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British Columbia


Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon May 21 Fernie, BC 98 1053
It was slow going in camp this morning.  We decided to hit snooze for an extra half hour.  Our pleasant neighbours, returned to their campsite from where ever they were at 2:30 and were a little noisy.  It was too cold last night for us to get up out of the tent and say anything.  It was also cold this morning.  Really cold.  Our breakfast of Sunnyboy tasted much better with brown sugar.  We got rolling and had a little difficulty with the distance signs, as they didn't seem to agree.  We figure whoever made the signs must have been using a very large scale map.  We had beautiful weather, and only gently rolling hills in the morning, no nasty climbs!  Around lunchtime we got to Jaffray BC, and stopped.  Adam's bike was a little off, perhaps a spoke was loose... nope, it was an inch and a half long nail in his rear tire.  It actually punctured both the outside of the tire and the inside!  So we hung out for quite a while and had lunch.  As we sat and ate, two cyclists rolled by, and who was it but Nick and Dave!! the crazy guys we first met in Princeton a while ago.  How on Earth did we get ahead of them?...
     So it happened like this...Nick was sick so they spent two days hanging out in a motel.  That was after he was told by the emergency room doctor to take it easy.  They got a ride from Yahk to Cranbrook with a nice guy who had a pickup truck (they figured they needed an empty pickup with only the driver to be able to fit their bikes and them, what luck)  He was a logging truck driver, and told them that it was too muddy to be logging, so that's why weren't seeing many logging trucks.  The stories they told us were insane.  They got to the top of Paulson pass in the weather that we were hiding under our tarp on our rest day in Creston.  They were wet and cold when they rode down in the fog.  They were almost run off the road by a house.  An oversized load lead truck passed them and honked, so they just waved, then a house, taking up the better part of two and a half lanes, drove by.  They also managed to have the exact same problems with the time zone as we did, except that they tried to see a movie and missed the time by an hour.  We were laughing so hard it hurt.  I'm sure they have even more stories on their website, www.geocities.com/CBTCCC (Character Building Through Cross Country Cycling).  We will try and hook up with them in Calgary.
     While at lunch we asked the locals about the next stretch of road, and they warned us of the tunnel which is narrow and poorly lit.  We pull out our lights and head out.  The scenery was stunning.  The mountains are tremendous, and beautiful.  We passed our first mountain goat warning (We've seen all manner of other animal warnings) and actually saw a mountain goat that was considering crossing the road, but thought better of it.  Eventually we got to the tunnel.  We stopped at a little pull off just a few hundred meters before the sharp left turn into the tunnel.  We turned on all our lights, and put reflective tape everywhere.  We waited for a break in traffic and headed in.  As we made the left turn, we were surprised to find that we could see the other end of the tunnel, it was only 15 meters away.  We have actually crossed under bridges that were wider.  We laughed, and excepted to find the real tunnel later.  We didn't, that was it.  We laughed more.  
    There was a lot of traffic today.  Mostly a long line of Alberta plates on RVs and SUVs heading back after the long weekend in BC.  On our way into Fernie, a Saturn stopped on the road ahead of us and flagged us down.  A very nice woman than gave us a donation having seen the sign on the back of my bike.  I was very nice, and a pleasant break late in the day.  I didn't catch her name, but thank her.
    At the edge of Fernie we stopped at the Dairy Queen to cool off given the very hot day.  We met some really cool students from the Environmental Sciences program at the University of Lethbridge who were two hours from the end of their 25 day camping field course touring around the southern States.  We sat and chatted with the nice guy from Sault St. Marie, and the friendly, beautiful girl with the stunning blue eyes who offered us a place in Lethbridge.  Sadly we aren't going through Lethbridge, but it was a nice offer and we appreciate it.  We hung out with them for a while until they had to leave in their two big vans.  As they were regrouping, they did their big dance number for Nadia, it was quite entertaining.  Being as today we broke the 1000 km mark, and we were through the worst of the mountains, Adam offered to get us a motel room for the night.  What a nice treat.  We found a nice place with a ground floor room and rolled in.  Nadia had a bit of trouble when her bungee cord felt like turning her bike into a wind-up toy and hook on her spokes as she walked her bike into the room.  We showered and cleaned up and all phoned home.  I wished my Dad a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  We went to the restaurant next door for dinner and spent ages talking about the trip and such.  
    It was a great day.  We watched the Rockies start in front of us, then move beside us, and finally they were behind us.  It was a really neat thing to watch.  The scenery was great, and we have a huge chunk of the trip behind us.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun May 20 Cranbrook, BC 108 955
We all woke up feeling good and rested.  The rest day certainly helped us a lot.  We had nice clear weather, but it was a little cool as we climbed out of our nice warm tent.  The weather was nice for riding by the time we were rolling at 8 a.m.  We did Sunny boy for breakfast, it certainly tastes healthy... perhaps it needs a little brown sugar.  It did seem to work though, we flew in the morning.  On the way up one substantial hill, an old VW van stalled just in front of us.  They said they were okay, and there wasn't anything we could do for them.  We were relieved to see them pass us some twenty or so minutes later as we ate GORP by the side of the road.  Later in the day our motorcycling friend and Mouse passed us, and we met them at the next gas station.  We managed to figure out where the time zone changes, there is actually a sign marking the spot, no more confusion for us.  Today was the day of bumpy roads and rumble strips.  The construction zone wasn't fun.  It was ~ 8 km of packed dirt and gravel.  This was the first time that Adam's bike actually out performed either Nadia's or mine, and he didn't mind the bumps at all with his front shocks.  We got into Cranbrook around 4 pm and headed straight for groceries not knowing what stores would be doing with the Sunday and the holiday Monday.  Groceries for both tonight and tomorrow.  While we were doing groceries, the owner of a B.O.B. (Adam's trailer) stopped to talk with us, and suggested the local municipal campground.  We had a nice dinner, and showered.  I was expecting to smell a little more on this trip, but I guess personal hygiene is a good thing.  I did several hours of bike maintenance to take care of my bike so it takes care of me.  I had a hole in my tire, but it didn't go flat!  The beads, and Mr. Tuffy, seem to have worked again.  Nadia finished her pillow flannel.  It was light very late having just crossed to time zone line.  Tomorrow morning will be tough.  - SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat May 19 Creston, BC Rest Day 841
We, for some reason, were all up at 7:15 this morning.  So much for sleeping in.  We tried to sleep more, to outlast the rain, but mostly we just ended up hiding in the tent.  Eventually, we got up and started cooking our 'sweaty breakfast' as Adam affectionately calls it.  Eggs, potatoes, bagels, bacon, and yogurt.  All a little too heavy to ride with in our stomachs, but fine for a rest day.  As we began cooking, we looked off towards the mountains, and saw what was certainly rain heading our way.  We moved the table under our tarp, and not a moment too soon, because it started pouring!  The rain was pounding down, and the wind was pulling and pushing our tarp and tent.  We were pleasantly dry and eating well under the tarp, it wasn't bad at all.  We wanted to take pictures for you guys, but with the zoom lens, we would have had to go out from under the tarp to take the pictures, sorry.  We did have to leave the comfort of the tarp when the wind managed to pull out some of our tent pegs and tarp pegs.  The sun eventually came out, just in time for the Blossom festival parade at noon. We did some laundry, read for a while, showered and heading into town for a few errands.  We found the library and sent in a log for Thursday, but only had enough time for one log.  We did see the new details on the site though.  Wow, it looks great, thanks Bill!  We really like it.  We then hit the bike shop, a favourite hobby of ours, as well as the pharmacy for more sunscreen.  We did dinner in town, and groceries on the way back to camp.  Today is Ian and Jane's wedding, and Adam and I have been thinking about them all day.  Hopefully the weather in Ontario has been nicer than the morning here.  At the campground, we met a nice gentleman from Alberta and his little dog Mouse.  We had a few nice conversations with him, and hung out.  Back in camp I did a little more bike maintenance and taught myself how to true a wheel.  Then off to bed.  That was our rest day in the shadow of the Columbia brewery.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri May 18 Creston, BC 50 841
When we were in Nelson yesterday, we were told to set out watches ahead an hour for the new time-zone when we crossed Kootenay Lake, which we did on the ferry.  When we got to the other side, and woman asked Nadia the time, who replied that it was 10 to 5.  The woman said "Isn't it 10 to 4?", to which Nadia said "Nope, we just crossed the border of the time-zone, you have to set your watch forward."  Which the woman did.  This is significant because after getting up and rolling, we stopped at Larry and Betsy's house to say "Hi".  This is where Betsy told us that the time change actually wasn't until after Creston, which meant that we accidentally told that woman to re-set her watch!  Hopefully she figured it out.  It also explains why Scott was hurting this morning, since we did get up at 5:00!  Betsy was nice enough to set up an interview with the Creston Valley Advance for us, and we hustled our butts to make the 1:00 appointment with their reporter, Paul Frey.  The interview went really well, and he took a couple of pictures for the article.  After that we hit a bike shop to use a floor pump to fully inflate Nadia's tires (its hard to hit 120 psi with our small pumps), a grocery store, and a campground.  We had breakfast for dinner, feasting on pancakes, cleaned up and went to bed.  We are all really tired, so its a good thing tomorrow is a lay day.  Its interesting to see how our bodies react to our riding schedule.  We feel great for the first three days after a break, start looking forward to a rest during day 4, and the idea of a break is what keeps us going through day 5!  Then we rest and start the cycle all over again.  Cheers, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu May 17 Gray Creek, BC 107 781
Today we got up and had breakfast with the Castlegar Sunrise 2000 Rotary Club, whose eggs definitely set us up for a good day of riding.  Too bad we forgot the camera for the breakfast, but oh well.  We finally hit the road at about 9:30, and flew to Nelson.  It was uphill, but pretty gradual and we had a relatively easy time of it.  I think I was more excited about seeing all the hydro-electric dams along the Kootenay River then either Scott our Nadia.  When we got to Nelson, we found out that we could get the 4:00 ferry across Kootenay Lake, or we could haul ass the final 35 km to the ferry and make the 2:20 crossing.  We decided to go for it, and made it there by 1:45!  We felt that that deserved a drink at the bar by the ferry, and chilled there until it was time to board the boat.  When we got off the other side, we found out that the trailer had a flat.  This would have been quick to fix, except that we couldn't find the spare tube!  It turned up, right in my pack.  Oops.  We left the ferry terminal, rode up a BIG hill, and then set off down Kootenay Lake.  We all were pretty tired, and our muscles were cold after the ferry, so we stay at a campground in Grey Creek instead of pushing to Sirdar to stay with Larry and Bettsy.  Overall it was a good day, even if we did hurt a little near the end.  See ya, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed May 16 Castlegar, BC 81  674
When we went to bed last night it began to gently spit.  At 3:30 am that gentle rain turned into a monsoon, and Nadia, being in the middle of the tent, found herself getting crowded from both sides.  The day started slowly due to the rain, which had mostly stopped, but continued to spit for most of the morning.  On the way up to the Paulson pass we saw a deer which was lying in the road, but unfortunately hadn't died yet.  We wanted to stop and help the poor thing, drag it off the road, but between the fears of disease, cougars, and getting hit ourselves, we had to leave it.  We continued to climb, for a while, then we climbed some more.  Near the Paulson bridge we hear what sounded like an explosion, and saw a rockslide on the for side of the valley.  At the bridge we stopped to add layer for our climb above the snow line, and had our picture taken with four Korean tourists.  We continued onto the bridge and were a little disturbed by the 'No Stopping - Avalanche Area' sign.  We figured that was a winter only thing, but rode a little faster anyways.  At the top of Paulson pass we stopped for lunch, but cut it short when the snow started to fall.  If we change our route to use the Crowsnest pass, this will be the highest point of the trip - ya all downhill from here, right...  We bundled up for the long downhill towards Castlegar which was a little chilly to say the least.  The hail that started was amusing, but the novelty wore off as it really began to hurt.  We found much more pleasant weather in Castlegar, as we found the local bike shop.  Ernie, the gentleman who runs the shop and is retiring in ten days, sold us some tubes and degreaser, and adjusted Scott's bike for free.  While Scott was in the shop, Adam and Nadia met Dave Gairns outside the shop.  Dave is a Rotarian in Castlegar and offered several options for accommodation that night - the most appealing being to stay with him and his wife Phyllis for the evening.  They served a huge dinner to keep our stomachs happy with chicken, veggies, and potatoes, followed by a delicious homemade rhubarb dish for dessert.  We were very appreciative of the roof being offered, and all the bonuses which come under said roof.  Tomorrow morning, Dave is taking us to his Rotary Breakfast club before we set out towards Nelson.  We thank them both for their generosity and hospitality. SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue May 15 Christina Lake, BC 66  593
We were rolling by 8 am thanks in part to being camped in the pavilion last night.  Looking at the creeks on the very large scale map, Adam figured it was mostly uphill to Grand Forks.  After some uphill for about 15 km, the three us off coasted for the next 30 km downhill into Grand Forks.  Adam blames the very large scale map previously mentioned.  Scott and Nadia were pleased that Adam was mistaken in the downhill direction and not the other way around.  In Grand Forks we found the Post Office and sent home a few items which we felt were no longer necessary.  Scott also sent home the first two rolls of film, so hopefully you will get to see some pictures soon.  Sending film is expensive, oddly sending it by Xpress post is actually cheaper than sending it by regular parcel post.  When loading up back in Vancouver, Mr. Peatfield gave Scott some blue glass beads, which were meant to protect his dromedary (bicycle) from evil spirits - aka flat tires.  These beads proved themselves very effect today.  After the post office, Adam got a flat tire on Bob (the trailer) which we fixed, in the rain, and were able to buy a replacement spare tube.  After a pleasant lunch in the park, and not more than 5 km down the road, the evil flat tire spirits struck Nadia in the form of an industrial sized staple.  We fixed that flat at the side of the road, as it began to rain, yet again.  We reached our destination of Christina Lake and stopped for groceries.  While in line we started talking with some of the other customers and found that the people of Christina Lake are quite generous.  One kind lady pulled a $20 bill out of her wallet and gave it to us, not even wanting a tax receipt.  Another kind gentleman met us outside the grocery store and gave us all the change he had.  We were very appreciative of their generosity towards the Cancer Society.  After dinner we formally named Scott's front panniers, Maverick and Goose.  Scott and Adam were then shocked and horrified that Nadia didn't get the reference to Top Gun, having been only a toddler when the movie was released.  We will be watching the movie at the earliest possible time.  We name the bags so that it is easier to local and describe where things are.  As we were getting into the tent for bed, it began spitting lightly.......
Question of the day: Why does it always begin to rain when you are fixing a flat tire? SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon May 14 Greenwood, BC 86 526
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun May 13 Osoyoos, BC Rest Day  434
Wow, a rest day.  We got to sleep in, but all woke up early.  We then had a bit of breakfast, and either went back to sleep or read a book.  It was another beautiful sunny day, in "Canada's Only Desert."  As the morning moved forward, we managed to do some desperately needed laundry.  Then, once our laundry was on the line drying, we went to town to do some laundry.  The local Home Hardware was huge and was kind enough to let us use their drill to drill holes in the camera case to make it easier to mount and access on the bike.  After some groceries we had a pleasant lunch by the lake and looked at the huge hill waiting for us on the other side.  We managed to read the Globe and Mail, and were very happy to hear that the Raptors won their third game.  We saw a huge RV at the campground - so large that it took a semi truck to pull it.  Rest days are the days we try to convince our bikes that we like them, by giving them a good cleaning and re-greasing, and do any other maintenance.  We had a nice chicken and rice dinner with veggies, and then half a watermelon for dessert - can you tell this is a rest day, and that we don't have to ride far with our groceries?  Adam was having difficulty eating as he managed to nearly dump his dinner in his lap, but after a swift recovery, things were back to normal. SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat May 12 Osoyoos, BC 118  434
We got off to a good start, rolling out of camp by around 0800.  We had a great morning, covering 50km in no time.  Nadia was having difficulty applying sunscreen without getting it in her eyes, but after five or six tries she seemed to get it right.  We stopped for a break at the Whistle Stop Cafe, where the owner and his wife were both dressed in blue and white engineer overalls, and the decor was all about trains, it was very cute.  When we stopped to take a break, we noticed that the butterflies in the area were all attracted to our bikes, we then realized that they were the brightest coloured objects in the whole area.  Just before lunch we ran into Dave and Nick, our friends from Montreal, who had started a little later than us.  We all had lunch together at a fruit stand, and were enjoying eating whole vegetables.  We had a good laugh at the men's washroom where the toilet was up two big steps making it a true throne.  We took a few pictures, with all five of us, hopefully they turn out.  During the afternoon we had a crazy headwind, but that worked well with the heat.  The landscape was totally desert to the point where you could swear we were in Nevada.  There were these crazy cliffs and bluffs, with rock and gravel slides all over the place, and a winding river giving life in the valley, with snow on the tops of the hills.  It's an odd contrast.  The eeriest thing was the road signs.  The signs in BC are all made so that they hang from the top rather than being on a post.  The sings make this creaking sound that no one ever hears, unless of course you are cycling past them.  We can actually feel ourselves getting stronger, making it up hills that challenged us just a few days ago.  We ended up pulling into a Subway for dinner since we needed to do groceries.  We hung out a little too long, since the weather started to change and we then had to race to the campground ahead of the storm.  We then built a campsite in a matter of minutes, and beat the storm, but the storm was afraid of us and only hit us with a few drops.  We were then hit with a cotton storm, with the fluff from the poplar trees, leaving Scott a sneezing mess.  Quote of the day: Nadia: "If we were cycling in outer space, there would be no uphills or downhills, because there's no gravity." (In the afternoon, with lots of wind and sun, and cycling uphill) SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri May 11 Princeton, BC 62  309
So we had a cooler night last night than the others have been.  When we woke up and were preparing breakfast, we were greeted by a friendly Parks Ranger who informed us that the park was in fact closed.  We explained that our guide book had told us otherwise, and that the people up at the lodge told us we would be able to camp.  He was content and we got into a discussion about the huge number of trees that were dying from the Mountain Beetle.  We packed up and headed towards Princeton.  At the east gate we stopped and bought some GORP (aka trail mix) because Adam had managed to buy salt and vinegar peanuts the day before, and wasn't enjoying them very much, at all, in the least.  The road to Princeton was a little hillier than we had expected, but at least we got a few downhills in our direction.  We saw our first downhill warning actually going in our direction.  The weather was gorgeous and sunny, and made for very pleasant riding.  Scott's stomach was a little off, but it didn't effect his riding.  We made very good time into Princeton, we were there by around 1.  We set up camp, had a bit of lunch, and then ran errands in town.  We hit the bike shop for a minor repair to Adam's derailleur, and Scott bought a front rack so the camera will be easily accessible.  Next was the library to send a quick e-mail log, then onto groceries, and a bit of ice-cream as a treat.  Back at camp, we met Dave and Nick, two guys from Montreal who are also biking across the country.  They were very pleasant and we enjoyed their company.  In the photos Dave has the red curly hair, and Nick has the short black stubble.  Question of the Day: How much potassium is in a banana? SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu May 10 Manning Provincial Park, BC 79  247
So today was the big day.  We knew Manning park was going to be a lot of climbing.  Things started smoothly, except for when Nadia rode into a construction sign on the shoulder (she was only doing ~5 km/h so no one was hurt and we got a good laugh).  Nadia then proceeded to sit in the gum she had left on her bike seat.  We climbed approximately 1342m (that's like 4500 feet!) between Hope and Allison Pass (that's the difference, there were lots more ups and downs which cancel each other out).  There was this weird phenomena where we would be going up a steep uphill and see a downhill on the other side, but when we got to the crest of the hill, it was another uphill, just a less steep one.  Lots of people were waving and honking as we rode by, which was nice.  One car stopped after we wave while stopped, thinking we needed assistance, we thanked her and we were all on our way.  There was a fair amount of walking up the hills, especially towards the end of the day.  We reached an elevation where there was snow on the ground, and the first snowball was thrown.  We made it to camp by 6 p.m. after some trouble finding a place which was open, or close to open.  We didn't have any cellular service, so calls home were made from a payphone on the way.  Adam's derailleur was giving him problems, but we should be able to get that fixed tomorrow.  We are feeling upbeat after a very long day, the mountains are beautiful, but the riding is challenging.  Adam's answer to bear bags when there are no branched: use an empty bear-proof garbage can.  Question of the day: Is Fire Water, Burn by the Blood Hound Gang, or did they do a cover, if so who is it by? SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed May 9 Hope, BC 95  163
We had nice clear sunny weather again today, go figure in BC two days of clear weather - it must be a good omen.  The ride today was fairly flat, but there were a few sizable hills to climb.  At least we got to ride the downhill sides of them.  Adam was having a bit of trouble with his rear derailleur, but unfortunately we aren't able to get it looked at by a pro, so we will be working on it around the campsite tonight.  We made good time into Hope, arriving around 2 p.m.  We're taking a break and looking for a place to watch the Leaf's game tonight (game seven vs. NJ).  Tomorrow we have to deal with Manning Park, a big climb at an elevation of ~1400 m - yikes!!!
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue May 8 Mission, BC 68  68

So it begins like this... today we started riding. Apparently this trip is actually happening. We got up early to get all packed. We want to be riding down to Lonsdale Quay by 8:15 to meet the photographer from the North Shore News who wanted to see us off. It must have looked funny, the three of us on our packed bikes and the Peatfields driving slowly to guide us. We took a lot of pictures, touched the Pacific, and started off on the big ride. The weather is clear and sunny, slightly cool, very pleasant riding weather. The first part of today was very urban. We ended up walking over the Second Narrows Bridge because it was too windy to ride. It was nice when we got into the areas further from Vancouver. BC has wide paved shoulders which made riding a pleasure. We met some gentlemen from CEP602 who were in a long strike at the Petro-Canada Plant near Port Moody who gave us some Powerbars. Thanks guys. We rolled into Mission around 3:00 pm, it was short day at only 68 km, but with the late start, and campground placements in the next few days, it seemed an appropriate plan. The bikes were working well but still need a bit of tweaking - this evening's main activity. Tomorrows log should be from the other side of Hope. SK


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