We've arrived in Banff, Alberta. As you can CLEARLY see from the pictures, Banff is one hideous place. Haha.
We got into town around 7:30 last night after a pretty terrible day of driving. We woke up in Bilings, MT to frost, rain, and snow. Our drive looked a bit like this... for several hours... about 10 of the hours in fact... Snow. In June. After a previous baaaaaaad experience in Great Falls, MT, I already have a genuine hatred for the state and its snow. However, being a more mature person now, I thought I'd give it another chance. Here was the view out the window in oh so lovely Great Falls: Mmmmm, still don't like Montana.
Then we sat at the US/Canada border for about an hour and a half: The man at the border seemed a bit skeptical of our car full of bikes, and he took a good, long look at Dave Nice. Eventually though, he let us through. Canada was snowless luckily but rainy and floody the whole way up through Calgary. Here in Banff, the low clouds added a mystery and postcard-esque quality to the scenery.
We quickly checked into our little rent-a-apartment which is complete with kitchen and everything. Given a slightly different situation in our lives, Chris and I both agreed that we would move into a bitty one bedroom apartment like this with the dog and live happily as bums for a while. We decided that we could winter in Moab and summer in Banff until a baby popped up and then settle down in a house back in Colorado. A dream world of course, but if this was three years ago, before the purchase of our house, and we would have to do it. It's that wonderful here.
Of course, in quick order, Chris headed out for a ride on the BattleCog.
After his ride, we ate at this delicious brewery-type restraunt and I had the greatest French Dip sandwich EVER. We ate dinner at about 10 pm. It was still fairly light out. Having never been this far north, I was surprised and shocked. With this, I could be convinced to become a night person.
Today we had a nice breakfast with Brendan and Mary and one of their friends (Mary is riding this crazy thing while Brendan pulls driving duty like myself). Chris is now out for another ride and looking ready for battle.
The weather in Montana throws a bit of a curve into potential race plans, but it is yet to be decided quite how. Meanwhile, the Tour Divide riders are gearing up to leave in the morning. I look forward to meeting the rest of them and possibly doing some hot springs relaxation in the next few hours. I am currently using the internet at our apartment's mother-hotel and soon I will head to the grocery store to stock up on lunch items so we don't go broke eating out all the time.
I do wish I had a bike with me to cruise along some of the trails. It is currently a lovely 63 degrees with a view of snow-capped peaks and fresh Canadian mountain air. I could get used to this... 'eh... hoser.