Biking Across Canada Day 8—Yard Park to Rogers Pass: Shoulda Sent a Poet

A signpost to all the peaks I’m avoiding

I got another early start, knowing I had a lot of climbing today. Shortly down the highway I stopped at Craigellachie, location of the the Last Spike in the Canadian Pacific Railway. I realized I should have stayed here last night. There was shelter, fresh water, flush toilets, and a power outlet, more than what my paid campsite had.

More riding brought met to Revelstoke, where I stopped for a long coffee and second breakfast break to write up the previous day’s blog post.

The Columbia River. I’ll spend a lot of time following and avoiding  it.
Mountain View School in Revelstoke
Aforementioned Mountain View

I biked through Mount Revelstoke National Park where I stopped for lunch at Giant Cedars Boardwalk, which had a 500m trail among the giant trees. They lived up to the name.

After Mount Revelstoke was a series of tunnels (always thrilling) and a long climb into Glacier National Park, where I stopped at Illecillewaet Campground, just a few kilometres short of the Rogers Pass summit.

I keep wondering how the road will get me through these mountains. It can’t possibly go this way…

All day I’ve been biking by these incredible mountain ranges. I can’t do them justice in either words or pictures. As Ellie Arroway said in Contact, “They should have sent a poet.”

Here I ran into Richard and Aaron, two fellow cross-country cyclists. We agreed to share a site to split costs and swap stories. They’re both from Welland, outside Niagara Falls, and are biking home from Vancouver. My dad grew up in Niagara Falls, and I’ve done a lot of cycling in the region, so we had a lot to talk about besides our bicycle trips. It was nice to have company after so many days travelling alone.

Sharing a site and campfire with my fellow travellers

I was excited when I say Hannah Tooktoo’s support van pull up a few sites over. Hannah is an Inuit woman biking across Canada to raise awareness about suicides in indigenous communities. I’d heard about her trip around the start of mine. We both started in Victoria around the same time, but I feared my accelerated pace meant I’d missed encountering her.

We chatted for a bit about her trip. She’s stopping in band offices as she goes, hearing their stories of colonization and how they got to where they are today. She also has a spouse and offspring back home, so we got a chance to share pictures. Later, she brought Richard, Aaron, and I some fresh-made bannock. It was a delight.


Tomorrow I’ll crest Rogers Pass, head through Golden, and then most of the way up Kicking Horse Pass on my way to Kicking Horse Campground.

Today’s Distance: 127 km

Cumulative Distance: 832 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle