We started our trip in Canmore with some light rain early Saturday morning.
It’s a roughly 300m climb out of Canmore and past Ha Ling Peak as you make your way up the first portion of the Spray Lakes Road.
The mountain on the left is Ha Ling Peak.
We spent the day heading towards Kananaskis Lakes down the winding gravel Spray Lakes road.
Oliva’s first of many punctures. Thankfully both Jeff and I managed to avoid any flats on the entire trip.
That night we camped at Kananaskis Lakes.
The next morning we started the very steep climb over Elk Pass towards Elkford.
As we approached the highest point of the pass it began to snow.
Our first Trans Canada Trail marker!
The rest of the trail that day was extremely wet and muddy. We all agreed this was by far the hardest day physically and weather wise.
We did it! Over 10hrs later we rode into Elkford completely exhausted, covered in mud and soaking wet.
Thankfully we had an opportunity to wash off the bikes and sleep in a motel so that we could dry off.
The next morning the weather had improved and we set off clean and dry.
Jeff is 90% powered by questionable pizza.
We began to make our way toward our next camp site which was just outside of Fernie
A quick lunch break at the famous dump truck in Sparwood.
We found a stuffed animal under one of the benches in Sparwood, so we named him Frances and strapped him to the front of Oliva’s bike.
The next morning we ran into one of the riders doing the entire 4400km of the Great Divide Trail as part of the ‘Tour Divide’ race. Her name is Grace and she finished on July 19th!
We stopped that evening at Lake Koocanusa to camp, which also had a small body of water that was a turtle habitat.
You could see the turtle eggs lining the shores of the lake.
After breakfast we headed out towards Cranbrook.
Not our last wild turkey sighting.
As we came into the small town of Wardner, two dogs followed us to a nearby park where we had lunch.
Jeff is the dog whisperer
After a long day we arrived in Cranbook and had a ridiculous feast.
The next morning we made our way towards the base of the Gray Creek Pass, with the first stretch of trail along a beautiful paved bikeway.
We stopped in Kimberly for lunch at the most amazing spot called ‘Nina’s Hillside Garden’.
The pass had not yet been officially opened or plowed yet, so we were expecting some level of snow at the top.
This stretch had the steepest and most sustained climb of the entire trip with an average grade of 6% for 12 km and about 1000m of elevation gain.
We stopped just short of the majority of the elevation change to camp for the night.
This 5am wake up was the coldest morning of the whole trip at just above zero Cesius.
Quick lunch break before the steepest section begins.
We ended up pushing the bikes for some of the worst parts.
Snow! While it was tough pushing the bikes through the snow, thankfully it wasn’t impossible.
We made it to the top!
Glorious 17km decent with a 9% average grade and 1500m elevation loss.
That night we stayed in one of these cool little lodges near Kootenay Lake. There also happened to be some sort of motorcycle gathering going on at the same time.
The next morning we took a short 30 min ferry across the lake and then headed for Nelson.
Tons of great restaurants in Nelson, definitely one of the best lunches we had on the trip.
Turns out there was an absolutely heinous climb out the back of Nelson towards the trail. This picture does not do it justice.
That night we stayed in the very quirky little town of Ymir. The inside of this historic hotel is hard to describe but it was incredible in it’s eclectic craziness. Definitely coming back here!
While the Trans Canada Trail does officially exist on the map, there were definitely times it just ended or disappeared.
Including sections that were just private property and we had to detour.
Very random old train seemingly abandoned on these tracks.
Jeff had an absolutely ridiculous caesar for lunch that day.
Our final day! On the way to Castlegar
The trail between the town of ‘Trail’ and ‘Castlegar’ turned out to be one of the most difficult of the trip. Very narrow single track, bugs, ticks, sand, extremely hot and much longer than expected.
10 days and almost 700km later we arrived in Castlegar!