I left late this morning, I had only 270 km to do. So at a very slow pace I moved towards Valemount, a small town at the foot of Jasper National Park, my itinerary for tomorrow.
Two days ago while on the ferry to Prince Rupert, I had spent a couple of hours chatting motorbikes with Joe, a Canadian biker.
Today, it was cold but sunny and I had to make a stop to add an extra layer of clothing.
When I nearly finished dressing up, I saw Joe driving by on his Goldwing. It didn't take long to catch up with him. By the way, Joe was the one who saw the humpback wales on the ferry, so it was obvious I would see bears when we joined forces. And so it happened.
A black bear was slowly looking for food next to the Highway. Nothing special for Canadians, but for me it was something I was waiting for a very long time. It was beautiful, I was able to stand and take pictures at about 10 meter from this big predator. Big as a matter of speech.
A grizzly bear can be four times the size of a black bear, Joe told me. Their paws are bigger than my head. And standing upright they reach more than 3 meter high.
It is clear that grizzlies are to be avoided, at least at short range!!!
Later on we split and Joe carried on to Jasper, while I remained in Valemount.
It was early and I had nothing to do. Thus inspired by the encounter, I went for another bear hunt.
I unlocked the hard metal cases from my motorcycle to be more agile and I drove south.
After somewhat half an hour, there was a nice track higher up into the mountains which I followed for about 40 km.
Alas, no more bears.
I only saw 2 squirrels, some bear poo and I took a few nice pictures. It was tense though, after all the facts Joe had told me about the grizzlies.
And on top of that it was almost sunset.
Whatever, tomorrow I 'll get another chance in Jasper and Banff.