Day 17 – Hinton, AB to Calgary, AB – Final Ride Day

Distance: 493 kilometers
Time on bike: 8:30-3:30 pm
Temp: High teens / Near freezing at Athabasca Glacier in Icefields Parkway

The last day is one of the best because you get to go home but it’s always bittersweet since it’s the end of another good long ride.

I slept in again since it wasn’t a very long day and I knew I could make it back home by the middle of the afternoon. The final pack took only a few minutes. I noticed something that I missed after my ‘get off’ the other day – the supporting racks for the right side luggage was bent a bit. A quick firm pull and it bent right into shape.

I love riding the Icefields Parkway highway. Even after all that I’ve seen on this trip, and others, it is still one of the most beautiful highways I’ve ridden. I was very fortunate to be able to duck and weave through the various storm fronts that were moving through the mountains and only had about ten minutes of rain the entire day.

The first thing I notice every time I come back to Alberta is how terrible the drivers are. I rarely crowd the middle of the highway or the left side of my lane for this very reason. People are tired or inattentive and on several occasions drivers crossed the centre line – yikes!

There was also some sort of Cannonball Run type race going on; the “Bull Run” I think. I’m all for enjoying a day in a nice car in the mountains but these yahoos were passing on double lines, in speeding through pedestrian areas, and driving about 50-60 km/h over the limit. Pretty dangerous considering it is a scenic drive and not a race track.

I took a few pics along the way. Stopped to look at the scenery and generally took my time winding me way back home on this final day. A successful and enjoyable trip. Wrap up report to come….