It started with this original message via a Facebook comment on March 26, 2020 — Don’t know ya yet but did this type of thing back in the early 80’s and a bit into the 90’s and yes woke with snow atop me many times and had so many surreal days I wish I wrote some down. Most of my buds here in BC are travelers as well. We all watching your adventure. I am in a small town in middle BC called McBride, 600 people. The Ancient Forest is just an hour away and many beautiful spots to see here. Hope ya pass by on your adventure. Cheers to your spirit sir.
I was very thankful to Bruce for reaching out and especially letting me know about the Ancient Forest. I had never heard of them, so they were not on my radar to go visit. But now they were on my list of places to visit and was now excited about visiting them. Fast forward over the next few months and summer it would be very apparent that I was going to have to modify and change my bike route and plans thanks to Covid-19.
Our Canadian Arctic had no plans to open to any kind of visitors or let a cyclists in. By bypassing the Canadian Arctic I would not find myself so far north to visit either Bruce or the Ancient Forests. The furthest north I would make it would be Jasper Alberta with plans to back track after my visit there.
On August 16, 2020 in the afternoon, I received the following message only hours after my arrival in Jasper. Hey Arie. I see ya must be in Jasper by now. Such a beautiful town. I know ya said you going to hostel tonight. I live west of there about 1.5 hr. Not sure what you normally do but I’d be happy to come Monday morning and drive you around to some sights. There’s the Jasper sky tram, Athabasca Falls, Maligne Canyon or I can run you out to Mount Robson (highest Mountain in Rockies) or anywhere else you may have wanted to see. I know it be hard to bike to these places and I’d be happy to help. If you have other arrangements that’s great but I’m more than happy to spend a day or 2 giving you transportation around the area. Let me know.
Absolutely I took Bruce up on his offer. I have always made every effort to connect with anyone who has taken the time to follow my ride. We made arrangements to meet in two days on the Tuesday. And so on Tuesday Bruce drove 170 km’s from McBride to Jasper to pick me up. On our way to McBride we stopped at Mount Robson and we got lucky with a virtually cloudless day. Being the highest mountain in the Rockies more often then not the mountain is often hidden by clouds.
The next day, as promised Bruce took me another hour further up the road to the Ancient Forest. The Ancient Forest Provincial Park is 11,190 hectares and was established May 19, 2016. The Ancient Forest has the privilege as being know for being the only inland temperate rain forest in the world.
I think my most cherished thoughts while walking the boardwalks through these most magnificent trees was just how thankful I was that a complete stranger had been so generous with his time to bring me all this way to see and experience an ancient forest that was between 1,000 and 2,000 years old.
Bruce’s generosity continued all the way until Friday when he drove me over 4.5 hours all the way to Lake Louise. Lake Louise was where I was planning to backtrack to from Jasper to get back on my route to Vancouver. I calculated that between Tuesday morning and Friday Bruce drove at least 1,160 km’s during the time he hosted me. I had an awesome time hanging with and getting to know Bruce and am so thankful for his generosity.