The Gals

The Gals

Welcome to our blog!

We are three young women embarking on a cross Canada cycling trip! We will be starting May 5th from Victoria, B.C, making our way

East to St John’s, Newfoundland, spanning over >7000km. We are planning to stay mostly in campsites, but will indulge now and then in a roof over our heads (be it a hotel/motel/holiday inn, friends/family, or couchsurfing/warm showers). We will be carrying all our gear on our bikes, including tents and camping equipment.

This is by faaaar our biggest cycling adventure yet, and, after a LOT of planning and practice, we are so excited to get rolling!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments, and please check out our fundraising pages along the side bar!

Thank you!

Claire, Julie & Nina

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Day 27: (May 31) Rosebud to Drumheller 40km

Even with Tristan joining us our 3 hour packing up camp hasn't improved, but we have embraced it! We were glad to have chosen to postpone our trek to Drumheller as today held nicer weather for us and many adventures. We had a quick ride down into Drumheller, stopping at Horseshoe Valley on the way. The geology of this part of Canada is fascinating. We set up camp at River Grove Campground and Cabins and rode (with unloaded bikes!) to the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology. This is a really cool tourist attraction and centre for paleontological research. After spending some hours exploring the world of the dinosaurs we ventured to the grocery store and loaded up for the next few days. The late setting sun has made us loose track of time very easily. We had dinner at 10pm with hotdogs (and veggie dogs!) made over the fire!

Badlands Badasses

Monday, May 30, 2016

Day 26: (May 30): Rosebud Rest Day

Pouring rain and blustery cold winds deterred us from cycling on this day. We decided instead to keep warm in our tents, write some postcards and chat. It rained for hours and hours and the wind did not stop until sometime around 3pm. The Akokinskway  golf course and campground a walk away from our camping site very kindly opened their kitchen for us. We were happy to enjoy some good warm food and get out of our tents! Later in the day we enjoyed some sunshine while playing a fiercely competitive game of Sorry.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Day 25: (May 29) Calgary to Rosebud 110.7km

Today started off quite late as we may have had a little too much fun in Calgary. We decided to change our route completely and head north towards Drumheller and Saskatoon. Tristan decided to be brave and join the girl power team. Despite starting late we were able to cycle 110km and made it to the High Eagle RV Park. The last 6 or so kilometres we experienced the true wrath of prairie head winds and the beginnings of a storm. Even while cycling downhill we had to pedal to stay upright. We set up camp by some trees and had some trusty Mac and Cheese for dinner.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Day 22-24: (May 26-28) Calgary Rest Days

These three days we took off to explore Calgary and recharge. We explored the culinary delights of the Blue Star Diner, La Brezza Ristorante, Brown Social House, Ming, Blanco Cantina, The National, and Singapore Sams. We may have also done some shopping, whilst trying to explain to retailers that leather pants and heels (no matter how they are a wardrobe necessity) are just not practical for what we're doing. Brohan, a friend from university and also a Nomininguer, made an appearance to our visit all the way from the US!

Marcus was an amazing host who made us feel right at home - we couldn't be more grateful. The visit definitely passed a bit too quickly! Unfortunately, we did have to say bye to Hayley as Calgary was her final destination. Good luck on defending your thesis Hayley!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Day 21: (May 25) Canmore to Calgary 123km

We started off the day by going to the amazing Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. with our wonderful host Chelsea. Remember Simon? Well Chelsea is Simons friend! The Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. is simply delicious - check it out if you're ever in Canmore. We cycled along the 1A and battled our last hill getting out of Cochrane with great strength. Once arriving into the outskirts of Calgary we cycled along the Bow River Pathway to get to Marcus' house. Riding along this pathway was beautiful and gave us a great intro into the city. Dinner was enjoyed at Local in downtown Calgary.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Day 20: (May 24) Lake Louise to Canmore 87.3km

We left the hostel and cycled along highway 1A, the Bow Valley Parkway, out of Lake Louise until Banff. This was a beautiful quiet road with spectacular views. We had lunch and treats when we got to Banff. While having lunch outside on a bench we were approached by a guy who was also bike touring East named Tristan. Tristan happened to know Nina from Ottawa. It's a small world after all!

After lunch we took the Legacy Trail to Canmore. This was relatively flat compared to what we had been used to, so we were quite appreciative. We met Chelsea, a friend of our bike touring friend named Simon, who had offered to host us for the night. We had a fun night hanging out with Chelsea and were happy to have a home to sleep in! We had dinner at the Rose and Crown Pub in Canmore, which was delicious, and took in views of the mountains.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Day 19: (May 23) Lake Louise rest day

Today we took it easy at the hostel and caught up on rest. After lunch we headed up in a taxi to the lake, strolled around the shore and explored the Fairmont. For dinner we picked up groceries and made a delicious pasta in the kitchen at our hostel. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Day 18: (May 22) Field to Lake Louise 27km

Today was a challenging day. It was a "so close yet so far" kind of day. We completed the steep climb of Kicking Horse Pass, known to some as "Kicking My Ass Pass". It was pouring rain and after our gloves soaked through we couldn't feel our hands. The next day we invested in waterproof gloves.
We took highway 1 until the turnoff to highway 1A, the old highway that is currently closed to cars. On this road we crossed the BC/Alberta border. We climbed further until we were let out on the road to Lake Louise! We were so happy to reach the lake! It was truly spectacular.
We treated ourselves to lunch at the pub in the Fairmont Chateau overlooking the lake. We then headed down the hill to our hostel, a Hostel International partnered with the Alpine Club of Canada.
We ran into Jim and Marty again and had a beer. Our friend Ben, that Julie and Claire met at camp, joined us for a beer as well.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Day 17: (May 21) Donald to Field 87km

Today before breakfast we broke camp and rode approximately 30 km to Golden, a cute mountain town near Kicking Horse ski hill. We had delicious breakfast in Golden at the Big Bend Cafe, which had cute quotes all over the wall, as well as a whole wall of hot sauces!
Who do we run into but Marty and Jim, cyclists we had met the day prior who were cycling for the Huntingtons Foundation of Canada. 
After Golden we had some climbing to do. We intended to make it to Lake Louise, but it was getting late and we were worried to make it to a destination before dark. We stayed the night in the very little town of Field at an Inn called Truffle Pigs. They had great food and as the name may hint they sold chocolate truffles in the shape of pigs! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 16: (May 20) Canyon Hot Springs to Donald 93.5km

Today we tackled the Rogers Pass Summit. This was a long day of climbing and cold in the mountains, but we are getting better at tackling the hills!
We climbed in the morning up to Rogers Pass Summit. On the way we faced a few snowsheds that were dark with narrow, gravel shoulders. We walked around one of them and walked out bikes through the other two. 
We had lunch in the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre as it was pretty chilly up in the mountains!
There was still a significant amount of climbing in the afternoon. We climbed and then had a lovely descent into Donald. Overnight we slept at Campers Haven Campground.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Day 15: (May 19) Revelstoke to Canyon Hot Springs 36.2 km

Today we had a short day, and a small climb.
We started off the day by having breakfast with Simon at the Modern Bakery in Revelstoke. They had delicious food and great coffee! 

We had a gradual climb, ending up at Canyon Hot Springs. We stayed in a little cabin and took advantage of the warm pools. We rested up for the long climb waiting for us in the morning to Rogers Pass.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 14: (May 18) Sicamous to Revelstoke 61km

Today we rode along the rolling hills of highway 1. It was raining, and we made a few stops on our journey. Hayley's Uncle Brian was driving through the area and was kind enough to bring us some lunch!
 After lunch with Uncle Brian we stopped through a children's play area called the enchanted forest. We were lucky to meet Humpty Dumpty!
We also stopped through an old hotel, apparently with a history of being part of a ghost town.
Soon after, we reached the town of Revelstoke, a quaint place which has been described as Pleasantville. 
Everybody knows each other and they have succeeded at keeping the downtown area free of large chain stores.  We went for dinner at the Taco Club where we had a drink with our new friend Simon. Simon was cycling from outside Calgary and was aiming to end up in Mexico! Tonight we slept at our second warm showers hosts, Rory and Sarah, and their two children. They had a busy life, but we're very kind and welcoming!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day 13: (May 17) Vernon to Sicamous 102km

We started off our day by having a wonderful sleep in at Susan and Paul's. Paul and Susan were so helpful in route suggestions when it came to avoiding highway 97 to our next destination Sicamous. Paul joined us for the beginning of our ride parting ways in Armstrong. We took beautiful backroads and possibly came across a query hitchhiker with an assault rifle. We also met Patrick, a fellow tourer, who joined us for a little until he parted ways to do some stealth camping for the night. He definitely had some interesting stories. The most important thing of the day was that we made it to DUTCHMEN DAIRY for their amazing homemade ice cream. 

We stayed the night in a cabin at the Sicamous KOA, which we named the Hobbit house.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Day 12: (May 16) West Kelowna to Vernon 76.9km

Our day began with a fairwell to Lisa. We made a breakfast stop at McDonald's before truly starting our big day! A young man named Brad working at the McDonald's kindly offered us a collection of free coffee cards, after finding out about our adventure. We then headed towards Kelowna and passed the waterfront and took a picture with Ogopogo, the lake monster of the Okanagan!
Following Glenmount Road North and the 97A we made our way to our lunch stop at Subway in Winfield. It was a hot and sunny day we made good use of our sunscreen. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn and it started to rain, we pedalled fast and made it out of the storm. We were rewarded with a beautiful  view of Vernon.
 We had our first ever Warm Showers experience staying with Paul and Susan, who welcomed us into their home for the night and cooked us dinner. Warm Showers is a website in the cycling community that connects hosts with traveling guests that are looking for a place to stay.