Mile Zero

rock 1

This January 2011 Fitzhugh article by Carrie White  (below) is what got me thinking of riding Highway 93 end to end, all research indicates that it has never been done on a bicycle.

At a weekend media event, Mayor Richard Ireland announced that he and Jasper’s town councillors would be marking Mile Zero of the Icefields Parkway where the Discovery Trail crosses Connaught Dr., in the Jasper townsite.

“Jasper is not just a natural decompression chamber,” said Ireland. “We have a top of the world asset that should be more vigourously announced.”

That asset, said Ireland, is the Icefields Parkway – the “most spectacular drive in the world”.

“And that comes from Mr. Google,” he said of his research into the renowned drive through the Rockies.

So it was that on Jan. 9, Ireland officially designated a touchstone marker on Connaught Dr. as “Mile Zero” of Highway 93, which encompasses the Icefields Parkway. He marked the touchstone Mile Zero spot by driving a railroad spike into the ground, in keeping with Jasper’s strong railway history. Members of council, Tourism Jasper and the media then built a cairn out of Jonas Slide rock as a marker over the spike.

According to a recent release, Tourism Jasper and the Municipality of Jasper will move forward in engaging the local community in an educational process on how and where to build out the attraction.

“The designation of Jasper as Mile Zero of the Icefields Parkway now provides an official starting point to this famed stretch of road, and bragging rights for those that travel all, or a portion, of Highway 93,” said Ireland in a recent statement.

A boulder, which played a significant role in Jasper’s history, will ultimately be relocated to the official Mile Zero site, and provide the signature photographic opportunity for all starting their Icefields  Parkway journey.

The Icefields Parkway, which began its journey in 1940, is a 230-km stretch of road that links Jasper to more southerly parts of Alberta, and boasts the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park. The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, covering an area of nearly 325 square km, and features the six-km long Athabasca Glacier.

“We know that travellers are looking for exceptional experiences and personal journeys,” stated Tourism Jasper CEO, Maggie Davison in a press release. “Driving Highway 93, particularly the Icefields Parkway, is an incredible journey that now has an official starting point and continues on deep into the southern United States.”

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2 responses to “Mile Zero

  1. Hi Greg, Best of luck on this epic ride. As you know I already ride for MS. However Gail and I will be making a donation to MS for your ride. I am also hoping to join you sometime during your last two or three days.
    Part of my training schedule could be a climb over Bow Summit and the Icefields. Hope I CAN KEEP IN TOUCH WITH YOUR PROGRESS.
    Best Wishes, Jack Almond.

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