Day 30: To Cranbrook - Western Canada 2007 - CycleBlaze

July 29, 2007

Day 30: To Cranbrook

I got up at 8 and on the road at 9:15. The weather was warm and sunny. 6 km of gravel and a 100 m climb to get out of the park, then a paved road down to the little town of Skookumchuck. The town has two commercial campgrounds that I could have camped at and saved all the effort getting to Premier Lake.

The climate is getting more arid as I travel south.
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Kootenay river, a tributary of the Columbia river.
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I rode through the town of Wawa but the town's cafe was closed. Then on to Fort Steele. I stopped at the Fort Steele historic village but decided not to pay the $13 entry fee. So I backtracked 1 km to the Fort Steele RV park and bought a sandwich from their grocery store. While there I decided to use their laundry facility to wash all my clothes (except a swimsuit) for the second time on this tour. The weather was hot by the time I got back on the road in the afternoon.

Entrance to the Fort Steele historic village. I chose not to pay the $13 admission fee.
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View of some of the Fort Steele buildings from the bridge crossing the Kootenay river.
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The mountains are getting smaller as I travel south and west, away from the Rockies. In many ways the landscape is starting to resemble my home in southwest Oregon.

The mountains are smaller now.
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I arrived at Cranbrook at 4PM. I could have gone further but I had chores to do. I got cash at a Scotia Bank ATM, bought a liter of Coleman fuel for $7 at Canadian Tire, and groceries at Safeway. I called my wife, asking her to transfer $2000 to my checking account to cover the higher than expected tour expenses.

The weather was so hot I didn't feel like camping. So I got a motel room for $45 on the south edge of town. I needed to cool down and I needed a shower. Cranbrook's high temperature was 32C (91F), the hottest place in B.C. today according to the TV weather report.

Traffic is sometimes a nuisance and much of the road today had a rough shoulder even though the main lanes were smooth. I haven't seen other touring cyclists the last 3 days. The scenery is nice but not nearly as spectacular as it was a few days ago in the national parks. I have been traveling southwest for the last several days. Now I will go mostly west across southernmost B.C. It looks like I will have 5 very hilly days to get to the Okanagan valley at Osoyoos, where I plan to turn south into the USA.

Distance: 77 km / 48.1 mi

Climbing: 400 m / 1320 ft

Today's ride: 77 km (48 miles)
Total: 2,383 km (1,480 miles)

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