I cycled 60km up from Banff today, along the Bow Valley Parkway, Highway 1A, which runs parallel to the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) but is a really quiet road – about one car every five minutes. It was quite easy going – not very hilly and I was sheltered from the wind.
At one point I was cycling along and noticed several cars up ahead had stopped. I slowed down, guessing they must have seen some kind of wildlife. I thought for a moment there was a bear standing upright by one of the cars, trying to get in, but then, seeing there were other people by the car realized it must be a person wearing a dark coat. (Good thing I’m not a hunter.) I then saw what they were all looking at. Two elk up on a slight hill a short way from the road. By this time I had stopped and was getting my camera out when one of the elks spotted me and ran off into the woods, and then the other one followed.
Yesterday in Banff I saw a deer, grazing on some grass right next to a house. On the porch of the next house a guy was smoking a cigarette but he didn’t appear to have seen the deer. I stood still. The deer seemed to look at me then went back to eating the lawn. A man and a young girl walked by on the path. The man spotted the deer just as they were passing it and pointed it out to the girl. She went up to it, but it backed away behind a tree, though didn’t run off. The girl stood there, very close to it as it went back to eating grass.
I’m travelling very slowly now, doing one day cycling followed by a rest day. Not because I’m tired, but I don’t want to race through these places. I’ll spend tomorrow here in the hostel in Lake Louise and then the following day, if the weather seems okay, I’ll head off.
Forecast for Golden, British Columbia (destination)
Forecast for Lake Louise, Alberta (start point)