July 22, 2020 – Fernie to Elkford
I was early to Timmies in Fernie.
At this point I had not yet convinced myself to try the more challenging highway 43 north from Sparwood.
The route into Elk Pass is a remote and challenging journey, and travellers should be self sufficient and be prepared to turn back if necessary due to the topography, lack of roads and possibility of washed out bridges.
I was defaulting to busy highway 3 west from Sparwood.
The day started on an excellent and challenging mostly single track routes called the Elk Valley Coal Discovery Trail.
Moving east, wildflowers were still in bloom.
Eventually I reached quiet dirt backroads that would take me to Sparwood.
I bumped into a couple cycling who had crossed from the Elkford highway into Alberta twice previously. They quickly convinced me I could do it too.
In fact, I cycled with them on and off for the next 2 days.
The bridges of Sparwood are really impressive.
Sparwood to Elkford on the Trans Canada Great Trail was perhaps my favourite half day of the whole trip.
Lovely ranch land with almost no traffic. Very few people.
A good breeze kept the mosquitoes off for once.
Though I did get lost en route, I managed to find the sulphur springs. Not hot enough for me to swim, however.
I rolled into Elkford late, getting a spot at the Elkford Municipal campground for $10.
Free hot showers. The end of civilization heading north.