pour I have ever seen. There is no doubt now we are going to SAG into St Mary’s. The picnic is stashed and a dash is made across the boarder where we loaded the bikes on to the bike racks.

As we cruised down the road there was a self-supported cyclist who had joined us at our picnic lunch about an hour earlier. He was standing soaking wet under tree. Agnes wheeled the motorhome over and we loaded him in hurried off. I am sure he would have gotten hypothermia if Agnes hadn’t rescued him.

Arriving in St Mary’s people were cold wet and out of sorts. So some people took cabins some a rental house and others camped.

“You win some, lose some, and wreck some.” Dale Earnhardt

I guess this fit the wreck category



Don Oaks said...

Sounds your having like fun, Bud.

Tuesday signed all the paperwork for my new place. WooHoo, it's offical. I own a new house.

You ride safe.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you made out in all this rain. It is miserable in Calgary as well. GREY GLOOMY WEATHER! but the good news is the forcast for the next week is good!
Sounds like you are having a great adventure despite the weather. There is nothing like views of the Rockys from a bike.
Glad to see that you are appreciating you support teams!
Stay safe and warm!