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

We 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 outdoor activity.  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. We were delighted when they presented us with a cheque for 3,000 Canadian Dollars for ShelterBox, the humanitarian charity we are fundraising for.

It was quite a long haul up to Banff alongside a noisy road,  but the scenery was stunning.  Although looking at the looming mountains we at last realised what we were about to take on.
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The sun setting over the lake where we camped on our first night out
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 re turning up at Rotary in cycling gear!
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
After a mile, when all the noise and bustle had died away it was just us and the mountains I realised just how lucky we were. 
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Our first night out we wild camped beside Spray Lake. 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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Wild strawberries
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What is it about guns!
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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

  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