August 25: Lucerne to Jasper, Alberta - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

August 25: Lucerne to Jasper, Alberta

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"IT'S A LICENCE to pollute," was how Steph put it. The "it" was the way that Alberta charges as much for cyclists to enter the Icefields Parkway as it does an RV.

"I don't object to paying to visit a park," she grumbled with quite some resentment. "But we have had to pay for an annual season ticket because we're travelling slowly whereas as an RV covering the same distance faster pays just for the day and spreads pollution all the way."

An RV driver pays $25 to drive to Banff, which is just a day when you're sitting there with only a single pedal to push and a huge engine to do the work. We have had to pay $136 because the same journey will take us longer. That's stretching things.

It's not upside down: it's a reflection in a lake.
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Admission to the park is charged, you'll have gathered, not by the vehicle and its space, noise, weight and exhaust but by the person.

"I've always thought that those travelling under their own steam should pay less," the woman at the toll booth said apologetically. "But..." - she shrugged - "I'm powerless to do anything about it."

She charged us for the full year because, ridiculously, a year for two people costs less than a week for one. As Steph said, we don't in the least mind paying. It is the iniquity of the system that galls.

Well, break it down to a daily rate and it doesn't seem so bad. I think it works out at something like seven euros. And, as I reminded Steph, there were times in eastern Montana when we'd have spent much more than that to be taken away from the place. And at seven euros, the scenery is already more than worth the price. What yesterday we thought was beautiful has been surpassed today.

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