Thursday, July 8th - Day 5 - "Iron Butts"

Revelstoke Travel Blog

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Right away I just want to thank Birdrunner of for suggesting I skip Calgary, and go directly from Edmonton to Jasper.. As stated in the previous blog, it was a great idea. As well, Birdrunner and Gary of said I HAD to see highway 93 "Icefield Parkway" to Banff, and that was gorgeous.

And today's jaunt to Revelstoke, was ALSO by Birdrunner. Tomorrow's legs are also his suggestion and I can't wait to see what's in store!

It's incredible how an invisible line on a map marking a provincial border can have so much influence in the climate, geography, and terrain. Practically as soon as I passed the sign saying "Welcome to Beautiful British Columbia", the temperature jumped from 21 to 33.. Oh man, those guys that warned me about crossing the desert this summer down in the southern states were right to offer the warning. Even travelling fast, the wind going through my vents and in my collar was like that in an unconditioned '89 Ford Taurus, lol! Ah well, still a lovely ride. Hitting the few tunnels along the way was nice as well. A few spots along the way allowed for a bit of leaning, which was lovely (and since I thinned out the gear and dropped the backpack in Edmonton, the handling feels so much better. Who cares if I wear the same clothes every day for 3 months and smell like an A&W Grandpa Burger with extra onions?

The best part though was where the road splits through this massive rock, that was blasted and drilled through into two vertical spires that sit on either side of the road. It looks ridiculous but awesome at the same time. I wanted to take a picture but the road was sloped down and curving so it was just too nice a ride to pull over and stop.

Had an AMAZING medium-rare steak at a placed called 112 in the Regent Hotel in downtown Revelstoke tonight. Topped with minced shrimp and Alaskan King Crab with a -something starting with a 'B'- sauce.. outstanding.

Last night stayed at the Samesun in Banff which was an awesome idea. Backpackers are great people. Actually a lot of the people there were travelling by cars lol. But anyway, met some Royal Marines from UK who were on leave from CFB Suffield in Alberta. They're doing a predeployment ex before going to Hellman in Afghanistan. Great dudes, great stories, great times. I wish them the best and a safe tour and rewarding.

I also hit up the Fairmont Springs Hotel... the massive castle chateau. Some one in Jasper had said "The Chocolate Cheesecake is to die for!!"... so I HAD to go. The dude at the hostel front desk was in awe that I would go there just for dessert commenting on how expensive it would be and how he'd never afford it. I really dislike this attitude in hostels, the one where the staff assume everyone is on a severe budget and should only drink in the hostel pub and eat in the hostel kitchen, etcetera etcetera. Case in point, I get to the fairmont and it turns out it's $10 all you can eat dessert buffet for 3 hours. He was shocked the next morning when I told him that. He'd never even attempted to find out what was up their for his backpacking guests because he just assumed it was too much or that they couldn't afford it. Now he knows where he can take a date for a nice late evening chat.

I loved watching old people with 'old money' gorging themselves on all these desserts though, lol! Reminded me of the Incredibad song "BOOMBOX"

As well, I went to the Rimrock Hot Springs... $7.48 with tax to lounge around in a natural sulfur spring hot spring pool. Incredible evening for under $20. Can't beat that. I also told him that he was young and in a few more years with some hard work and maybe a touch of luck, he'd feel less limited. I hope I've helped broaden his perspective.

Now to explain today's title, lol! For those non-riders following along, touring can wear on the body, and those that can ride forever are said to have iron-butts.. and there are even tours and competitions and friendly rides called the same. Myself, I don't have an iron-butt.. or steel spine.. or even something that cleverly works well with the word 'knees'... all of these parts are hurting, and it seems after 200 km, the pain begins to become a distracting factor. I'm pretty sure the body will get used to it, but with some of the injuries I've sustained in life due to pretty intensive workouts and a short military career, it's possible i'll just have to suck it up for the remainder of time. So I won't mention it again, hehe.
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photo by: dardeb