They are coming in three’s!
Day 3 - Stanley Park to Chilliwack, BC - 120km
So it begins. I started my day off bright and early, 11am, I headed down to Stanley Park to dip my back wheel into the waters of the Pacific. It’s a good thing there was a gentleman there to help me lug my fully loaded bike down the beach. His name was Wolf, which is weird because I could still see the moon in the sky… Anyways, Wolf howled me to move my bike and was also kind enough to take a pic of the dip.
After chatting and cleaning the bloody sand off of my chain I was ready to officially start my trek across the country. Day one, roughly 120km, more than I have ridden if you took all of my rides and combined them together, no sweat. Actually lots of sweat. It was a long ride with a few stops in-between, got and awesome burger at a pub and carried on. Wasn’t much else really happening today.
It’s amazing what happens when an 18 wheeler whizzes by you at a buck 40. One, it scares the shit of you and two, you get a boost of wind to push you up the hill!
So after a long ride with a late start in the day I found myself at THE! Campground. A very nice and quiet campsite with clean water and showers, more than I could ask for!
Looking forward to some sun tomorrow!
Lets get some rest!
Day 2- Chilliwack to Hope, BC - 65km
Hoping for good weather may have been optimistic. It actually was pouring rain when I woke up at 6am so I stayed in tent to see if it would pass. 7,8,9,10 ok its not stopping and now I’m behind. So I packed my tent up in the rain and hopped on my bike hoping it wouldn’t pour the whole way to Hope but was ready for it whether or not the weather would change for the better. For a long while it did rain, and it didn’t quit for four hours. I went through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain… and big ol’ fat rain. Rain that flew in sideways. And sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. This one hour I was out riding, like all day, and then just like that, somebody turned off the rain and the sun come out. (seeing as I am surrounded by forests)
So to get back on track I stopped off at a cafe called Horn of Plenty, about 20km away from my destination and had me some peach pie and a coffee. I was served by a lovely lady named Marina and a gentleman named Charlton who I believe owns the place. It was one of the best pie and coffee combo I have ever had, except for my mommas Pecan Pie, capital letters and all.
When I started the day I really didn’t feel too bad and I thought that this trip wouldn’t be as hard as everyone told me it was going be…Then I hit my first combination of hills. Man it was like getting a one-two punch in the face followed by a roundhouse kick. I pulled threw, this time…I haven’t even started the mountains yet!
I made my way to Hope and stopped for a pic before entering the town. Not knowing where I would stay I did a few laps around town and decided to set up base at a campground called Telte-Yet. After stringing up a pretty impressive tarp to block the equally impressive wind coming off the Fraser river I mowed down on a loaf of bread and a brick of cheese. After my 5 star dinner I headed to town to get some Wifi at a restaurant. Unfortunately they closed early and I couldn’t get to blogging. I’m sure its because I smelled like a homeless person and was set up at one of their tables like a hacker from The Matrix (charging my laptop, camera, 4 iPods, set up with a hard drive and card reader). Honestly though the servers at the restaurant were wonderful, especially Liz who I was able to have a quick chat with :)
It was here I did some more research on my next few days of riding and made the executive decision to have another beer and stay another day in town before heading into the relentless onslaught of hills.
Lets have just one more.
Day 3 Telte-Yet Campsite to ______?
Sand. Oh the sand I found in my tent this morning! The wind carried on throughout the entire night so strong I thought the bench I tied my tarp to was going to come flying at me!. When I saw the sand all over my sleeping bag I wondered if I had been blown back to Stanley Park, I started clicking my heels! Obviously that wasn’t the case, but the sand was a beach to deal with nonetheless.
I knew I was staying in town today so I slept in until checkout time and then slept another two hours. Had some soup, oatmeal and a coffee followed by some pictures then took off! I doubled back for all my gear and then got moving! I ventured all the way across the street to a Subway. (thanks Jan & Nick for the gift card!)
After stealing some wifi I was trying to figure out what to do with myself and where I was going to stay for the night. I remembered this incredible website called Warm Showers. Its a site for ” free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. ” It shows you locations of people who are willing to bring in travelling cyclists, free of charge, for a shower and bed! (or lawn space for your tent) So on this site there was ONE location in Hope and only ONE block away from me. The owners are actually away right now doing their own tour across Canada, Hilary & Peter (wishing you safe travels!) but their daughter Helen is home house sitting. So I gave Helen a call and she let me head over and dry my clothes out on her porch until she was done work. I cycled around town until she was home and swung by to meet the gang. There was Helen and her two very energetic dogs, Kane and Gander, along with a women named Suzy (thanks for dinner!) and her son RJ. RJ is actually headed on the same trip as I am in the morning but is travelling much lighter. He’s going to travel the same route as me all the way to Ontario except in 24 days! His mother will be following behind him so he won’t have to carry the rest of his gear.
A great big thank you to Helen, your a wonderful host and I wish you all the best with your future. Thanks for the place to stay, letting me do my laundry, the beer and the laughs. Oh my the banana peels and mangos!
Anyways it’s very late and theres so many details I could go on and on about, like the old couple I over heard at the restaurant yesterday. Talking casually about their food and how good it was. When all of a sudden they made a sexual remark about the seafood they were eating and how its an aphrodisiac, followed by the man asking his wife where he could get a Viagra pill at 10pm! Great stuff happening on this trip though. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Lets head into the mountains!