Day 29: To Premier Lake Provincial Park - Western Canada 2007 - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2007

Day 29: To Premier Lake Provincial Park

I got up very early and rode in Sherrille's car to the hot spring. We soaked there for 1.5 hours. Only 3 people there, much less crowded than yesterday evening. I got on the road (on the bike) at 10:20, taking a forestry road that makes a loop through the back country to Ram Creek hot spring. At first the road is a smooth "improved" forestry road.

Forestry road from Whiteswan Lake provincial park to Ram Creek hot spring. Still an "improved" gravel road at this point.
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Crossing the river.
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Eventually I took a right turn onto an "unimproved" forestry road. It quickly deteriorated to a rough road paved with big rocks. I went around a "road closed" barricade and soon encountered a flooded section of road. The road was under water for about 1 km. In some places the water was sufficiently deep that my underseat panniers dragged in the water. I walked the bike to prevent the tires from sinking any deeper in the loose wet gravel. The road was flooded by runoff from a beaver dam.

For about 1 km the road was flooded by runoff from a beaver dam. In some places my underseat panniers dragged in the water.
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The last 10 km to Ram Creek hot spring was an "unimproved" gravel road with rocks bigger than my head.
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Finally I reached the top of the hill and began an extremely steep 1 km descent to the Ram Creek Ecological Preserve. Ram Creek hot spring is 100m up a hill from the roadside parking area. Nobody was there. I looked around the area and soaked in the warm water. There was no shade for the pools and I got a bit sunburned. The upper pool was well above body temperature and the lower pool was about body temperature. I soaked in the lower pool since the weather was already warm and sunny. After soaking for an hour a group of people showed up on ATVs. They didn't see my bicycle and were surprised to see a naked man when they got up to the pool. They left after an hour or so and later two guys from Calgary showed up for a soak.

Ram Creek hot spring.
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Ram Creek hot spring. Hot shower on the right side of the picture.
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Showing off the "Neapolitan ice cream" tan at Ram Creek hot spring.
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After 5 hours relaxing there I decided to leave when the pools got in the shade and cooled noticeably. I was tempted to camp there but camping is prohibited. So I got back on the road at 6:30PM and continued the long steep descent on the unimproved forestry road. It was so rough that it took me an hour to go 10km downhill, braking constantly. My tires were at half pressure from the steep rough climb and the soft tires made the rough descent tolerable.

Long rough descent from Ram Creek hot spring. I imagine my bike frame cracked during this descent.
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Eventually I got back to a paved road a few km before the turnoff to Premier Lake provincial park. I debated whether to continue down to the town of Skookumchuck and hope they had a commercial campground or take the dead-end road to the provincial park. The park is 10 km off the main road, over a huge hill, gravel until the campground entrance. I went to the provincial park and set up in one of the last available campsites. I didn't pay because I didn't have enough Canadian currency. Once again I cooked dinner at dusk when mosquitoes were at their peak. And it was definitely too buggy to make a shower.

Today was another easy lazy day. The weather was warm and cloud-free. High temperature of 29C (85F). I need cash and I'm almost out of stove fuel. Today's riding was more difficult than the distance suggests because almost all of it was on gravel roads.

Distance: 47 km / 29.4 mi

Climbing: 450 m / 1490 ft

Today's ride: 47 km (29 miles)
Total: 2,306 km (1,432 miles)

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