Day 17: Purden Lake to McBride

Distance; 160 km (bähm!)

Elevation: 1,300 m

Date: August 18, 2022

I got up at 5:30 AM. My food was still roped up in the tree. After the usual breakfast I was on the road by 7:30 AM.

When I left the park I saw two moose, a mother and her little one, just coming out of the forest.what a great moment. I was never never able to see moose in Sweden in here I finally see them!

It was still cold and foggy when the sun was slowly coming up. I continued the Yellowhead highway in the direction of Jasper and I knew that this would be a long day.

According to my information, there was nothing in terms of infrastructure on the following 160 km, no villages, no gas station, no cell reception.and this was indeed the case.

It is interesting, how important cell reception has become for me over the years that cell phones exist . I only feel really alone, when I cannot reach anybody via my phone.

The landscape was stunning and the weather was great. The sky was blue and the temperature quickly rose to 30°.

Around lunchtime I entered the area of the ancient forest. This is a cold rainforest and it is the only one that is over 800 km away from any coast.The special geography of the coastal mountains, the interior plateau, and the Rockies creates a micro climate where there is a lot of rain in this particular area so that this forest could develop over thousands of years.

At a rest site I met an American guy from Arkansas. He had retired after having worked in the same company for 39 years, got himself a huge camper and a “fifth wheel” (he was pulling a Jeep Wrangler behind him) and is now touring the world.

He had a girlfriend back home but since she did not want to get vaccinated she was unable to leave the country so he was doing his tours alone.

He had just come back from a huge tour through Alaska and the Yukon territory and told me everything about it and his future plans and the plans after that plans.

I figured he was a bit of an extrovert that had not had enough contact with humans for a couple of weeks so I found myself a bit in a “download area”.

I quickly excused myself and went over to the break area to eat something while he was getting ready for a hike.

In the afternoon, after 100 km, I came by a provincial park at a lake By that time I was so hot I could not think clearly anymore.

Just minutes before, I had seen my second black bear just across the highway. He was looking at me curiously as if he wanted to come over. I tried to film him but by the time I had everything ready he disappeared into the woods.

So I took the steep downhill to the lake just to find out that there was no fresh water there. Since I was running already out of freshwater, staying there was no option.

So I just took off my shoes and my helmet and took a swim in the lake in my full gear much to the surprise of the other guests there. I did not care and I was sure that it would be dry by the time I would arrive in McBride.

This swim had been really refreshing. However, I was still running out of fresh water. When I continued paddling I stopped by the next river, looked for a spot where the water was flowing really quickly, and filled a bladder with cold refreshing water.

I was pretty optimistic that the water quality was very good and if not I would find out quickly.

The last 40 km to McBride were really tough. A lot of solid climbing and it was very hot on top of that. However, finally I made it and felt so exhausted that it was dreaming of a clean bed, a shower and a nice meal in the restaurant accompanied by a cold beer or two.

So, I stopped by a hotel but they had just given the last room to an older couple. A little unsure what to do next, I went to the gas station, got me something cold to drink and regrouped.

I found a campsite only 2 km away and made that my choice for the night. The hosts were were from the UK and very lovely. I asked him where I could find a cold beer and they just gave two cans to me free of charge.

So far, mosquitoes had not been a thing but here they were. So after setting up my wet tent, showering, and washing my clothes I had dinner in the laundry room simply because it had a nice chair and was free of mosquitoes.

At 9:30 PM I went to bed and fell asleep instantaneously.

One thought on “Day 17: Purden Lake to McBride

  1. 160 km…. wow… that is an impressive ride on a loaded bike and on a hot day! We’re enjoying your blog … keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply