Posted by: Silver | May 2, 2011

Jaffray to Fernie

Distance: 50 km
Ascent: 303 m
Cycling time: 2 hours, 54 minutes

This time, I ended up leaving earlier than I planned, on account of the weather forecasters predicting an early end to the beautiful blue skies that brightened up my breakfast. And remarkably enough, they were actually right for once. The skies gradually clouded over and darkened throughout my ride, but they very kindly delayed unleashing their full fury (in the form of a brief but impressive hailstorm) until about half an hour after I’d arrived in Fernie. Thus, my journey was generally very pleasant, with only the recurrent Highway 3 rumble strips to shake me away from my enjoyment; even the tunnel wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d been warned it might be – it is indeed on a blind corner and too narrow for a shoulder, but it really is very short…

I think it would be fair to say that most of my hosts have been empty-nesters so far (I guess they’re most often the ones with the spare bedrooms!), but sometimes I end up with younger families, and so it was that my arrival in Fernie was greeted by four twelve-year-old girls on a sugar rush and a ten-year-old boy whose blackened teeth were fortunately only evidence of excess advance consumption of the coloured sugar for his birthday cake rather than a damning indictment of the Canadian dental system. It was undoubtedly chaotic, but also one of the most entertaining arrivals I’ve experienced so far 🙂

Downtown Fernie struck me as an attractive little centre, with a good number of brick and stone heritage buildings giving it an air of rootedness, whilst an obvious eco/artsy community gave it a breath of modern vibrancy. And with the sun shining on the statuesque mountains all around, it certainly wasn’t a hard town to like. Sharing birthday cake with six ten-year-old boys was still more of a giggle though… 😉

Leaving Jaffray under sunny skies

The road between Jaffray and Fernie is a well-known wildlife viewing corridor: these bighorn sheep were just the other side of the two-lane highway from me

Looking back towards the tunnel on highway 3 between Jaffray & Fernie: honestly, it's not a problem to cycle through

Ranger enjoying the view while there was still some blue sky

Downtown Fernie (Yes, I was standing in the middle of the road when I took this: I love small towns...!)

Playing hide and seek (or 'hide and go seek' as it seems to be called over here) with the birthday party boys; yes, I'm the one who's hiding...

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