Where did we left off? It feels so long since we've written something, it's kind of hard to start again. The last one ended in Fort Nelson, so from there we'll continue.
The Alaska highway got pretty boring when we traveled further south from Fort Nelson. There was a lot more traffic and the scenery became kind of bleak. Yeah, there's really nothing more to say about this part. Apart maybe from the lack of natural water sources! Which became kind of a problem on our second night south from Fort Nelson.
It was pretty hot these days, so we drank all of our water during the day, figuring that we'd filter some water when we see a little river or lake when we camp. But these never came... so eventually we camped on a rest stop along the highway with no water to drink or to cook. Miraculously, we weren't that hungry that night so our dinner consisted of an apple and a candy bar. For breakfast we hoped that a car or a camper would stop on the rest stop so we could ask them for some water (Americans and Canadians make a good habit of bringing lots of water with them!). And so our prayers got answered. In the morning a lady pulled over for a short break and we went to ask her for some water, which she happily shared with us along with some peaches.
This is a thing that we feel like we've learned so far from being on the road and living without too much excess: if you need something, just ask for it. In Belgium, there is a saying "you have a "No" already, a "Yes" you can get" (it sounds better in Dutch though). For us, in the beginning, it felt kind of weird or unnatural to just go and ask strangers for stuff like; water, if we could use a phone, their credit card information, etc. But now we just go and ask. If they say yes (which most people rather say), great. If they say no, you just go and ask the next person. No big deal. We actually don't know where these apprehensive feelings towards asking strangers came from. Maybe it's got something to do with living with everything you need right at your disposal, and if you don't have something, you just go out and buy it. Which makes you kind of avoid talking to strangers, which in turn makes you forget how to do it.
It's a good skill though, talking to strangers, sometimes you can get yourself in some nice situations. Like we experienced in Grand Prairie with Kent and Beck (read more about it here). If we where still apprehensive about talking to strangers, we never would've had such a lovely evening! And we probably never would have started our YouTube channel.
South of Grand Prairie, the road became more interesting, finally!! We could start to see, but mostly feel the Rockie Mountains come closer because we exchanged the flat Prairies from before for more hilly and forested terrain. After one particularly long (5km long!) climb at the end of a 90km day we arrived in a cozy little town called Grand Cache. The fact that it lays on to of a hill makes the views there amazing. In the distance you could see the Rocky Mountains surrounding Jasper, but more closely there where some nice mountains as well. It turned out that the day after we would leave Grand Cache there would be this awesome trailrun called: Death Race. A 125km foot race in the surrounding mountains from Grand Cache. Right then it really started to itch to trailrun again!
Unfortunately doing a 125km trailrun didn't really fit into our timeline because we already made arrangements in Jasper. We were planning on doing the Skyline trail, a 45km hiking trail high in the mountains above Jasper. But Fien needed some proper shoes to do them. So once we got there, we went to an outdoor shop where they sold the shoes she wanted (Altra Lone Peak, if you are interested). There we started talking to a stranger again, this stranger was Dave, the owner of the shop. And again, talking to a stranger paid off quite nicely, because Dave helped us out really well (read more about it here)!
Jasper is amazing! We really love it here. There's just so much to do and so much to see. That's why we wrote a BONUS BLOG just about our adventures off the bike in and around Jasper. That's right, you get 2 blogs for the price of one this time!