If you go down to the woods today…….

First night out in a tent. I woke at first light (6.30) quickly got moving before the predicted heat. The air was cool and still and I quickly rolled along the west lake shore passing small camping grounds, at five miles a gate prevented vehicles from going further, a deer was blocking my passage – following a Mexican stand off I gave in and squeezed around the side opposite. After ten miles of good track and views I arrived at the dam a section of trail noted in the guide as requiring a little more consideration both in terms of navigation and potential animal encounters. I entered the forest and frequently glanced at my gps, although the distance was not great ( 5 miles at most) the time taken to traverse this section felt longer than expected. I encountered my first cyclists coming towards me, they had been touring BC and we’re heading along the divide trail towards Banff. They mentioned that another divide rider was in front of me by half an hour which perked me up they also mentioned risk of forrest fires. After passing a number hikers I arrived at Shark trail head and decided that it was best to take a break as temperatures were rising. I chatted with a family who has hiked for several days in the mountains and was suitably impressed by their efforts, they negotiated a lift back to Canmore and I was left for a while. After an hour I thought that as I had the best part of 20 miles to Boulton Creek I would push on. The next three hours were tough, I was back on the Smith Dorrien ‘Endless world of gravel’ and that’s fresh gravel! I eventually arrived at a junction and Tarmac just in time for my gear box to stick again, my previous method to engage the trigger failed, I decided to push the next 3 miles to Boulton Creek where refreshment awaited.

Arrival at this oasis meant chocolate milk and ice cream – well that’s what I thought wanted, my stomach thought differently. I set up camp had a shower and ate. After fiddling with the gear box I deliberated on my next step – go forward with the risk it may keep reoccurring or, get it fixed.

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