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Old 28 Jan 2005
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Go West, young woman

A student friend of my daughter's is hoping to go to Canada to do part of her degree course, she's not here just now but I think she said she'll be somewhere in Manitoba.

As she's going to be there for a year I suggested to her that during one of her college vacations she gets on a bus and goes to Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise and up the Icefields Parkway to Jasper. (And, no, sorry, she's not a biker.) I've been there a couple of times in February-it was beautiful-and my sister has been there in high Summer during which time she says it was also beautiful though obviously in a completely different way; sun and snow/sun and greens.

Have I told her right? The thing is I haven't been to Manitoba and Saskatchewan but am completely enthralled by BC and Alberta so I'm definitely biased in the matter. I wonder if perhaps some HUBB members in the area (and there seems to be quite few in BC) have any other suggestions, and when would you say would be the best time of the year to go? Oh, and would you say to go back the same way, or via Edmonton: Jasper to Hinton wasn't much cop, but, then, to me, nothing is much cop after the Icefields Parkway. Though Fraser Canyon I liked. And the road to Whistler. And Victoria Island. Maligne Lake. Bow Lake. Peyto Lake. Sleigh rides at night along the shores of Lake Louise. Aargh! I want to go back!

Thanks

John
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Old 28 Jan 2005
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Why not go by bicycle? Of course not in February, but in summer.

Great landscape and lots of space for cyclists, less traffic and more easy going than here in Europe. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip from Vancouver, Fraser canyon, Jasper, Banff and out to Calgary. Never mind the bears. They aren't used to cyclists and prefer the quick retreat. By the way, we weren't the only cyclists, Canadians love this area as well.
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Old 28 Jan 2005
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Hi Vaufi

Funny you should suggest going by bicycle, I've been thinking of that myself, though I don't think it's going to happen.

I read that it was a great ride (without being too strenuous) in the 'Handbook of the Canadian Rockies'- I don't know if you've read that but it could well be of interest to you since you seem to be keen on the area. It's my sister's book, but if you're interested I could easily find out more details about it. It's mainly concerned with flora and fauna but there's a lot about the geology. Let me know and I'll find out the author, publisher etc.- it really is good.

If I remember all the climbs are very gradual- no steep hills whatsoever, but some are long, the climb/descent at Big Bend seems to stand out in my memory. Then, again, I was in a Ford Explorer at the time and was hardly viewing the road through a biker's eyes.

Tell me, was the altitude anything of a problem? If I remember, both Jasper and Banff are at around four thousand feet (though with a difference of a few hundred feet), and I've never ridden a bike at anything like that height. Dammit, Snowdon, Wales's highest mountain, is only 3560 feet after all.

Did you stop off at the Rogers Pass Visitors Centre? The Canadian Pacific Railway- now there's a name- battled its way through in 1885 and the road as the Trans Canada Highway was only completed as recently as 1962.

Thanks for that, Vaufi.

John.

[This message has been edited by John Roberts (edited 28 January 2005).]
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