After a rainy day, on a cold but sunny morning, I set off for the picturesque and long awaited ride to the magical town of Jasper. By the time I got into Jasper three hours later, it was a cloudy morning with a drizzle now and then. My first memory of Jasper is the quaint railway station and the lovely Victorian style shops and cottages. It was unmistakably a tourist hot spot but fortunately I arrived in early September, so the traffic had thinned. After a quick trip to the local tourist office, I headed to an Indian restaurant, Jasper Curry Place, I had seen on the way and the fragrance of tandoori was inviting. There was a buffet for CAD 22 and as I headed to the table I met Paul Bowes, who was also cycling from Alaska. He was staying at the Whistler Campground and I planned to go there next. It was a day of wonderful meetings. Sudeenly, I spotted a fellow cyclist, Takashi, whom I had last met in the Yukon river camp in Alaska, and it was a joyful reunion. With wide grins we posed for pics and had our tandoori meal together.
By 4 pm, it had begun to drizzle a bit more and it was turning darker, so I headed off to the Whistler campground, 3.5 kms away. They allotted me a spot in the hiker biker / walk in category and it was damp and cold. The dense tree cover did not help and I pitched the tent in heavy rain. Fortunately, earlier in the evening I had purchased an EMO rain fly to hitch over my MSR Hubba as it wasnt very good at stopping heavy rain from leaking into the tent. Takashi and Paul were camped nearby and we tried to get a fire started after getting some damp firewood with great difficulty, but it didnt really light up as well as it could have. I gave up my efforts to keep warm by a fire and crawled into my tent. It rained all night and the following morning was bitterly cold and cloudy.