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Jasper in June: A Motorcycle Retreat

posted Jul 4, 2010, 12:43 PM by Serena Beck   [ updated Jul 5, 2010, 2:47 PM by Colin Beck ]

From June 10-13th, 2010, Colin and I headed out on his motorcycle to reconnect ourselves to the Canadian Rockies. We saw many mountains on our RTW trip last year, but sometimes it's nice to play in your own backyard too. 

On Day 1 we left Edmonton and headed to Jasper. It was cloudy and about 20 minutes into our highway ride it felt like little rocks were striking my legs (sometime tiny rocks do hit us), but it was rain. We stopped to put the protective covers on the bags before it started to pour. We both stayed dry with our multiple layers of pants. I had my lulu capris, jeans, and then rain pants over top. Colin had his jeans and his waterproof biker pants over top. It was a bit of a chilly ride, but it was all worth it to breathe the crisp Jasper air. We stayed at the Hayward House for only $60.00 for one night. Our host Ann told us that it was -2 on the parkway that morning, but it was sunny and warm when we arrived. We had dinner at the Downstream Bar and Grill. It was a trendy little pub that had a great atmosphere for relaxing (we sat in the couch seats) or drinking into the late hours of the night. We grabbed a geocache in town and then retired for the night.

Hayward House deck

After a restful sleep in the cute character house on Patricia Street in Jasper, we headed for our long journey to Revelstoke. On our way out of Jasper and Alberta we saw a brown bear and a black bear. The tourists were lined up as a smorgsboard at the side of the road for the bears. The bears come down from the mountains to find food at the side of the road and many tourists were out of their cars walking towards the baby bears for pictures. Idiots. We only stopped once for a picture (since we didn't have much metal protecting us) and it was when the bear was really far away.

It was a fun, warm and long day of riding. We made lots of stops for snacks and geocaches and found a cute little Swiss bakery in Valemont to grab a strudel. 

We drove through the Shuswaps and wished that we had time to swim in the Lake. We will definitely have to go for another motorcycle trip to the Shuswaps sometime. We arrived late at our couchsurfer's house. We visited for a little while and then crashed.

Lake Agnes tea house

Day 3 was all about the hike for us and the main purpose of our trip. We went to Lake Louise and hiked to the Lake Agnes tea house. We spent $50.00 on sandwiches, dessert and tea. It was pricey because everything including all the waste has to be walked down the mountain or brought in/out by helicopter. We felt rather out of shape during the up hill hike, especially when a couple that were each carrying a kid on their backs passed us. It took us 70 minutes to hike up and 45 minutes to hike back down to Lake Louise.

I highly recommend going on the 3.5 km hike (one way). There is also a beautiful water fall at the top of the mountain. On our way to Lake Louise, we stopped at one of my favourite types of waterfalls - the mini waterfall at the side of the highway that trickles down the mountain from melting snow and slips under the highway. We also filled up my water bottle and drank the water on the way up the mountain, which may have been the cause of our quick trip back down the mountain for an emergency bathroom visit. 

We stayed at the Lake Louise hostel and it was one of the nicest hostels we have stayed in. There were many families staying there and Colin even chatted with a few people about his bike. It was a bit pricey, but we paid extra for a private room. There is a restaurant in the hostel that serves comforting home cooked food at an affordable price and there are endless activities - fuse ball, fire place, board games etc.

Day 4 was a really long ride back to Edmonton but we had to do it in one day because I was leaving for Boston for a work trip the next day. We stopped lots due to our sore muscles from the hike. I felt like a fidgety 5 -year-old on the back of Colin's bike. It was also so hot that I managed to burn my cheek through my helmet even though I was wearing sun block. 

I think bikers sometimes receive special treatment and this occurred on our way home when we had to pay for our park pass again. On the way in we paid almost $20.00 and on the way out we received 2 for 1 admission and only paid $10.00. Sweet deal. Sometimes it pays to be on the bike.

So beautiful it almost looks photo shopped but it's not
We ate a bit more extravagantly then we normally would while travelling which increased the cost of our 4 day and 3 night trip. Here is the break down of our costs:

A few other random photos from our trip:

Duck I bought in Jasper in the side of the road waterfall

The lovely sights of Jasper

Coffee break

Nice view from the gas station

Home cooked meal at the Lake Louise Hostel

Squirrel at the tea house

Water and snow

Lake Louise

Mountains and motorcycles oh my

I encourage you to check out the very cool route that I mapped out with pics from the trip and a google map integrated in (mainly cause it took some work to create this, so check it out!)

And if you'd like to see all 279 pics from the trip, they can be seen here: