It's been a little hazy here in Canmore the last few days due to fires burning in BC so this is not a bad shot considering. Somewhere near the Nordic Centre in Canmore.
It is really unfortunate that I had to travel alone this week. I had plenty of opportunities to NOT be alone but it seemed like the race in Calgary fell at a time that didn't work out for other people's vacation schedules and I couldn't afford to make two jaunts away. I could barely afford the one and at the moment I am trying not to think about the gigantic MasterCard bill I am going to get in a month when I know it was already gigantic at the end of last month. I've developed some bad habits in terms of my carpe diem life..... the only way to cope is to just ... not.... look.
So tomorrow starts the ride of the summer: The GOLDEN TRIANGLE. This is apparently an organized ride if you hit it at the right time of the year but I was unable to find any specific information. The ride starts in Banff (although, I believe we are going to start in Canmore) and then we ride to Golden, then to Radium and then back to Banff/Canmore. It will take three days and it will be over 100 km of riding each day...
Yes, Ouch, even I am saying OUCH and, as you all know, I am CRAZY.
And may I add.... on not-a-very-happy-to-ride bike. The Madone will not take panniers not to mention the sacrilege of even thinking of putting panniers on the piece of art that is the Madone, so I rigged up my mountain bike and it is already heavy as hell without all my gear and tomorrow is going to be one massive grind of 150 km. I took it out for a spin in Canmore the other night and climbing hills is going to be painful.
But I thought I would do a quick photographic post in the meantime and let you know what I've been up to for the last week. The Calgary 70.3 race was last Sunday and I had a week to kill out here in Alberta before meeting up with Wayne and Guy, my riding companions of the next three days. Some of that week was spent mooching as much as I could from my kind friends and friends of friends. You already know I spent a little bit of time just outside of Calgary with Maura and her lovely family. I left there on Wednesday and drove out to Drumheller and visited the dinosaurs and a little bit of the true badlands of Alberta.
Nice shadow effect
Then off to Canmore where I wandered the town and tried not to spend money. It wasn't hard. Every time I looked at a price tag on something I liked, it read over $150..... sigh. After the aerobars for the bike, nothing of that expense was going to happen. I puttered around on my bike looking for some steep hills to climb yesterday (very much found... 17% grade as a matter of fact) and then popped over to the rec centre to hit the pool (mostly because I needed a shower and the campground had no showers but, YES, I did swim during this period of time of NO-TRAINING-only FUN).
Today I went for a nice "warm-up" hike to prep myself for my big ride tomorrow.
Yeah right.... some warm up. I tell ya, I've never worked so hard on a warm-up in my life. I climbed a mountain.
I did the Lady Macdonald Hike. I didn't quite hike to the peak, mostly because the hike took longer and was far steeper than I expected. It was a challenge that I hope I don't pay for tomorrow. But I'm glad I did it. Now I can say I've climbed a mountain. The view was gorgeous but the day was overcast and there was a bit of rain when I got to the top. And by top, I mean to the "helipad" which was someone's bright idea to begin building a restaurant or a bar and a helicopter pad on the top of the mountain, and then never finished it. OR... as would not be surprising or unlikely, decided the whole venture would not be cost effective. I chose this trail because there was a designated turn around point at this helipad area or "gazebo." There was not a moment of breathing easy the whole way up -- I was huffing and puffing the whole time. I met and passed probably a dozen people on the trail. I guess I was motoring up there faster than I thought. I ended up being the first to arrive at the top. It took me about 1 hour and 50 minutes to climb up and about 1:20 to come down.
Yes, "I am here" The little metal dot on the right is the start. The was the only signage on the whole trail.
Looking down at Canmore, about half way up.
As the trail got more treacherous, these little dudes saved me from wandering astray as they marked the path when none was clear. Inukshuk.
The "gazebo/helipad" area near the top. I literally thought I would never get there. And then all of a sudden there it was.
The view from the top. After walking through the rain for the last half hour, (questioning if I was going to have to SLIDE back down the mountain to get there), off in the Western distance, there is faint hope of the weather clearing.
A nice view on the trail -- nearer to the top as I was on the way down. I thought this was a cool shot.
Me all rained on and sweaty.