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Day 65: Sparwood, BC July 21, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Uncategorized.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh Canada!!!

I MADE IT!! It took me 64 days (minus 6 rest days) to bike from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada! I arrived yesterday at about 5 pm, in a town called Roosville. After crossing the international border I figured hey, why stop now… so I kept biking. And here I am, 2 days into Canada in a town called Sparwood, home of “The World’s Biggest Truck.” I personally think that’s a lie, actually, the info center told me it was a lie, but it still makes for a nice sign when you’re entering town. But to it’s credit, it really is quite large.

I have been riding pavement, and will continue to do so until Elkford, another 20 miles from here. From Elkford, its 110 off pavement miles into Banff. My best friend Alex from NY will greet me at the Spray River Trail where it intersects the Banff Springs Hotel. That is the FINAL point of the ride, where I will cross whatever finish line there may be at the end of this thing. Hopefully next to the end point is an ice cream stand. I will need a lot of ice cream when I’m done.

I got to a bike shop this morning in a cool mountain town called Fernie. Replaced a cable, fixed the rack, again, and did a once over on the bike. I think everythings ready to go. I’ve learned my way around fixing the bike. Makes it cheaper to borrow tools to do it myself when do get to the bike shop.  Fernie is somewhat of a mountain biking mecca.  It’s a booming town with some serious mountains and terrain well suited to downhill biking in summer and obviously all the winter sports too.  It reminds me of Alaska, thanks to the towering alpine mountains and the powerful and fast moving Elk River.

Next check in will be in Banff, where I can call this journey complete.  It’s been wonderful so far, sad to finish on my own.  Please don’t worry about my safety, I have not made it this far due to luck.  I carry bearspray, don’t bike in the dark, and am an expert at not getting lost.  Well, I don’t know so much about the last part, but it usually does work out.  Seriously though, I’m fine on my own, and only have 2 more days of riding solo before I meet up with Alex in Banff.  From there we’re off to Jasper to walk the famous “Skyline Trail.”  I can’t wait.

Til next time, tailwinds and ice cream.




1. leslie pierson - July 21, 2007

you are amazing. it is such a pleasure and it’s so much fun
and it also makes me so proud to read your blog stuff. Let me know whether Alex got the book in time. I also put in your insurance card – may you never need it! I sent my check to Yoder Foundation because I know how much I owe! Can’t believe I’ll see the 4 soon. Want to go deep sea fishing? I’m really exxcited at the thought of a whole week with you and the others. Robbie is thrilled that you’re flying into Washington – he wants Danny to go earlier to be with you and him. danny is coming home on the first. We’ll all meet on Monday. Lizzy is wonderful – taking care of lots of last minute things with wedding, and I’m helping as much as she’ll let me. Lucky to be me!


2. Harry Pierson - July 21, 2007


Banff is wonderful, although I’m sure it is overwhelmed with tourists in the summer. It always was a summer resort, when the Banff Springs Hotel was built many years ago, that’s all that was there. It became more of a winter resort as well about the time your mother and I were living in Alberta. We used to come down to Banff about once a each season. I still remember feeling a wonderful feeling as I entered the mountains (coming down from Edmonton), and I still remember how exceptional the water was.

At the time, we stayed at a small bed and breakfast that was $15/night for the room. I’m sure Banff is off the charts expensive now, and I remember when Trudy and I were going to visit my friend Gary in 2002, the Chateau Lake Louise (hotel) started at $1100 per night!

Do try to reach Gary, I’m calling him and leaving messages for him on the board. He is the sweetest person, and very interesting in his own right.

Thank you for posting again so soon. If you think I’m being paranoid about bears, read what your friend Lee had to say on his blog. He thought he had come between a grizzly cub and its mother, got so pumped with adrenaline he broke the chain getting out of there!



3. Anne Buzzard - July 23, 2007

Congratulations on reaching your goal! What a wonderful tribute to the Yoders. Please know there are a lot of people at NAU who are proud and appreciative of what you accomplished.

I am a new employee in SBS. Stop into room 245 when you return for fall – i’d be honored to meet you.

4. Harry Pierson - July 24, 2007


You made it to the “Highlights” list on the “About” page at NAU!


Lower right, “Student pedals from Mexico to Canada”

5. garynne drake - July 24, 2007

hey to think that you did it all on my birthday… congrats… cant wait to see you , stay safe, love you, garynne i guess i wont be sending the box, next trip i guess

6. dan - July 24, 2007


glad to hear you made it to the border! actually, i spoke to dad last night, and he told me you had only 50 or so miles left, all blissfully downhill. make sure you do the lance and cross the finish line with hands held high, maybe even a bottle or two of cheap canadian champagne.

if you get a chance, you should try to meet up with Gary and Barbara, hanging out with them was one of the highlights of my trip to Canada a few years ago. These internet stock guys surprisingly know how to have a great time. Did you hear Deano’s going to be surfacing at Liz’s wedding?

I’ll be making my donation when I get back to the States.


7. Michael Bielat - August 30, 2010

I just caught your blog and read all about your trip. That is awesome that you pulled that off. I would love to do something like that but I just don’t have the time to pull off such a feat!

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