Yellow Head Trail - Rosetown Part 2 of 8
Mummy, Daddy and the Kids
I was having a good time and everything was going well. I had to adjust my thinking a little. I looked closely at my road map and then I realized why I saw almost no traffic along the Yellow Head Trail HWY 5N. The answer became self-evident. I was, literally, in the middle of nowhere. What I found most striking was that the landscaping was beginning to change dramatically. It was getting far more mountainous and signs were beginning to spring up all over the place warning us that we were entering dangerous Avalanche Territory. These were not gentle and friendly signs. They were not signs saying " Drive carefully turtles may be crossing here" like they have in Ontario. These signs meant business. They were deadly serious and they basically told you to watch your back. Look up; look down; look around; and take no chances if you sense danger. Between the danger signs guarding against Avalanches and the Danger Signs warning you against forest fires - my number one priority was changed to "Let me get out of here safely and as fast as possible!"
After riding North along HWY 5 past Blue River and Valemount and then turning East along the Yellow Head Trail the dramatic change in landscape from hilly to mountainous really slaps you in the face. The entrance to Mount Robson Provincial Park is characterized by a giant signpost showing a Mountain Goat against a backdrop of extremely high mountains. I pulled-over to get a few photos. It was ominous. I didn't even attempt to estimate the height of this glorious mountain, which I often try to do - but if someone had told me that the top of the mountain lay in the stratosphere I would not have argued.
Mommy, Daddy and the Kids
The sky turned grey and it began to rain as I approached the entrance to the famous Jasper National Park. There was a fee imposed for visiting places inside the Park unless you were going straight through along HWY 16 to the other side which I was. It was also starting to get late. After riding for another twenty minutes or so I was greeted with a signpost I did not like. "Next Gas 80 Kms". That's fifty miles for us English folks and my gas gauge was less than half-full. I wasn't going to make it. Emergency fuel conservation measures were called for to make every last drop count. There were line-ups of traffic coming and going both ways and both came to a dead stop. I shut-off my Harley engine to conserve fuel. Traffic was still not moving so I dismounted to see what was going on. There were no accidents and no road construction was taking place but there were lots of tourists wandering around the yellow centre-line up ahead. A family of goats; Mum and Dad and two baby goats were toddling along the double-centre line without a care in the world. Many of the travellers had abandoned their vehicles and camper-wagons with their cameras to take pictures. I still was not able to move another half-inch for another half hour. My rain suit had deteriorated from being mildly damp to dripping-wet through. By the time I finally reached a hotel in Hinton, AB, my gas gauge was on empty but my Harley engine was still ticking over just fine.