BC: June 8 - June 12
Bike log: 156km,
1238m of vertical,
average speed 25.2 km/h
9 - Gray Creek to Moyie
It felt good to
good day in after
a couple of shorter rides. The weather was pretty good for most of
the day, although there was still that darn headwind for a lot of it.
There was no rain until the last hour or so, at which point it
absolutely poured. At one point there was lightning and at another
point there was hail!
soaked and immediately started to get chilled off (while riding
getting cold is not usually a problem). The campground was mostly
vacant, but it took a while to find a site anyway because most of the
sites are marked for 1 night only, and we wanted to have a rest day
tomorrow. Finally we got in one, and by that point I was cold enough
that I just piled into the van, pulled off the wet clothes and left
the van running while I sat in front of the rear heater and cracked a
beer! Unlike just about every Volkswagen I've ever been in, the van
has an incredibly effective heating system.
The ride down
east side of Kootenay
Lake was one of the most scenic parts of the trip so far. There is
not much traffic along that 60 km stretch north of Creston-
apparently only 1500 people live in that distance. The road follows
the lake most of the way, and there are large mountains on both
sides. At that point it was also not raining, which has been rare
lately, which I'm sure helped to enhance the experience.
We are into a
time zone - Mountain
time! I gave a little cheer as we passed the sign that indicated the
change. It started raining about 3 minutes later, I will not cheer
when we pass the next one (the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border, I
At one point
Cheryl was pulled
off the road waiting for me near Yahk, a local farmer approached her
- I guess he thought she was going to hop over his barbed wire fence.
He was very friendly and helpful, although downright pessimistic
about the prospect of biking through Alberta. What with the 120 km/h
hurricane force winds, nasty truckers, and constant floods (not to
mention the metres of snow) it sounds nearly impossible! Well, good
thing Alberta is quite narrow where we cross, and hopefully that
hurricane will be a tailwind.
I feel I should
Chris is doing such a thorough job with this blog that there's not
much else to add! Also, it's nice to have some time away from the
computer. But I have to say how beautiful this province is--I am
falling in love with B.C. this time around. I have had some great
hikes in the hills, especially in Princeton and Grand Forks, where
there were tonnes of wildflowers and butterflies and birds. It's
heaven. Some areas are kind of lonely and desolate, or at least they
seem that way from the highway, but that also adds to the flavour of
the place. The mills and logging trucks and SUVs everywhere are kind
of a bummer in the middle of all this otherwise pristine wilderness,
but that's the way it goes. Seeing it sure makes you want to take
care of this place. Can't wait to see what's next!
Chris and I are
RVers. All we lack is a little white poodle for the van. At the
Riviera Campsite in Grand Forks, a leathery-faced lady with pink
lipstick was actually selling poodles to passing RVers, which I found
strangely hilarious. I am also rediscovering the joys of a hot
shower. It's all about the simple things! All in all, life is very
good right now. My love to everyone.
Thanks a lot to
everyone who has
commented on the blog, and I am especially grateful for Tony and the
boys at IBL for the snow
I took it up
trial run on the day
off here, but unfortunately my calculator was set in degrees, not
radians, and the whole thing fired back on me. My bike seat burst
into flames, possibly due to some defective product from one of my
sponsors. Good thing it was a day off, I was able to pick up this new
Bike log: 120km, 565m
average speed 25.7 km/h
11 Moyie lake to Fernie
That was a
I had headwinds
almost the whole day, except for the last hour. The day started out
really nice and warm, I thought I was going to have to put on short
sleeves when we stopped in Cranbrook for supplies. However, it
quickly got nasty - windy, rainy, and cold! However, Fernie is an
interesting town, although it looks like it is much more happening in
the winter. Pretty sleepy for a Saturday night here!
be really nice
the whole way. We followed the Kootenay river quite a bit of the way,
as well as the Elk river for the last bit. Both looked really high to
me - they were raging!
last view of the
mountains in BC
Fernie is a
town - completely
surrounded by huge mountains. The "resort" is being built
up on the ski hill, away from the main town. The town itself looks
like so many others we've seen, although it is a bit bigger. It looks
like a weird mix - small, kind of run down houses, and then out of
town the giant, sparkling new resort condos, trying hard to look like
the next Whistler.
We passed the
mark today - cool!
We are only 50km from the Alberta border, and the continental divide.
I am hoping that once we hit the divide the winds will prevail from
behind - not the headwinds we have been battling. It will be nice to
be coasting as well - there have been a lot of days with a slow
uphill climb, and we will soon be doing the opposite.
12 - Day off in Mt.
Fernie Provincial Park
I had to take
off because I was
not feeling well. Definitely a bit of stomach flu. We are going to
get out of our "campground" in Fernie which is a grassy
parking lot and head out to the provincial park.
spent the extra day at the Mt.
Fernie provincial park. Another great BC park! The only negative
thing was this troll (a chicken-troll?) that lived under a bridge. We
gained passage across the bridge by bribing him with bagels.
Over the Crow's Nest pass to Alberta...