Day 4: Elkford to Fernie

Alternate title: Rain, Tim Hortons, Coasting Downhill

Miles: 40

Elevation: 400 ft (lol)

The Dutch couple and Travis decided to do the remote and climby Flathead Alternate, which bypasses Fernie. Since I was in desperate need of a bike shop, I went straight down the highway to Fernie.

The morning was rain rain rain rain. First time I’ve been fully soaked through. Jesse was also traveling along the highway to Fernie. After getting FULLY SOAKED, we pathetically squished our way into the Tim Horton’s in Sparwood (about half way). We sat drinking coffee and trying to dry off for almost 2 hours, taking shifts using the bathroom hand driers to dry ourselves and our stuff off.

My shoes were 100% soggy. Yuck. It had stopped raining by the time we got on the road, so I switched to just wool socks and Teva’s, cause I hate wet feet. ☹️ The rest of the ride was just an 18 mile coast into Fernie, basically. We were along a highway all day, which was scary–especially when big logging trucks or 18-wheelers passes. But there was a nice shoulder and people gave us space.

I like Fernie–not as touristy as Banff, but a pretty ski town. I immediately went and got my bike looked at, had the shifter replaced and the derailleur checked out at Gear Hubs–they were super nice and helpful. The derailleur is ok for now, I’m crossing my fingers that I don’t have to replace it down the road (💸💸💸), but it’s shifting hesitantly even with the new shifter.

Later, Jesse and I putzed around Fernie–got a stupid-good burger, then checked into the Raging Elk hostel. Showers! Laundry! Sauna! Beer!

Tomorrow I’m heading back into the trail, so no more paved roads or easy coasting days (even though the overall trend is downhill till the border).

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