Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3, 2014 - Banishing Demons on the way to Jasper

Hooray, we woke up again to dry and sunny.  After our thorough rain soaking yesterday afternoon, I really wanted dry!  It's so nice to get on the bike in the morning when everything is dry.  I took it as an omen that today would be fantastic.  We would be riding Highway 40 from Grande Prairie to Jasper, AB.  Those of you who know me also know that I have an issue with deer.  Well, it was four years ago that I smacked Bambi who was pregnant with twins while riding my Goldwing on the same Highway 40.  Killed all three deer and totaled my bike causing me to rent a car to get home.  Needless to say, it was very traumatic!  When I realized I had routed us down this same road, I had some trepidation.  No, I was petrified.  I considered re-routing but that would take us miles and miles out of our way and I was looking forward to spending some time being a tourist in Jasper.

So, even though we woke up on a glorious sunny day, I was nervous about that darn highway and what surprises it might hold.  We had a quick brekkie, loaded up and headed out on Highway 40.  I wasn't too concerned for the first hundred or so miles.  It was at the other end that I had my encounter.  However, not far from town we did spy three large deer on the side of the road.  My stomach sank and I got that jittery, nervous feeling.  Damn, I HATE WHEN THAT HAPPENS.  It really stays with me for a time and I find it hard to relax and enjoy my ride.

Well, we rode on and I did relax and the day was glorious.  We stopped for a quick break and took a few pictures.

It was pretty like this the entire ride.  Forests on either side of the road but also a nice clear cut from the road to the forest which allows one to watch for critters.  The road was generally good but had its sections of crap which kept us on our toes.  That and the traffic.  There were a lot of commercial trucks and vehicles.  You could tell there was a lot of activity happening in the forest, logging, mining, energy, etc.  Busy truck traffic.

We stopped again in Grande Cache for fuel and lunch.  Eric took some photos here of a memorial to miners.  It was very touching.

We filled our tummies and back on the bikes and my nervousness intensified.  I was about 40 miles from Grande Cache when I hit the deer.  Oh well, I shifted into gear and headed down the highway.  I would say our average speed was around 60 - 65 mph and lots of cars passed us even though the posted limit was 100 kph.

That's me, that little dot in the center of the picture!

So, we're riding along and we came to the hill where I had my "incident" and nothing happened!  Nothing.  No deer jumped out in front of me.  Nothing.  I rode on and thought, maybe it was the next hill.  Okay, still nothing.  No deer.  No squirrels.  No critters at all.

We continued our ride which remained uneventful.  Lovely blue sky dotted with puffy white clouds and lots of green everywhere.

We made another stop just before entering Jasper National Park.

Some fun history here :-)

We rode on to the entrance, paid our fee and continued our journey to Jasper (the town).  On our way we saw a small herd of mountain goats along the side of the road.  Oh, some were babies, so cute!

The scenery was almost overwhelming with the mountains and lakes.

Just after taking these pictures there was a deer.  A big deer.  A big deer on the side of the road very close to me.  She picked up her head and looked at me as the greens she was eating hung out her mouth.  I could have reached out and patted her nose. 

Guess what?  No lurch in my stomach, no jitters, no sweat, no nothing.  I felt nothing.  I FELT NOTHING!!!!  Hooray, hooray, hooray, I felt nothing.  Do you have any idea how liberating that was for me?  I wasn't afraid.  The deer didn't disturb my ride.   
I do believe I've banished my deer demons.  Only time will tell, but going back to the scene of the crime and not having any issues, well, it was cleansing and liberating.  I feel SO good :-)

We rolled into Jasper, found our lodging for the night, a B&B.  Got settled in and then went for a walk to town to check out all the tourist traps.

I love goofy photos :-)  We snapped a few more pics and looked for a likely place to eat dinner.

We had Mexican for dinner, bought a few stickers and magnets for our garage freezer and called it a day.  A lovely stroll back to our lodging and mixed up a cocktail.  We've already mapped out our route for tomorrow.  We'll be saying goodbye to Canada and re-enter the US.  We're excited to be staying with friends tomorrow.  That will be a blog to watch for I'm sure :-)

Till then, cheers to you and I'm so grateful my demons are behind me.



  1. Back in the U.S. - I have alerted the authorities!

    Welcome home.

  2. Glad you faced your demons "head on" (no pun intended) and hopefully they will no longer bother you on rides and you don't have to worry. Of course we always have to keep an eye out for our four legged forest friends. Great photos and write up, as always. Enjoy the rest of the ride. Be safe and welcome back on US soil as you enter.

    1. Thanks Minna. I have noticeably relaxed but still alert for critters!

  3. Congrats on beating those deer demons! Much nicer to not be tense and anxious all the time. The Jasper area looks gorgeous, and I can't wait to see it for myself. I still have a few posts to read, but hate to see your trip ending.