Home > Uncategorized > T’was the day before Banff, and then the day before the Wolachs — Lake Louise to Banff, then Banff to Calgary

T’was the day before Banff, and then the day before the Wolachs — Lake Louise to Banff, then Banff to Calgary

The mood was sombre at the Lake Louise camp that morning: the previous day and evening were wet and cold, and tempers flared. Now people were more inward-looking and pensive, shivering in the wet 2C weather, digesting ‘what happened and what next’.

I had a long and (what felt to me like a) good on-air interview with Calgary AM. And Lahav showed up at the campsite with his son Idan’s road bike. He easily and immediately connected with several of the team. We discussed the ride to Banff. Lahav suggested getting another coffee in Lake Louise to ‘wait out the rain that would come any minute’. Sure enough, while we were sipping hot java and hot chocolate and having second breakfasts (some of us J) the skies opened up.

The rain weakened and we headed out on Hwy 1A. Almost no traffic. A good road, no shoulders, sandwiched between thick forests on both sides. Lahav clearly knows this area well – and his anecdotes and pointers made the ride more fun (for me — and others, I hope LOL).

The truck caught up with us. They stopped – a very unusual thing. Nieka came over: ‘The address I had been given for that night’s church dinner, the address I had given to all the riders and to Nieka and Chelsea…was in Calgary, not in Banff!’ Bud had discovered this error and was justifiably concerned. And I realized that, due to the earlier interview, and the many photos I took of the breathtaking vistas, my phone battery was running out of juice! Lahav’s phone saved the day. I managed to text Pam Ellis and left messages asking for the correct address.

We took a lovely side trip hike up Johnson’s Canyon – highly recommended. A cup of hot chocolate and it was time to continue. Lahav stayed with us for a while longer and then turned around to cycle back to Lake Louise. The bunch of us continued towards Banff…with me unable to take any more photos, sadly … L

We decided to change plans and camp at Tunnel Mountain rather than stay at the church, due to the address confusion. Getting to the campsite involved a challenging climb but the day’s ride was short so not a big problem. The campsite was great and had a spectacular view of Rundle Mountain and other regal peaks.

Dinner at the church. Such great company, such generosity. And to top off the lovely (and filling!) evening, Peter Ellis came in with his daughter and two of her friends. They were all volunteers with Little Women for Little Women, supporting girls in Afghanistan. We spoke about our respective volunteer initiatives. They then handed me a plateful of wonderful shortbreads…and a $100 donation for Cycle4SchoolBOX. I felt humbled and grateful.


The memorable things about this day:

  • Last day of cycling with Bill Porter who would be leaving the Tour the following day in Calgary. Bummer!
  • Taking Hwy 1A was a good idea – vey little traffic and some good views. The wind toyed with us, helping and hindering our progress in random turns. Bill had a slightly scary moment when we stopped for a break –  he thought he lost a borrowed item…which he then found in the grass under his carrier!
  • Subway lunch (foot-long sandwiches!) in Cochrane and then ‘the climb that would not end’ – 10% incline, and it was HOT!
  • The last stretch before reaching the University of Calgary residence was a bit hairy – we hit rush hour traffic and had to repeatedly (and gingerly!) ‘cut across’ feeder lanes that dumped tons of cars onto the Crowchild Hwy. But once we got past this scary bit the rest was fine.
  • Quick goodbye to Bill. The residence is high-tech and sparkling new. Got to hustle – Lahav is picking me up in half an hour!

imageSimply breathtaking!
imageLahav, father of our god-children Roni and Idan, joined us from Calgary for this segment. What a treat to have his expert guidance and off-color (and very funny) jokes!
imageRiders in the rain. How original!

imageMagnificent elk — the only wildlife we saw…up to this point.
imageMountains and rivers — and mouths gaping with wonder!

imageOsprey’s nest in the beams of a bridge. There were young ones inside. The mom flew off and kept a vigil from a nearby tree.
imageJohnson’s Canyon — a worthwhile side trip.
imageJohnson’s Canyon — the Lower Falls. A madman traversed this in a kayak…and survived!


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Carol Good
    June 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    The shower cap adds a certain je ne sais pas to your ensemble! Awesome photos.

  2. June 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    OMG, these photos are stunning!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo

  3. June 28, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Ilan these photos are spectacular!! Thank you for posting them, and for riding this ride for such an amazing cause!


    Would love to know where you are now, and if people can still donate, as I am sending the link to all of my movin friends.


    • June 30, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Dear Mel,
      I am now in Youngstown Alberta. Tomorrow we ride into Saskatchewan — two provinces behind us! And I have been invited to address the town assembly at Kindersley on the occasion of Canada Day!
      And ‘yes’ — people can donate till the end of 2011! And thanks for spreading the word and for your ongoing notes and comments and support!
      With love,

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