Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Icefields Parkway - Beauty Creek by bicycle

Riding towards Beauty Creek hostel in Jasper National Park,

 the mountains experience a personality shift. Their slanted layers and folded corners drop away and the range becomes a pure line of pointy, sharp triangles.

With them, the weather shifts ~ first sun, then rain, then sun again to dry our jackets while we chew on surprisingly good burgers at Sunwapta Falls Resort's cafe. Our road levels and flirts with the Athabasca River, dancing with its riverbanks in a sensual afternoon tango.

We roll into the Beauty Creek hostel and settle in nicely. Laura offers us chocolate chip cookies, juice boxes, and chocolates left behind by a cadet group. We heat up kettles of water and carefully balance basins and bars of soap to our dorm for an old-fashioned sponge wash.

Like the other hostels along the Icefields Parkway, Beauty Creek is rated a "wilderness hostel" ~ there is no electricity and no running water. None of this is an issue to a car traveller, but we've been on bicycles now for two days and warm water ~ no mater how you get it ~ is a necessary luxury.

After about 55km of mountain pedalling we figure $23 is a reasonable price to pay for a warm cabin, fresh linens, a cozy kitchen and all the chocolate chips cookies we can eat. View photos.