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Stage 562 – Bezanson to Ridge Valley

Around The World hasn’t crossed a river for a while: that was commonplace in the Rockies but as the route arrived in the flatter lands to the east, so the water dried up. That all changes at the start of stage 562 and the rollout curves left before hanging a big right hander to cross the Smoky River. The crossing is a couple of miles north of the junction of a few rivers which flow north from the mountains further south: the Wapiti flows west into the Smoky River while the Simonette River joins it from the east.

Naturally, the descent down to cross the river is a significant one, as is the climb back up the other side. The road loses four hundred feet of elevation by the two mile mark, before putting it all back on by four miles, and continuing to put it on thereafter: after the initial excitement of the start, this stage is a long, slow climber.

Once the steep climb is out of the way, Highway 43 bends left at four miles to begin heading east again: and the Range Road junctions are once again a regular feature. The first part of the long gentle climb peaks at seven miles, after which it’s lumpy flat to halfway. There’s a small reservoir on the left hand side of the road just after Range Road 15, so just as at Bezanson on the previous stage, the highway loops around it.

Another gentle climb kicks in between miles thirteen and sixteen, and it’s at the end of that climb, which is also the highest elevation of the stage, the road turns right to start heading south east towards the finish. The final four miles are basically flat, passing by a variety of Range Roads and Township Roads, and the finish is just before the junction of Range Road 260. Two sixty I hear you say: yup, I think the number series just rebooted itself.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 807 feet / 246 metres

RGT Magic Road: YsjUTGHit05x

Total distance: 20.46 mi
Max elevation: 2193 ft
Min elevation: 1589 ft
Total climbing: 796 ft
Total descent: -628 ft
Download file: Stage 562 - Around The World In 800 Days.gpx

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