Calgary to Banff and the start of The Great Divide Cycle to Elkford

We have finally arrived in Calgary,  Alberta, and lost no time cycling the 94 miles up to Banff and the start of The Great Divide route. On the way from Iceland we had some wonderful views of Greenland.

Flying over Greenland
Flying over Greenland

We cycled into downtown Calgary to visit a fantastic shop called the Mountain Equipment Cooperative  (MEC) where you can buy anything you ever dreamed of for any outdoor activity you could think of.  Fully loaded with Bear Spray, Bear Bells and mossie head nets we set off for Cochrane where we were giving a fundraising talk to the Rotary Club of Cochrane.  We had been invited by Rotarian Martin Parnell, who had stayed with us in the UK last year when he was running around the South West Coastal Footpath.  Over the years Martin has raised nearly 1,000,000 Canadian Dollars for charity.  We were delighted when their acting President presented us with a cheque for 3,000 Canadian Dollars for ShelterBox, the humanitarian charity we are fundraising for. Thank you for your generosity.

Receiving a cheque for 3,000 Canadian dollars from the Rotary Club of Cochrane. There was only the odd comment about turning up at a Rotary meeting in cycling gear!
Receiving a cheque for 3,000 Canadian dollars from the Rotary Club of Cochrane. There was only the odd comment about turning up at a Rotary meeting in cycling gear!

It was quite a long haul up to Banff alongside a noisy road,  but the scenary was stunning.  Although looking at the looming mountains we at last realised what we were about to take on.P1060274

When we arrived at the magnificent Banff Springs Hotel, the official start of the Great Divide Cycle route I have to admit to some last minute nerves. It didn’t help that it started to get cold and wet. P1060290

But after about a mile, when all the noise and bustle had died away, and it was just us and the mountains I realised just how lucky we were. P1060351

Our first night out we wild camped beside this lake, in the next few photos. Not a bad view from the tent.

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Finding a suitable tree to hang our food was not as easy as you might expect considering we were in a forest.

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The terrain we were cycling over varied from loose rock, mud and gravel, with some very steep sections.

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I am just going to finish this post with some more pictures we took along the way.P1060429

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What is it about guns!

6 thoughts on “Calgary to Banff and the start of The Great Divide Cycle to Elkford

  1. Congratulations and the best of luck to you both on the start of your challenging adventure. I am envious but admit it’s good to see it from the comfort of home without the bears!

    Don & Angie

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  2. Best wishes on your ambitious trip! Your box arrived at my house in Helena yesterday. It is heavy indeed. I am guessing the mail man wondered what on earth we got in the mail. Ellen Feaver

    Like

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