Day 11 (Rest day in Waterton National Park)
After a long, strenuous ride from Sparwood to Waterton, we finally got our first rest day! First off I want to acknowledge Scotty Mac’s fine planning for this trip.. If you look at our first ten days by no means did Scotty wean us into this unbelievable test of endurance. I would actually call some parts of it cruel and unusual punishment… I honestly think coming into this ride Scotty thought he was still a 22 year old varsity athlete, planning 140km days through the treacherous terrain of the Rockies. To be quite frank, our bodies absolutely despised us coming into Waterton! Scotty aka “the Filipino Lance Armstrong” literally almost killed us after these first 10 days..
One thing that has been killing Ryan during the last few days of this trip is my attempt to practice and learn French.. Having ten hours a day to bike you often have to find ways to entertain yourself and I figured that I might as well brush up on my French before we get to Quebec (figuring that French women would love a well spoken, young B.C boy). This wouldn’t be annoying to Ryan if I knew more the 8 words in French… Putting it lightly my French is atrocious.. For an hour everyday I ride up to beside Ryan and try to converse with him and frustrating him so much that he is forced to pick up his pace and ride 100 metres ahead of me. To make things worse, throughout Alberta there are countless historical sites that gives tourists a brief rundown on the significance of the specific place and I typically look at the French description, reading the paragraph at the top of my lungs, completely butchering it. I don’t think the guys like it very much, but I think at this rate I will be teaching French 12 by next year!
Even though we had been gassed entering Waterton, I must admit it was worth taking our first rest day in Waterton. Waterton National Park is by far one of the coolest places I have ever been to. As we biked in, the boys, who have all been there before, watched my expression entering this town that is placed in between the Rocky Mountain range. I think my jaw was dragging on the ground in front of me for the last 10km entering Waterton.
With our day off Captain Scotty, seeing that we were very sore and being sympathetic to our broken bodies, decided to plan a modest 2km hike. What he forgot to mention was the incline was at a modest 90 percent incline! We literally dragged our bodies up to the summit. With our slow pace we still would have made it to the top in under 45 minutes, but captain Scotty, who had worked a summer at the National park on the trails crew years before, legged behind and stopped at every wooden step to remind us he had built it.. Just a little bit annoying!.. After this occurrence, we voted Scotty out as captain and made Richy, who is pretty much a Waterton local, the new captain and this changed the whole day! The view from Bear’s hump summit was incredible, looking over the whole town, Waterton lake and the Rockie’s surrounding it.. Definitely the coolest thing I have seen on the trip thus far, (discounting Scotty running from that black bear, which might have matched this view).
One thing about Waterton that I found was similar to Comox was the amount wildlife that freely walked around the town. Comox, is well known for the amount of deer that are around the town, and how at times, these animals take crosswalks to avoid traffic. Mountain sheep, deer, and gophers freely walk around Waterton. So while checking out the town, when Ry had noticed a family of deer laying on the front lawn of a house, we were by no means shy when taking pictures with it.. Richy, our new and knowledgeable leader, sat back and watched us Mackinnon boys snapping pictures with these friendly, innocent animals. About five minutes later, still walking around the town we see a sign of a deer attacking a human.. Richy, seeing the sign, then decided to inform us that Waterton has had an issue over the last year with deer attacking humans. He must have forgot to mention that when Ry and myself were literally spooning with a family of deer five minutes prior to that.
Needless to say, the day off was well needed and the town was so cool. Richy was kind enough to have us in his Cabin for two nights and I am definitely coming back to this town again for a longer stay!
Scotty Mac here for Day number 10. Sorry about the delay in our blogging as we had trouble find any Internet connection in Waterton Lakes National Park and just arrived in Lethbridge last night.
After 10 days we finally saw Ryan break down in Cranbrook. Ryan forgot to mention this for some odd reason in his blog. Cranbrook was freaking freezing. Unbelievably cold! I had brought back Ryan a 150-peso (2 Dollars Canadian) sleeping bag from the Philippines that was made for 35 degree weather and made of mesh. For an hour before we went to bed, Ryan frantically flew through all of his bags and tent looking for his jacket. Russ who was already wrapped up in his sleeping bag was clearly annoyed by this and asked Ry to be quiet numerous times. Ry finally gave up and went to sleep. In the morning Ryan was Undertaker tomb stoned in his bed and was not getting out. Socks on his hands, wearing every article of clothing he owned, I finally convinced him to get out of bed. Ross who had awoken earlier was making Peanut butter and Banana sandwiches. As the sun finally rose and Ryan shivered his way through packing up his stuff, Russ beads of sweat pouring over his abnormally large nose, unzipped his winter jacket to reveal Ryan’s underneath. Ryan’s eyes full of fire and blowing steam out of his abnormally sized ears, Screamed at Russ (waking up every retiree in our campsite) asking him if he had been wearing the jacket all night long. Russ confused by the happenings looked at Ry and said, “ Yeah Ry, were in the Rockies” Best zinger of the trip so far!
Number One problem: I jumped on a scale and weighed myself yesterday for the first time since we started this trip. I have lost almost 15 pounds. I eat everything and for some reason am completely wasting away, this is not helping my weathered look as my brothers now have tons of openings on the crows feet. They say the crow’s-feet are resourceful and stealing all of my nutrients.
For all of my suffering through the first 10 days, and all of my demoralizing losses, I completely redeemed myself on Day 10. I had convinced myself I was going to win the Yellow Jersey on this leg and in typical Scotty Mac fashion using all of my inner Chuck Norris I did not disappoint. Local Sparwood superstar Leigh who had been so accommodating and such a gracious host the night before had realized I was hurting and gave me the heads up on that the WELCOME TO ALBERTA sign was 15 Kilometres out of Sparwood, down a large hill and about 3KM from the opposing BEAUTIFUL BRITISH COLUMBIA sign. My brothers who had zero of this information had no idea what was going to hit them. After taking a few snappy pictures in front of the BC sign I informed my brothers that Leigh had mentioned to me that the ALBERTA sign was about 10KM up and that there was a neutral zone in between provinces. This occupied Russ for about 10 minutes as he rambled on about a lawless land where he could now do whatever he liked. At the top of the hill leading down to the sign, there was a viewpoint of the Rockie Mountains that Russ was literally mesmerized on for another 10 minutes. I used this lapse of concentration by the boys to make my escape, slipping off quietly, I started to fly at Warp Scotty running man speed down the hill, halfway down a construction worker was holding up a large red imposing STOP sign. I weaseled my way into the worker letting me go through and stopping my clueless, young, and naïve brothers as I booked it towards the sign. As my little apprentices finally realized what was going on I was 100 metres from the sign, high fiving every car going the opposite direction. Grand Forks, Osoyoos, Pincher Creek the boys can fight for these scraps, these yellow jerseys mean absolutely nothing to me. I came here to win 9 legs (9 Provinces) and so far I am 1 for 1! The old guy is back, confident and brash, the cocky young bucks found out what it means to compete against a crafty old veteran today! And they suffered greatly! How you like that AT-MONEY and MATTY T! Feeling pretty good about myself right now and saw the best Turner last night JPT so I am even more inspired, I am killing it! Scotty Scotty Mac Y’all!
Russ kills me. Anytime he refers to a distance that we have to ride he always references it to back home. As I am more familiar with the distances back home it makes the distance we have to ride seem that much longer. Every time we see a kilometer sign, Russ will turn and look at us and quickly compute, “ That is only Comox to Nanaimo” which seems like an eternity for me. Sparwood saved us. We went to go visit the World’s Largest Truck, on the tourist information sign in front of the truck; they have a diagram that describes the size of the truck. In Sparwood, population 6,000 people, in the middle of the Rockies, they decided to use Elephants as their metric conversion. Beside the diagram of the truck are 5 Elephants on top of each other, with the 6th on its hind legs like a circus elephant. This is how they chose to represent how big the truck is. Russ thinks this is brilliant and since Sparwood has been measuring everything in Elephants. He told me yesterday we were only 42,997 Elephants away from Halifax. I wonder how long this will go on for.
Our ride through the Crows Nest Pass was absolutely stunning! Passing over it and finally making it into the Prairies was honestly one of the happiest moments of our lives. Morale instantly picked up. We cycled hard along wide shoulders, and cute little rumble strips that Russ thinks actually massage your butt, He spent most of the day on them. Our day continued spotting the enormous Frank Slide where we were taken back by its size and destruction (Largest Slide in Canada, looks like a mountain) and eventually rolling into Pincher Creek. In Pincher Creek with nothing but the sky in front of us and the Rockies behind us we met up with my guy, the one and only Richy Steed.
Cycling the endless rolling coolies the foothills to Waterton we watched as Richy left us in his dust cycling 2KM ahead of us just to rub in how slow we were. Richy definitely picked up the energy as Russ and him hugged, laughed, played bumper cars and watched a farmer shoot muskrats.
After 12 hours of cycling, 142KM we arrived in Waterton to a cabin, fire starter Ronnie almost torching it down and 70KM per hour winds that almost took little Richy off of his feet.
Rest day tomorrow, I have never been so excited. We all fall itself in front of the fire, completely gassed.
Thank you so much to Jen K ( Sorry I did not want to butcher your last name) and Leigh who graciously took us into their home, fed us, helped us laugh at a very difficult time, kicked our butts at pool ( Thanks Gillian) and made us feel 10 years younger with massages. (Chantel, WE LOVE YOU!) We cannot thank you enough and hope that we can get you back in Comox one day. If you ever head through this area you have to check out Trillium Day Spa, I promise you will feel like a new person!http://trilliumspa.wordpress.com/
Russ and Richy killing da long johns. Not their finest moments.
The boys at Cameron Falls
Waterton Lake looking into Montana's Glacier National Park
View of Waterton Lake
Ry Mac getting blown over by Tornado like winds.
Stunning view of Sofa Mountain
The children attacking dear
Best sign ever!
Scotty back at home. He told us more than once.
The boys enjoying the scenary.
Upper Waterton Lake
Richy being a bear
Saying bye to BC
Waterton Lakes National Park
Scotty celebrating winning his first province win.
Ross and Ryan jumping for Wild Rose Country
Frank Slide -One heck of a slide!
Richy Cougs and his dawgs!
Twister-Russ was so scared!
Russ in awe.
Last night we arrived in Cranbrook around 7 P.M. and found a beautiful campsite in the heart of downtown. Little did we know that its proximity to the Rocky Mountains made the weather feel as though our tents we were sleeping in a deep freeze. After last nights sleep, I was choked! First off, I need to give you a brief description of my sleeping style. By no means am I a good person to share a tent with. I snore, twitch, groan and talk throughout the night. I am not a quiet sleeper nor do I have any ability at controlling it. After around five nights of spooning with Scotty in our tent made for infants, the dream was over. Scotty had snapped. At around 3:45 AM, Scotty just waking up from his daily two hour nap eventually had enough of my unconventional sleeping style. I woke to the sound of Scotty’s tin-man body literally cracking like a firework while he was moving. I was immediately startled and turned my head to see what was wrong. Scotty had compiled enough strength from his frail body to eventually reel his hamstring in like a fishing rod to eventually unleash a brutal heel strike to my mid-back. I have already began starting to plant the seeds with Ross to share a tent with him our next night camping. I have realized that Sean is by far the best person to share a tent with. I need to get that figured out soon.
The trip to Sparwood was very scenic and amazingly beautiful as we paralleled the Rockies for most of the trip. We weaved our way around as we saw Mountain Goats and a ton of Elk that ran beside us for nearly two kilometers. What was most interesting was a new game that we played. The game was simply, who would you rather date, dump or marry?
A) A mountain B) The Rumble Strips C) Head Wind
This is what we all chose and our reasoning why:
Marry: A Mountain: A mountain is something you that takes time to gain a strong relationship with. At first it is a bit uneasy and then eventually you get to the summit(Marriage) until it is a slow decline.
Date: Head Wind- A head wind always keeps you guessing. Something you want in a dating relationship. At times it slows up and at others it’s a full force MACH speed hurricane right into your face. So who knows maybe a head wind wouldn’t be the worst girlfriend.
Dump: The Rumble Strips: These guys are not worth the time. They are not friends of our buttocks. They throw us around the road and they literally make us feel terrible. But they never go away. Definitely the girlfriend you can never get rid of!
By far the best part of the day was when we just passed through Fernie. Around 25 km away from Sparwood. Scotty, had been complaining for days about his bike being too slow and how is has literally limited his ability to attain the yellow jersey. As the nice guy that I am, Scotty and I switched bikes. However, the bike had very little effect on me. I was cruising far ahead of the crew and literally coasted my way for most of the final part of our trip. I weaved in and out of the boys literally not raising my heart rate above 55 BPM. Eventually, as Ross and I were having a very casual conversation, Scotty was around 100 meters ahead of me speeding towards the Welcome to Sparwood sign, that he spotted before all of us. Scotty was nearly 200 meters away from the sign when I pondered, considered and got off my bike tied my shoelaces, stretched, got water and then pursued him for the finish line. As I saw Scotty spinning his legs as fast as I could, it reminded me of Forest Gump when he loses his braces while running. The only part different was Scotty didn’t run, it looked like he was using a crutch at his side. I eventually caught up to him, took time to double and triple check if any cars were coming to coast past him for the yellow jersey. To explain it modestly, Scotty was demoralized.
To make our day even better, we had Jen Komaltyki and Leigh put us up in their beautiful home in Sparwood. They were way too nice to us. Took us around the town, showed us the biggest truck in the world and definitely refreshed us for our final leg through the Rockies. Jen and Leigh from all of us Mackinnon Boys thank you so much for everything. Too nice of you!!!!!!! We apologize for Ross’ stench. Anyways, off to Waterton National Park tomorrow and goodbye British Columbia
Rockies in the background! Boys are ready to rock!
Scotty staying hydrated!
Fernie as we look back, Scotty's 15th "Most beautiful place he has ever been to"
The boys at the Biggest Truck in the world!- Sparwood, B.C.
The Mac Bros with their gracious hosts!!!
John Crockford(AKA JBJ) is a great friend of the MacKinnon family. Known for being outgoing, loud and boisterous, he has made a significant impact on all of the MacKinnon boy's lives and has truly become one of our own. Even beyond the countless amount of good deeds this amazing man has done for our family there is one thing that we have been truly inspired by. His innate ability to grow an unbelievably rugged grizzly beard. He might be the hairiest guy we know, or have seen to this date prior to the Grizzly we saw a few days back. This has inspired us boys to try and honour our good friend by having a grow off. Our proposal is the MacKinnon's will grow their beards over the next two months until arriving home in Comox. We invite others to do so as well, and on our arrival home we will announce the winner of the JBJ Facial Hair Challenge.
Here are the rules for entry below:
-25 dollar entry fee(Donation online to MJFOX Foundation through our site)
-All contestants must enter by Sunday, June 3rd.
-You must e-mail your first picture by June 4th(Clean Shaven)
-Winner will be announced when we hit Nova Scotia. (Last picture must be emailed to us by July 16th)
-Any type of facial hair goes(Moustache, Goatee, Handlebars, Scotty Mac Classic Chinstrap, etc.)
Winner will receive(Will be voted by Scotty, Sean, Ross and Ryan- Tiebreaker will be from Harri our hero from Grand Forks):
-Signed Biking for Baha shirt from the Mac Bros
-Mac Bros Bball Camp Jersey 2012
-A 24 pack of something that rhymes with "Cousin Bucky"
-An original "Rusty" full piece biking leotard that has swam in the Atlantic.
Thank you and let us know as soon as possible.
Sean Neville woke up later then usual to a beautiful morning and had less kilometers to travel then our previous days. My kind of morning! It was at an overpriced campsite but hey, I felt good! On my way to the showers I ran into James, who is the caretaker of the campsite, he hooked us up with firewood the night before. As we slowly walked together making small talk, I turned to the washrooms and randomly saw this old city bus parked in behind some bushes with the front end poking out. I began to laugh immediately, and James instantly responded “oh do you like my place?” And being the hippy of the family (getting most of these traits from my dad) I responded, “of course I like it”! James was nice enough to give me a tour of his lovely homestead. It was decked out as a hippie Woodstock party bus in my eyes. Red and Blue strips down the sides but the best part was the inside. This guy had a built in 1970’s record player with over 500 records, retro bench seats, an Austin Power’s round bed, and bright colors everywhere… For lack of a better phrase, this bus was off the hook! I could see our dad Hughy Mack in the mid 70s cruising down Granville Street; window down while pumping James Taylor with his luscious locks flowing in the wind. I offered three peanut butter sandwiches, a Biking for Baha T shirt and all the change in my pocket which amounted to $8.76. He obviously turned down my petty attempt to purchase his Bus!
We hit the road at ten with which seemed to be fifty kilometer an hour head winds, my high sprits soon dropped as I have been having problems with my right knee. We pushed on for about forty kilometers to a coffee shop where we soon found out that ninety percent of the time the wind blows east not west, just our luck to be taking the wind head on. Speaking of the weather, ever since we left Vancouver Rusty has been wearing the same blue “Sherpa brand” rain jacket. It is honestly killing me… What makes things worse is he is now referring to himself as the “Sherpa” and literally thinks he can lead us through any geographical landscape in our way. It honestly felt like 30 degrees out yesterday, yet he was still wearing that freaking jacket! If he refers to himself one more time as a Sherpa I’m going to load him up with all 80 pounds of my gear and see if he’s cut out to be a real Sherpa!
Speaking of Sherpa’s we finally saw the wall that is the Rocky Mountains. Ryan literally thought it might be the Himalayas. We came around a bend and saw a massive mountain literally breaking through the ozone layer. However, it was actually a footstool for the real mountain shaking hands with the moon. What was more ridiculous was looking back to Scotty who was just coming around the bend getting repeatedly pounded by 60 km/hr head winds to his face. It looked like a sea lion trying to swim in the desert. His head tilted forward finally seeing the tiny mountain prior to Moon Mountain.
My body was killing me while we arrived in Cranbrook. All I could think about was a hot tub, sauna and pool that we had planned for the past 3 hours. The swimming pool was conveniently right beside our campsite. We set up our tents as quickly and efficiently as possible as we all were thinking food and sauna. Just outside the door of the pool Ryan saw Safeway and thought quick sandwiches and sauna right after. Safeway sandwiches were devoured in 5 minutes and were so full and satisfied, heading back over to the pool to find out it was closed. Now I’m on my back with a bag of ice on my knee writing this. Is this real life?
Scotty and his Dawgs!
Yahk Steve 2 Scoop Ice Cream
Our guy James and the boys in front of his sick bus.
Scotty feeling good!
Changing time zone, Yeah!
Look what Russ found