Day 9 | July 6 | Valemount to Jasper | 137 km

I take my time getting out of camp this morning and am one of the last to leave. In terms of distance, it’s a slightly shorter day than yesterday but with a lot more climbing.

We finally get to leave Highway 5 an hour into the ride, switching to Highway 16 eastbound. It’s becoming another beautiful day with blue skies and sunny temps.

I make an impromptu stop at Rearguard Falls when I see this sign. I can hear the rushing water from the road so I figure it can’t be a long walk. It’s a worthwhile visit if you’re ever in the area. Just don’t wear bike shoes if you can help it.

As I continue along Highway 16, Mount Robson comes into view, and it stays in the distance for what seems like quite a while before I get there.

One by one, we pull into the Mount Robson cafe and enjoy an early lunch. There is no where else to stop for the day (unless it’s on the side of the road) and we still have 90 km left. I’m sure those will be some very scenic stretches, but also very challenging as we get into a higher altitude and a warmer day.

Frankly, I’m still tired from yesterday’s ride, so I’m going to have to chip away at this distance one piece at a time. We’re lucky to have clear skies today. The views are spectacular.

I’m starting to feel really worn out after 90 km with 47 km left to go. My skin is baking under the hot sun. The hills are long and the wind keeps changing direction, from headwind to tailwind to crosswind and back again.

Then I see one particular sign that brings a big smile to my face, and gives me a renewed energy to continue.

Whistlers Campground is big and complicated. I arrive feeling so depleted that I don’t have the energy or the patience to ride around in circles looking for our truck, and I’m already wishing we were closer to town. In any case, we’re all here now so we’ll have to make do among the elk.

This evening we’re celebrating making it through one more segment of the trip. Tomorrow is a rest day here in Jasper and I’m looking forward to wandering about and seeing the sights.

I also have to do something about this silly tan.

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