Saturday, September 29, 2007

Icefields Parkway - Mosquito Creek by bike

Thirty years ago, 18-year-old Allan got on his bike 

and rode from Vancouver to Tijuana. Gear was heavier then, so he packed light and divided the trip into two sections. Hiker-biker camp sites cost two dollars and much of the roadway lacked a shoulder.

Today, Allan manages the Mosquito Creek wilderness hostel, and tells visitors his specialty is "germ warfare" ~ just to get them talking. When his contract with the hostel ends, Allan is talking about reprising that Vancouver-to-Tijuana trip ~ with his 18-year-old son.

"That's a very cool story," I tell him, "You could write about it for Momentum Magazine" I mistake the look in this eye for bashfulness. "Well, actually, I used to write a column myself," he says.

Back when he lived in Cochrane, Alberta, Allan won a seat on city council and figured the best way to explain local politics to the people was to write about them in the local newspaper.

We talk about hopes, dreams, and politics awhile and I turn to head back to the dorm cabin. It's been snowing all evening and ~ with Mosquito Creek gurgling sluggishly in the background ~ it looks like a Christmas post card out there. Only ~ it's September and we're supposed to be cycling into Lake Louise tomorrow. We've already summited Bow Pass in heavy snowfall and already had to duck into the Num-Ti-Jah lodge for not one but two cups of blood-warming hot chocolate.

I crunch through frozen puddles and clumps of snow and thank heaven that the heaters heaters in these wilderness cabins kick ass. View photos.