Day 2- “No Spot? No!” Spray Lake to Engadine – He Said

It sure was nice waking up in camp to the sound of the Loons singing on the Lake. It took us a little long than I thought to repack all our gear, taking extra time to rebalance our loads so our bike would respond better. I wanted NO MORE wobbly bikes! Bob, who had pulled into camp last night and is doing the same ride decided to ride with us.

Denise and Bob at Spray Lake

Denise and Bob at Spray Lake

Spray lake

Spray lake

The beginning of the ride took us the rest of the way along the west side of Spray Lake. We were treated to some spectacular views.

We came across several rock slides that required we walk our bikes over as well the big drainage basin for the dam at the end of the lake. Then we crossed several beautiful little creeks with wooden bridges.
Banff to Fernie 056

Then came the big hills. Some were so steep that we had to push our bikes up them. Pushing was actually almost harder than riding up as our riding shoes are not really meant for comfortable walking. In the longer section we actually took off our bike shoes and put on our tennis shoes.

After about 11 miles it was time for lunch. As we were getting our gear out I noticed that my SPOT locator was missing from the back of Denise’s bike. She had actually tipped over into the brush about a few miles back and I was sure that was where it had come off. I unhitched the trailer and told Bob and Denise I would be right back as I was going to go back and look for it. Along the way I passed several hikers and I asked if they had found it but no luck.  I came to the spot where Denise had laid her bike over and search everywhere, but no SPOT.  Losing the SPOT would have been no big deal. Sure my Dad loves seeing where I am at but another important function of the SPOT is that it is our cry for help should we get in trouble. It uses satellites to email an SOS to my family with our location. I was worried that it someone picks it up and pushed the wrong button, my family would scramble the rescue.
I decided to keep going as it must just be around the next corner.
One bad thing when I took off was, I left with very little water and no food and no bear spray. I kept going, riding faster and faster freed of the trailer and knowing Denise would be worried as I was now gone for a while.
I was now almost all the way back to our camp when it started raining. I had no rain gear but I thought now it had to be at camp as it was bright orange and I could not have passed it.
I pulled into our last night’s camp and frantically searched the whole area. My heart sank deep when I realized it was not there and now I was, thirsty, wet, cold, hungry and 12 miles away from Denise.
As I turned around and raced back to Denise I knew I was fading fast. I needed water and food and fortunately there was lots if water in the streams. I didn’t have the water filter we had been using but figured, if the water was bad here, I might as well cash in the chips.  The water tasted so good!

I did figure I needed to slow down. I knew if I didn’t I would not make it back. Also, I was still sure that somehow I had missed the SPOT and would find it on the way back. I had forgotten how hard the hills were but was now doing them again. Fortunately, I rode out of the rain and the sun brighten my spirits. However, I had now been gone about three hours and knew I had made a big mistake, in that Denise would be very worried.
Still no SPOT  but I finally came to the big last climb back and Denise came riding down to meet me. Little was said, I know she was very glad to see me but I also knew I was in bad standing.
We got back to the trailer and she had made clam chowder. I would have eaten boiled rocks, but the chowder was heaven.
Now way behind schedule, we had to change plans. Bob had taken off like I had hoped he would as I did not want to be holding him back. Looking at the map we saw there was a remote lodge five miles ahead. The rain caught up to us, but somehow I managed to slug it out going deep into my reserves.
When we got to the lodge, we learned they where full, but the nice manager offered us a yurt they had down the trail. I felt like Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, it turned out to be a dry heaven in a stormy night.

The dry yurt!

The dry yurt!

Inside the yurt

Inside the yurt

Day’s totals Hans – 38.5 miles, 3794 ft climb, 3474 ft  decent. Average speed 4.5 mph, ride time 8.5 hours.

Trip totals, 2 days:  63.9 miles, 5866 ft climbing, 4455 decent, 11.5 hours

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